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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: Not the coziest pad and the REI Camp Bed is almost as good for less
Manufacturer: Cascade Designs
With an R-value of 11.4, the MondoKing is the warmest sleeping pad we tested. At $160, it's not cheap, but its only $40 more than our Best Buy winner, the REI Camp Bed 3.5 which only has an R-value of 6. While the MondoKing is comfortable, it's not quite in the same league as the Top Pick winner, the Exped MegaMat 10 or the Editors' Choice winner, the Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream.
RELATED: Our complete review of camping pads & mattresses
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This is a extremely comfortable pad, but did not score quite as high in comfort as the award winners. The different is surface material, The Dream has a cozy microfiber top and the Exped MegaMat has a more comfortable nonslip surface. One way to increase the comfort of this pad is to bring a fitted-flannel twin bed sheet. This is the cheaper way to achieve similar coziness as the Dream.
This pad is the warmest tested and has by far the highest R-value in the review. It's suitable for serious winter car camping.
Ease of Use
We found this to be one of the better self-inflating pads. Just unrill it with the valve open, wait 5 minutes, and it will be about 50% inflated. We then recommend a hand pump or 12 volt DC pump to finish the job. Inflating it with your mouth takes a while and is fairly difficult as with most of the large volume pads in this review.
Which size do you get?
A 31" pad is significantly more comfortable than the standard 25" pad. There's more space for larger people and your arms won't fall off onto the ground.
Base camping and car camping.
The REI Camp Bed 3.5 is cheaper and almost as comfortable but has a much lower R-value.
Other Versions & Accessories
Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite - Women's
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pump Sack
For inflation consider the Nemo Disco Pad Pump, a 2.2 oz foot pump or the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pump Sack (3.8 oz.), which doubles as a camp stool, stuff sack, or backpack liner. We recommend one of these for inflating the pad in the winter, when water vapor from your lungs condenses inside the pad.
For seating, check out the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jembe Seat (3.8 oz.), which turns any NeoAir mattress into a comfortable camp stool. The Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair (6 oz.) turns almost any pad (from any manufacturer) into a comfortable camp chair with back support.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 7, 2014
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by Brandon Lampley