The NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is an engineering marvel. Designed to give you three full inches height when sleeping on the ground, it uses unique baffling and valve closures to offer a premium ultralight sleeping pad experience.
NEMO also includes a handful of small extras that go a long way to making the Tensor more user-friendly than most, and the result is an extremely packable, warm ultralight backpacking pad.
The Tensor line is a premium line from NEMO (which offers a whole host of other pads), and is offered in a range of sizes and in both insulated and non-insulated versions.
Without getting deep in the weeds of sleeping pad technology, know that the NEMO Tensor Insulated sleeping pad has an updated R Value of 3.5, which makes it weather-ready in all seasons of the year. The insulation adds about 3 ounces of weight compared with the non-insulated version, which has an R Value of 1.6, and is suitable for summer months.
You can get the streamlined, cushy Tensor in either variety of warmth, and in a Short Mummy, Regular Mummy, Regular Rectangle, Wide Rectangle, or Long Wide Rectangle. Whatever floats your unique ultralight backcountry boat.
Unique Features of the NEMO Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
All of NEMO’s sleeping pads received major updates in Spring of 2020, and the Tensor line was given the high-end treatment.
The unique features that really make this pad shine are the new Laylow flat valve, which does away with the old, protruding twist and lock valve. The Laylow lays flat against the pad, so it won’t bother you in sleep, and it’s a multi-functional, adjustable two-way valve.
This means you can blow it up with your mouth or an included stuff sack and let air out through the same valve. You can even depress a small button in the middle of the valve to fine-tune the pad’s firmness.
The second unique feature remains the same: Spaceframe baffles. We refer to this design as a quilted baffle setup, because it looks a bit like egg cartons when fully inflated, but it creates a surprisingly stable surface for sleep.
Rolling around doesn’t depress parts of the pad, despite it being filled with air, and the full three inches of height keeps you high off the ground. This plus a noticeable lack of crinkling (which is a key trait of other pads), makes for a very enjoyable night’s sleep.
The NEMO Tensor Extras
What is especially impressive about the Tensor is that it comes with a patch repair kit, a velcro strap to help with packing, and the new Vortex pump sack. The velcro is handy in camp life, and when it comes time to pack up ensures the Tensor will fold neatly into a small package.
The Vortex is a new creation from NEMO, and allows you to easily pump air into the pad without your mouth. Simply attach the two valve ends, blow into the open end of the Vortex from about a foot away, seal in the air, and depress.
Three big bags of air will top up the Tensor, making the inflation part of camp life take about three minutes, tops. It saves your lungs, and reduces any moisture from your breath that would get into the pad.
These small, lightweight extras come included in the Tensor, and make for a fully functional ultralight sleeping pad setup.
Who is NEMO?
NEMO technically stands for New England Mountain Outfitters, and is one of the premier backpacking hard-goods brands in the outdoor industry. Known for ultralight tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags, the company focuses on unique design to solve problems of comfort, warmth, and durability.
This article is sponsored by NEMO.
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