This is the Ultimate Review of the Nemo Roamer self-inflating Camping Pad 2020.
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- What the Nemo Sleeping Pad is, and how you can get the best use out of it
- How it compares with the rest of the field
- Unique features and specifications to look out for
- Why we think this is the best sleeping pad on the market!
- Lots more…
So if you’ve been eyeing sleeping pads, but you haven’t made a decision yet, we think you’ll love this guide (and our Nemo).
Let’s get started.
Nemo Sleeping Pad
Our Editor’s Choice is always reserved for the cream of the crop.
Given how thoroughly we test and vet each product – from extensive online research to hands-on field testing – we get to know each new piece of camping gear, inside and out.
Also – our team is pretty hard to impress.
We’ve seen a lot of gear in our time, and it takes a truly stand-out product to make a strong impression on us.
But ‘impressed’ we were when it came to the Nemo Sleeping Pad.
But we know what you came for, so let’s get to it.
- Ease of use
- Utterly packable
- On the bulkier side
Our Verdict: Nemo Sleeping Pad
“Well-rounded” can come off as somewhat of a backhanded compliment.
However, in this case, the phrase is perfect for describing the Nemo, and it’s some of the highest praise we can give.
As you can see, the Nemo sleeping pad scored no lower than 7 in any of our metrics, which is rare enough on its own.
Add in standout performances in both Warmth and Comfort – two of the most important categories here – the Nemo achieved the highest overall score, so our Editor’s Choice was pretty obvious from the very beginning.
We took this pad (along with a couple of others) camping up a mountain in the early spring, which aren’t the most forgiving conditions for a first-time use.
However, I was lucky enough to end up with the Nemo, and this little pad kept me warm and comfortable throughout.
On top of this, the pad packed up well, despite being a luxurious size when fully inflated.
To be honest, the size and weight were the only areas I could complain about throughout my experience – I did get the feeling I was hogging some of our valuable tent space, and you might struggle to fit this pad into a tiny backpacking tent.
Along with that, some sleeping pads clock in at less than 1 lb; at close to 4 lbs, this sleeping pad is on the heavier side.
Overall, though? We couldn’t be happier, this is a great camping pad for your next adventure.
Related: 8 Best Camping Mattresses
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
The Nemo Roamer Sleeping Pad is an inflatable camping pad that comfortably fits one person. It comes in two varieties – the standard and Nemo Roamer XL wide.
We’ll be looking at the standard version in this review.
Both versions of this pad are one-size-fits-all, given its excellent surface area and length (the pad is a spacious 76 x 25 x 4”)
With an R-value of 6, the Roamer is a great addition to your next camping trip, no matter what season. On top of that, the pad’s thickness (4”) insulates the sleeper from rough terrain.
The standard mattress weighs just shy of 4 lbs, while the extra-wide weighs over 5 lbs; this is certainly a bit heavier than many other pads on the market, but that’s completely reasonable given the size, thickness and heat output of this mattress.
We compared this (best) camping mattress against the other six top picks in its category.
Let’s see how the Roamer did!
Comfort encompasses a few factors: how insulated were we from the rough ground (could we feel that jagged rock poking us in the back all night?).
Also, was the mattress a good mixture of firm and soft, and could we adjust it easily?
Tempurpedic and memory foam camping pads get a special mention as well.
And, of course, were there any features that otherwise inconvenienced or annoyed us while trying to sleep?
As you can see, this list was full of great options, with no pad scoring less than 9 in the category.
At the end of the day, there isn’t much we can say about the Nemo mattress that sets it apart from the rest of the field; in fairness, every one of these mattresses provided excellent comfort throughout the night.
To note, we were specifically looking at the standard-issue Roamer, and the extended length and width of the deluxe version could have easily tipped the scales to give our mattress a full 10/10.
As it was, the regular Roamer offered great space and thickness, putting plenty of material between myself and the ground. There were some truly excessive mattresses on the list, particularly when it came to comfort, but the more economical Nemo Roamer (vs. the Megamat, for instance) was easily able to keep up.
Though some of these pads edged out the Roamer in this particular metric, it’s well-roundedness helped showcase its great quality in other areas.
Ease Of Use
Camping pads prevent backaches, soreness and the bone-chilling temperatures of the bare ground – if you know how to set them up!
Which brings us to Ease of Use.
Ease Of Use Rating
Whether you’re an experienced camper or a total newbie, you want a pad that’s quick and easy to set up and deflate, saving you precious time that could be spent hiking, fishing or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors.
