As the pad begins to inflate, you can see the shape and pattern of the foam within the self-inflating Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map.
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
Ease of use
The Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map is the largest in our insulated sleeping pad test and best suited for car camping. The Luxury Map is bulky and heavy, but it has great insulation and unmatched comfort – it's a fine mattress when weight and space aren't issues of concern.
The Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map is a car camping mattress that comes in sizes Regular, Large, and Extra Large.
The luxurious Luxury Map has the highest R-value rating of all the products included in this test: 6.8. We never had a cold night sleeping on it. Since it is a car camping pad, it fits into a strange category. It is rare for people to car camp on snow in winter, when this pad would certainly excel, but it is too large and heavy to be brought on any mountain overnight where sleeping on snow is common. Regardless, this pad is the warmest that we tested and will keep a user warm in a variety of temperatures.
Since this is a self-inflating mattress, the foam inside expands and fills with air to provide three inches of cushion, like one of those tiny foam dinosaurs that come in a pill capsule and expand when dropped in water. This foam has variable densities and Therm-a-Rest claims they used pressure mapping technology to determine where the foam needs to be firm and where it needs to be soft. Whatever they have done, this mat is stable, supportive, soft, and delicious. To top it off, the top of the mat is lined with a soft-stretch knit material that is cozy against the skin. We think this the most comfortable mat of the bunch. Whenever we had our pick, we chose to sleep on this pad.
Weight and packed size are where the Luxury Map suffers in scores. It tipped our scale at 3 pounds 2.6 ounces, which is the second heaviest in our test. We never felt burdened by the weight when transporting from the parking space to the campsite and vice versa.
This thing is quite large, the largest in our insulated sleeping pad test. In some cases, it was almost as large as our sleeping bag! But this pad was not designed to be packed into a backpack, it should only be used when car camping. When unloading from the trunk directly to the tent, the size is not as important.
The top material on the Luxury Map is a 50-denier polyester knit, and the bottom material is a 75-denier polyester. It felt adequately durable to us, and even on nights when we cowboy camped without a tent, this pad never popped or proved problematic. We anticipate that it will last years.
Ease of Use
This is a self-inflating sleeping pad, and it does what the name implies: self-inflates. When setting up camp, roll out this pad and open the valve. Cook dinner, sit by the campfire, enjoy looking at the stars. Then, when it is time for bed add a few breaths into the valve and seal. It will have mostly inflated on its own and only requires a few breaths for extra firmness. This makes it incredibly easy to use. Rolling it up requires a little extra oomph to expel all the air, but the storage sack is large enough that it is not a struggle to pack it away.