People have at times called me a camping weenie. Oh, he gets cold. Oh, he doesn’t like to sleep on the hard ground. Oh, he’s not “tough.” I fully agree with the first two, and I’ll debate the third until we’re both blue in the face. So yes, I like the idea and the impact of a sleeping pad. Rocks were never appreciated by anyone’s back, and I’ve never run across someone who actually liked being teeth-chattering cold. Still, I was a bit skeptical when gear testing the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite sleeping pad.
I’ve tested several sleeping pads this summer, including the ThermaRest LuxuryMap sleeping pad and the REI Camp Bed 3.5. Both performed great (advantage ThermaRest), but both are big and best suited to car camping. The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite was the lone inflatable one I tested, and it was “lite” to boot. I was worried it would pop like a balloon. Such was the fate of our dearly departed mattress, after all. Inflatable sleeping pads are great for backpackers, as they’re both lightweight and small. Could they possibly be durable enough, let alone enjoyable, for non-backpackers?
In a word: yes.
The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite is a sweet piece of kit. I regularly inflated it in just 11 big breaths, decimating the stereotype that you’ll pass out with sore jaws due to inflation exhaustion. When fully inflated it spans 72 inches long, 23 inches wide and 2.5 inches thick, a far cry from its deflated size of 5″ x 8″ x 0.35″. But best of all, it provided a great insulation layer between me and the ground, truly helping me stay warm at night. And, yes, at a comfortable distance from the pesky rocks and roots beneath the tent floor.
I’d seen Klymit products all over my local REI but was always apprehensive about how they might perform. Inflatable and thin, they seemed destined to be covered in patches. Indeed, when the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite first arrived, one of the selling points was “patch kit included.” That hardly inspired confidence. Then I inflated it. “Hmm, that was easy.” Then I rested on it. “Hmm, I don’t feel the ground.” Then I slept several nights on it up at Mt. Hood. “Hmm, I didn’t get cold.” Three challenges up, three challenges met.
Physical comfort aside, the biggest concern was heat. Again, the other two sleeping pads I tested this summer were self-inflating, made of a different material and had much larger dimensions. Maybe it’s that American machismo of “bigger is better,” but I wasn’t sure a sleek Klymit Insulated Static V Lite inflatable sleeping pad would live up to its 4.4 R-value. It did. Not once did I feel the chill of the ground creeping through the pad, and there was a definite difference in temperature if my feet flopped off the pad.
If there are shortcomings, that “flopping” is one of them. The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite is narrower than the other two sleeping pads I tried. I tend to roll a bit while sleeping, and I found it easier to leave the comfortable confines of the Static V Lite’s borders than the other sleeping pads. The Static V Lite has inflatable side rails, but they didn’t really do much to deter my legs from venturing off.
I also noticed a bit of a squeak when I moved around at night. At first I panicked, because it wasn’t something I heard on the other sleeping pads. Was the squeak the sound of air rushing out of a puncture mark? Nope. It was just the 75D polyester material rubbing against itself as I moved. Over time that became more of an annoyance than anything, but it did cause some sleepless minutes until I realized what was going on.
But I wasn’t sleepless due to lack of comfort. Between the Klymalite synthetic insulation and the v-shape of the inflatable chambers (hence the “V” in the name, I imagine), the Static V Lite was a great camping companion. As I gain confidence outdoors, I can definitely see myself taking it out on a backpacking camping trip as well. I remain curious about the Static V Luxe, but mostly because of its width. Don’t be deterred by the size or inflatable nature of the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite. It packs one heck of a comfortable punch into its 19-ounce frame.
The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite sleeping pad was provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad
- Super lightweight and packable
- Inflates in just 11 breaths
- The 75D polyester seems very durable in spite of its thinness
- Lives up to its 4.4 R-value, keeping you nice and insulated
- Works for wide bodies, but a bit narrow for wide bodies that move a lot at night
- The material can be a bit squeaky when you shift at night
- Takes longer to deflate than inflate, slowing campsite takedown