Sleeping pads bring a little comfort of home into our tents. However, inflating and deflating the pads can often be a tedious drawback.
Therm-a-Rest has introduced two new valve designs in its sleep pads intended to make both inflating and deflating easier and faster. Both designs are larger for greater airflow and have a bigger thread to make using them feel more like twisting a bottle cap.
The WingLock valve suits lower-volume pads that use a single port for airflow. For larger or higher-volume pads, the TwinLock system has a dedicated “in” and “out” valve for easy inflation and deflation.
Therm-a-Rest says the new valve’s larger, one-way opening allows users to fill pads three times faster than with its classic valve. You’ll find the WingLock and TwinLock valves on the brand’s entire line of sleeping pads.
Here’s a quick look at both valve systems.
Therm-a-Rest WingLock Valve
WingLock valves let you control airflow in either direction from the same valve. The outer wings control whether the inner valve is one-way for inflation or two-way for deflation. Color callouts make the process more intuitive.
With the one-way valve, you could blow in air, go grab a bite to eat, and return to find the pad just as inflated as when you left off. To deflate, twist the wings to allow air to escape from the main valve. The airflow is still one-way, so the pad won’t inflate if you pause while pushing air out — a common nuisance when packing up conventional pads.
Plus, Therm-a-Rest made the wings large enough to handle even with gloves on.
Therm-a-Rest TwinLock Valve
The TwinLock system consists of two separate valves, labeled “in” and “out,” respectively. These dedicated valves allow one-way airflow to fill the pad. You can partially open the dump valve to bleed some air or fully open it to quickly deflate the pad.
These are both larger than the original valves and have wider threading to make opening and closing them easier.
Best-Selling Sleeping Pads With Updated Valves
The award-winning NeoAir and MondoKing 3D sleeping pads showcase the new valves. The NeoAir design aims for lightweight warmth. In contrast, the MondoKing prioritizes warmth and comfort over weight.
This tapered pad is 2.5 inches thick and packs down to nearly the size of a Nalgene bottle. It has an R-value of 4.2, which Therm-a-Rest claims results from its proprietary tech to help retain heat. A size large pad (77 inches long) weighs one pound. And the NeoAir XLite comes with a pump sack and repair kit.
MondoKing 3D Sleeping Pad
TwinLock valves empty and fill the beefy MondoKing 3D sleeping pad, which uses a continuous layer of more than 4 inches of foam to produce its R-value of 7.0. The rectangular, four-season pad has stiff sidewalls to help it retain its shape and comes with a pump sack to spare your lungs.
The valves are positioned to stay within reach but away from the floor and your body. And the larger WingLock valve is 11 g heavier than the classic valve.
Therm-a-Rest made the new valves user-replaceable. However, the larger size of the new valves means they aren’t backward-compatible with older sleep pads. But the brand said it prides itself on making gear that can be repaired before it’s replaced. So if a dog chews up a valve (not an uncommon scenario), it can be swapped out without replacing the entire pad.
And even though they’re replaceable, Therm-a-Rest built the valves to withstand repeated use and abuse. Check out some of the brand’s durability tests in this overview video.
This article is sponsored by Therm-a-Rest. Learn more about which sleeping pads use these new valves here.