The Nemo Nomad is designed to be pumped by foot. Roll out the mattress, place your foot over the valve, and pump. This works well and quickly.
The foot pump valve on the Nemo Nomad Camping Mattress.
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
Ease of use
Easy to use
The Nomad Camping Mattress Insulated pad is more a mattress than a sleeping pad. At 6 inches thick and nearly 4 pounds in weight, the Nomad Camping is best suited for car camping and winter outings when the campers can't stand the thought of sleeping on the ground.
The Nemo Nomad Camping Mattress is an inflatable, air-mattress-style sleeping pad. It is the heaviest and one of the largest sleeping pads in our insulated sleeping pad test, but that doesn’t matter, because it was designed to be used when car camping and never needs to be packed deep into the backcountry.
The Nemo Nomad Insulated included Primaloft open-cell foam on the interior to create more insulation between a sleeper and the ground. Unfortunately, this pad does not have an R-value rating, which makes it difficult to compare to the other models in our test, but Nemo claims that it is good between 25-35 degrees Fahrenheit. We found it to be middle-of-the-road in terms of warmth when compared to the other models in our test, but adequate for this temperature range.
If you are an occasional camper or someone who wants camping to approximate sleeping in a bed as much as possible, then the Nemo Nomad is a great choice. This air-mattress style sleeping pad is far warmer than a cheap generic air mattress, and we predict that it would be far more durable as well. It provides six inches of cushion so there is no chance your hips will dig into the ground at any point. Two Nemo Nomads can be linked together to create a queen-sized mattress, which can be used with sheets and blankets from home to create that not-sleeping-on-the-ground feel.
Since this pad is designed for car camping comfort and not backcountry travel, the weight is significant. On our scale, it weighed 3 pounds 9.8 ounces (slightly lighter than the advertised weight of 3 pounds 12 ounces), and it is the heaviest pad in our insulated sleeping mat test. For transporting a few feet from the car to the tent, this is completely acceptable.
This thing is large. Its packed size is roughly 16-inches by 10 inches. It rolls into a shorter, squatter package than the Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map, but neither would fit into a backpack.
Made with 75-denier PU polyester, we were not concerned about puncturing or tearing this mattress. In our usage it held up well, and we anticipate that it will continue to hold up well. Since the pump is an included feature that is not electronic, we think this mattress has an even better longevity forecast than air mattresses that requires a battery pump to inflate.
Ease of Use
At first, we assumed that this air mattress would take forever to inflate, but we were completely wrong about this. The Nomad comes with an included foot pump—meaning no separate pump or batteries are required. Unroll the mat with the pump face up, open the valve, step on it and start pumping with your leg. No blue-in-the-face blowing up required. After it is full, there is a small adjustment valve if the user wants to customize the firmness. Then, when it comes time to deflate, there are 2 large dump valves that open up and release air immediately. Overall, we found that the Nomad was one of the easiest pads to use, despite its bulky size.