I just received the REI Camp Bed self inflating pad. The description of the pad on-line said the R-Value was 7.6. The tag on the Camp Bed I received says the R-Value is 6.8. Which is correct? I was expecting a pad with a 7.6 R-Value as advertised.
@rlh thanks for reaching out to us about this inconsistency (and we're sorry for it). Just to verify - this is the product you ordered, correct? We have sent a note to our buyers to clarify if the 6.8 or 7.6 r-value is accurate and will reply again when we have that information.
I have been watching this thread, wondering about the significance in the real world of the difference between the two R values.
Then I ran across this article in the Co-op journal: https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/just-how-warm-is-that-sleeping-pad
The difference could be as simple as the adoption of a uniform testing standard, among a wide range of possibilities. I note that R values above 5 or so are considered adequate for extreme conditions. These days i usually hang out in pretty moderate conditions, so I don't have to bother my pretty little head about these matters.....
I too wondered if that was the source of the confusion. The new standard has led to various pads being re-rated. The gold standard Thermarest X-Lite used to be rated 3.2 and now rates 4.2. There is a new model but the only change is the new wing valve. The z-lite used to rated at 2 and is now 2.6 and there is no product change at all.
In this case it is hard to say if its the web site of the labeling that is wrong so I figured it is up to REI to get their story straight. Personally I doubt anyone can tell the difference between 6.8 and 7.6 and given anything above 5 is considered good for winter use you are going to have to be camping somewhere very cold for it to matter...but that is no excuse for having the published number be wrong or inconsistent.
@rlh Thanks for your patience as we tracked down the answer to this question!
We reached out to our product team and @hikermor and @OldGuyot were correct: the difference in the two is due to the adoption of the new American Standard for Testing Materials (ASTM) standards for sleeping pads earlier this year. We apologize for the confusion on the labeling of the product tag, which was printed before the sleeping pad was tested with the new standard.
7.6 is the correct R-value for the REI Camp Bed self inflating pad and was calculated using the new ASTM methodology. Thank you for reaching out to us with this question!
Hope this helps!
@REI-JohnJ Thanks to you for tracking down the explaination of the differences between the lable R value and the advertised R value. It makes sense in the context of the change in rating standards.
Thanks too to those that offered advice. I agree that the difference between an R 6.8 and an R 7.6 probably can't be decerned when it's very cold out, but knowing you'll be sleeping on a product that has a higher R value somehow lets one think they'll be warmer. I spent several nights last fall where the temps dipped to 5 to 10 below and will likely be in the same conditions this coming fall so the R 7.6 was an attractive decision point but not the only one. I've been an REI member for quite a while and enjoy the quality of products and the service provided.
Thanks again for the clarification.