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The NEMO Tensor Alpine Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad is an air mat designed for insulation and weightlessness. It weighs around mere 17 ounces and has a thickness of 3 inches. It features a convenient 2-way valve and comes with an inflation sack, So you don’t have to worry about blowing your pad manually. Further, it has an R-value of 4.8. Nemo has measured using the new industry standard for sleeping pad R-value. This makes it easy for you to compare its insulation value with similar products from other brands, such as REI, Therm-a-Rest, Sea-to-Summit, Exped, and Big Agnes, who have also adopted this new standard.

Technical Specification

Sleeping Pad Type: Air
Sleeping Pad Shape: Semirectangular
Insulated: Yes
R-Value: 4.8
Packed Size: 8 x 3 inches
Sleeping Capacity: 1-person
Pad Thickness (in.): 3 inches
Dimensions: 72 x 20 inches
Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz.

The Nemo Tensor Alpine is not only lightweight but also quiet and comfortable. It features a 20D PU-coated Polyester cover with a soft feel against your skin and is insulated with three internal aluminized reflective liners. Unlike other sleeping pads, such as the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite or XTherm, it doesn’t produce a loud crinkly sound. With a thickness of 3 inches, it provides ample cushioning and won’t bottom out on your waist, shoulders, or elbows, whether you sleep on your side or back.

You can inflate and deflate the pad using its durable flat valve, which is more long-lasting than stick valves. The valve comes with two modes: one-way inflation and wide-open deflation. If you use the small button to bleed off the air and make the pad softer, be sure to cap it afterward. Otherwise, it will continue to release air as you move around on the pad and eventually go flat.

The Tensor Alpine pad is firm but you can soften it by bleeding off the air. Its baffles run horizontally, like the Therm-a-Rest Neoair sleeping pads, but its cover fabric is more comfortable against your skin. The 20″ width works well for side sleepers, but if you’re a back sleeper, you may prefer the wider Tensor Alpine pad to keep your arms and elbows from falling off the sides at night. While the Tensor Alpine pads don’t come with a pillow accessory attachment like the Sea-to-Summit pads, you can easily create one with velcro to keep your pillow in place throughout the night.

Inflation Sack

When you purchase the Tensor Alpine Insulated or other NEMO sleeping pads, you’ll receive a Vortex inflation sack that weighs 2.0 ounces. It’s a great convenience for your trips, as it reduces the effort of inflating the Tensor Alpine Mummy from 29 breaths to only 5-6 bagfuls of air. You can easily use the sack to inflate the pad by locking it onto the Tensor Alpine’s valve and forcing air from the sack into it.

We find the inflation sack that comes with the Tensor Alpine less appealing. Because it lacks versatility. Also, you cannot use it for other purposes like as a waterproof stuff sack or pack liner. Although it works decently. The top of the inflation sack is too narrow to insert or remove gear. I suggest instead bringing a compatible inflation sack like the Exped Schnozzel. It has a full-width rolltop opening that allows it to double as a stuff sack or pack liner.

Final Verdict

The NEMO Tensor Alpine Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad provides year-round comfort with its ultralight and compact design. It has an R-value of 4.8 and is available in a larger size. While it has a lower R-value compared to the Therm-a-Rest XTherm, it offers greater comfort and a quieter sleeping experience. For those looking for a single air mattress for year-round use, the NEMO Tensor Alpine UL Insulated Pad is an excellent choice.