The Insulated Double Z from Big Agnes is an update to one of my all time favorite sleeping pads, the Double Z. Sadly, the Double Z was not insulated, and rendered it pretty much useless in temperatures under about 40 degrees. How does this warmer, fuzzier version hold up?
About the pad
The Insulated Double Z (named after a restaurant and not the z’s you’ll be getting) is insulated using Primaloft Silver, a synthetic insulation that’s not only packable, but light weight and warm. The pad has an estimated R-value of 4.5, and weighs in at 21oz for the 20″ x 72″ model (tested here). There is also a wide model, at 25″ wide, and a longer model at 78″ long. The pad is built from a coated nylon, with quilt like baffles strewn throughout to create an even, but cushy sleeping surface. A 2 piece valve system is built into the pad at the upper corner. The pad starts at $109.95, and includes a stuff sack and repair kit.
What I liked
The Double Z is a luxurious 4″ thick sleeping pad. This combined with the mattress like baffling system comes together to produce a luscious, comfortable night’s sleep on nearly any surface. The baffles evenly distribute weight, without creating any pressure point. I’m known to sleep in every position imaginable, and the pad always provided enough cushion even when sleeping on my side, while never feeling overly soft and squishy.
The pad is very wide, and because of this I never had any problems slipping off the mattress, or with keeping my arms on the pad. No matter what position I always had ample room to roll around and find that happy place.
The Primaloft Silver adds a reliable insulation, which does a great job of providing consistent, reliable warmth. It managed to keep me quite warm all the way down to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Being a synthetic insulation, you’ll not have to worry about moisture in your breath affecting the insulation after repeated inflation.
The two piece valve has a one way inflation system, so you’re not losing air between breaths while blowing it up. The same valve also completely unscrews, releasing all the air in the pad in about 4 seconds. This really speeds up packing up camp, and is a welcomed feature. The large opening also allows for the inside of the pad to dry out if you leave it open with the pad flat.
The pad seems plenty durable enough to withstand constant use in the backcountry. It’s built from the same denier nylon as the original Double Z that has already seen over a year’s worth of use, and it’s held up strong with no leaks. I don’t see any reason to expect anything different here.
$109 is a great price for a pad this comfortable, with solid insulation. It’s one of the best values on the market right now.
What I didn’t like
At 21 oz, it’s certainly not the lightest pad on the market. It’s not terrible to carry and it’s worth the weight penalty, but I would like to see it a bit lighter.
The two-way valve, as far as I could find, does not have any compatible pad pumps to inflate it. This means lung power is your only option. Get to puffin’!
The Insulated Double Z is an impressive pad. 4 inches of thickness and cozy warmth will certainly impress while invoking a sense of jealousy to any backpacker who sees you with this snugly sleeper. I found some of my best night’s sleep on the original Double Z, and the newly insulated model only enhances that by providing more warmth and a wider seasonal range of use. Overlook the slight weight penalty and you’ll find yourself a great night’s sleep for a fantastic price.
Big thanks to Big Agnes for providing this awesome pad. For a full disclosure, see our About me/Contact Page.
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