Improve the performance and extend the life of your Therm-a-Rest self inflating backpacking sleeping pad or camping mattress with simple instructions on inflation and storage.
Therm-a-Rest recommends that you store any self-inflating pad with the integrated valve open. When they ship the pads, they are in a compressed state, so when you purchase a new self-inflating pad, it’s recommended that you open that valve and give the pad 24 hours, (or whatever time you can give it), with the valve open so the foam can rebound a little bit and get to something closer to full inflation.
The self-inflating design on these pads allows you to get where you’re going, get your pad out of your pack or out of a stuff sack, open the valve, and basically lay it in place. You can flatten it out and you can hear right away that air is beginning to draw into that valve; that air is then inflating the open cell foam core on the interior of the pad.
If you're backpacking, lay it out, walk away, come back later, and it’s pretty much where it needs to be. That said, a self-inflating pad will not fully inflate by itself, and if you want that full firmness, you’ll want to introduce just a puff or two of air into the sleeping pad from your own lungs. Often, a single puff of air is sufficient to get your pad to a full inflation.
To adjust the firmness, lay down on the pad, reach over your shoulder and open that valve just slightly to allow a little air to come out. When the pad is as firm as you’d like it to be, close the valve and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.