The Double Z from Big Agnes is an ultralight, non-insulated sleeping pad. Boasting 4 inches of loft, and weighing just 17 oz, the pad holds impressive specs. Specs are not everything, however. I decided to put the pad, and my hips, to the test. What I liked The pad is impressively light weight at 17 oz, despite having a massive 4 inches of loft between you and the pointy rocks of Earth. The dimensions are fairly accurate, and the pad is just at 20 inches wide, giving you plenty of wiggle room. While resembling a mummy pad, the pad feels more like a rectangular shape, allowing for plenty of surface area to move about on. The new valve system is a combination inflation/deflation device, comprised of both a one way valve for inflation, and a second, underneath, for quick deflation. This allows for no loss of air between breaths while inflation. The inflation valve is on top, essentially screwed into the deflation valve, which also unscrews. The pad sleeps quite well, allowing for through night slumber with no pressure points or sore hips in the morning. I awoke feeling refreshed, and the lack of insulation helped to regulate my body temperature on hot July nights. The pad presents a firm feel while sleeping, mostly independent of how much pressure you have pushed into the pad. Thanks to the many quilt like baffles, the pad provides a nice even sleeping surface that feels stable, without any rocking or bouncing through the night. The pad is mostly quiet while tumbling around and adjusting your position.
What I didn’t like The Double Z is constructed of the thinnest material I’ve come across in a sleeping pad. It’s a thin rip-stop nylon coated in an air tight material. It’s impressively thin. So thin in fact, that you can partially see through the pad. Because of this, the pad feels fragile, and protecting it will seemingly be a priority.You’ll want to ensure there are no sharp objects in your pockets while you sleep, and watch those zippers. Conversely, it creates a neat illuminating effect when combined with a headlamp. *Long term update* I’ve used the pad for over a year now, and I’ve not had a single leak! It’s proved to be very durable, despite the thin nature of the materials.
Despite the 4 inches of thickness, the pad never quite achieves the “cushy” feel that you might get from looking at the pad. It manages a firm sensation even while deflated to the point of actually touching the ground. Because of this, the extra loft mostly seems to be wasted. What’s the point of 4 inches of loft if it’s as firm feeling as a two inch pad? If this will cause an issue or not comes completely down to personal preference. The inflation/deflation point is right on top of the pad. It never got in my way, but it’s a peculiar place to put such a large valve. The pad is incompatible with the Big Agnes Pump House, so your only option is to inflate using your breath. This puts moisture in the pad, which is quite visible through the thin material as droplets of water. No insulation means warm weather trips only. Overall The Double Z pad is attempting to do some impressive things. 4 inches of loft for 17 ounces? The specs sound amazing, but it’s not quite all the hype that it’s been made out to be. Sure, it’s a great, comfortable pad. It sleeps great, packs away tiny, and deflates almost instantly. But, the pad is incredibly fragile feeling (although so far I’ve had no problems), the valve is in a terrible location, and the extra loft seems to be mostly wasted. I know there are a lot of complaints about the pad in my review, but they proved to be negligible. If your’e looking for light weight, fairly affordable summer pad, with plenty of loft, and a nice firm feel, this could be your new best friend. You’ll sleep great. Mind the thin materials, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy this new pad from Big Agnes.