As a lifelong hiker, camper, river runner, outdoors woman, the goal has always been to find a sleep solution that strikes a balance between comfortable enough to get some good sleep and easy to pack for ultra light trips. My new Big Agnes 48" sleeping pad saw it's maiden voyage on this years 29th Annual River Run (2009) in Florida on the 3 day canoe trip. Many of you know that having gear that is multifunctional is a beautiful thing. This pad stayed in my small waterproof "emergency" bag just in case I found myself with no canoe and just my floating emergency sack (sh_t happens). I could easily be towed along behind a fellow river runner on top of my Big Agnes inflated sleeping pad. Fortunately, it didn't come to that, although Big Shoals was kicking as a strong class II whitewater thanks to the torrential rains before Memorial Weekend. So here's my advice on this mattress, do NOT over inflate. Inflate it until it seems fairly full then lie down (...on the mattress :-). The beauty of the nozzle is that you can gentle dial the valve open and closed while lying on the mattress until you feel yourself sink just to that sweet spot where you are not on the ground but you're getting into the mattress a bit. The comfort zone will vary for each person but the adjustment is so easy to do without losing all your air and fumbling to get the air closed off quick when you find that spot. I love it! As for the noise, I slipped mine into a lightweight fleece sleeping bag the second night and it really quieted down. Slept good. I'm 5'3" so the mattress came to my just below my knees when lying on my back. When I laid on my side with my knees comfortably (slightly) bent, I was totally on the mattress. I don't mind my feet hanging off the end when I'm on my back, it was actually quite comfortable. The trade off of going ultra light is well worth it for those who aren't camping with the luxury of your vehicle nearby and who understand that this isn't a pillow top mattress. OVERALL - I would buy another one if anything ever happens to this one. I'm impressed with the quality and versatility. Very happy with this purchase.