Expert Review: Nemo Quasar Sleeping Pad
This review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2022.
The Nemo Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad is designed for three-season backpackers of any skill level. It’s light and compact for backpacking or thru-hiking. Having an R-Value of 3.3 and a 3.5-inch thickness, the sleeping pad keeps the cold ground away with unparalleled comfort.
About the sleeping pad I own
- Model: 2022 Nemo Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad
- Size: Long wide
- When I bought it: June 2022
- Days tested: 7
- Pack: 2015 Osprey Aether 70L
- Total pack weight: 50 lbs
- Used for: Tent camping, Backpacking
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Rose Wilderness, Chickadee Ridge, and Toiyabe National Forest, Nevada; Desolation Wilderness and Lake Aloha, California
- Seasons I’ve used it in: Summer, Fall
- Height: 6’1’’/184 cm
- Weight: 200 lbs/90 kg
- Experience: 16 years of camping/backpacking and founder of Tahoe Adventurers, a non-profit that brings people outdoors
How it performs
What I was looking for
My non-profit takes people outdoors. Since I started Tahoe Adventurers, I’ve been looking for gear that will be versatile for all our backpacking trips around the Sierra Nevada. I’ve tried thinner pads in the past, but as a side sleeper, I needed comfort, especially around my hips. I also required it to be lightweight, durable, weather-resistant, and packable. With an R-value of 3+, that will give me the comfort and warmth of sleeping in a bed.
Why I chose this gear
The Nemo Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad offers an excellent R-value with quality that is to be expected from Nemo. In addition, I love using the Vortex pump sack; I can inflate the pad with a few quick, simple breaths. Other pads I was considering were the Nemo Alpine Sleeping Pad, which has a higher R-value and is great for four seasons; however, the extra insulation will be noisier.
What I love about it
- Weight: For weighing only 2lb 4oz (Long Wide), I feel this pad is within a very acceptable range of sleeping pads of this quality. It includes a stuff sack, repair kit, and Velcro strap.
- Packability: I was pleased with the packability of the Quasar. It compresses down to the size of my Hydroflask 32oz bottle. Nemo includes a Velcro strap to keep the pad compact.
- Insulation and R-Value: I’m very happy with the insulation from the Quasar. A good sleeping bag helps retain the heat, but pads are not meant to retain heat so much but make a barrier between the cold ground and one sleeping on top. Having a 3.3 R-value allows it to be well versatile for most camping trips, except when dipping my toes into winter/snow conditions.
- Comfort: With 3.5 inches of thickness, the Quasar is an incredibly comfortable sleeping pad, especially for side sleepers. It helps out my waist, shoulders, or elbows from feeling the bottom of the ground.
- Shape: Nemo offers multiple sizes, such as Regular, Regular Wide, Long Wide, and Double. In my case, using the Long Wide version was perfect, as I’m 6’1’’. After a long hike, I want to sleep in comfort.
- Noise: Barely a sound! The Quasar is a great sleeping pad that doesn’t make any sounds at night, and I can get a great night's sleep.
- Features: The Quasar has an inflate and deflate valve that is great for bleeding our air or opening it wide for rapid deflation. It is also intuitive to inflate in no time to enjoy a well-earned rest. Due to its body mapping 3D baffling, it helps keep me in the middle of the pad.
- Ease of use: Included is the Vortex pump sack which helps inflate it in 7-9 breaths instead of 20-30. Once I'm done inflating the pad, I close the valve and fold the pump sack into my backpack. It's easy, quick, and barely any effort to inflate a Long Wide sleeping pad compared to many other brands.
- Backpacking: It’s a great pad for backpacking in most conditions, being lightweight, packable, comfortable, and silent.
- Mountaineering: The Quasar’s R-value will keep the cold away for three-season conditions; however, if someone finds themselves in four-season weather/snow, I recommend upgrading to a Tensor Alpine within the Nemo line.
- Thru-Hiking: The Quasar is a versatile option that can be paired perfectly with any sleeping bag. It will be a little heavier than other options and bigger, but it will also provide incredible comfort.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Durability: The Quasar uses a 30D PU-coated polyester that is soft to the touch but also makes it very durable for an inflatable pad. However, like all inflatable sleeping pads, if someone has a pet, one must be careful that they don't pop a hole. One always needs to make sure the ground is clear of anything that could damage the pad. Nemo includes a repair kit in case of any misfortune. I highly recommend having a footprint underneath the tent to provide protection inside.
- Features: When inflating the sleeping pad the first few times with the vortex inflating sack, it detached with the Quasar valve, which would deflate it quickly. After learning this, I ensure that I hold onto the exterior valve of the sleeping pad to avoid removing it entirely.
Favorite moment with this gear
I used this in borderline four-season conditions in Lake Aloha-Desolation Wilderness. We had 30-35mpg winds, heavy rain, and snow dusting during our trip. However, I was comfortable, and it was a relief having that 3.5-inch thickness as I’m a side sleeper. I didn’t feel the cold ground throughout the entire camping trip and was very pleased.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Quasar is an incredible sleeping pad for the value one gets out of it. It can borderline be a four-season sleeping pad in the right conditions. However, what most distinguishes this pad is the amount of comfort I get out of it. I would compare the Quasar to the Exped Ultra 3R sleeping pad or the Big Agnes Rapide SL insulated sleeping pad.
The Nemo Quasar 3D Insulated Sleeping Pad might not be the highest R-value sleeping pad, but it’s one of the most comfortable pads I’ve tried out. I absolutely love this pad so much that for my non-profit, I got four of them, so when we head out on backpacking adventures, my members can use them. I recommend it to anyone looking for a three-season sleeping pad whose main priority is a good night's sleep.