NEMO Redefines the Closed-Cell Foam Camping Pad

Switchback™ marks the first innovation in closed-cell foam pads in decades, offering a thicker, more comfortable sleeping experience at a smaller packed size.


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NEMO’s Switchback redefines the closed-cell foam sleeping pad.

DOVER, N.H.--()--NEMO Equipment, the innovative outdoor gear manufacturer and designer of the award-winning portable swinging and reclining camp chair, the Stargaze™ Recliner, has now redefined the classic closed-cell foam sleeping pad, delivering a more comfortable and thicker pad that packs down smaller than traditional closed-cell foam camping pads. Closed-cell foam pads have been around for decades — they’re easy to use, low cost, and provide warmth for year-round use. Loved by both novice, budget-minded campers and experienced four-season adventurers, the closed-cell foam pad has not seen an innovation in decades…until now.

“It’s not easy to improve on a classic design that has stayed relatively unchanged for decades,” shares NEMO Founder, CEO, and chief innovator Cam Brensinger regarding the decision to take on the design challenge. “We have a guiding principle for our products that we won’t bring anything to market that doesn’t offer a better experience than what is already available.”

That’s why it took years for NEMO to take on the challenge of the durable and reliable closed-cell foam pad. To achieve an even better pad, the team focused on designing the most efficient pattern for packing, engineering a hexagonal pattern of nodes, in contrast to the traditional grid. This honeycomb-like pattern increases comfort and support while packing down smaller. Precise computer-aided design of the product and the manufacturing tooling allowed NEMO to optimize pad thickness while reducing packed size. The result is a patent-pending design that simultaneously offers a thicker, plusher sleeping experience and a smaller packed size.

Landing on the proprietary formula for the dual-density foam was yet another design challenge. “As we were working to optimize the Axiotomic™ foam, we had to spend a good amount of time just laying on pads,” said Patrick McCluskey, Director of Engineering at NEMO. “The experience you have of comfort in the first five minutes can be very different than after a few hours. A combination of field and lab testing ensured we were designing the best closed-cell foam pad on the market.”

The closed-cell foam pad has long played an important role in overnight gear. For decades, it’s been a reasonably priced, warm, durable, reliable and easy-to-use solution for everyone from budget campers to serious mountaineers. Now, thanks to NEMO’s clever work to evolve this classic design, it offers a greatly improved sleeping experience and reduced packed size.

Switchback™ Ultralight Sleeping Pad

  • Axiotomic™ dual-density foam designed for plush, reliable support.
  • Metalized thermal reflective film traps warmth.
  • Highly efficient hexagonal patterning allows for greater plushness.
  • Precision tooling creates a smaller packed size.
  • .9” thick
  • 72” x 20”
  • 20” x 5.5” x 5” packed size
  • Min. temp = 20F
  • 14.5 oz.

About NEMO

NEMO is a New Hampshire-based outdoor gear design company known for creating award-winning products that are built to last, comfortable and fun to use. Recently recognized by New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility as a small business leader for the environment, NEMO’s Founder and CEO, Cam Brensinger, was also named one of the outdoor industry’s Best & Brightest – 26 people setting the outdoor industry on fire by Outdoor Retailer Daily in 2017. The brand’s Helio™ LX Pressure Shower was awarded the International OutDoor Industry Award and the Stargaze™ Recliner won the GOOD DESIGN Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. NEMO’s reputation for design innovation across its product lines—tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, hammocks, and furniture—is an outgrowth of their design philosophy to never bring anything to market that doesn’t offer a meaningfully better experience. Their team of designers and engineers are motivated by a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainability.


Revolution House Media
Kate Ketschek

Release Summary

NEMO’s Switchback redefines the closed-cell foam camping pad, marks the first innovation in closed-cell foam pads in decades.


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Revolution House Media
Kate Ketschek