Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Does anyone know when Big Agnes will be releasing their Q-Core SL?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Craaaap on 12/18/2012 20:14:19 MST Print View

So finally after 4-5 yrs of using the heavy BAIAC, I pulled the trigger on an old school NeoAir that is fairly comfortable and weighs a scant 13.5oz. Now I see this thing and it's 3.5" of sleepy goodness, plus huge R-value and no crinkle noise. Only slightly heavier.
Please someone get it and post back that it's garbage so I don't have to buy another pad.

Ryan

Ryan Dorn
(fiestabuckeye)
Re: Re: I need one on 12/19/2012 02:44:50 MST Print View

Duane,
I'm right with you. I'm relatively new to all this and I've been meticulously lightening my load. I finally reached the point where I was under 19 pounds with everything for a 3 day trip and then my friend gave me his Q-Core. In the grand scheme of things though, I'll gladly give up 4 ounces or so with the new SL for a better night's sleep which has always been my biggest issue in the woods.

Ryan,
I'm anxiously waiting on reports for the new one as well. I'm dreading the wife's expression when I have to tell her I'm buying another $160 sleeping pad. Ugh. LOL.

Edited by fiestabuckeye on 12/19/2012 02:48:26 MST.

R Petrelli
(rydia131) - F
ughhhh on 12/19/2012 05:11:43 MST Print View

Hey it could be worse...im going to have to buy one for myself and my wife...

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: ughhhh on 12/19/2012 07:04:11 MST Print View

I am not sure if I trust the r5 rating. BA said the IAC had an r value of 4.1 but many people found it cold below 35-40*. I could use my Ridgerest (r 2.6) down into the teens but froze my but off with the IAC at 35*. I used an Exped Downmat 7 down to 0* and it was still beyond warm.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: ughhhh on 12/19/2012 16:49:07 MST Print View

Great point Bradford! The BAIAC was indeed overrated. As a matter of fact, I've had poor luck with other synthetic insulated, long and unbaffled tube type mattresses. The POE Peak AC, which was suppose to be better on paper than the original neoair, was definitely overrated for me and left me cold even above freezing. I just can't imagine the synthetic insulation retaining its loft and insulating properties when it's repeated rolled and stored in a compressed state in our backpacks. Roger also explained how these designs with long unbaffled tubes (he refers to them as "air-core" mats) have inherent deficiencies, even when filled with synthetic insulation.

From: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=54098

"The air in an air-core mat is free to circulate between the warm top surface and the cold bottom surface. The layer of insulation inside the top surface is meant to limit the circulation, but in many cases it is just too thin to do this well. Also, if you are a restless sleeper, you are going to 'pump' the air in the mat around. Clearly this is happening in your case."

It'd be interesting to see if this new mat has a means of trapping air and inhibiting circulation (maybe without the use of baffles) and how this new mat performs when a user moves about in his/her sleep.

Whew, everybody can calm down now! Those new xtherms you just bought are still okay...or are they??? :)

I'd wait and see after some brave soul takes these new pads out to 10 degree weather. Who's volunteering?

Edited by Konrad1013 on 12/19/2012 16:53:28 MST.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: ughhhh on 12/19/2012 17:07:36 MST Print View

Thanks for the reminder Brad. Should have known a fellow Tennessean would bring reason to this situation!

Ryan

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
CD on 12/19/2012 17:21:17 MST Print View

3 things you can generally count on with cascade designs

1. their pads are accurately rated

2. they will take care of you no matter what

3. youll pay for more $$$$

;)

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
NeoAir is proven to me on 12/19/2012 19:48:05 MST Print View

Konrad,
Are you referring to the NeoAir? I've used my original, small, NeoAir into the single digits, but on dry sand/decomposed granite as the sole pad with a 15F WM bag. On snow or cold ground I add a ccf pad for temps down to the low/mid 20'sF. If I haven't posted this already.
Duane

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: NeoAir is proven to me on 12/19/2012 20:31:26 MST Print View

Duane,
Nope, I've had awesome luck with every version of the NeoAir. Their baffles trap the air, prevents circulation and generally provides for nice soft warm sleep. If you reread my post, you'll see that I'm talking about pads like the big agnes insulated aircore, and the Pac outdoors Peak AC, where you have very long tubes of air without any internal baffling/trestles. The Neoair is the exact opposite of those pads...but much more noisy as a result.

