Leaking Sleeping Pad - REI Lite-Core 1.5

12:47 a.m. on June 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I recently bought an REI Lite-Core 1.5 used for 10 bucks because it supposedly had a hole. I figured I could find the hole and patch it (as it even included a patch kit). I submerged the pad in my bathtub to look for bubbles, but much to my dismay there are tiny bubbles escaping in many places, too many to fix.

Any ideas for what I can do? The pad only holds air for a few minutes right now. Is there any way to fix this?


11:24 a.m. on June 16, 2008 (EDT)
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If it has "too many to fix", then you will just have to write off the 10 bucks and buy one which doesn't leak. As I mentioned in the Classified forum, I have way too many Thermarests and am willing to part with one or more or my 3 3/4 length light pads cheap (you pay shipping plus cost of packing (if I can't find a box), plus a small amount (make an offer). They are in good shape (that is, they all hold air through the night).

One thing about any inflatable - you need to let them expand on their own first, then add a minimal amount of air by blowing into them. Two reasons - first your hot breath will cool and contract during the night, making it seem as if the pad leaks. If you are in a single location for several days, you just add a bit of air, and usually by the 2nd or 3rd night, it stays firm through the night (in other words, it's not leaking, it's just cooling so the air contracts - this is not your problem, it would appear, since you see the leaks in the bathtub). Second - when you blow into the pad, your breath has moisture and things that will grow and deteriorate the foam over time. This shortens the life of the pad.

If you had bought the pad new from REI, they would replace it. But second hand loses the REI guarantee.

8:04 p.m. on June 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I know I'm a little behind the times, but I use a ridgerest and it has never failed to do what it does. Is the thermarest just more comfortable, or is it also more insulating?

9:21 p.m. on June 16, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks Bill S. I don't think I'm interested in a new pad now, but we'll see.

Trouthunter: To answer your question...

"The warmth of a sleeping pad is indicated by its R-value. R-value measures a material's resistance (R) to heat loss. Higher numbers indicate greater warmth." (http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302881827&CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673221167)

REI.com has R-Values for their sleeping pads. The regular ridgerest is supposedly 2.6. (cost=$25)
There are lots of inflatable ones, but looking at the "Therm-a-rest Trail Pro" the R-Value is 3.8 (but $80).

Hope that helps.

11:01 p.m. on June 16, 2008 (EDT)
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trouthunter -
"Behind the times" isn't quite the right term. Thermarest has had their inflatables out for at least 30-35 years. The Ridgerest (which is also a Thermarest product, along with the Z-rest) was introduced much later (late 70s or early 80s?). Closed cell foam, though, was around in the 50s (which is what the Ridgerest and Z-rest are, except they are waffled). The brand name was Ensolite. People also used to use open cell foam (which acts like a sponge), sometimes in a waterproof sleeve to counteract the sponge-like characteristics. And air mattresses have been around for 75 or 80 years at least. Of course, air mattresses have those large tubes that allow lots of convection, so they are really cold when camping on snow or glaciers. And they were (and still are) very susceptible to leaks.

So, I don't know that "behind the times" is really applicable - too many choices that have been out there for many years, with lots of variations (including down-filled air mattresses, which can be very warm).

j123jam is right that the warmth of the pad is measured by the R-value (same as for any insulation - it means "heat resistance"). Comfort is measured by, well, how comfortable do you personally feel (ever see the Sleep-Nnumber mattress ads on TV?) Some people can sleep on rock, some people need a soft foam pad several inches thick. Some of the inflatables out there are softer, but lower R-value than some of the thinner, harder pads. You have to try them out for yourself and see what works for you.

6:38 p.m. on June 17, 2008 (EDT)
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I acquired 3 ridgerests from friends who were "stepping up" to inflatables about 15 years ago. I guess that's why I thought I was behind the times.
They work just fine for me and I like to keep extra gear on hand to loan new guys. Bear in mind that the places I go to usually don't get below zero, and that would be with chill factor.
I try to stay low tech, and the ridgerest fits the bill, just wondered if I was missing something.

Thanks j123jam and Bill S

May 26, 2018
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