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Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map Review

A can’t-miss choice for a self-inflating mattress, although there are higher scoring options
Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map
Photo: Therm-A-Rest
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Price:  $190 List | $129.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, easy to use, warm
Cons:  Softer foam means not as protective to underneath objects, large packed size
Manufacturer:   Cascade Designs
By Laurel Hunter & Andy Wellman  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Comfort - 40% 7
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Warmth - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 10% 7
  • Packed Size - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap is a single person self-inflating mattress that uses innovative pressure mapping to customize its supportive foam layer to most comfortably match a person's pressure points while sleeping. Cutouts in the foam in the areas where there is the most pressure allow one to sink deeper into the inflatable mattress, providing a more even sleeping surface overall than the single density foam found in other camping mattresses. Besides the use of pressure mapping technology, this camping mattress is comfortable, easy to inflate and deflate, and provides a high R-value for insulation. It is a solid selection that won't disappoint.

Product Updates
Therm-a-Rest updated the valve on this pad. Check out the details to follow.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $129.95 at Backcountry
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$179 List$229.00 at Backcountry
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$164.24 at Amazon
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Pros Comfortable, easy to use, warmWarm, comfortable, easy to inflateBed-like comfort, easy inflation, great valueVery comfortable, very warm, easy to useVery comfortable, large
Cons Softer foam means not as protective to underneath objects, large packed sizeLarge packed sizeToo big for some single person tentsLarge packed size, expensiveBig packed size, hard get in its stuff sack, heavy
Bottom Line This self-inflator is a decent scorer, while still missing the mark set by our Editors' Choice winnerA high scorer in our tests, this pad is warm and comfy and easy to inflateThis plush pad is comfortable, warm, and affordable. It does take up a lot of space, even when packedWith four inches of foam you can't go wrong, unless you don't have space to store itThis mat takes up loads of space in the trunk, but if comfort is your top priority, this is a great choice
Rating Categories Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D REI Co-op Camp Dreamer XL Exped MegaMat 10 ALPS Mountaineering Outback
Comfort (40%)
7
10
10
10
10
Ease Of Use (20%)
7
9
9
8
6
Warmth (20%)
8
9
9
10
10
Versatility (10%)
7
7
6
5
6
Packed Size (10%)
5
6
5
5
4
Specs Therm-a-Rest... Therm-a-Rest... REI Co-op Camp... Exped MegaMat 10 ALPS...
Dimensions 77" x 30" x 3" 80 x 30 x 4.25 in 78" x 32" x 4" 77.6" x 30.3" x 4" 80 X 32 X 4 in
R Value 6 7 6.6 8.1 8.5
Test Model Deep Blue XL XXL XL Green LXWide XL
Length 77 in 80 in 78 in 77.6 in 80 in
Width 30 in 30 in 32 in 30.3 in 32 in
Thickness 3 in 4.25 in 4 in 4 in 4 in
Weight 5.13 lbs 5.27 lbs 6.38 lbs 6.1 lbs 7.43 lbs
Type Self-Inflating Pump inflation Self-Inflating Self-Inflating Self inflating
Packed Size (inches) 7 in x 31 in 9 x 32 in 11 in x 30 in 9 in x 33 in 32 x 11.5 in
Storage Stuff Sack Stuff sack Stuff Sack Stuff Sack Stuff sack
Bed Material 50D Polyester Polyester Stretch Polyester 50D Polyester with TPU Polyether film laminate 150D
Valves 2 Valves TwinLock 1 valve 2 valves One way
Accessories N/A Stuff sack Air Pump/Pillow Mini Pump, Stuff Sack, Repair Kit and Manual Patch kit
Breaths to Inflate 24 N/A N/A N/A 30-35

Our Analysis and Test Results

Updated LuxuryMap


Therm-a-Rest updated the valves on many of their classic pads. This camping mattress was given a TwinLock valve, which is actually two one-way valves—one specifically for inflation and one for deflation. The valves are stated to increase the speed at which you fill up and empty the air from this pad. The two versions are shown side by side below, with the model we tested shown first, followed by the updated version.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Hands-On Review of the LuxuryMap


The Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap is a single person self-inflating mattress. This mattress is a great example of a fantastic and comfortable choice that anyone would be happy with if it was the only thing they owned. However, we like to test items by comparing them to other products in their category, and only by doing this does the LuxuryMap seem like less of a mattress. But we assure you, it is not! We loved the pressure mapping technology and felt that it did indeed live up to Therm-a-Rest's claim that it provides a more even sleeping surface. Overall this mattress is comfortable, warm, and relatively affordable, but was middle of the pack when accounting for all testing metrics in our review.

