I’m approaching 40 years old. My days of being too proud to sleep on anything but the hard ground are long gone. Fortunately I’m not alone in that regard, and the number of sleeping pads and sleeping mattresses has grown as high as the Douglas Firs under which we often camp. Amid that growth, the original leader in camping pads still stands tall. And the Thermarest LuxuryMap sleeping pad is one such example.
I often camp in the Mt. Hood National Forest, where the din of air pumps on a Friday night is as audible as the wind in the trees. Inflatable air mattresses are popular, but my past few outings with one have seen them turn into trampolines for the kids. Not surprisingly, they’ve then sprung leaks, which turned me back onto the world of sleeping pads for our car-camping adventures.
The Thermarest LuxuryMap sleeping pad received some great updates for 2016. The result: it’s the most comfortable pad I tested during the past couple of months. Like many sleeping pads on the market, the Thermarest LuxuryMap is mostly self-inflating, so you can unroll it and let it “do its thing” for a few minutes while you setup other parts of the campsite. Come back after five minutes, give a few additional puffs of air to reach your desired density, and you’re good to go.
The Thermarest LuxuryMap is three inches thick, which gives it both a layer of heat-preserving insulation and some extra distance between you and the ground. However, unlike many air-based sleeping pads, the Thermarest LuxuryMap received some unique updates for 2016 that make it stand out: “variable-density pressure mapping technology” and die-cut foams inside the pad. These two additions provide extra support in strategic locations such as the hips and shoulders, making it super comfortable and supportive when you roll over in the middle of the night.
One thing to keep in mind with these additions is making sure you note which way is up. ThermaRest mapped the pressure zones perfectly, but you’ll be out of luck on that extra shoulder support if it’s been accidentally situated under your legs. It’s one of those few times camping when paying attention to the direction of the text actually means something.
The foam is cut and placed at different angles, and it appears to be more dense in some areas than others, both of which finally keep that one spot from grinding against the ground at midnight. For some people that spot’s the hip. For others, it’s the shoulders. For me, it’s both — and the LuxuryMap’s pressure-mapped foam kept each of them comfortable all night long.
At 4lbs 3oz (for the Large size; even heavier for XL), the Thermarest LuxuryMap sleeping pad is definitely designed for car camping. That’s fine by me; I don’t do much backpack camping anyway. With an R-value of 6.0, it also kept me warm enough when overnight temperatures dropped into the upper 30s Fahrenheit, making it a true three-season sleeping pad. Yes, even for me. If you’re in the market for a sleeping pad that’s kid-proof durable and ridiculously comfortable, I highly recommend the 2016 version of the Thermarest LuxuryMap.
The Thermarest LuxuryMap sleeping pad was provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
Thermarest LuxuryMap Sleeping Pad
- Three-inch thickness provides good thermal insulation
- New variable-density areas are super comfortable
- Pretty light, all things considered
- Wraps up pretty easily, and stuff sack has a handle
- Impatient campers might not understand the need to self-inflate *and* add some breaths of air
- Just one release valve makes for slow deflation