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Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/26/2008 21:27:28 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/27/2008 07:09:21 MDT Print View

Carol and Will -
could you comment on the stickiness issue that quite a few people have had issues with, including myself?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/27/2008 09:27:16 MDT Print View

I am not Carol or Will... but I also will note that the first time I used the Clearview I also noticed a slight stickiness. On the plus side... I didn't have to apply silsealer to the bottom to prevent it from sliding off my ground cloth. I won't think the slight "stickiness" would bother someone using a sleeping bag. Quilt users like me have more exposure to the pad.

I did find the Clearview some what more unpleasant against the skin than the Insulated AirCore... but neither is an ideal next to skin material :-) With both, I want some sort of cloth between me and the pad. This is normally not a problem since I sleep in clothing. When I was wearing a short sleeve shirt to bed I wrapped the top of the pad with a clothing item so my bare arms didn't directly touch the pad which worked fine.

I was very surprised that the pad was warm enough in cooler temperatures. In the past I had used air mattresses that started to chill around 50-55F. I have used the Clearview down to 27F. When the pad was fully inflated I didn't notice any sense of chill until the temp was around 32F and had no problem sleeping at 27F. I did notice that when the pad is not fully inflated that I noticed a chill from the ground more quickly. When I let out a bit of air for maximum comfort, I noticed a chill through that pad somewhere between 35-40F.


Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Re: Re: Re: Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/27/2008 09:40:44 MDT Print View

I am a sleeping bag user and I found the stickiness to be an advantage. I never had issues with the pad sliding out from under me.

In comparison to other 2.5 inch air mattresses, I found this one to feel thinner than other's and required extra inflation to keep my hip off the ground. It still feels comfortable though because the material itself stretches a little.

I also found the length of 60 inches to be adequate for even though I am almost 6' 1". Occasionally I would find my shoulder landing on the valve but usually I could avoid this.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/27/2008 10:26:28 MDT Print View

Good review and comments. I'm going to try it if I can find one somewhere.

Forrest G McCarthy
(forrestmccarthy) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Air Matress on 08/27/2008 10:58:02 MDT Print View

I would like to try the Big Agnes Air mattress. In recent years I have used a similar product made by POE and sold by Alpacka Raft. It is 2/3 length 2.5 inch thick air mattress that weighs 12 ounces. I originally bought one to use as an inflatable floor for my pack raft. After my first overnight, that I used it as my sleeping pad, I was completely converted. I now use it on overnights even when I don’t have a pack raft.

During winter and cold weather snow camping I use it in combination with a thin foamy. The foamy goes on top. I have used this combo on Denali and even at 17,200 feet I stayed plenty warm. In extreme cold you do need to be careful when inflating the pad. Lung moisture can freeze and crystallize resulting in small punctures and leaks.

It would be interesting to know how tolerant the Big Agnes is to ice crystals. I would be equally interested in how it would fit in the floor of an Alpacka Raft.

Edited by forrestmccarthy on 08/27/2008 10:59:38 MDT.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/27/2008 10:59:11 MDT Print View


Did you have your Clearview inside a bivy? I would think that would make a big difference.

Darin Banner
(dbanner) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
Re: Air Matress on 08/27/2008 11:02:53 MDT Print View

How thick is the foam pad you put over it in the winter?

Tim Garner
(slowhike) - F

Locale: South East U.S.
add insulation? on 08/27/2008 11:37:01 MDT Print View

Since I sleep in a hammock, both on the trail & at home, I have found the BA insulated to feel slightly cool in the low 50s & upper 40s (F), probably because of being suspended in air.
I'm excited to see this good report on this new, lighter pad, but I suspect that even though I also wear clothing as part of my sleep system, I strongly suspect it will need some insulation help in a hammock at those temps.
What if a person made a hole & added a couple ozs of down, then resealed the hole?
I guess a valve from Exped's D.A.M. might need to be used to allow inflating it by the stuff sack.

