A few days ago I came across a long-term review of the Klymit Static V sleeping pad over on HikeLighter.Com. With a fair sense of John’s hiking style and preferences, and reading what he had to say about the pad, I decided that I wanted to try one out. So I went to Amazon.com and placed an order (which came to just under $53, shipped!) and then within a matter of days it was here, in my hands! (Who doesn’t love new gear??!!??) So, here is my first look and initial thoughts on the pad…
Lets start with some specs…both listed and measured…
- Listed Weight: 18.1 oz (does not specify if this includes stuff sack & repair kit)
- Measured Weight: 18.6 oz for everything, or 17.9 oz for pad only
- Listed Length: 72 inches
- Measured Length (Inflated): 70 inches
- Listed Width: 23 inches
- Measured Width: 23 inches, however, the actual air-filled width is 21.5 inches
- Listed Height: 2.5 inches
- Measured Height: 2 inches at edges & up to 2.5 inches along center
When looking at the Klymit Static V sleeping pad, I can easily say that it is very unlike many of the other sleeping pads that are on the market today. Rather than taking the straight up horizontal or vertical baffle approach, the guys (& girls?) at Klymit took a different approach… they went “V” on us! Klymit describes the baffle design on the Static V pad as an “ergonomic design.” Here are the benefits of this design that they list on the packaging material:
- Comfort: Disperses air to stabilize pad and distribute weight.
- Ease of Use: Inflates in approximately 10 breaths.
- Warmth: Limits air movement and heat loss.
- Durable: 75D Polyester fabric.
So, after doing all the typical weighing, comparing and just fondling, I of course blew the pad up to further check it out. Here are some of my initial thought concerning the above listed benefits:
To be honest, at this point it’s (respectfully) hard for me to make a decision as to whether I think that this pad is comfortable or not. However, for what it’s worth, I will say that so far, I don’t think it’s uncomfortable. (And as a reference point, I much prefer horizontal baffles over vertical baffles. As well, I generally like more of a firm pad rather than a squishy pad, although, don’t confuse this with “plush”.)
Comfort vs Design
I feel like the design of this pad does indeed directly relate to the overall comfort of this pad. Most other air pads are generally tubes (baffles) that run either up and down (vertically) or side-to-side (horizontally), but the tubes usually connect on most pads. This pad is obviously different. The baffles on this pad actually zig-zag side-to-side, turning at each edge and then forming a “V” shaped pattern along the center for the full length of this pad. As well, the baffles are not actually touching along the sides of the baffles, but instead, it looks as if the top and bottom materials are welded (?) between each “V” baffle. This actually allows the pad to bend, so when I move around on the pad, the pad actually moves with me rather than being completely static beneath me. This is just different…to me.
Also, when actually measuring the pad’s thickness, I found that my pad is only 2 inches thick on the edges/sides and up to 2.5 inches thick in the middle (when inflated). I found this odd since I expected the sides to be a hair thicker to help keep me centered on the pad. [Thinking out loud…] However , I wonder if when I lie down on the pad, maybe I squish some of that air from the middle and expand/thicken the edges…? I say this because I have noticed that it looks like the edges almost roll up a but when lying on the pad. This may also be due to the channels that run along the sides too…? (Of course this is all speculation so far, except for the measurements of course.)
Ease of Use
According to the instructions, this pad inflates in approximately 10 breaths. On my first go, it took me 11 (so that’s pretty close), which is less than what any of my other pads take to fully inflate (besides my self-inflating pads of course). Also, I will admit, the valve seems to be wider than what is on my other (preferred pad) and this does make it seem like the pad inflates faster and easier. Although, to be fair, I also feel like the “faster and easier inflation” is actually due to the fact that there is less air-filled space in this pad when compared to my other pads.
This is also something in which I cannot respectfully comment on at this point. All I can say is that my pad of choice is a pad with 30D material and I have yet to pop it… So, I should be pretty good to go with the thicker 75D skin which is on both sides of this pad. Only time and use will tell…
**Air Pad Rant ~ ANY air pad can pop for lots of different reasons, so in my opinion, when using ANY air pad, one must take care to clear the area before using the pad, and ALWAYS carry the appropriate repair kit. However, despite proper care and preparation, accidents do happen, so always BE PREPARED to possibly sleep directly on the ground when carrying an air pad**
Other than these “benefits” there are a few other topics I would like to address/discuss concerning this pad”
This topic is actually broken down into 2 categories, “Inflated Size” and “Packed Size.” I will start off by discussing “Packed Size” first.
