Expert Review: Nemo-Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad

This review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.

Packed size of the sleeping pad in stuff sack, relative to Nalgene water bottle for scale.

Packed size of the sleeping pad in stuff sack, relative to Nalgene water bottle for scale. All photos by  Wesley Bryden

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.

My take

The Nemo Quasar 3D is an incredible sleeping pad that is durable, warm, quiet, packable, and easy to inflate.

Nemo-Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad laid out in a tent with a river in the background.

Laid out in my three person tent to show size and scale. -Tieton River, WA

About the gear I own

  • Model: Nemo Quasar 3D
  • Size: Regular - Wide - Insulated

Test conditions

  • When I bought it: September 2022
  • Days tested: 4
  • Pack: 2018 REI Trail 70
  • Total pack weight: 25 lbs
  • Used for: Backpacking, car camping, and festival camping.
  • Where I’ve used it: Washington - Stevens Pass/PCT, Tieton River, and Colorado - Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Seasons I’ve used it in: Fall

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 200 lbs
  • Experience: 35 years of camping/backpacking

How it performs

Comfort
5/5
Durability
5/5
Packability
4/5
Versatility
5/5
Weight
4/5

What I was looking for

As I have grown older, I have determined that nothing has continued to make sleeping in the great outdoors more accessible than a quality sleep system. I have been looking to upgrade my sleeping pad for a few seasons and finally decided on the Nemo Quasar 3D.

Technology in sleeping pads has come a long way over the last decade. After demoing a few different options, I was hoping to find a new sleeping pad that was light enough to backpack with, easy to inflate, thick enough to keep me off the ground when sleeping on my side, and quiet enough to forget it was there while sleeping.

Why I chose this gear

I have been lucky enough to demo a few Nemo Sleeping bags and tents over the last two years and have been a huge fan of the brand since then.

After considering several additional options, I decided on the Quasar 3D based on the overall weight and thickness, as well as the new Vortex pump sack and advertised quietness of the sleeping pad. The MSRP of $179 seemed like a great price for everything that I was looking for from a company I have grown to trust. I also love the fact that this sleeping pad is BlueSign certified, which means it is made from 100% post-consumer recycled material.

Nemo Vortex Pump Sack.

Easy to understand instructions printed on the pump sack

What I love about it

  • Durability: Out of the box, the 30D polyester ripstop material felt substantial the moment I touched it. After several uses, it still looks new, and with the included repair kit and backed by a lifetime warranty, I expect this sleeping pad to last for a long time.
  • Weight: The insulated, wide version of the Quasar 3D weighs in at about 2 lbs (930g). I wasn’t shooting for an ultralight (UL) sleeping pad, but I’ve had absolutely no problem packing an extra pound or so of material for a more comfortable sleep. The Quasar has delivered a warm, quiet, and comfortable sleep every night I’ve used it, so the overall weight is completely reasonable.
  • Packability: The packed size for this sleeping pad is approximately 9”x5.5” in diameter when in its stuff sack. This is a very manageable size and fits perfectly in my pack.
  • Insulation and R-Value: The advertised R-Value for the insulated Quasar is 3.3 (1.8 Non-Insulated). The last night I used it in Rocky Mountain National Park, nighttime temps dipped below freezing, and the PrimaLoft® 100% PCR insulation kept me warm.
  • Comfort: Measuring 3.5” thick, this is exactly the comfortable sleeping pad I was looking for. Side sleeper? No problem. The Quasar uses a baffling system that cradles my body, keeps it centered, and has a slightly elevated head baffle that helps keep my pillow where it should be. My sleeping bag never feels slippery on the surface material, and I have not noticed a single valve in the lower corner.
  • Shape: Wide and rectangular with a 72”x25” dimension, which is more than enough to roll from one side to the other without falling off the pad.
  • Noise: This is a quiet sleeping pad with no annoying or squeaking sounds while sleeping on it. The 30D nylon ripstop material really shines here.
  • Features: The Quasar sleeping pad is equipped with Nemo’s new Vortex pump sack technology and Laylow valve system for quick and easy inflation AND deflation. The pump sack has easy-to-read and understandable instructions printed on it.
  • Ease of use: The Vortex pump sack and valve are intuitive and easy to use. Initially, it took about two minutes to read the onboard instructions, connect it to the Laylow valve, and practice a few inflation steps. The pump sack inflated after blowing into the open end with my face about 6 inches from the top opening of the stuff sack. I rolled the open end closed as I would with a similar dry bag and moved the entire pump sack towards the sleeping pad. After a few practice attempts, I fully inflated the pad in under two minutes and wasn’t short of breath or lightheaded. The valve closes, seals tight, and opens for quick deflation.
  • Backpacking: Although slightly heavier than UL sleeping pads, this is a perfect option for both short and longer trips. It is both light and compact enough for backpacking and a complete game changer for comfort that lets one have a well-deserved night's rest at camp.
  • Car Camping: With a compact size that is easy to pack, easy setup, and tons of comfort, the Quasar 3D is a great option for both car and festival camping. I have used it for both and plan on using it many more times in the future. Some may prefer a traditional air mattress when car camping that is thicker and could accommodate more than one body.
Namo Quasar Pad held up next to a man.

Holding the pad up vertically next to me to show approximate height and width

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Mountaineering: Serious mountaineers who plan on spending multiple nights in below-freezing temps and sleeping on snow should look for a sleeping pad with a higher R-Value. I can see myself using this sleeping pad during the winter while ski touring if used with an additional foam pad placed underneath.
  • Thru-Hiking: At around 2 lbs, and with an included repair kit, the Quasar 3D is capable of long thru-hiking; however, anyone counting every gram of their kit will likely want an option that weighs less. Typically sleeping pads best for this will be shorter, with rounded edges to shave weight.
Nemo Vortex Valve.

The easy to use Laylow valve integrates with the Vortex pump sack for east inflation, and fully opens for quick deflating when it's time to break camp

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with the Quasar 3D sleeping pad was crawling into my sleeping bag and getting comfortable on the pad after a long day of strenuous hiking and climbing around Rocky Mountain NP. The temperature quickly dropped shortly after the sunset, and as I watched the stars come out, I found myself completely warm and comfortable. It was the perfect end to an amazing fall day in the mountains.

Value for the money vs. other options

Although this sleeping pad is more expensive than other options, with an MSRP of around $180, it will be hard to find anything close to its versatility and comfort, backed with a lifetime warranty. Exped, Big Agnes, and Sea to Summit are among other brands with comparable sleeping pads.

Final verdict

If one is looking for a high-quality sleeping pad that is versatile, comfortable, durable, quiet, and easy to use, look no further. The Nemo Quasar 3D has them covered.

Selling Nemo on Curated.com
Nemo-Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad
From $159.95
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Written By
Welcome to Curated! Think of me as your personal gear concierge! ​ Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, my Dad has been an independent gear rep for over forty years so growing up we always had a garage full of options to test and explore with. Since then I have had my own adventures in almost e...

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