As a backpacker I am always conscious of weight and volume. In a quest to cut down on my pack size I began a search for my ideal pad. Everything I found was either too heavy or too bulky. Durability was a concern, as the desert tends to not be too kind to inflatables. In fact I gave up on inflatables once. Literally, once was all it took for me to come whimpering back to the cushion. Somewhere throughout my research I stumbled upon the Klymit Inertia X Lite. It was (still is) the strangest looking backpacking pad I have ever seen. In a act of experimentation I bought one to test out.
Initial Thoughts- What the fuck is it? The Klymit Inertia X Lite looks like a futuristic pad. The company designed to try something different to insulate the user, they actually removed material. The theory is that these tiny pockets allow your sleeping bag to loft in the area and thus provide you the warmth. When laying on a normal pad you insulation is compressed, making it nearly useless. The Inertia is specifically mapped to provide support in areas that need it, while cutting out others to create the loft pockets. The pad uses a 30D polyester on the top and 75D polyester on the bottom. The pad comes with a stuff sack (about the size of a pop can), a small patch kit (with dedicated pocket) and a high pressure pump. Some how the pad only manages to weigh in at 7.62 ounces with all the included accessories. At the head of the pad there are two valves. First you have your standard air valve that you use to initially inflate the pad. The second valve is the one you connect the high pressure pump to. This allows you to get an extremely firm pad without having to put much effort in. When inflated the pad does not sit flat on the ground, but rather floats in areas. When actually laying on the pad it flattens out. The build quality seems to be high. There are no loose materials or sloppy seams visible.
Use- I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the design of this pad actually working. After spending countless nights in the backcountry I can confirm their theory. The loft pockets actually make a difference in combating those chilly nights. Even when draping my quilt over the top I find that the pockets trap hot air and insulate. I do notice that if I change positions in the night and break the seal the loft pockets get cold. This is only an issue when draping the quilt, but not in sleeping bag mode. I have also discovered that the pad works great inside of the sleeping bag. Because the pad is so small if easy slides in and stays in place overnight. In the two years that I have owned the pad I have had one leak. I was unable to locate the leak and send the pad to Klymit. They promptly sent me a replacement pad. Excellent customer service? Check. The pad is most comfortable while sleeping on your back. Although it is possible to sleep on your side or stomach it becomes uncomfortable after some time. Because of the narrow design of the pad, your arms to hang off the sides which can be an issue in really cold weather. This is just an accepted fact of such a minimalist pad. Since the Inertia model I own is a 3/4 length, I have found that using my backpack I can extend the length. This keeps the heat in my legs. T
Final Thoughts- For the adventure racer; weight weenie; or stage racer there is no better option than the Klymit Inertia X Lite. The combination of the loft pockets and lightweight materials create one of the smallest pads available. The lack of weight eliminates the excuse that it is too heavy to take. Amazing customer service, coupled with a high quality product create one of the best pads available. Don't worry if this pad doesn't speak to you. Klymit makes a plethora of options that fit the need of every camper, backpacker or racer. You can find out more about Klymit's line of products here.
*This product was purchased for testing.