The Trio Review: Sleep Pad, Chair AND Pillow

Gear ReviewsLloyd Vogel

Versatility is the name of the game! While there is nothing wrong with a product that accomplishes its singular mission in a exemplary manner, there is certainly a sense of intrigue when a product advertises itself as checking 3 boxes instead of 1.

This is the case with The Trio by PacBack! It's a sleeping pad, a chair, and a pillow. The Trio is launching on Kickstarter Tuesday, Nov. 14. We had the chance to get our hands on an early sample for this review! 

 ***Actual weight is 2lbs 2oz

General Impressions of the Trio:

The Trio is designed to take a piece of gear that typically has only one function (the sleeping pad), and give it versatility beyond the confines of your tent. Basic stats:

  • 2 pounds, 2 ounces
  • 72 inches long x 20 inches wide
  • 4 inches thick

Since the pad itself is built to withstand a variety of tough surfaces, the pad focuses on durability and comfort instead of shaving ounces. While it is by no means clunky, it's not ultralight. Its transforms pretty easily between forms, and unlike other multifaceted pieces of gear, each form is very functional.

Pros of the Trio:

Reviewing unique products is always fun, and the process is made much better when the products themselves are quality. This is certainly the case with The Trio. Here are a couple of things I enjoyed about The Trio:

  1. The pad itself is very comfortable. At 4inches thick, the pad is wonderful. Having used a variety of different sleeping pads in the past (Thermarest, Big Agnes, and Klymit), it certainly held up in regards to quality sleepability! It's wide enough to comfortably house my 6-foot frame, and long enough to keep my toes "toesty!" The 4-inch thickness means you can barely feel the items on the ground that would otherwise be digging into your back (or butt if it's in chair mode).

  2. It's durable. I'm the first person to be overly protective of my sleeping pad. If I'm giving it my all during the day, I want the comfort of a good of nights sleep. While I was initially concerned about bringing such a cherished (and often fragile) item outside of the comforts of my tents, I was pleased to discover that The Trio is pretty darn tough. I tried it on rocks, twigs, and gravel, and it handled everything like a champ. It's not designed to be ultralight, but it sure was designed to be durable.

  3. The 3 functions actually perform their jobs. While many pieces of multipurpose gear end up accomplishing each purpose poorly, The Trio is a comfortable sleeping pad, a sturdy chair, and a functional pillow. Each adds a nice bit of comfort to backcountry living, and each utility is thought through and well designed. 

Cons of the Trio:

While durable, functional, and comfortable, these features do have some trade-offs. 

  1. With comfort comes added weight. Whenever a product is designed to do multiple things, added weight is inevitable. When those added things mean exposing a typically delicate item to potentially sharp and pointy objects, added durability means added weight. As mentioned earlier, The Trio isn't clunky, but if you are expecting the Klymit Inertia X Frame you're off base.

  2. With a bigger pad comes a longer fill time. Since the pad is of a substantial size, the pad takes a little while to fill. Not years, but enough time to make you question your own physical fitness. 

  3. The mouth valve is near the feet, not the head! This is a little knitpicky, but it's something I noticed. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I want to do is deflate my sleeping pad. While it's not tremendously difficult for me to reach toward my feet, I'd prefer it if the value was near the head of the sleeping pad. Also, in the rare chance that the sleeping pad needs some more air in the night, I'd prefer not to pivot 180 degrees around to give it a couple breaths. 

The Verdict:

If you are in the market for a new sleeping pad The Trio by PacBack is fantastic option! It's comfortable, versatile, and a piece of gear that is bound to make your tent mates jealous.

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