The Paria Recharge UL Sleeping Pad is an inflatable insulated sleeping pad suitable for backpacking and camping. Weighing 20 ounces, it’s on the heavy side compared to popular three-season sleeping pads, but it is inexpensive, making it a good option for cost-minded backpackers.
Specs at a Glance
- Weight: 20 oz (actual 19 oz, weighed)
- Insulated: Laminated 90g/m2 synthetic microfiber
- R-Value: Untested (estimated at 3.5)
- Dimensions: 72 x 20″ (wide at the head end) and 14″ (wide at the foot end)
- Thickness: 2.5″ (3″ by my measurement)
- Number of breaths to inflate: 24
- Cover: 40 Denier TPU diamond rip-stop nylon
The ReCharge UL Sleeping Pad has a flat valve, like those found on Klymit, Exped, and Sea-to-Summit Sleeping Pads. These are more reliable than most stick valves because they’re flush with the surface of the pad and have no moving parts.
Inflation by mouth is more cumbersome though because you have to press your mouth flat over the valve. It has an inner flap, however, which prevents air from escaping when you remove your mouth to take another breath. Blowing up the pad by mouth takes 24 SectionHiker breaths. Paria sells a pump bag separately ($15) which can double as a dry sack and is worth consideration.
Deflation is a little trickier than you’d expect though. Most flat valve caps have an extra-long tab that you can use to prop open the inner flap during deflation so air can escape when you roll the pad up. However, the tab on the cap isn’t quite long enough to stay securely in the opening and prop the inner flap open. I discovered a more reliable workaround, however. If you reach under the pad behind the valve, you can push the inner flap up inside the valve so that it remains open during the entire deflation process.
When fully inflated the ReCharge UL is quite a firm pad to sleep on, much like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite or XTherm which share the same horizontal baffles. It is a quiet pad however, that doesn’t make any crinkly sounds when you move around at night, because it is not insulated with reflective material. If you prefer a softer mattress, the air-sprung cells in the Big Agnes AXL Insulated Air Sleeping Pad and Sea-to-Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad are far more comfortable.
The ReCharge UL pad has a mummy shape and is 20″ wide at the head end, tapering gradually to 14″ wide at the foot end. It is spec-ed at 2.5″ (I measure 3″), but your knee will hit the hard ground when you kneel on the pad, even if the pad is fully inflated. The surface of the pad is a lightly textured and durable 40 Denier TPU diamond rip-stop nylon which is not slippery, so you won’t slide off the pad at night.
The pad is pre-scored lengthwise to make it easy to fold into thirds, lengthwise, and rolls up to the size of a 1L Nalgene bottle for each store. A stuff sack is included.
The Paria ReCharge UL Sleeping Pad is an inflatable insulated sleeping pad that’s comparable to much more expensive sleeping pads, but available at about half of the price ($70). It’s a perfectly good sleeping pad to use, but is probably better for camping rather than backpacking since it weighs close to a half-pound more than comparable, but more expensive sleeping pads like the market-leading Thermarest NeoAir XLite.
If gear weight and cost are important to you, I’d encourage you to take a close look at two other insulated sleeping pads, the MassDrop Klymit Ultralight V Sleeping Pad which retails for about $60, has an R-value of 4.4, and weighs 17.7 oz or the REI Flash 3-Season Sleeping Pad which retails for $100, has an R-value of 3.2, and weighs 16 oz. Both of these pads have dual flat valves, which makes the deflation process much smoother. They also have air-sprung cells which I find more comfortable to sleep on than horizontal baffles.
While not reviewed here, the ReCharge UL is also available in a short (48″ x 22″) and double width size (76″ x 48″), with higher R-Values and the same reduced pricing model. The value of those models is actually more interesting and worthy of consideration if you’re shopping for a lower cost, non-standard size insulated sleeping pad.
Disclosure: The author received a sleeping pad from Paria Outdoors for this review.
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