Despite featuring "only" three inches of inflated cushioning, the...
Despite featuring "only" three inches of inflated cushioning, the LuxuryMap supports the body exactly where the pressure points are, like under the shoulders, behind, and lower legs.
Photo: Elizabeth Riley

Comfort


This mattress incorporates pressure mapping technology to ensure a smoother sleeping surface. What this means is that Therm-a-Rest studied the patterns of where the most pressure is exerted by the human body while sleeping in multiple different positions, and then used different density foam in those places within the mattress. One would think that they would use denser foam in those areas, but we were surprised to discover that they actually cut out and removed foam in the high-pressure areas, making them less dense. The effect is that your body sinks deeper into the mattress than a typical inflatable air mattress, eliminating much of the air displacement effect in air mattresses that can cause one area to rise unnaturally when another pushes firmly against the pad. The end result is a more natural feeling sleeping surface that is indeed very comfortable. The reason we didn't score this mattress higher for comfort was that these areas of less dense foam allow one to sink perhaps too close to the ground, potentially touching intrusions from below.

The pressure mapping pattern visible in the places where a human...
The pressure mapping pattern visible in the places where a human body needs the most cushioning when lying on a sleeping mat. That is the idea behind this pad, which includes denser support foam where the diamond patterns are.
Photo: Elizabeth Riley

Ease of Use


The LuxuryMap is a very easy air mattress to use, although the foam cushioning means that it is slightly more work to deflate and roll up than some others we tested. It has two easy twist nozzles that allow for quick inflation and deflation, and screw tight to inhibit airflow. We found that this mattress did require some extra effort to get it to optimum firmness.

The dual nozzles on each corner shown here make it easier to deflate...
The dual nozzles on each corner shown here make it easier to deflate this mattress. However, without an included pump, the only way of inflating it is opening the nozzles to let it self inflate as much as it will by itself, and then using your lungs to finish off the job.
Photo: Elizabeth Riley

To inflate, we opened both nozzles, rolled out the mattress, and let the foam expand. After about five minutes we needed to add 24 breaths of air to top off the mattress totally full.

To deflate the mattress, simply open both valves and squeeze the air out with your body weight while folding it over many times. When it is virtually empty, close the valves and roll it up, squeezing out the last of the air at the end of the roll.

Rolling up the the LuxuryMap sleeping pad involves first squeezing...
Rolling up the the LuxuryMap sleeping pad involves first squeezing as much air as possible out, then, with the valves closed, rolling it by hand on the ground, further pressing out the rest of the air.
Photo: Elizabeth Riley

Warmth


This mattress has an R-value of 6.8, making it plenty warm for most camping purposes. While sleeping in the back of our van, where the metal frame below us absorbs and conducts cold temperatures, we were perfectly warm while using this mattress.

Versatility


The LuxuryMap falls into nebulous middle ground when it comes to versatility. On the one hand, it certainly does not suffer from problems like no insulation and reliance on heavy power air pumps, but it also isn't adaptable and super small when packed up. While its superior insulation makes it more versatile than an air bed, its large packed size isn't going to inspire you to carry it very far.

The LuxuryMap on the left and the NeoAir Dream on the right for a...
The LuxuryMap on the left and the NeoAir Dream on the right for a side-by-side comparison. Notably, the Dream is thicker, has a more comfortable face fabric, and packs up into a smaller package, all making it our Top Pick.
Photo: Elizabeth Riley

Packed Size


As alluded to above, the LuxuryMap does not pack down very small. While it easily fits into its provided stuff sack, that sack is a 30-inch long tube. It is smaller than many of the foam core mattresses we reviewed but not small enough for packing it out far from your car.

The nine camping mattresses arranged in order from smallest on the...
The nine camping mattresses arranged in order from smallest on the left to biggest when looking at their packed size. Left to right: Lightspeed 2-person, Thermarest NeoAir Dream, Alps Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed, REI Relax Airbed, Big Agnes Sleeping Giant, Exped Megamat 10, Thermarest Luxury MAP, REI Camp Bed 3.5, and on the bottom the Exped Megamat Duo.
Photo: Andy Wellman

Value


This mattress retails in the middle of the pack, In reality, the LuxuryMap scored well and there are no durability complaints to be found on the internet, nor did we experience any. We found good value in this mattress.

The LuxuryMap on the left compared to the grey Camp Bed 3.5 on the...
The LuxuryMap on the left compared to the grey Camp Bed 3.5 on the right. These are very similar mattresses, although the 3.5 is obviously half an inch thicker. While the mattress on the left scored a bit higher due to ease of use and packed size, the one on the right is our Best Buy Award winner because of its very affordable price.
Photo: Elizabeth Riley

Conclusion


The Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap is a quality car camping mattress that is unique because of its pressure-mapped foam cutouts. This enables it to provide the most natural feeling sleeping surface of any self-inflating mattress we tested. We think that anyone who buys this mattress is likely to be happy with their purchase, and only in comparison to all the other great mattresses that we tested could it possibly be described as second rate. For those wanting to spend less than two Benjamins but still wanting great quality, we wholeheartedly recommend this mattress.

Laurel Hunter & Andy Wellman