Posted by Logan Watts
Big Agnes has been regularly tweaking its line of inflatable sleeping pads for the last few years. We took their Q-Core SL on a big trip in Africa and had pretty good luck, but other folks reported slow leaks after only a handful of uses. Big Agnes since upgraded that line twice, and last year released the Q-Core SLX, a reboot that included a thicker and more burly aviation-grade TPU laminated bottom fabric. Now, ‘the mother of comfort’ has introduced the AXL Air and Insulated AXL Air Sleeping Pads, which, as quoted from Big Agnes, are constructed from a “proprietary patterned rip-stop nylon made with a high tenacity yarn and high filament count… increasing fabric tear strength by 25% while decreasing weight.”
Like the Q-Core line, the AXL is thick and plush — and more than likely, extremely comfy — which Big Agnes is known for. However, these are designed with gram counters, thru hikers, and technical gear junkies in mind. The AXL Air pads combines a new rip-stop shell with internal minimalist construction to maximize stability and comfort. Like the Q-Core, the AXL also has larger outer tubes, to keep you cradled on top.
Both AXL Air sleeping Pads use a high volume valve for faster inflation and almost immediate deflation.
Insulated AXL Air Sleeping Pad
The insulated version uses PrimaLoft insulation laminated with a layer of Mylar to reflect heat back to to the user and prevent heat loss. It comes in both rectangular and mummy in four sizes, 20″ x 72″, 25″ x 78″, 25″ x 72″, 20″ x 66″. The Insulated AXL weighs 11.9oz (337g) and is priced from $189. You can buy it now at REI.
Big Agnes AXL Air Sleeping Pad
The regular AXL Air is more of a summer sleeping pad. It comes in both rectangular and mummy in two sizes, 20″ x 72″, 25″ x 72″. The AXL Air Sleeping pad weighs 9.8oz (278g) and is priced from $139. You can buy it now at REI.
We’ll keep you posted if we get to try these…