Why We Chose The Nemo Quasar 3D sleeping mat Super comfortable, sustainable design
We’ve tested a lot of sleeping mats and pads over the years here at Outdoors Magic. Currently, our top pick from all the mats on the market right now is NEMO’s Tensor Insulated pad, which scooped a Best Buy in our recent ‘Best Backpacking Sleeping Mats’ round up and made last year’s Outdoor 100 selection too.
But it might be about to be eclipsed by NEMO’s latest pad, the Quasar 3D. This versatile design is packable, durable, and weight conscious, while also being sustainably produced, using recycled materials. All of which made it a shoo-in for the latest Outdoor 100.
Who Is The Nemo Quasar 3D sleeping mat For?
It’s primarily designed for backpacking and wild camping, but you could pretty much use it anywhere, from the middle of nowhere to your friend’s living room floor. When inflated, it’s a really plush mat, with a design that is particularly well-suited to side sleepers, thanks to the cradling effect of the 3D contouring.
The mat is made from durable 30D ripstop polyester, which is bluesign certified and made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials. It’s a soft fabric that feels nice even against bare skin (not that we’re suggesting you sleep on it naked). The insulated version also contains recycled Primaloft synthetic fill, which bumps the R-value of the mat from 1.8 to 3.3 (using the new ASTM F3340 standard). Unless you’re strictly a summer-only camper, we’d definitely go for the insulated version for UK use, which is suitable for three-season camping (with a similarly-rated sleeping bag).
“This versatile design is packable, durable, and weight conscious, while also being sustainably produced.”
The mat is fitted with NEMO’s Laylow valve, which sits flush with the fabric so as not to get caught or snagged. This can be inflated with lung power alone, but is best combined with the included Vortex pump sack, which offers quicker inflation and deflation while also preventing moisture ingress. The valve is easy to adjust if you need to tweak the level of inflation slightly. It also includes a compact stuff sack and repair kit.
When fully inflated, you get 3½ inches or 9cm of plush, cushioned loft. That makes this one of the chunkiest backpacking pads around, but perhaps surprisingly it still feels very stable. The construction is slightly different to the NEMO Tensor’s welded chambers, as the Quasar instead uses more familiar transverse baffles, similar to rival mats like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir series. This enables the use of curved, body mapped baffles, similar to Trekology’s popular (but uninsulated) UL80 air mat. One end of the NEMO Quasar also has a slightly elevated head baffle to help keep your camp pillow in place. It makes for a very comfortable sleep indeed.