Opinions please, width of sleeping bag pad....

6:47 a.m. on April 27, 2008 (EDT)
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I need to buy a sleeping bag pad. Just wondering what you all out there prefer for size. Is 20 inch to narrow, I will be using a mummy bag? What minimum width would you use? Does anyone tend to roll off them? And I see there's 3/8 thick as well as 1/2 inch. Does that extra 1/8 inch help on a hard packed dirt type floor?

I just don't want to buy 3 before I find out what's suitable.

Just wanting some thoughts from you all. Thanks for your time.

7:24 a.m. on April 27, 2008 (EDT)
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I use 25" wide pads and use a 1/4" foam pad under my T-rests, BA-IAC or Exped 9DL. I have a 48" chest and shoulders/neck like a linebacker and have found 20" pads allow me to roll off and "hit the dirt". I am also a side/restless sleeper and need more padding at 61 than I used to....ground gets harder, mountains steeper and air thinner as the years go by.........

8:30 p.m. on April 27, 2008 (EDT)
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Well I tried 20 inch in my living room, and found it seemed too narrow. You use only 1/4 inch pad? The minimum I saw was 3/8 inch. Do you find yours very hard when sleeping on a hard surface?

9:14 p.m. on April 27, 2008 (EDT)
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Note that the foam pad is UNDER one of my various inflatable pads, that is what makes the difference. I will use more sometimes, but, I try to keep pack weight down as I am a geezer.

11:21 p.m. on April 27, 2008 (EDT)
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I use a 20 incher ; am a side sleeper; and am 100% fine with it.. However, I'm 5'9" at 175 lbs . If you're a bigger guy, it could be an issue.

12:55 a.m. on April 28, 2008 (EDT)
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Many people use a full-length, thinner closed-cell foam pad underneath a 3/4 length self-inflatable for winter use, and one or the other inbetween. 20" is generally enough for a back/side sleeper who doesn't shop in the big & tall section, and doesn't roll around a bunch. A company called
Nunatak makes a nice closed-cell pad that is light weight and easily packable, if not expensive. Otherwise, I have good luck at www.prolitegear.com. You just might have to try out a few though, and see which one works best for you. I currently use a full-length Z-rest and a 3/4 length EMS self-inflatable.

As far as slipping off of them, a good trick is to slather some seam-grip on at least the bottom side, or both sides, of the pad. This adds little weight, and in many situations--especially if your campsite is not level--will help prevent the dreaded middle-of-the-night sleeping pad shimmy...

8:45 a.m. on April 28, 2008 (EDT)
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You also may find that the seam sealer deteriorates over time and becomes sticky which is NOT fun when your bag "bonds" to your pad.....

My main winter bag now is a very costly custom XPDII from Integral Designs that I had them make me five years ago. I seamsealed the Endurance shell with the waterbased sealant and while it is dry, it sticks to Evafoam just enough to be a minor concern. As long as this goop does not re-liquefie as happened on some of my older Early Winters bivies, it is fine, but, given the cost of this bag, I am a bit worried.

I have since gone to a Valandre Shocking Blue winter bag to cut weight and it is sufficient for almost all of my winter needs and has a microfiber shell, which works well enough for the winter camping I now do.

10:04 a.m. on April 28, 2008 (EDT)
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Here's a trick I tried and it works well. Get a piece of area rug anti skid padding, the kind that looks like thin nylon fishnet with little sticky rubber dots all over it. Cut it to the the size of your pad and place it between the pad and bag. Instant no slip sleeping bag. If your pad slips on the tent floor too, add a second piece under your pad, or cut the first piece large enough to wrap underneath. Try it, your sleepless nights will become slipless ones.

The padding WILL eventually lose some of it's grip after it gets good and dirty, but then you just wash it, hang it to dry, and it's sticky as all-get-out again!

This trick also works to keep gear from sliding around in the back of your vehicle too. I know a lady who bakes wedding cakes and uses this stuff to keep them safe in the back of her PT Cruiser on the way to reception halls. I guess the ratchet strap idea I gave her didn't work!!!

7:23 p.m. on April 28, 2008 (EDT)
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I can’t help much with the width of your sleep pad, as you are the only one who knows what will work for you.

I like F Klock’s the idea of the anti skid padding, works for a lot of other items so why not?

I have noticed that some of the newer sleeping bags come with tie-down loops. I was thinking that you could punch a few holes into the foam pad (NOT the AIR-MATRESS), put in some brass grommets, like used on tarps and things, and you could tie your sleeping bag to the foam matress, using some old shoelaces. No slip and probably about the weight of the no slip stuff.

And just think no ratchet strap to worry about. Good Luck.

9:31 p.m. on April 28, 2008 (EDT)
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Great idea on the rug anti-slip stuff, f klock! I bet that works like a charm, and no worrying about fusing your sleeping bag shell to your pad (which I've never had a problem with, but I can imagine would be a HUGE problem).

8:58 a.m. on April 29, 2008 (EDT)
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I have some of that netting and at least one company used to sell straps of it to put across your pad for this problem. I find that the latest Thermarests are not too slippery and neither is my Exped 9Dlx., however, my BA-IAC is a real sob in this regard and so I seldom use it for that reason.

It's only the eva pads that the seam sealant sticks to and not too badly, but,one wants to watch this as custom/highend down bags cost a few bux and I do not want such problems with mine.

2:00 p.m. on May 8, 2008 (EDT)
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I find the 25" wide 2" ThermaRest CampRest pad to be all the pad I'll ever need, even when we hunt deer every fall in the Sierras at 8000ft. altitude with 25-degree lows. For minimalism I like my 20" GuideLite pad, but that's warm-weather motorcycle camping.

1:42 p.m. on May 10, 2008 (EDT)
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20" is fine for a pad (except in a hammock!). If it slips around too much, just put it right inside your sleeping bag.

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