On the other hand, a lot of people love their Exped synmatUL7 and found them warm, even though the synmat UL7 shares the same design as the Big Agnes Insulated Aircore and the Peak AC. So, as with everything, your mileage will vary.

LIke you, I've taken my old style original Neoair to the 20's with a 1/8" ccf and have felt fine.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 12/19/2012 20:44:35 MST.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
what am i missing? on 12/20/2012 06:49:34 MST Print View

if i get what is going on then the QSL has R< xtherm and weight > xtherm

why in the world (apart from $$) would i opt for the QSL?

M

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
The Reason might be... on 12/20/2012 07:19:09 MST Print View

The reason might be: comfort.

Some of us have done our penance elsewhere and prefer a comfortable, warm bed at night -- even in the outback. I'll pass on the variously crunchy, thin, squeaky, leaky or other such pads and opt for something thick and comfortable. Getting thick and comfortable that's also light? Well, that's where this QSL gets some of us piqued.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
HUH? on 12/20/2012 09:36:51 MST Print View

@Erik

Putting early quality issues aside for a moment (and there WERE issues)
NEOAIR IS quite THICK (2.5"
It IS WARMer than the QSL

the noise issue...well I never had any problems (with my original rect neo)..but that is the only issue that is debatable.

Let me rephrase - If I personally sleep like a baby on a neoair - why should i not get an xtherm?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Getting to sleep on 12/20/2012 11:26:13 MST Print View

If I could sleep better, I could get by with less of a comfy pad. So, since I toss and turn and my mind is going a mile a minute and keeps me awake, I need something that is comfortable to sleep/rest on my side on. These longer winter nights don't make it easy at home, let alone at 3 in the morning on a bp trip and another 4 hours before light to see by. I refuse to use a headlamp to get a moving with, unless we are talking about heading up the Mt. Whitney trail for a Portal to Portal before the break of dawn.
Duane

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: HUH? on 12/20/2012 14:39:30 MST Print View

@ Michael,

Actually if you compare the specs of the Xtherm in size regular vs the QSL in Mummy shape, then you have a fair apples to apples comparison. I think you were comparing the rectangle QSL vs the Xtherm.

So when comparing against the mummy shaped one, here are the stats

X-therm regular length
15oz
r value = 5.7
2.5inches high

Big Agnes QSL Mummy
14oz
r value= 5
3.5 inches high

Regarding the noise issue, the original neo airs did not have the noise issue...I thought mine was perfectly quiet. Once they starting making the xlite and the xtherm with even more baffles, it was a night and day difference in noise. You literally cannot move without making a potato chip bag crinkle noise.

I've just read so many good reviews regarding the new big agnes quilted/tufted style mattresses. And if it's silent, then that would be amazing.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
weight and R value on 12/20/2012 15:01:07 MST Print View

@Konrad

RE weight - lets wait and see if the production model comes in...as we often see that might not be 14oz

RE R value - 0.7 is quite a bit more, and as R Caffin's test showed the NEO's are rated conservatively since when they are REALLY full the have higher R value (which I would imagine technology wise the QSL isnt that way since insulation comes more from the synth stuff and not so much the geometry

last but not least - if i understand correctly the NEO packs down much smaller since there is nothing in it really...

RE noise - ill just have to wait and see

M

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
OR on 12/20/2012 15:27:37 MST Print View

At OR 2012 a few months ago I remember picking up the mummy QSL and it is definitely not crinkly, the feel is similar to a fabric like the Exped UL7.

That is not to say the reflective layer inside is not crinkly, I literally looked at the pad for 10 seconds.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: weight and R value on 12/20/2012 15:32:27 MST Print View

All very good points.

