Reviews You Can Rely On

Big Agnes Rapide SL Insulated Tent Floor Review

This sleeping pad is a high-performing option for two sleepers
big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review
Credit: Big Agnes
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $300 List
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2022
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 15
  • Comfort - 30% 9.0
  • Weight and Packed Size - 30% 6.0
  • Warmth - 20% 8.0
  • Ease of Inflation - 10% 5.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Rapide Double is a very high-quality double size, or tent floor, sleeping pad. While the weight and packed size might seem off-putting at first glance, we found the extremely high level of comfort and added warmth to more than offset the weight penalty when backpacking with a plus one. The quilted padding had the most "mattress" like feel of any pad we have tested, thus far making us feel like we were on a real bed and not on an inflatable pool toy. The bounciness felt on typical air mats is almost imperceptible and the tent was almost too warm despite the 40-degree fall air temps experienced during testing. If you and your backpacking partner are double-pad curious, this is an incredible option.
REASONS TO BUY
Incredibly comfortable
Warm
Large footprint
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Large packed size

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $300 List
$299.95 at Amazon
$230 List
$171.93 at REI
$125.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$65.60 at Amazon
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$58 List
$47.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Incredibly comfortable, warm, large footprintSuperior warmth, small packed size, lightLightweight, warm for the weight, packs small, comfortable, versatileGreat value, wide, reasonably lightLightweight, affordable, great warmth adding supplement
Cons Heavy, large packed sizeNarrow, expensiveExpensive, edges not as stable as other pad designsLow R-value, thinner than someBreaks down over time, dimples gather dirt and moisture
Bottom Line This sleeping pad is a high-performing option for two sleepersA true jack of all trades sleeping pad with a highly effective updated valve systemThis model boasts a big weight savings, is comfortable, and provides great all around performanceThis pad boasts an excellent value in a light and compact packageAn effective pad that offers decent three season warmth in a very lightweight package
Rating Categories Big Agnes Rapide SL... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Klymit Static V2 Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...
Comfort (30%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
1
Weight and Packed Size (30%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Warmth (20%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
2.0
4.0
Ease of Inflation (10%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
Specs Big Agnes Rapide SL... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Klymit Static V2 Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...
Weight 52 oz 18.2 oz 16 oz 17.5 oz 14 oz
Thickness 3.5 in 2.5 in 2.5 in 2.5 in 0.75 in
Claimed R Value 4.2 6.9 4.2 1.3 2
Length 50 in 72 in 72 in 72 in 72 in
Width 78 in 20 in 20 in 23 in 20 in
Packed Volume (L) 6.02 L 1.8 L 1.8 L 0.9 L 1.8 L
Breaths to Inflate N/a 15-20 15-20 12-14 0
Type Air Construction/Synthetic Insulation Air Construction/Baffled Insulation Air Construction/Baffled Insulation Air Construction Closed-cell foam

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you don't like to be comfortable, warm, and have every square inch of your tent floor covered in plush padding, this isn't the pad for you! Kidding aside, We struggled to find points in the Rapide double worthy of criticism. While it is on the heavy side, for couples heading out into the backcountry, or even just overnighters in the sidecountry, this is a fantastic sleeping pad.

Performance Comparison


big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review - the big agnes rapide sl tent floor is like sleeping on a giant...
The Big Agnes Rapide SL Tent Floor is like sleeping on a giant toasty marshmallow. We felt this pad gave us the best night of sleep we have ever had while camping.
Credit: Brian Martin

Comfort


Throughout our testing, we couldn't stop remarking on the supreme comfort offered by the Rapide Double. The pad more than filled the floor of our trusty BD Firstlight 4 season tent. We had ample room to roll around, cuddle, and truly use the entire space. Early generations of air pads had an annoying bouncy castle feel even with one user, but the SL Tent Floor dampened the bounce even when we were deliberately trying to pester our partner.


We also found this pad, with its deep quilted pattern, to feel more like a mattress than an air pad. The 3.5 inches of padding was more than ample to keep us comfortable while side sleeping or spooning and the 4+ inch outer rails kept everything nestled on the pad without experiencing any side collapse.

big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review - deep quilted baffles, 3.5 inches of padding, and an entire tent...
Deep quilted baffles, 3.5 inches of padding, and an entire tent floor of padding. This pad is divine.
Credit: Brian Martin

Weight and Packed Size


Like all good things in life, you can't have the Yin without the Yang. All of this plush tent floor-covering goodness is balanced out by the extra weight and packed size of the pad. On our kitchen scale the Rapide Double weighed in at 52 ounces. This is equal to carrying about two and a half or three typical single person sleeping pads.


