Hands-on Gear Review

Compare men's sleeping pad ratings side-by-side >

Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Review

   

Men's Sleeping Pads

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: January 20, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $120 - $200 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Warm, moderately compact, moderately comfortable.
Cons:  "Pot hole" surface is not as comfortable as the mostly flat NeoAir series, slippery surface, bumpy side rails, low quality mesh stuff sack.
Best Uses:  Winter use when weight isn't a top concern.
User Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 14, 2013  
Overview
The Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core is a slightly warmer, more durable, and heavier version of the company's Q-Core SL pad. We tested both over a winter of climbing and skiing, on a month-long expedition to Greenland, and were largely disappointed with their comfort, which we expected to be much better. The Big Agnes website boats, "The most comfortable pads on the planet." But such is far from our test results. PANTS ON FIRE!!

The review below is a brief synopsis of the pad's performance. We share more details in the Big Agnes Q-Core SL review, which performs better in our ratings due to its lower weight, so check that review out, too. In short, the Q-Core could be the best value cold winter sleeping pad we've tested. But for most people, it's likely worth ponying up the extra cash to get the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm.

We compare all of the pads tested in our Backpacking Sleeping Pad Review.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison
Weight
The pad weighs 25.5 ounces on our scale. That's a full 10 ounces more than the equally warm Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm, as much or more than most top-tier three-season down sleeping bags, and more than nearly all ultralight tents.

Packed Size
Far from tiny, but acceptable.

Durability
We suspect the pad to be highly durable.

Comfort
Far from what we expected and less than the NeoAir series. See the Big Agnes Q-Core SL review for a detailed discussion.

Warmth
This is a full value winter pad. It's very warm.

Best Applications
Winter use on trips where weight isn't a top concern.

Value
Moderate value. It's relatively cheap for its warmth.

Conclusion
The Q-Core scores above average in our ratings. Though it is a high quality sleeping pad we expected much more from it.

Other Versions and Accessories
The Big Agnes Q-Core SL is lighter and arguably a better pad.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 20, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jan 20, 2014 - 03:33am
Audacious · Kayaker · Birmingham, Al
The Q-Core is a very good mattress. Working at an Outfitters company I have had several customers test out the various pad brands and give their opinions. Here is the bottom line assessments that may help you.
  • This website has billed the Big Agnes Q-Core as a winter pad and that is fairly accurate, however, it is important to note that while one side of the Q-Core is insulated with a Prim-aloft type fleece insulation, the other side is not. Thus, if you sleep on the insulated side and it is to warm, you can simply flip the mat over and have a colder uninsulated side.
  • This mattress is not for the extreme hiker who counts ounces unless he balances out the rest of his/her equipment which would allow them to carry a heavier mat. It is not heavy but compared to thinner mats out there and ounce counters it might be considered that. I have found that serious hikers can settle for the weight of this mat if it benefits a great nights sleep to recharge and start the next day.
  • This mattress is designed with off set rivet lines in the pad. The GREAT thing with this design is it distributes the air very evenly and allows the person to sleep on their shoulder and side without pressure points or touching the ground. This has been a huge plus to customers.
  • The sides are raised to keep the sleeper from rolling off of the mattress.
  • This mattress makes zero noise when you are moving on it versus some types of Thermarest pads that sound like crinkling wax paper or plastic every time you move.
  • A down side to this bag is that it does tend to slide a little on tent bottoms. If put inside a sleeping bag this problem is eliminated. Also, if you are not a heavy tosser when you sleep this should not be a problem.
  • This mattress has a valve to manually blow it up. With the valve design it is very easy to blow up and takes no time at all with minimal effort. We have had 70 year old men blow it up quickly with no complaints or problems.


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core
Credit: Big Agnes
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $119.95  -  14% off!
CampSaver $119.95  -  14% off!
MountainGear $119.95  -  14% off!
Compare prices at 8 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Sleeping Pad Review

The Best Sleeping Pad Review

We enrolled 18 of the best sleeping pads in a rigorous testing regime to evaluate the following five categories: warmth, comfort, durability, weight, and packed size.
Video video review
Helpful Buying Tips
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Pad - Click for details
 How to Choose the Best Sleeping Pad

by Chris McNamara and Max Neale
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter