I was lucky enough to test out the Evernew sleeping pad in pre-production by taking it for a 486-mile thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. How does it compare to other sleeping pads on the market?
It didn’t seem like closed cell foam pads were an area for innovation, but Evernew is trailblazing with its new sleeping pad. The Japan-based company renowned for ultralight gear—lived up to its reputation by making a 5 foot 8 inch long full-length pad that weighs in at 4.8 oz on my scale. On thru-hikes, I usually bring just a closed cell torso pad (typically the 4.5 oz Gossamer Gear Nightlight or half of the 14 oz Z-lite), but since the weight penalty of the Evernew full pad was fairly minimal, I brought the whole thing.
The Evernew pad was quite stable at night, useful for my many nighttime rolls. It remained stable when used with a floored shelter and also in and outside of the Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight bivy. It was comfortable for sleeping on my side and stomach. The Evernew pad is 20 inches wide compared to the Nightlight’s 19 inches and the Z-lite’s 20 inches; I’m relatively small with my widest area at 16 inches, but Evernew may consider creating a wider version for bigger Americans.
Given that my hike was in September, often at elevations over 12,000 feet, the Evernew pad provided surprisingly good insulation. Since the pad was so long, at below freezing temperatures, I folded the pad for double coverage around my torso, and was able to sleep warmly in my 20 degree sleeping bag. When the Colorado Trail took me to lower elevations and temperatures, it felt more like normal summer hiking conditions. At the lower elevations, the sleeping pad was definitely warm enough. Since I wasn’t given specs on the pad, I still remain curious about the pad’s r-factor.
I also used the Evernew pad as the frame in my ultralight pack (Mountain Laurel Design’s Prophet). I prefer folding a pad in the part of the pack against my back vs. the barrel/burrito/coiled roll method (Backpacking Light writes a nice review of the debate between the two techniques). Although the Evernew pad does not come with pre-cut ridges like the Z-lite, perhaps because of its thinness, it folded easily into the back of my pack. I’m not used to using a full pad as my frame, so the inside of my pack felt a bit cramped with all my gear and the full sleeping pad inside. Although flimsier than the Gossamer Gear Nightlite or Z-lite, the Evernew pad folded over many times was sturdy enough to carry a grueling 7 day resupply of food—way more than I usually carry.
My only concern with the Evernew pad is its durability. When I transported the Evernew pad is a duffel bag from the Outdoor Retailer show to my next hike, the pad became slightly indented. However, ultralight hikers should be familiar with caring for delicate gear to avoid damage. Like most closed cell foam pads, after some 500 miles of use, the Evernew pad was not as thick as when I started—but it still measures ½ inch thick after the hike compared to a new Nightlight pad’s 3/8 inch thickness.
The bottom line: If you want an even lighter closed cell foam torso pad, this is your ticket to cutting off an extra ounce. For backpackers who seek the weight advantages of a closed cell foam torso pad, but also envy the comfort of a full length pad, Evernew has made a revolutionary piece of gear.