RE weight: my xtherm came in overspec at 15.4 oz

RE packed size: They will probably be the same packed size. REI website states that x-therm in size regular is 4" x 9" and the Big Agnes QSL in Rectangle shape is 5"x10." We can expect the mummy shaped version to pack even smaller than that, so I wouldn't be surprised if they both packed the same. Looking at the end of the video clip at rei showing the packed rectangle QSL, it looks to be the same size as my packed x-therm: See http://www.rei.com/product/846673/big-agnes-q-core-sl-sleeping-pad#video-inner

RE R-value: The R-value is a bit more tricky. Like I said in my earlier post, I'm pretty hesitant about using these big agnes style pads as I've found them overrated in the past and subject to cold spots. I also think synthetic insulation will NOT withstand the abuse of constantly being rolled up and stored in a compact state. Similar offerings in the past have attested to this fact and have been verified by BPL. I agree the original neos were conservatively rated...but at the same time, who slept on theirs fully inflated anyways? Not only was it impossible to sleep on them in their fully inflated state, it also wasn't comfortable when the pad was rock solid. If anything, the neoair was accurately rated since it achieved it's stated r-value at a level of inflation that people actually used....good on them! Roger verifies this, stating; "But do note that there is little chance of exploiting the top end of the thickness scale shown above: you will compress the mat well below that when you lie on it, especially if you 'soften' it a bit. And that means the upper end of the measured R-value scale is similarly well out of reach. It just isn't going to happen."

If the QSL is accurately rated at r-value of 5, then the .7 extra from the x-therm doesn't make a difference to my own personal style of camping...anything r-value of around 5 or higher is okay in my book since I don't camp below 0F.

I guess one thing that we haven't discussed about too much, and that has me thinking, is the issue of thickness when the user is actually on it. Sure 3.5" looks incredibly awesome and is a whole 1" greater than the xtherm, but what does that mean in practice? As we all know, thickness on paper doesn't always equate to the same when you're lying on it. Current designs indicate that baffling/trestles are necessary to maintain thickness across the entire pad when the user concentrates his weight on a particular area of the pad (compare the old original neoair or old big agnes pads where one would sit on it, and their butt would touch touch the ground but the surrounding pad would puff up with the dispersed air vs the neoair all season, xlite or xtherm where because of the overzealous use of baffling, if you sat on the pad you were still supported). So what I'm getting at is that 3.5" means nothing if there isn't some internal design to hinder air circulation and support the user when they concentrate their weight on an area. Also, the thicker the mattress, the more issues you begin to run into. For example, if you use a shelter with steep sloping walls (think pyramid shelter like a Duomid, etc etc), that's less clearance for your head when you are lying down or sitting up , etc.

In practice, all I need is a couple mm's off the ground...enough where I can't feel the pebble or stick. That's fine in my book, and I really don't care if it took the pad 1" or 3.5" of inflated thickness to achieve that.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 12/20/2012 15:56:12 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Re: weight and R value on 12/20/2012 17:59:14 MST Print View

Thanks for the arguments. I think the bit about less R-value for the Q-Core is a non-issue. If I can get by with the low R-value of my original, small NeoAir and a 15F degree bag in single digits, with no ccf pad on dry ground and on different trips the same configuration but with a 5F bag on snow with some heat loss per the ice under my sleeping area after two nights in the same spot with temps in the 20'sF, I'd think the Q-Core with a ccf pad would be more than sufficient. I'd hate to be out in the snow and have a air mattress fail without some backup.
Duane

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
I could of course be wrong on 12/21/2012 09:49:35 MST Print View

@konrad

I have been wrong before and this could be one of these cases.
My personal actual experience is that I sleep fine on super inflated neo or super inflated prolite for that matter. As such for me personally the R value is high. Also I of course realize that my butt will not benefit from 2.5" of thickness but heat loss is at the end of the day a macroscopic average and that means that most of my body is very well insulated.

Re weight and R Val : I trust cascade designs with their ratings. And common sense has it that the neo technology should way less than a synth insulated air mattress. So I'm wary of the combined R value and weight specs from BA.
Combine that with compression cycles and...
Re packed value - your numbers show that indeed the neo packs (a bit) smaller and that makes sense again as it doesn't have filaments inside. ...

I guess we will have to wait until field experience and maybe some testing come along.
No doubt he qsl is quite promising
M

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Does anyone know when Big Agnes will be releasing their Q-Core SL?" on 12/26/2012 20:34:11 MST Print View

I was in REI Monday to kill a little time and I got to get my hands on I'm guessing a X-Therm, not sure as it was a display model with no signage. Full length, greenish/aquamarine color I guess. Wow, that is noisy and I'm partial to CD/MSR. When my small, original NeoAir was new it never made that much noise.
Duane