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Therm-A-Rest Basecamp Review

By: Kelly Burgess on August 04, 2017

Bottom Line

Therm-A-Rest is a respected name in camping gear, and the Basecamp line of self-inflating mattresses get top reviews for their durable, lightweight construction. Beyond that, users say, they're comfortable and user-friendly.


  • Comfortable
  • Self-inflating
  • Very durable
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Pricey
  • Heavy for some backpackers
Our Analysis
Read Amazon Reviews

Breaking it down

Ease of use

Self-inflating, but can be fiddly. In general, reviewers say that the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp is very easy to use, although the expanding foam core can take some time to fully inflate. Many say they take their Basecamp mattress out of their pack first, and allow it to self-inflate for a few hours or so then add a bit of air as needed. You can also adjust the amount of air by opening a valve and either blowing into it, or pressing air out. A few reviewers note that it takes using the Basecamp sleeping pad a couple of times for it to fully inflate on its own, but after that it works well. Deflation is a two-step process that takes a bit of arm and hand strength, users note. The Basecamp pads weigh 2.2 pounds (regular), 2.12 pounds (large) and 3.11 pounds (XL). Some serious backpackers say these pads are too heavy and they prefer an ultralight, like the Therm-A-Rest ProLite (Est. $60 to $110).


May be a joint saver. Those who say that their biggest problem with camping is sleeping on the hard ground love the comfy padding of the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp. Although it's quite slim, just two inches thick, users say it feels much thicker when inflated. The majority of reviews we saw indicate that this sleeping pad is comfortable no matter what type of sleeper you are, but a few side sleepers disagree, saying the Basecamp was not comfortable for them. Even those who don't find it particularly cushy says it has excellent insulating properties, which helps them stay warm at night.


Built for life. While campers may quibble about the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp's comfort or weight, they all agree: this is a sturdy, durable sleeping pad for outdoor use. Made of tough, 75-denier polyester with a foam core, it should withstand the challenges of even rigorous outdoor use. It's also made in the USA, something that's a huge plus for plenty of reviewers. The Basecamp series of sleeping pads come with a lifetime warranty and Therm-A-Rest is noted for high-quality customer service.

Our Sources

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2017

In more than 170 customer reviews, the three sizes of the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp sleeping pad earn an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Happy campers say it cushions them well, even on very hard ground, and provides good insulation against the cold. A few feel that it's pricey, but most note that the quality is worth it.

Contributors to CampSaver.com, As of August 2017

In more than 15 reviews, the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp gets about 4.4 stars out of 5. Reviewers are largely satisfied, and this air mattress earns kudos for cushioning and insulating. Several say they have bought more than one Basecamp for family camping.

Contributors to REI.com, As of August 2017

Just over a dozen owners review the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp Sleeping Pad here, giving it an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Campers say it's a great balance of size and carry weight, and many praise its thermal properties.

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