New NEMO Flyer™ Sleep Pad a Test Winner

The new NEMO Flyer™ ‘self-inflating’ sleep pad is a winner in our road test – including sleeping out with just the thin but very supportive Flyer between tester Steve Leeder and the raw rock. He rates it highly, and will be updating with a winter test later.

Between a rock and a soft place on the NEMO Flyer © Steve Leeder

A good night’s sleep means all the difference to your ability to do radness the next day. Crap sleep and you are going to be sore, tired and generally just not in a rad mood.

I have slept on all sorts of pads from basic foam to crazy expensive air mats and combos of each, and I think I’ve found a pretty good all around pad in the NEMO Flyer.

My normal pad is a Synthetic filled air mat that has been great, but I have also had too many nights on a punctured mat to feel like its really the BEST option.

I have always thought there has to be something better and when this new FLYER mat from NEMO arrived I was really excited by the technology or idea behind the pad.

NEMO Flyer sleep mat cutaway view
Sleep easy technology revealed © NEMO Equipment

The Flyer™ combines the thickness of an air pad with the plush durability of a foam pad — and with minimal weight consequences. 

What they have done is take a really thick piece of open cell foam and basically drilled holes down the whole pad and then where the long holes are not they have shaved away all the excess foam to cut the weight down heaps. Then you just add the air to your desired comfort level.

Normally I would say give me as much air and what ever else but I actually end up letting out a bit of air from a fully inflated pad.  Even laying on my side, where normally I have sore hips cause of my crazy bony hips and my shoulder.  

Now one of the “selling points” on the NEMO website was that the Plush open-cell foam offers a second level of security on the trail, so I emptied out the air and tried to have a lounge. Well, I guess it’s better than absolutely nothing, but man I wouldn’t really want to spend the night on just that foam deflated.

When it come to weight and packability of course an air only pad is going to be the go.

But for the winter the NEMO Flyer wins hands down.

Compared to some of the winter rated pads on the market the Flyer actually rates very comparable. The weight is only 640grams and it has a 3.3 R-value.

The ZERO-PROFILE valve works really well. Unplug both plugs and the Flyer deflates crazy fast. With just the middle plug in the Flyer can be inflated, or this is how you can let out just little bits of air to get the perfect comfort you want. When you close both plugs you get a proper flat valve that you don’t feel.

The 20D outer fabric feels super soft for laying directly on but I am a bit nervous about the long term use and possibility of a puncture.

Test Verdict: Overall I’m really stoked with the Flyer from NEMO. Comfortable yet supportive, light and pretty easy to pack away, for only $USD 119 the Flyer is really good value as well.

NEMO gear is available from NEMO Equipment on link here which will also give you your worldwide nearest stockists, including Australia for our downunder followers.

The NEMO Flyer pad makes a comfy seat too
Testing times – the Flyer makes a handy seat too © Steve Leeder