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REI Co-op Helix Insulated Sleeping Pad

REI Co-op



We take an in-depth look at the REI Helix Sleep Pad, an excellent and budget-friendly option for campers seeking comfort. We explore its features, comfort, and durability, and put it to the sleep test. We compare it with the Nemo Tensor. The REI Helix could be the perfect choice for your outdoor adventures.

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REI Co-op Helix Insulated Sleeping Pad

Technical Specs:


72 x 24 x 3 inches


1 lb 10 oz


30D Ripstop Polyester

Additional Features:

  • Dual Valves 

  • R-Value 4.9

  • Pump Sack

  • Baffle Design


✅  Synthetic

✅  High R-Value

✅  Field Repair Kit

✅  Baffle Design


⚠️  Mummy Style Only

REI Co-op Helix Insulated Sleeping Pad
REI Co-op Helix Insulated Sleeping Pad
REI Co-op Helix Insulated Sleeping Pad

Our Review:

We take a closer look at the REI Helix sleeping pad, a gear essential for any outdoor adventurer. The Helix boasts insulation with an impressive R value of 4.9, making it a competitive choice in the market. Let's delve into its features, performance, and how it compares to another popular option, the Nemo Tensor.


The REI Helix measures 72 by 24 inches, providing a comfortable sleeping area. Despite weighing a pound and 10 ounces, it remains a cost-effective alternative to its counterparts. Noteworthy is its unique 24-inch width, ideal for tents with a tapering design.

Inflation Mechanism

One distinctive feature of the Helix is its separate valves for inflation and deflation. This is a practical design choice, especially when compared to some other models where these functions are combined. The deflate valve includes a Velcro mechanism, ensuring a secure closure.

Easy Setup

The inflation process is made simple with the included pump sack. The color-coded ending on the sack prevents any confusion, streamlining the setup process. Additionally, the wide opening minimizes the need to blow air manually, reducing the risk of introducing moisture into the pad.

Design & Construction

The Helix's design includes a slight taper towards the bottom, making it suitable for tents with a similar shape. The quilted pattern and offset divot points contribute to a comfortable sleeping experience, preventing cold spots.

Comparison with Nemo Tensor

To provide a comprehensive review, we compare the REI Helix with the Nemo Tensor. The Helix showcases a smoother and sturdier material, feeling more robust than the Tensor. The tapering design of the Helix is also noticeable when placed side by side with the Nemo Tensor.

Performance & Comfort

The experience with the Helix in lower 50-degree temperatures, despite using a 35-degree sleeping bag, the Helix performed admirably, providing a comfortable night's sleep. The padding proved effective for both back and side sleepers.

Key Features

  1. Separate Valves: The Helix's separate deflate and inflate valves offer convenience during setup and takedown.

  2. Pump Sack: The color-coded pump sack simplifies the inflation process, minimizing the risk of introducing moisture.

  3. Comfort: Rated highly for comfort, scoring a 10 out of 10 for back sleepers and a 7 or 8 for side sleepers.

  4. Size and Shape: The 24-inch width provides ample space, and the tapering design suits various tent shapes.

  5. Price: REI offers the Helix at a competitive price point, making it an attractive option compared to high-end sleeping pads.

Overal Thoughts

After several nights of use, the REI Helix sleeping pad earns praise for its thoughtful design, comfort, and affordability. Whether you're a seasoned backpacker or a casual camper, the Helix proves to be a reliable companion for a restful night under the stars.

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