Big Agnes Air Core mattresses

I like to hammock hang, but when I tent camp I have been using a Big Agnes Air Core mattress. Verrrrrrry comfy! It is a lightweight air mat with a layer of PimaLoft bonded inside the top layer.

BA sez it is OK to inflate by mouth, but it takes about 35 or 40 lungfulls, and I worry about moisture inside. So I just received a BA stuffsack/pump that is the berries. Attach the “snorkle” to the valve, open the sack to fill with air, and roll closed the roll-down closure. About ten stuffsack fillings is all that is needed, and one doesn’t get light-headed.

All in all, pretty well thought out. (Yes, I know that this is not BA original technology).


That sounds like a winner
I picked up a pair of BA mattresses on closeout @ REI and had the same concerns as you about moisture when inflating by mouth. How much was the “stuffsack pump”?

Found it for $15
What I like is it only weighs 1.5 oz. Hey Jim, can you store the pad inside the sack? I have a BA pad too that I use when backpacking. It dominates thermarest pads. What do you think the durability of the pump is? You think it would hold up to the abuse of regular use backpacking?

The pump sack
is just a sil-nylon roll-top stuffsack with a snorkle opposite the roll end. There is a shock cord and cordlock to affix the snorkle to the valve.

I think this mattress is as great an improvement over self-inflating pads as they were over ensolite pads 30 years ago. At my recommendation a friend who was riding crosscountry got one, and used it continuously for 65 nights. She was on the Southern Tier route, so there were lots of sharp things to deal with but she had no punctures.

The pump sack is a bit big for the mattress, and there is no compartment for the repair kit. I plan to use it for a pillow and maybe some fleece.


BTW: Mt friend loved the mattress, but she was so tired some evenings that she had to will herself to blow it up.

35 to 40 lungfuls?
Guess I have big lungs. My insulated air core takes me 13 very long and deep breaths to inflate. Comfy but it doesn’t insulate as well as a standard self-inflating sleep pad. It packs smaller, though, which is why I keep it. Takes longer to “roll” all the air out of it than it does with self-inflating pad.

My .02
I have an exped downmat 9 which is similar but has a better R rating for those that camp in cold weather.

I bought the Big Agnes for my son. He’s younger and can handle it.


Those are “normal” lungfulls
I find the really deep and long ones lead to dizziness.

Yeah, the Air Core is not as warm as a foam mat or a down mat, but great for spring-summer-fall camping.


me too
I bought the Exped, with built-in pump. 2.5" thick, about 4 times the r-value of my thermarest 3-season. Filling it is like doing CPR, 60 pumps fills it nice and stiff. So what’s that - a minute? Goes nice with my Big Agnes Lost Ranger bag.

Alas, I bought it for hammock camping, but the pump doesn’t work unless it’s against the ground. I sorta wish I went with the Big Agnes. But cripe! Now my hammock, bag and pad all fit in a sack half the size of my old sleeping bag.

And a hearty drop-kick to my old Eureka tent.