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Big Agnes SLX Review

This duo sleeping option makes camping for two better in nearly every way
Big Agnes SLX
Photo: Backcountry
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $300 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, warm, brings couples together, light for double pad
Cons:  Single air chamber
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 3, 2021
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 17
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Weight and Packed Size - 30% 6
  • Warmth - 20% 8
  • Ease of Inflation - 10% 4
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

If you are a dual sleeping pad skeptic, do not avert your eyes. You need to read this. The Big Agnes Tent Floor SLX duo sleeping pad is an absolute dream for camping couples. There are so many notable features it's hard to know where to begin. The deep air padding and huge footprint made for some of the best sleeping we have had while out backpacking. The added comfort of snuggling with your partner and not having pads drift apart was absolutely wonderful. Additionally, as this pad was a tight fit in our two-person tent, it actually helped the tent feel more spacious. A huge advantage the SLX has over other duo pads is its relatively light weight which makes transporting it into the backcountry completely reasonable.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Big Agnes SLX
This Product
Big Agnes SLX
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$220 List
$219.95 at REI
$149.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$46 List
Check Price at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable, warm, brings couples together, light for double padSuperior warmth, small packed size, lightLightweight, warm for the weight, packs small, comfortable, versatileGreat value, wide, reasonably lightLightweight, affordable, great warmth adding supplement
Cons Single air chamberNarrow, 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 duo sleeping option makes camping for two better in nearly every wayA 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 SLX Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Klymit Static V2 Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...
Comfort (30%)
8.0
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%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
Specs Big Agnes SLX Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Klymit Static V2 Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...
Weight 52.0 oz 18.2 oz 16 oz 17.5 oz 14 oz
Thickness 3.5 2.5 in 2.5 in 2.5 in 0.75 in
Claimed R Value 3.2 6.9 4.2 1.3 2
Length 78 72 in 72 in 72 in 72 in
Width 50 20 in 20 in 23 in 20 in
Packed Volume (L) 4.95 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

The high level of comfort, relatively low weight, and unforeseen benefits of this pad launched it into award winner territory. Our main gear tester for this category has voiced an intention to use this pad exclusively for couples camping unless the adventure requires some ultralight nonsense.

Performance Comparison


Open bivying with your partner in crime is significantly more...
Open bivying with your partner in crime is significantly more comfortable and cozy with the Tentfloor SLX.
Photo: Brian Martin

Comfort


The Tentfloor SLX has deep padding — 3.5 inches, to be exact. There was no point throughout our use of this pad where we felt the need for more padding. We were adequately insulated from the lumpy desert ground we found ourselves on for most of the testing. The enormous single air chamber did allow for some fine-tuning of firmness and was significantly less bouncy than we had anticipated for a duo pad. There is a bit of ocean motion when one person is getting up in the middle of the night, but the truth is this is minimal.


Probably the most surprising and pleasant attribute of this pad is how much more comfortable it is, having the option to snuggle close to your partner without waking up on the hard ground, having had your single pad sneak away from you in the night. The deep padding also allows for side spooning without shoulder and hip damage. In the past, we have found couples camping to be a bit lonely in the night and twigs snapping outside the tent to be more alarming. With the ability to actually snuggle comfortably, everything seems a bit less uncomfortable and scary, which was quite a pleasant surprise.

This pad is deep, plush, warm, and promotes cuddling which, as it...
This pad is deep, plush, warm, and promotes cuddling which, as it turns out, is wonderful.
Photo: Brian Martin

Weight and Packed Size


If you opened the Tentfloor SLX expecting something the size of a single sleeping pad, you would be a bit frightened. That being said, the reality is this pad is completely reasonable considering it accommodates two adults very comfortably and provides a significant amount of warmth. If you had two separate single pads of the same insulation/size versus the Tentfloor SLX, you would only save about 15 ounces. The reality of this sleeping pad is that it is absolutely worth the extra weight for the supreme comfort offered for the intrepid couple.


Similar to the overall weight, the packed size looks a bit large until you consider this pad will accommodate two grown adults extremely comfortably. If you've purchased the large cylinder of oatmeal before, that's about the size of this pad fully packed. We also found this made splitting gear quite easy as one would carry the tent and the other the Tentfloor SLX.

