21 forum posts
Hello! I am in need of some guidance when it comes to sleeping mats.
I've done a limited amount of camping in the past, but am still very new and very green when it comes to backpacking. I'm a stomach sleeper, and am built like a Hobbit (short and broad), and I don't think the standard width 20" pad is going to work for me. But the large commercial manufacturers of sleeping pads don't make a short (or even regular length) version of their 25" pads; they're all 77" in length, which is massive overkill for me. And a pad that's 25" wide and 77" long can be a tight fit in some smaller tents. So I was thinking of ordering a custom pad from Kooka Bay - and was thinking of going with a 3.5" thick down one, because down is so light and compressible and my aging bones appreciate cushiness. I know the pad would be pricy, but I figure it's a long-term investment.
However, I suspect that in the future I'll be sleeping out in a very wide range of temperatures: the desert southwest in winter, the Rocky Mountains in fall, and the Great Plains in summer. Does sleeping on a thick pad with a very high R value pose any problems in warm weather? Would encasing the pad in a sleeping bag vapor barrier liner offer it any effective protection from my body moisture? Would I be better off going with a thinner down pad or a one with a synthetic fill instead? (I should mention that I'm planning to use a quilt rather than a conventional sleeping bag, as I find sleeping bags too confining. So there won't me much of anything between me and the sleeping mat, unless I fit the mat with a cover of some sort.)
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!