Packed Size: As can be seen in the picture above, the Klymit Static V sleeping pad packs down pretty small and is actually just a hair smaller than my regular size Original NeoAir. However, I have not been packing my sleeping pads rolled up like this inside my pack for a while now. Since the beginning of this year, I have been using frameless packs and I have just been folding my pads and using them as a frame inside my pack (yes, even my NeoAir, and I plan to do the same with the Klymit pad too). With this in mind, packed size is not an issue to me at all, however, I did find it interesting that the Klymit Static V pad does indeed pack just a little smaller than the NeoAir. However, to be fair, in the picture above the NeoAir has been packed and unpacked numerous times for almost 2 years now, whereas the Klymit Static V pad was still rolled straight from the factory. I wonder how small the Klymit will pack down after the same amount of use…
Inflated Size: To be honest, I am a little disappointed in the inflated size. I can only assume that there are some minor differences in pads coming out of the factory because once inflated, my pad does not match the listed measurements. for this reason I would like to discuss each measurement on its own.
- Width: Once (fully) inflated, the air-filled pockets on my Static V pad measures 21.5 inches from side to side, 22 inches at best (although I feel 21.5 inches is more accurate). To be fair, my NeoAir is only 19 inches in width once I have blown it up nice and firm, just the way I like it. Despite the fact that I absolutely love my NeoAir, I have laid there a number of times and wished that it were just a couple of inches wider. With this in mind, I was really counting on a full 23 inches of width (which would have given me about 4 extra inches over my NeoAir) with the Static V sleeping pad. However, I feel obligated to mention here that if I included the welded skirt that is around the edges of the sleeping pad, then the overall width is much closer to 23 inches, although, this is not useable pad so I do not include it in the measurement.
- Length: Once (fully) inflated, I measure 70 inches from head to foot, as opposed to the listed 72 inches, which actually makes the pad shorter than my NeoAir. Due to the “V” shaped baffles the pad is actually slightly rounded at the foot and dips in slightly at the head end. When I measured the length, I measured from the tip of the “V” along the foot-end, straight up the center of the pad. This measurement rendered the 70 inches. However, if I were to slightly angle the tape measure to the right or to the left and measure at an angle, then I do measure closer to the 72 inch listed length. Again though, I do not consider this to be “realistic,” so I stand by the 70 inch measured length.
- Height: Once (fully) inflated, I got 2 different measurements from the pad. I found that along the side edges the inflated part of the pad measured 2 inches, however, when measuring at the center of the pad (at the head and the foot end) I measured 2.5 inches at the tallest point.
As I mentioned, I am a bit disappointed about the actual measurements of the width, although when lying on my back, my arms do rest on the pad more than when I lie on my back on my NeoAir. This is defiantly a plus, however, I think that I would be even happier if the pad were a full 23 inches.
The length does not bother me too much at this point. But I will see how I feel about this more after using the pad for a while.
The thickness is also a bit of a bummer. I have to say that without a doubt, my NeoAir feels much beefier/thicker than the Static V pad. At the moment, I am 195 lbs and it is very easy for me to bottom out on this pad when moving around, even with the pad blown up as much as I can get it. I feel like this is partly due to the smaller amount of air-filled space in the pad. As well, since the baffles are spaced apart along the pad, I feel like I am almost falling between them and hitting the floor this way too.
