I still vividly remember when I upgraded from a RidgeRest to an REI brand air-filled sleeping pad for backpacking. I had just graduated from college and was about to set out for eight months traveling and backpacking through Argentina. That purchase – not taken lightly on my bootstrapped budget – cut my weight and space requirements in half.
Fast forward ten years, and thanks to the Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL Sleeping Pad I’m once again able to cut the space and weight in my pack dedicated to my sleeping pad in half!
Remarkably, the Insulated V Ultralite SL is actually one of Klymit’s burlier models, built for people like myself, who sleep cold and on their side. Back sleepers who don’t need an insulated pad can select from even lighter weight options offered by Klymit.
I took the Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL on its maiden voyage for the Wind River High Route in early August. The ground we slept on varied from packed dirt, where tents had clearly been set up many times before, to untouched, high-alpine, rocky tundra. Our sleeping elevation hovered around 10,000 feet, give or take, and the nights were clear. In all conditions, the Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL provided a wonderfully comfortable and warm night’s sleep.
Here’s what I like about the Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL:
- It’s small and lightweight – an ultralight backpacker’s dream!
- It inflates quickly, easily and without fuss
- While Klymit’s unique air valve system takes a couple of tries to get the hang of, it’s sturdy and seems like it will last a long time
- It fits back into its stuff sack fairly easily, requiring just a bit of finesse – a somewhat remarkable trait for sleeping pads
- It’s really, truly warm and comfortable, even for someone like me who tosses and turns and sleeps on my side, which is of course the most important quality of a sleeping pad!
There’s not much I dislike about the pad. I will say that like most ultralight backpacking gear, it definitely seems like something you want to treat gingerly. I can imagine a scenario where an unsuspecting rock scuffs the pad just enough to cause a small, slow, hard-to-find leak. (Klymit does include a repair kit with its pads.)
Because pictures often say more than words, here are a couple of additional images of the Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL in the Wind Rivers ...
Bottom Line: Backpacking is considerably more enjoyable when you keep the weight in your pack to a minimum! Before you cut the handle off your tooth brush, first consider the “heavy hitters” ... your backpack, shelter, sleeping bag/ quilt, cook system and sleeping pad. For the latter, you absolutely can’t go wrong with one of Kymit’s sleeping pads!