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Review: Nemo Equipment Tensor insulated camping mattress

Written by Fiona

April 06 2020

The Nemo Equipment Tensor insulated camping mattress is the most comfortable lightweight camping mattress I have ever tried. For weight to comfort levels it is superb.

Features of Nemo Equipment Tensor insulated camping mattress:

  • Tensor mummy sleeping pad is £145 RRP.
  • Wide range of sizes for exact bag and tent pairing. (I have been testing 183cm x 51cm)
  • 8cm/ 3 inches deep mattress
  • Weight: 425g
  • Vortex pump sack provides easy and fast inflation
  • Laylow zero-profile, multi-functional, micro-adjustable valve
  • Spaceframe baffles for stability and weight distribution.
  • 20D fabric for a soft feel (also saves weight and pack size)
  • From RRP: £139.99
    Buy from Wildbounds, Ultralight Outdoor gear and Webtogs.
Attaching the inflation bag.

On test: Nemo Equipment Tensor insulated camping mattress

As I said above, this is the most comfortable lightweight camping mattress I have slept on. It could be the thickness, a generous 8cm, or the design, which means it really supports the body.

Normally, I end up with sore hips. I have slept on all kinds of inflatable sleeping pads and I always wake in the night with sore hips but not with the Nemo Equipment Tensor insulated camping mattress.

I also like the soft fabric of the mattress. it is lovely to sleep on and very quiet. Some sleeping mattress are made from loud crinkly fabrics but not the Nemo Tensor.

The inflation system is excellent as well. A sleeping mattress, especially one that is 8cm deep, can take quite a lot of puff to inflate. If this needs to be done after a day of walking or adventure racing, it does feel like a chore.

The inflation bag that comes with the Nemo Equipment Tensor insulated camping mattress is made from dry bag style fabric. You gather air from around you and with a quick puff form your own lungs and somehow, magically, when you start to fold over the top the bag inflates with lots of air.

The more you fill the inflating bag the more air goes into the mattress. It took only about four bags of air to inflate most of the mattress. After that I added a couple of lungs of air directly through the valve and that was it. Job done!

The mattress stayed well inflated all night.

Because of the thickness of the mattress and the way the mattress traps warm air inside, I didn’t feel the cold ground in the night. It was a cold night when we went “gamping” and I slept remarkably well.

If you want to minimise the weight of your rucksack, you might not choose the Tensor because it is heavier than others on the market, such as several of the Therm-A-Rest air pads but it is excellent for a good night’s sleep.

This is the sort of sleeping pad I would take on a short overnight walking or bikepacking trip where I wanted a bit of extra comfort and don’t mind an extra 100g to 150g of weight to carry.

The Nemo Equipment Tensor is not cheap either. But it does look like it is well made, durable and robust. I am really impressed with this product.

Also see Nemo Dragonfly 2P tent review.

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