Welcome to our Ultimate Review of the Thermarest Mondoking 3D 2020!
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- A few of the features that make the Mondoking 3D such a great sleeping pad
- How the Mondoking stacks up against the rest of the competition
- What you should look for in your next self-inflating sleeping pad
- Lots more…
If you want an incredibly warm sleeping pad for your next camping adventure, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
Thermarest Mondoking 3D
Our Top Pick always goes to a product that excels in a specific metric. In this case, the Mondoking 3D had an excellent heat output and retention – better than any of the other pads we reviewed.
This self-inflating camping pad is a great addition to any backpacker’s arsenal – it’ll keep you warm and comfortable on any surface, any time of year.
But we’ll get more into that later.
For now, let’s take a look at this luxury camping mattress’s specifications and our ratings.
- High warmth rating
- Sized perfectly to fit a single-person tent
- Tricky to inflate/ deflate
Our Verdict: Thermarest Mondoking 3D
Camping pads may be too much of a luxury for some of our rugged old-school campers, but they can really make a difference, especially if you’re camping on rough terrain or in the cold.
The Therm-a-Rest Mondoking 3D camp mattress excels in both those situations.
It’s a comfortable, self-inflating sleeping pad that’s perfectly fitted for single-person tents, but can work just as well in larger group camping situations.
It’s an Award Winner…
…due to the sleeping pad’s incredible heat output, it was only fair we should give it our TopNotch Top Pick Award.
However, this tent mattress is also incredibly comfortable (which is related to heat), and will guarantee a great night’s sleep in almost any condition.
This pad isn’t as well-rounded as some of the competition, and it has middling scores in some of the metrics.
Its bulkiness adds a challenge for backpackers hoping to bring the pad along in their pack, and also impacts its overall versatility.
But if you’re not backpacking this truly is a great camping mattress you should consider.
This mattress pad was also a bit of a struggle to set up, that impacting on some metrics. This is unfortunate, since the Mondoking is really marketed for its self-inflating attributes, and you would imagine the process would be much simpler.
But when all’s said and done:
We still believe the positives far outweigh the negatives, and we’d be more than happy to review the Mondoking 3D a second time!
Related: 8 Best Camping Mattresses
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
The Therm-a-Rest Mondoking 3D (2019) is a self-inflating sleeping pad that’s specially fitted for one-person tents.
However, it can also connect to another pad, creating the Therm-a-Rest Mondoking 3D Double.
This pad features an excellent heat output, making it ideal for camping during colder weather.
It also has good buoyancy for its size, and can be effectively used in both mountain and forest environments.
We love the fine tuning…
…the pad will inflate automatically when you open its valves, and campers can adjust its firmness fairly easily by blowing up the mattress or allowing it to deflate.
When fully inflated, the pad measures a sizable 77 x 25 x 4 inches thick, and weighs a little over 5 lbs.
While this is certainly a little larger than the other pads, the added surface area really adds to the pad’s comfort.
But enough of all that: let’s compare the Thermarest Mondoking to some of its closest rivals!
Arguably the most important aspect of any air pad or mattress, comfort is pretty straightforward to explain.
Essentially, we’re rating this section for how well we slept when using this mattress, which takes into account anything from pliability to heat retention to the thickness of the pad.
As you can see, the Mondoking 3D sleeping pad did well in this field, but didn’t quite top the list. Overall, we did have an excellent experience with this camping pad, but a few minor factors kept us from giving the perfect score.
First, this mattress pad is fairly stiff. For me, this was perfect – I prefer firm mattresses over the more pliable ones, and I had no trouble getting to sleep on it.
Also could have something to do with the 20m hike that came before but hey…
There are still people who prefer tempurpedic (memory foam) camping pads, and for them, this might not be the best possible air pad.
Though the inflation and thickness of the pad are excellent, there is a thin “top layer” that makes the mattress a little more stiff than some of the others on the market.
Beyond that small gripe…
…the thickness of this pad ensures you won’t feel anything underneath, and the thickness of the top layer actually adds to the overall structural integrity.
Ease Of Use
Campers with all levels of experience use air pads for a comfortable night in the woods.
Ease Of Use is our measure to see how quickly, effectively and effortlessly campers – especially those who don’t have so much experience – can assemble and inflate their pad.
