Nemo Quasar 3D Sleeping Mat | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Nemo Quasar 3D Sleeping Mat | Review

NEMO’s latest backpacking mat offers plush comfort on the trail while still being lightweight and packable. Could it steal the crown for ‘best sleeping pad’ from the brand’s other favourite, the bestselling Tensor?

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.

Photo: Chris Johnson

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.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson


Our favourite thing about the Quasar 3D is its impressive level of comfort. It’s just what you need after a tough day’s hiking or climbing. The plush thickness and body-cradling design play a key part in this, as does the fact that it comes in regular, regular wide, long wide and even double sizes. All in all, it’s a superb mat for restless, wriggly sleepers as well as for those of us who sleep on our sides.

However, NEMO haven’t lost sight of other similarly important factors when chasing ultimate comfort. As such, the mat is still reasonably light and packable, ensuring it’s still a viable backpacking option.

“I slept like a log during the Outdoors Magic Test Team event.”

We also applaud the sustainable construction, utilising 100% recycled materials and being bluesign-approved in the production process. It’s a very eco-friendly bit of kit, and we can’t think of many other sleeping mats that boast such impressive green credentials.

Tester’s Verdict

Matt Jones, OM contributor and gear tester:

“I nabbed the Quasar 3D during this year’s Outdoor 100 Test Team event, pairing it with the equally impressive Big Agnes Sidewinder SL sleeping bag. We’d been beasted up and down Rhinog Fawr earlier in the day by OM taskmaster editor Will Renwick, so to be honest I was feeling pretty knackered and needed a decent night’s sleep!

“I was really impressed with this mat. It’s easy to inflate and super comfortable. Up until now, my go-to option for wild camping has been the Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated, but I reckon this might be a new favourite. It offers similar warmth to that mat, but the rectangular profile makes it a bit roomier, and I really liked the 3D cradling effect as well as the oversized head baffle. As a side sleeper, it worked really well for me. In fact, I slept like a log. Though I had sunk about six cans of Guinness before bed too, which might have had something to do with it.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

“Of course, I’ve used lighter and more packable sleeping mats, but would still have no qualms about taking this on a long-distance, multi-day walk. The packed size is a pretty reasonable 9 inches by 5 inches, about the same as a small loaf of bread.

“I can’t offer a judgement on the long-term durability just yet, but the fabric feels reasonably tough and you do get NEMO’s limited lifetime warranty – though that doesn’t cover normal wear and tear.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

Nemo Quasar 3D

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