15 December 2014

Klymit Insulated Static V RECON Pad & Pillow

I've had the opportunity to use the Klymit V Recon Pad and pillow for a while and wanted to layout my impressions and thoughts on the set after a fair amount of use.

I made my original thoughts on the Kymit Static V pad known some time ago, I was and continue to be very pleased with that pad for Spring through Fall use. At the time of its debut it was a decent option for non winter use, since that time lighter pads have hit the market but I still use the original Static V, three years into it and it still works just fine.

The Klymit Insulated Static V Recon pad filled my void for a winter option, with an R value of 4.4 and a 24oz weight, it is in the upper 3rd ratings of most insulated air pads. The current top pad from most points of view is the Therm A Rest NeoAir Xtherm, a 5.7 R value and 15oz in weight. A considerable weight savings and an increased R value but that comes at roughly double the cost.

One of the things that drew me to the Recon was the durability and reliability I had experienced with the original Static V. I've used that pad on numerous surfaces, over root and rock and had no problems doing so. I expected the same rugged nature from the Recon and thus far I have not been disappointed.

The Recon is 72" x 23" x 2.5" / 183 cm x 58.4 cm x 6.5 cm, the Xtherm by the way is, 72" x 20" / 51 x 183 x 6.5cm which is 3" narrower than the Recon. The Recon is 75d all around while the Xtherm is 70d on the bottom and the top is 30d which is how it gets much of its weight savings.

The v-chamber design in the Static series limits air movement and heat loss while offering a uniquely ergonomic body map which is optimized for performance and comfort. Because of those channels and the way they form out I've put my heels into them, this provided a 'ledge' for a lack of a better term that helps keep my feet from sliding down. Sounds like a small thing but before sack out time I do some reading. I'll pull my knees up and hook my heels into those ledges without them sliding back down like they would on a normal pad surface. While this is a small thing it certainly added to my overall comfort and satisfaction with the pad.

Recently I spent three nights in sub 20 degree weather, closer to single digits in the lows using this pad in conjunction with a Kifrau 0* Slick Bag. I'd placed the Recon on a Therm A Rest SOLite closed cell pad which in turn was on a casualty blanket. This set up was a little too warm and I ended up stripping out of my base layers in the middle of the night as a result. I believe I could ditch the Therm A Rest SOLite and still have maintained an extremely comfortable nights sleep in spite of those temperatures. The SOLite is rated with an R value of 2.8 and since the R values stack this put the overall value of this system at 7.2 for the Recon & SOLite pads. More than enough for the temps I was seeing.

Sleeping on the pad was comfortable and I found I didn't slide off the Recon like I have experienced with pad that do not use the v-chamber design. When not using a bivy sack or an incorporated sleeve in a sleeping bag for a pad I've slipped off the pad more often than not. I did not have this challenge with the Recon or any of the Static V pads.

The X Pillow Recon is made of 75d, weighs 2.2 ounces and is approximately 15" x 11" x 4" / 38.1 cm x 27.9 cm x 10.2 cm.

The pillow is interesting but I don't think unique. I seem to recall some other pillows that either had a similar design feature for 'centering the head' on the pillow. I'm a side/stomach sleeper but since I started using this pillow I've found it comfortable to sleep flat on my back. That has not been the case for as long as I've been sleeping on the ground. I did find that the pillow is somewhat adjustable in that I had a softer version if I didn't completely inflate it, and firmer if I did. At just more than half inflation I found I had a comfortable sleep on my stomach by pulling the pillow up in my arms thus giving me more support and comfort. When sleeping on my back I preferred full inflation.

Another use for the pillow was as a seat. I used it several times while out hiking or hunting away from camp for a seat to keep my backside dry. The 75d material seems plenty durable and I had no negative effects from using it like this, both on ground, logs, and treestand seats. At only 2.2 ounces it certainly has no noticeable weight value and it packs up super small, small enough to be carried in my chest pack for example.

Overall I am pleased with both items, durability rating is high, comfort is high, R value on the pad is high for the price bracket it is in. If you have the coin for the NeoAir Xtherm you can't go wrong with it, if however your price range is sub $90 then maybe the Recon is a good option for you.

Both Recon items are available from Heavy Cover, a USMC combat veteran-owned business committed to be the foremost developer and provider of unique and innovative products designed to preserve and improve the Military, Survival ,Bushcraft, Preparedness  and Outdoor lifestyle. I've found that company to be stellar to deal with, prompt communication, shipping, and value conscious, can't go wrong with them.


  1. Love this post I'm glad that people like you blog it is a way for me to see what gear works for people that cant get out into the woods. I myself do not get to outdoors very often but the advice from people like yourself that get to really test there gear help people like me make a lot better choices in gear.. thank you for all your time.

  2. Thank you for the detailed description. This has helped in choosing a pads for my family's bags.