NEMO Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad Review
The NEMO Tensor is a sleeping pad that hits nearly every mark well in an overcrowded field. In both insulated and non-insulated versions it has a respectable weight for an air pad, has 3 inches of cushion that’s dispersed very evenly through the quilted baffles, and is nice and quiet when you roll over.
All inflatable air pads make some noise, but we’ve been impressed with how quiet the NEMO Tensor is to sleep on. With no noisy thermal layer on its surface, the NEMO Tensor feels much more like your mattress at home than a crinkly plastic cushion. The Tensor is a great choice for light sleepers who tend to move around a lot at night.
Still one of the most comfortable hiking mats I’ve ever slept on, I’ve nudged up their comfort score for two reasons. 1) the new flat-lying and easy to use nozzle and 2) the inclusion of the NEMO Vortex Pump Sack, which increases my comfort by not having to blow the whole thing up!
The low-profile valve on the NEMO Tensor makes inflating and adjusting the air pressure easy and convenient. It also features a dump-valve that makes deflating the pad extremely quick, with no need to tediously squeeze air out. That makes the packing process for the Tensor quick and easy. It takes us less than a minute to deflate, fold in thirds, roll up, and stash away this pad.
The overnight lows dipped into the mid-30s, and the ground was likely colder, always shaded by thick trees during an incredibly frigid winter in central Texas. NEMO doesn’t publish the R-value for the Tensor series but states a 10 to 20-degree rating for the insulated models. I slept warm with a 35-degree-rated sleeping bag and foresee no issues for the Tensor insulated pads during three-season use.
The NEMO Tensor deflates almost instantly and didn’t require my usual “pre-roll” to evacuate all the air before the final packing. The pad compressed down into a 3 x 8-inch package.
The NEMO Tensor competes as the lightest pad on the market, has three inches of plush comfort, and packs down to the size of a water bottle. There are lighter and warmer air mattresses, but the NEMO Tensor rates high in the comfort versus weight category, and the quiet characteristics keep tentmates and campsite neighbors happy.