The Big Agnes Q-Core SL is Big Agnes’ lightest and most comfortable sleeping pad and proved to live up to their claims. The Q-Core SL rated the highest overall and balances impressive warmth to weight to size ratio.
Comfort The Q-Core SL is 3.5 inches high, making it the thickest of the sleeping pads in its category. The pad has dimples, which creates a slight bend around the body when on it; however, it is firm and tall enough that this doesn’t affect its comfort, but instead diminishes the feeling of rolling off.
Weight The thick durable fabric adds to the weight of the Q-Core SL, which weighs in at nearly 19oz on our scale. Comparatively, that’s on the heavier end of the spectrum of the pads we tested. The pad compresses into a roll slightly larger than a 1L Nalgene water bottle.
Warmth With a 4.5 R value, the Q-Core SL is rated the warmest out of its category, keeping the tester completely warm even in a spring snow. The thickness of the pad contributes to the warmth, as it keeps your body further from the ground. The pad is insulated by a Big Agnes’s branded synthetic insulation, Xstatic.
Durability The 40D ripstop fabric of the Q-Core SL is very durable and stood up to a multitude of surfaces including rough rock. Note: D stands for denier, which is the thickness of the thread used.
Ease of Use One of the biggest downfalls of the Q-Core SL is how long it takes to inflate by mouth. It was also quite slow to deflate and proved to be difficult to compress the air out of the pad.