There's no question when talking about backpacking, ounces do matter. We found the extra weight and space, however, to be more than worth the quality sleep and overall comfort experienced with this pad. When considering the health impacts that are now coming to light with diminished sleep, this pad could be a potential boon to your physical well being.
big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review - yes, it is a big beefcake. 52 oz and double the size of our 1-liter...
Yes, it is a big beefcake. 52 oz and double the size of our 1-liter french press (or a 1-liter Nalgene).
Credit: Brian Martin

Warmth


Snuggle in, this pad is toasty warm. Nearly every tent floor pad we have tested seems to outpace their single-pad partners in the warmth department. We suspect because the entire floor is covered in insulation and sharing warmth with a partner becomes much easier. The Rapide Double was so warm, we found ourselves outside our sleeping bags, opening vents in our four-season tent, and like an Adderall-fueled co-worker, we couldn't stop chattering about how warm this pad was.


Our testing revealed a sleeping pad that outperforms its ASTM R-rating, something we feel is worthy of praise. With its 4.2 r-value, this pad is firmly in the all-season category and we feel stretching into the cold season is very possible with the right tent and sleeping bags. Additionally, the 4 am wake up due to the chilling cold rising from the ground was non-existent. Even more than physical discomfort, getting too cold has proven to be one of the hardest things to recover from in the night for our testers.

big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review - we were all smiles and double chins on this pad. we found multiple...
We were all smiles and double chins on this pad. We found multiple excellent nights of sleep using this pad. If given the choice we would consistently use this pad over any two single pads in the future.
Credit: Brian Martin

Ease of Inflation


The Rapide Double is a bear to inflate. Since its volume seems to be about the same as three standard individual pads, we were afraid to attempt to fill with lung power alone. The included stuff sack is thick, durable, and locks onto the filling valve with a satisfying and secure feel. A slightly lighter material and a larger volume pump sack could help the inflation speed and ease a bit, but overall it doesn't detract from the overall usability of this pad.


The combined inflation and deflation apparatus is both effective and has a durable, chunky feel. We were able to fine-tune the firmness of this pad with the adjustment valve inside the one-way fill port easily, as well as add a few breaths to get the things right where we wanted. As with inflation, deflation and packing took some time, but luckily as it is a two-person pad, we had the necessary hands available to get it tucked in and back into the stuff sack without issues.

big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review - we found having one person inflate the pad while the other set up...
We found having one person inflate the pad while the other set up the tent to be an equitable separation of camp duties. Inflating this pad takes at-least five minutes if you are rushing. It is a massive volume of air.
Credit: Brian Martin

Durability


Comprised of double ripstop nylon and "aviation grade" TPU lamination, this pad is durable. One of the typically vulnerable areas of air construction pads is the inflation valve. We found the Rapide Double inflation/deflation valve to feel supremely durable. The material is on the dense side of heavy rubber and while it is rigid, it complies if compressed or stepped on. This is a huge bonus given the likelihood that it will be stepped on multiple times throughout its life cycle.


While our testing cycle didn't span multiple years, this pad feels as if it is up for a decade of use. We used and abused it, dug our elbow into it, had our dog run around on it, and had no issues. This level of durability should be expected in a sleeping pad you actually intend to use on a regular basis.

big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review
Credit: Brian Martin

Value


We found the Rapide Double to represent a solid value for backpacking couples looking for a double-size sleeping pad. It is about twice the cost of a single sleeping pad but offers significantly more comfort per dollar. Not only does it dish out some serious comfort, the warmth outpaces single sleeping pads with similar ratings which also boosts the value in our eyes. If you are in the market for a tent floor pad, this is an excellent choice.

Conclusion


The Rapide Double is an excellent tent floor sleeping pad if you value comfort, warmth, and the ability to snuggle up to your partner in the backcountry. There is a bit of a weight and packed volume penalty that we feel are well worth the positive attributes offered by this pad. If you haven't experienced a night's sleep camping where rolling off the sleeping pad is literally impossible, we highly recommend it.

big agnes rapide sl insulated tent floor sleeping pad review - the introduction of tent floor pads is nothing short of a miracle...
The introduction of tent floor pads is nothing short of a miracle for couples looking to sleep more comfortably and not lose the ability to snuggle the cold away!
Credit: Brian Martin

Brian Martin
 
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