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Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012: Sleeping pads

Check out the top new sleeping pad products and trends for 2013 that we encountered at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

The outdoor industry is luring consumers back to camping with comfort.

Perhaps more than the advances in tents, sleeping bags or stoves, the bulk of that comfort improvement is coming from the sleeping pad. Air pads are leading the way in the category, providing more cushion at lower weight, and brands are improving durability and insulation.

“It’s not just the car camper that is looking for comfort,” said Kaj Bune, director of marketing for Exped. “Go beyond the narrow definition of comfort … if you have a good night’s rest, there’s value in that for a hardcore hiker. They’re ready to go at full strength the next day. Ultralight should be category, bombproof should be category, but comfort should always cross over everything.”

On the heels of its success with the DownMat 7 and 9, Exped introduces the DownMat Lite 5 (MSRP $99), which comes in at a lower price point and weight — 1 pound, 6.6 ounces — by giving up touch of warmth, with an R-value of 4.1 versus 5.9 in the DownMat 7.

Exped DownMat Lite 5

Big Agnes continues its obsession of keeping campers from slipping off the pad, adding larger outside tubes to its Air Core series to better cradle the sleeper. Plus, it goes lightweight with last year’s Q-Core, shaving off at least 9 ounces with the Q-Core SL (MSRP $159) thanks to lighter fabrics. The rectangular 20-by-72-inch version is 1 pound, 2 ounces; the mummy-tapered version is less than a pound.

Big Agnes Q-Core SL

reintroduces its Cosmo Air XL and Cosmo Insulated XL (MSRPs $170-$190), after this year’s planned debut was rolled back to a 2013 launch. The XL versions jump to 30 inches wide and 80 inches tall for big-and-tall campers. The insulated version is filled with PrimaLoft.


While still a stalwart in the sleeping pad category, Therm-a-rest takes a different tack this show with its recent acquisition of LuxuryLite, which makes lightweight and packable cots. The cots provide an off-the-ground solution for campers, officials said. The UltraLite Cot (MSRP $230) weighs in at 2 pounds and packs down to a 5-by-16-inch package.

Therm-a-rest UltraLite Cot

–David Clucas