Edited by slowhike on 08/27/2008 11:41:31 MDT.

Forrest G McCarthy
(forrestmccarthy) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Foamy on top for sleeping on snow on 08/27/2008 17:58:55 MDT Print View


On Denali I played it safe and used a full length 1/2" closed cell. On other winter trips I have been content with a 1/4". I have some 1/4" foam that I got randomly as packaging material and have never been able to find it elsewhere. Roman has a similar 1/4" inch thick foamy that he got special from POE. If anybody can recommend a good source for light weight 1/4" closed cell foam I would be interested.

Unless it is truly cold or I am sleeping on snow I don't find the foam necessary. I just returned from 8 days in the Wind Rivers. It dipped below freezing almost every night. I was on nothing but my air mattress (with a light weight down bag) and was plenty warm. And I am not a particularly warm sleeper.

I mentioned this in another thread: The 2.5" air mattress is great for mediating ground conduction when sleeping on snow. There is some heat loss in an air mattress through convection. The heat loss from convection can be mediated with a foam pad over the air mattress.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Foamy on top for sleeping on snow on 08/27/2008 19:18:29 MDT Print View

To alleviate the ice crystals from forming, put the foam pad on the ground UNDER the air mattress and your body heat will prevent the crystals from forming.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Not Recommended on 08/27/2008 23:14:35 MDT Print View

This failed in three different ways during the test! The big bulges count as a failure. Sorry, this cannot be "recommended".

Forrest G McCarthy
(forrestmccarthy) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
re on 08/28/2008 10:04:23 MDT Print View


I think you missed the point. You don't want to waste body heat by heating the air mattress. That is why it much warmer to have the foamy above. In sub-zero environments having the foamy below is not enough to prevent ice crystals from forming.

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: Not Recommended on 08/28/2008 13:10:56 MDT Print View

Walter -

I would disagree that it "failed" three different ways in the this test (maybe only once) and that it should not be recommended. I do not know of any inflatable pad that would survive a nail being shoved into it (if such a pad exists, then it would be totally overbuilt for backpacking!). Also, few (if any) inflatable pads would survive being used on top of lava rocks (which are incredibly sharp). I would agree that the bulges were a failure, but that is more of an issue with the pad being used as part of a chair kit rather than as a sleeping pad. As Will stated in the article "it won't withstand outright abuse" but in normal conditions it will do just fine. It is tradeoff that you would have to make for the light weight of this pad (and many BPL readers would probably make that tradeoff). If you want bombproof durability, I would advise against insulated pads in general.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: re on 08/28/2008 17:54:37 MDT Print View

> You don't want to waste body heat by heating the air mattress. That is why it much warmer to have the foamy above.
The thermal mass of the air in the mattress is probably less than the thermal mass of the foam. Not a good argument imho.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review on 08/28/2008 18:13:41 MDT Print View

To answers john's question... I was not using a bivy. Most nights in general, and the coldest in particular, it was polycro ground cloth, clearview, me, quilt. A couple of nights I was inside a tarp tent.

About temp range for comfort... I was sleeping on light vegetation or granite which had been heated during the day, and was a bit warmer than the air temperature at night. I don't think the air pad would have been sufficient at 32F if I was sleeping on snow, or in a hammock.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review - stickiness issue? on 08/29/2008 12:26:47 MDT Print View

A few readers have commented about the Clearview being sticky. I have not personally noticed that myself, but perhaps the urethane absorbs some moisture in damp weather? I have noticed that it squeaks sometimes when I slide on it, and it does resist sliding on a tent floor.


David Heath
(snowguy) - F

Locale: Boulder Colorado
Clearview pad alternative to foam topper on 10/04/2009 13:13:27 MDT Print View

My clearview pad does fine down to around 32f . Below that down to about 25f I simply lay any extra shirts/pullovers on top of the pad. That slight stickiness holds them in place well. This works about as well as bringing that extra 2.5 oz 1/8th inch foam. Below about 25F I bring my BA insulated aircore.