Once again, the Roamer came in a close second, though this time it was only edged out by the REI Dreamer XL.
What we liked most about the Roamer was its easy self-inflate mechanism, which was as simple as opening the valve and waiting a minute or two.
With directions or without, literally any camper can figure this one out.
…of self-inflate mechanisms can be deflating and repacking the pad.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a great experience with what I thought was ‘the best’ self-inflating mattress, only to struggle the next day, rolling the air out of the thing as it constantly tries to reinflate itself.
This is usually unavoidable since you really can’t have it both ways without an internal pump.
While we had a little trouble rerolling the mattress (why we gave it a 9), the pliability of the Roamer made the whole process less of a workout than we experienced with some of the others during testing.
As I mentioned earlier, we took these pads out in the early spring, during warm afternoons and cool evenings.
While the temperature stayed above freezing the entire time, it dipped into the forties at night.
Between the nights and a few afternoon naps after we finished hiking, we were able to see how well these mattresses worked in both warm and cold climates.
The Nemo Roamer is marketed to handle temperatures as low as -30F (along with proper sleeping bags and clothing, of course).
And while we weren’t able to test that limit, we did get to try it out on a couple of cool nights.
You may be noticing a theme here: once again, the Roamer doesn’t quite top the list, but it sits just one point away from a perfect score.
So what did I think?
Overall, it was a great night. The combination of the mattress’ insulation and thickness kept out the cold from the ground, while retaining my own body heat and radiating back into my bag throughout the night.
Once again, some of the very luxurious, comfort-minded models edged out the Roamer, but I had no complaints after both the day and the nighttime resting. If anything, the mattress might get a bit toasty during warmer temperatures, given its magnificent heat retention.
Though the exact definition can be a little elusive, Versatility tends to measure how well this mattress can be used in different situations.
For instance, weight factors heavily into this metric – this determines how effectively the pad can be carried. Both packed and unpacked size also matters; larger pads take up more space in your pack and in your tent.
In a sense, this metric was where many of the models fell short – the Roamer included.
Comfort and versatility are constantly in a tug-of-war with one another, as bulkier, thicker and more cushioned pads are going to push the boundaries on weight and size.
Indeed, some of the mattresses on this list really suffered.
However, the Nemo did well in this category.
This pad packs up very tightly for its size.
So while many of the other pads really struggled, the Nemo Roamer pad well and truly held its own.
Though a separate category from Versatility, these two metrics have a lot in common.
For many avid outdoorsmen and women – particularly thru-hikers – the goal is to hold everything you need for camping in one large pack.
So saving room on your sleeping pad means you’ll have more room for food, water, first aid supplies, and everything else you need for a safe and fun outdoor experience.
Our Nemo Roeamer tops the category, though not in as spectacular fashion as you might expect.
But while that 7/10 may not look impressive, it’s actually quite a feat.
When looking for the best camping mats…
…there are models that can pack down to the size of a soda can – and even smaller.
In our case, this Nemo sleeping pad was able to roll into a bundle a bit smaller than a sleeping bag.
So while the size isn’t anything mind-blowing, it’s very economical, given the unpacked size, comfort and warmth of the pad.
You really can’t do much better without sacrificing in any of those areas.
Related: 8 Best Camping Mattresses
Our Final Verdict: Nemo Sleeping Pad
So here we are: the end of the line…
Which pad will take home Gold today?
Let’s find out!
That’s right: despite runner-up finishes in some categories, this well-rounded sleeping pad was able to take home the top spot on our list – and our TopNotch Editor’s Choice.
This particular pad was excellent for exactly that reason: it offered an overall quality without honing in too far on any one particular attribute.
As a result, it didn’t sacrifice any single metric, while competing closely with the other top models for each.
Conclusion: Nemo Sleeping Pad
How can we describe this Nemo sleeping pad in two words?
What you get with the Nemo Roamer is a camping pad with excellent comfort, amazing heat output for cold camping, and a super easy user interface.
Even in the two metrics where the pad didn’t excel, the downsides are not so great you can’t still enjoy this sleeping pad to its fullest.
And that really adds to the pad’s overall versatility across many different applications.
Take it camping, take it hiking, take it to your friend’s house and crash on the floor.
Wherever you take this mattress, you’ll have a super comfortable night, free from aches and pains, chilly temperatures and rough terrain.
So if you’re looking to go camping – or to just crash with the buddies – pick up one of these before you leave.
It’ll be your new best friend.
Over to you!
- There is an extra wide/extra long version of this pad.