This pad is clearly large and in charge. It weighs in at 52 ounces...
This pad is clearly large and in charge. It weighs in at 52 ounces and packs down to the size of a large Quaker Oats can.
Photo: Brian Martin

Warmth


We noticed several quite amazing and unforeseen warmth benefits from the Tentfloor SLX. The ASTM r-value of 3.2 indicated solid three-season performance. We believe this could be stretched a bit further due to some of the other benefits, including snuggleability the fact that the entire floor is insulated. The biggest difference we noticed with this pad versus two separate pads was the ease of sharing body warmth. Single pads can make this incredibly difficult. The deep padding also worked to make side spooning comfortable and sustainable throughout the night.


Not only did the Primaloft work well at insulating us from the ground, our four season BD Firstlight tent turned into a furnace as the SLX worked to insulate the entire environment from the cold ground. We didn't anticipate how well this would work, but we felt an extreme 10-15 degree temperature difference inside our tent versus outside and typically found ourselves with two vents open just to cool things down, even in the cold fall desert evenings.

We did not predict how wonderfully warm having the entire floor...
We did not predict how wonderfully warm having the entire floor covered with an insulated pad would be. It felt like we had a heater running in the tent.
Photo: Brian Martin

Ease of Inflation


Thank goodness the Tentfloor SLX comes with a user-friendly pump sack, as it would probably be impossible to inflate purely with breath. Wim Hoff himself would expire from the effort. As it is, the pump sack works quite well but still takes about five minutes to inflate. We tried to inflate the pad as quickly as possible, but the reality is this is a marathon, not a race kinda inflation job.


The time it takes to inflate this pad is noticeable compared to two separate pads inflated simultaneously, though as this pad is designed for couples, a separation of campsite chores would probably make this detail less impactful. We didn't feel like the long inflation time was a big enough red mark to alter how much we enjoy this pad.

Step 1, get pumped climbing. Step 2, make the "Blue Steel" face from...
Step 1, get pumped climbing. Step 2, make the "Blue Steel" face from Zoolander. Step 3, settle into a fairly long pump sack session. This pad has a very large volume and while the pump sack works well, it takes some time.
Photo: Brian Martin


Durability


As we have done with all pads tested, we put the SLX through the wringer. We can't stress enough; if you camp on an air pad long enough, you will have a leak or two develop. We're always pleasantly surprised when we abuse a pad, and it doesn't develop a leak. The Tentfloor SLX was one of those pleasant surprises. Even with the weight of two average-sized Americans, we didn't cause any leakage.

We put our sleeping pad on the ground for science. It was also a...
We put our sleeping pad on the ground for science. It was also a great way to test durability and have a nice night out under the stars.
Photo: Brian Martin

Do as we say, not as we do. During our testing of this pad, we decided to rough it up a bit, and while we did use a thin plastic groundsheet from time to time, we used it for an open bivy or two on the cold hard sandstone of Arkansas. It performed well and didn't develop any leaks, which was impressive.


As with all of the SLX model Big Agnes pads we have tested, the valve system is easy to use and feels chunky, flexible, and durable in hand. We have yet to experience a trip-ending issue with these valves, and while they haven't changed in a long time, why fix what ain't broke?

The heavy rubber valve system feels very durable. While we didn't...
The heavy rubber valve system feels very durable. While we didn't stop around on it, it does feel as if it could handle being stomped. Additionally, the pump sack snaps on with a secure and satisfying click.
Photo: Brian Martin

Value


The performance of this pad is top-notch. We noticed benefits that were completely unexpected such as feeling our entire tent being insulated and having the ability to side spoon very comfortably. The price is surprisingly affordable for a pad that offers both a high level of comfort for couples and doesn't weigh as much as a kettlebell.

If you and your partner are looking to have a warm and cozy night...
If you and your partner are looking to have a warm and cozy night, this tent filling pad is the shiz!
Photo: Brian Martin

Conclusion


We were on the fence before diving into the duo pad world but are oh so glad we dove in. If a pound of weight between two people is an acceptable weight penalty (and it should be), the Tentfloor SLX is an amazing pad for couples. The use of this pad boosted warmth, comfort, and overall camping enjoyability. If you're skeptical, take the dive; you won't regret it.

Brian Martin

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