Ease Of Use Rating
Though this mattress is marketed for its self-inflation, the process can be a bit deceiving, especially for campers who don’t have much experience with high-end camping pads.
…the inflation process itself is pretty straightforward; you just unroll and open the dual valves, and the entire mattress will start to fill up with air.
Most of our newer campers were able to figure this out, so we were pretty optimistic up until this point.
Unfortunately, things got a lot less intuitive when it came to changing the mattress’ consistency, and a lot of the kids in our Scout troop lost confidence as they tried to blow up, deflate and manage the two valves to reach their desired softness.
At the end of the day…
…the Mondoking is middle-of-the-pack on this one; it’s certainly not the least intuitive, but there are mattresses that have a much better design for adjustment.
The ease of its initial setup definitely carried the Mondoking.
Heat retention and radiation are both highly underrated considerations.
Staying at a comfortable temperature in any condition really impacts your overall experience.
This metric was mostly based on our own experience with the pads, and most of our trials took place in chillier weather so we could really see how warm the pads kept us.
This is the category where the Therm-a-Rest Mondoking 3D really blew us away.
On a chilly night, this is the best mattress on the list, and it’s clear that Therm-a-Rest put a ton of work into their insulation.
This, paired with an adequate sleeping bag, will easily get you through even the coldest winter nights.
But even better…
…the insulation does more than just retain your body’s heat: it also provides a valuable layer of material between your mattress and the ground.
Anyone who’s slept directly on the ground knows how easily you lose body heat as the dirt or stone beneath you sucks it away. The same can happen when you’re using a more basic air mattress.
With all that in mind, the layered insulation here keeps out the cold from both the ground and the air, meaning you’ll stay toasty and comfortable all night long!
This metric covers how easily each camping mattress can adapt to new environments, situations and locations, while still providing great comfort and warmth.
We tried each mattress in a variety of different areas and throughout different times of the year. Weight also factors heavily into this category, so we packed up each mattress and carried them for a few miles to see how portable they were.
Mattress pads are often seen as an added luxury for your camping experience, but that’s only half-true these days.
For many backpackers, their camping pad is the only thing they have between themselves and rocky, cold or wet ground.
Well that means they need something that’s portable, light and able to fit within their single-person tents.
But any camper can appreciate a good mattress pad that’s both light and portable. It’s easier to carry to your campsite, and it takes up less of your valuable packing room.
For the Mondoking…
…we were pleasantly surprised with how light the mattress was; less so with its size.
Weighing in at only 5lbs, this is a mattress you could reasonably take backpacking – and enjoy a really comfortable night to boot.
However, the mattress’ size (when inflated) did limit this possibility.
You should certainly fit this mattress in a one-person tent, but it’ll be a tight fit, and you may not have a lot of space for much gear.
When all’s said and done, this mattress is a great option for larger people (several of our crew are over 6-foot, and they were comfortable on this mattress), but not as much for smaller campers.
How well and easily a mattress will pack down is a huge consideration for many campers – especially those who’re planning overnight hiking trips or longer backpacking treks.
As you can see, none of our mattresses were particularly astounding when it came to this metric, and that may just be the nature of the beast.
Many of the hardcore backpacking pads are rolled foam, rather than inflatable, as thiese are much lighter and smaller in the pack.
For that reason, inflatable pads are often seen as a luxury.
For its part, the Mondoking 3D did reasonably well, especially for the size of the mattress when it’s fully inflated.
Unfortunately, this mattress is larger than most of the others on the list, meaning its final packed size will suffer. But for those planning less extensive trips, all that room is a worthy investment.
Conclusion: Thermarest Mondoking 3D
As you can see, the Therm-a-Rest Mondoking 3D was one of the best sleeping pads in our review.
As you can see, the Mondoking was just 2 points away from topping our list.
So what is our final takeaway from this product?
The Mondoking is a great camping mattress for larger people (it is truly a king-size sleeping pad), with excellent thickness, amazing insulation, and ample length and width for comfortable sleeping.
However, all that size does impact the versatility and packed size of the air pad, and keeps it out of serious consideration for backpacking trips.
In the end, I loved this mattress and would recommend it to anyone ready for their next step on the camping journey, especially if that includes winter camping or shorter overnight trips in the wild.
Thanks for reading our self-inflating mattress review!
Stay warm, stay comfortable, and sleep tight!