Air chambered pad from Big Agnes offer you unprecedented lightweight, compact, options for quite frankly, one of the most comfortable sleeps that you will have away from your own bed. The Big Agnes air chambered pads are a quantum step forward from the traditional poly-vinyl you may be familiar with from years ago. The biggest concern is always durability with this style of pad. We use the same nylons that you have come to trust in your traditional self inflating pad. We use the same welded seam technology and the same polyurethane treatments on the inside, antibacterial treatments so that they stay clean over the years, and we go so far as to add virtually unbreakable brass valves with plastic caps. You’re right; we don’t call these self-inflators because they aren’t. You yourself, you inflate these pads. You can use a pump, there are many available on the market either battery operated or some of the hand style pumps. Personally, I blow my pads up. We put antibacterial treatments inside so that there are no issues with moisture buildup. It takes anywhere between 15 and 30 breaths, 2 to 3 minutes during a casual conversation and your pad is ready to go. A key feature difference in the construction of our air chambered pads is the I-beam construction. I am unable to cut the pads open and keep them inflated so I will describe it to you. Your traditional blow up pad would have deep valleys and ridges where they welded the top of the pad to the bottom of the pad. That made for a fairly lumpy and almost a seasick feeling when you were sleeping on them. What Big Agnes does is put what we call an I-beam between each chamber. It is an inch thick, and as you can see on our pillow here, the bottom of the pad is not welded directly to the top. That provides a much smother surface to sleep on, not the wobbly feely that you may have felt in the past, and it also provides structure for the pad by keeping it a uniform shape and providing structure for your back. What we do with that I-beam is perforate it periodically along the length of the pad. This makes it possible, when you blow up the pad, for the pad t fill evenly and I think you can relate to old style of watching one chamber fill, and the next chamber fill while having to force air through. With this style of I-beam construction the pads fill evenly and more importantly when you are ready to deflate your pad you don’t get any air pockets. While we recommend that you roll your pads up, you certainly have the option of leaving them in the Big Agnes system sleeve and stuffing the pad into the same stuff sack. All of that said, whenever you have a pad that relies on air for its structure, if you get a leak your pad is not going to provide you much value. We keep in mind that what can go wrong will go wrong so on all of our pads we include a patch kit and a protective stuff sack.
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