Klymit does ship these pads with both a repair kit and a stuff sack. This is a plus in my book for sure, although I will admit, I will probably never use the stuff sack. The repair kit on the other hand will definitely be with me on any trip that I carry this pad on…
Weight (You knew this one was coming…)
Fact of the matter, at 17.9 oz, the Static V pad is 4.1 oz heavier than my (13.8 oz) NeoAir. So, why did I get this pad if my NeoAir is so much lighter, and (obviously) my “pad of choice?” I don’t really know…but here are a few shallow thoughts I had when hitting the submit button:
- I enjoy trying out new gear…
- It looked “interesting”…
- The price was good…
- It is wider than my NeoAir…
- It is more durable than my NeoAir…
- I love to try out new pieces of gear… wait…
As you can tell, these really can be “legitimate” reason’s, although not any one of them in particular pushed me over the edge and made me buy the pad. However, the combination of two particular reasons (the fact that it is wider than my NeoAir and how inexpensive it is), along with John’s review did kind of tip me over and made me give in though…
So, back to the weight issue…
As I said, this pad is 4.1 oz heavier than my other pad. This does mean something to me, as most of you already know. However, I have shrunk down my entire pack weight considerably, and in my opinion, I am at the point in which adding an extra 4 oz to my pack is not going to make a big difference (so long as I only add an extra 4 oz here or there rather than all at once.) So, despite the small bit of extra weight, I am really looking forward to lugging this ole heavy pad around for a while to see if it is something I will like or not…
Klymit does not list an R-Value on their site for this pad, although, according to John’s recent review (linked to at the top of this page) he was able to contact them and get a quoted R-Value of 1.3 for the Static V pad. In all honesty, this is a bummer for me too, however, to be fair, this was something that I knew as a “fact” before ordering. So, I do not fault the pad for this, but I do wish it was at least closer to what the original NeoAir is at, which is 2.5, almost double that of the Static V.
However, as I have learned with the NeoAir, this does not necessarily mean anything… I have successfully used my NeoAir along with a 1/8 inch Gossamer Gear ThinLight pad to temperatures in the mid-teens (F) and been comfortable (while cowboy camping). This is what has worked for me though, and is not necessarily the case for everyone else. As well, IIRC, the exchange rate of a 2.5 R-Value to degrees Fahrenheit is somewhere in the 40 F range (although, I am not completely sure of this…) Despite this “rating” though, this was obviously not the case for me. However, to be 100% fair, it is the ground temperature that needs to be considered when discussing R-Values for sleeping pads rather than the ambient temperature.
Regardless, there is a lot to take into consideration when looking at “R-Values” and I am not one to point them all out, (and as shown above, maybe even explain them too well…) The point I am trying to make though is that I am not writing the Static V pad off simply because of a low R-Value. Quite the opposite, I am looking forward to seeing how this pad does at keeping me warm while in my neck of the woods and under my own set of conditions…regardless of its R-Value.
The last thing I want to mention is the air valve. The actual valve is a bit shorter and wider/fatter than what is on my other air pads. It opens and closes similar to that of a prescription bottle… If I want to open it, I push it down slightly and then turn it about a quarter of a turn counter-clockwise. If I want to close it, I simply push it in and give it about a quarter of a turn clockwise.
As another point of reference, this is the second air pad I have in which the air valve closes in the same manner. My NeoAir opens/closes a bit different in that it will fall down on the threads and then it simply needs to be screwed down to seal it off, or up to open it up. Maybe it is just because I have used the NeoAir so much more, but I find that I like the way the air valve on the NeoAir opens and closes better than on the other air pads. Again though, that is simply personal preference and is in no means a game changer…
So, that about sums it up for now. I know that a lot of this “First-Look review” may seem a bit negative, but for now, please don’t take it as such. It is simply my first thoughts, and I will admit that I am really, really happy with my NeoAir. I will also admit that (for me) I have set such a high standard with the NeoAir that anything else is just hard to consider.
However, the reason that I love my NeoAir so much is for the simple fact that I have gotten more good nights sleep on it than any other pad I own or have used. Simply put, it is comfortable to me, and that is something that I cherish when heading out on a hike. The fact that it is very lightweight is secondary (but also important…)
Anyway, I am still standing by the two “reasons” that helped me decide to pick this up in the first place, the fact that it is wider than my NeoAir (although, not by as much as I had thought/hoped) and the fact that it is also much less expensive. For these reasons I will give this pad a chance to prove to me whether or not it is comfortable (which is what really matters, to me). In the end, it either will be or it won’t be…only time and use will tell…
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I paid for this pad with my own hard-earned money and my opinions within this “review” are my own. The above “review” is simply my thoughts after handling the pad for the first time.