Very true, but there are various schemes to insulate the non-self-inflating ones. For the Thermarest models the R values are as follows:I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.The advantage to self-inflating pads isn't just ease of use but insulation. The foam inside is a very effective insulator and, if you camp in cold weather, this is a big plus. Plain, unfilled air matresses are very poor insulators.
- Neoair R2.5
- Prolite R2.2
- Prolite Plus R3.8
I am not sure how the Big Agnes Air Core insulated models compare, since they do not list R values.