Comfortable backcountry sleeping always sounded like an oxymoron to me. After a couple of decades using various Therm-a-rest products to ease the pain of sleeping on the ground, I’ve officially defected and found a new love.

Nemo was kind enough to let me demo their top-of-the-line Cosmo Insulated Lite sleeping pad (Nemo Cosmo) for a recent trip into the wood line. Let me tell you, the 4″-thick, PrimaLoft-insulated inflatable pad was just what I needed as one who predominately sleeps on his side.

While in the 2nd Ranger Battalion, I was lucky enough to have my shoulder separated a dozen or so times, making side-sleeping a challenge in the field. The Nemo Cosmo line of pads are a full 4″ thick and come with a built-in pillow, made for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Nemo Cosmo Insulated Lite Sleeping Pad Review

Living in northern Michigan, where the nighttime temperatures can easily dip below freezing in the fall and spring, I decided to try the insulated version of the Nemo Cosmo Lite line of sleeping pads. Sure enough, although daytime temperatures were in the mid to high ’60s, the first night out, I woke up to 39°F and a little frost on the ground.

The built-in PrimaLoft layer Nemo uses for their insulated pads did a great job of keeping me warm all night. Another nice feature of the Nemo products are the horizontal baffles. Some of the competitors’ inflatable pads use baffles running the length of the pad, which have a tendency to “taco” around you as you sleep.

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The fabric is a 20D PU Polyester Ripstop with the Nemo logo subtly built into it, which is a classy touch. Unlike some other sleeping pads that have a noisy, crinkly fabric, this one was fairly quiet while shifting around at night.

Nemo Cosmo Insulated Lite Sleeping Pad Review

By far my favorite feature of the Cosmo line is the built-in pump. Once you unroll the pad and open the inflation valves, a spongelike material inflates the pump chamber. Once that occurs, all you have to do is step on the pump chamber at the foot of the pad and air will start to enter.

The Nemo Cosmo Insulated Lite sleeping pad took under two minutes to inflate using the foot pump. Not having to enter a state of hyperventilation to inflate this juicy pad is what sets this product over the top for me. There is also a small valve for regulating the pressure of the pad if you’d like to let a little air out, as well as a larger dump valve for deflation.

All the sleeping pads include a lightweight storage sack with ample room to get the pad back inside, a Velcro strap to cinch the pad once rolled, and a small repair kit in case you have a puncture in the field.

Nemo Cosmo Insulated Lite Sleeping Pad Review

Be sure to take a look at the Nemo website for more well-thought-out and engineered products for your outdoor adventures.

Bottom line:

This sleeping pad is everything I want in a pad:
  • Thick enough to support my busted shoulders while sleeping on my side
  • Lightweight, and packs small enough for week-long hikes
  • Warm enough to insulate me while camping in colder temperatures

I’m handing my old sleeping pad down to my son, and I’m sure I’ll be fighting my wife for this one. Maybe I’ll avoid that and just get her one as well. It’s good to have a happy tent mate.

Product specifications:

  • Minimum weight: 1 lb 13 oz / 830 g
  • Minimum temp. zone: 15 to 25 F / -9 to -4 C
  • Shape: rectangular
  • Width: 25 in / 64 cm
  • Length: 76 in / 193 cm
  • Thickness: 4 in / 10 cm
  • Insulation type: PrimaLoft®
  • Packed size: 9.5 x 5 in dia / 24 x 13 cm dia
  • Fabric: 20D PU Polyester Ripstop
  • Color: Elite Yellow
  • MSRP: $179.95