The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite is a well priced and well specced sleeping pad for cold temperatures and weight conscious hikers. After 8 days on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro we come back with a review that should help you decide if this is the mat for you.
The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite is made of 30D Polyester on the top and bottom, lighter but less durable than the standard 75D used in other pads. It measures 72″ x 23″ x 2.5″ / 183 cm x 58.4 cm x 6.5 cm inflated and 5″ x 8″ / 12.7 cm x 20.3 cm packed (about the size of a Nalgene bottle). It weighs 19.6 oz / 556 g for an R value of 4.4 (more about that in the review). The Insulated Static V comes with a patch kit and storage bag. You can find it online for around $75, £70, 80€.
The background story
As probably a lot of backpackers, I started years ago with a tight budget and a long list of items to buy. Sleeping pads were not a major concern back then and I went for a cheap foam self-inflatable one. It was big, not very comfortable and definitely not designed for winter camping. But it did the job for years and it’s not until 2 years ago that I felt I wanted something lighter and more compact. So, repeating my past mistakes, I bought a very light and very cheap Camp Essential Light Mat. I spent countless nights cursing the damn thing for I felt all the rocks below me. I told myself I was too soft and endured the torture, thinking of the day when I would give up and buy a real pad.
While preparing for our trek on Mount Kilimanjaro last year it quickly became evident that I needed to step-up my game. I read about the conditions at the various camps and the temperature recommendations for sleeping bags. -10°C some would say. At least -20°C others would warn. No one seemed to ever talk about the sleeping pad thought. Most agencies can supply you with one for a small fee but my experience in other treks around the world told me they are usually like my first pad, self-inflatable, foam, almost zero insulation.
My plan was to use my already tested and loved Cumulus Lite Line 400 sleeping bag, pair it with a Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme liner and have a decent winter sleeping pad to make for a great insulation combo. It would not go down to -20°C but I was confident that the added ground insulation would work in my favor.
Klymit Insulated Static V Lite review
The insulation layers on the top and bottom bring its R value to 4.4. To give you an idea, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm, one of the warmest pads available is rated 5.7. Above 4 should be enough for mild winter conditions. From Therm-A-Rest’s own website, 5.7 should keep you comfortable up to -20°F / -29°C (More about R Values https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-value_(insulation)). The Insulated Static V Lite’s own 4.4 R value should be enough for up to 15°F / -10°C. To be fair to this review, I haven’t pushed the pad to its limit. Nights on Kilimanjaro’s coldest camps in September where around -10°C air temperature, around 0°C to -2°C ground temperature. As expected the Insulated Static V Lite fared very well in those conditions. Never did I feel the cold ground under me.
The construction of the baffle is meant to minimize air transfer around the pad when you move. This certainly contribute to the great insulation of the mattress.
Klymit use a very special baffle arrangement compared to other pads. Vertical or horizontal baffles either collapse on the edge for the first or feel very bouncy for the second. The V central shape of the Insulated Static V Lite felt very stable while the small horizontal side rails did not collapse at all when getting closer to the edge. The best of both worlds in my opinion. The thickness when inflated, around 2.5” / 6.5cm is almost luxurious. Kilimanjaro is just rocks after the first camp and I never felt any pointy stone sticky into my back or side while on the pad. Even sat down, provided I’m fairly lightweight myself, I do not touch the ground when not moving. I’m a side slipper and this pad is the most comfortable I’ve ever used, hands down. Same conclusions from my tent pal, using the same pad.
One small drawback, which I think is due to the V construction, is the noise the pad sometimes makes when you move around. It can only be described as a fart-like noise made by air being trapped between the baffles. It does happen regularly, especially when getting onto the pad, never woke me or my tent pal up but it did make us chuckle a few times.
I’ll update the review in the following months but so far, and from the fair abuse we’ve put the pads in the 8-days Kili trek, I am hoping the Insulated Static V Lite will last. Other reviews have had trouble with punctures earlier on. We did not have such problems and unless you use the pad to seat outside of the tent on some rough terrain, I believe the 30D fabric should hold. Haven’t had the pad around ice crampons or axes yet though.
Specs compared to competitors
At 19.6oz / 556g on our scale, the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite offers an impressive warmth / comfort / weight / price ratio.
Shopping around you’ll find some other options (all links are affiliates and help us continue our work):
Big Agnes Q-Core SLX: R 4.5, 16oz / 450g, $155
The Klymit Insulated Static V Lite is a great sleeping pad for cold weather. It performs well in all aspects and is even reasonably priced at $75, £70, 80€. I think if you want a good camping mattress that doesn’t break the bank, this is one of the best options right now.