Sleeping Pads

9:00 p.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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I am in the market for a new sleeping pad, am looking for something light weight, I have considered the follow pads:

Therm-a-Rest prolite 16oz

Therm-a-Rest z-lite 14oz

Therm-a-Rest Neo Air 14oz

Big Agnes Insulated Mummy Air Core 21oz

I currentyl have a 3/4 ridgerest that weighs 9oz, I am tired of my feet hanging off the edge it is particularly uncomfortable having no pad under your feet for winter camping.

As far as I'm concerned the z-lite if light and full proof as you don't risk getting a hole in it. My intended use for the pad is year round camping/ mountaineering, I am doing Mt. Rainier this summer.

My initial instinct was to spring for the $150 Neo Air, it being both lite a nd super comfortable, what is keeping me from buying it is that it takes a lot of effort to inflate, would like to know if anyone has purchased one of those, or the Big Agnes Air Core, and how did they like it and what did they think about having to blow the whole thing up.

With the new prolite matress weighing just 1lb I figured that would be a good compramise, in comfort price, and practicality. I have always used my ridge rest for coldweather camping and it has been fine other than it being 3/4 legnth, so I think the regular prolite, neo air, or z-lite would be warm enough for cold weather camping. The one other single issue with going with the neo air is that the $40 z-lite weighs just as much and it much cheaper, only the neo air is 10x more comfortable.

9:48 p.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

Most winter campers do in fact use 3/4 length pads, but either/both with a full length closed cell foam pad under the inflatable and/or putting your extra clothes inside the sleeping bag to provide insulation under your legs. In my high altitude and Arctic/Antarctic expeditions, (including camping on glaciers), I use the combination. It works well as low as I have slept (measured in the -40 range). This is much much much cheaper and lighter than getting one of the full length inflatables that has sufficient insulating capability for snow or glacier camping (you have to carry the extra clothes anyway, plus it keeps them warm for dressing in the morning, and the closed cell pads are much lighter than an inflatable - typically about 8 ounces - and cheaper if you get the "blue foam" at about $5-$10 from one of the big box stores like WalMart, KMart, Target - the generic blue foam insulates just as well as the brand name ZRest et al).

12:17 a.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

I have an insulated Big Agnes and love it. I sleep on my side and it's thick enough that I never have to worry about sore hip bones. It's not bad to inflate, I've seen others post how many breaths it took but I never counted. The only time it has bothered me is at high altitude and thats usually because one of the first things I do is set up camp. It's much easier if you wait a while before inflating. Deflating is easy, I just open the valve when I first wake up and the weight of my bag will flatten it out while I start with other morning chores.

Gary C.

9:57 a.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

I've used the z-rest a lot and it packs small, but is not very durable. You can expect maybe 40 nights out of it before it becomes flat as a pancake. I would also think snow would get stuck in the in the groves.

Personally i use a 3/4 blue pad and a full ridgerest for winter camping. I'm also thinking about upgrading to a self-inflater...

12:17 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

Over in the "That's all you got?" thread, mention is made of using a pack as a partial sleeping pad. Actually, that is another option to supplement the 3/4 length inflatable. I have used this a number of times, including on glacier camps. The cook gear and a lot of the other stuff is out of the pack anyway, and if you carry just what you will need, the pack is pretty much empty. Your feet and legs don't need the soft, cushy padding, just the thermal separation from the ice and snow.

1:45 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

A guy that worked at the local gear store advised against the z-rest when I asked about it. He said he had tried it for a weeklong trek and found it to be very uncomfortable.

For the people using the insulated big agnes, how do you deal with the moisture in your breath? Don't those have down inside them?

3:02 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

For the people using the insulated big agnes, how do you deal with the moisture in your breath? Don't those have down inside them?

I have used mine about a dozen times with no issues yet. It is suppose to have ani-fungal/bacteria or whatever stuff in it. I don't know if that really makes a difference. Also, like mfg recomends I do not store it rolled up. I hang it with the valve onpen.

Gary C.

5:11 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

I didn't mean the bacteria issue, but the warmth-losing issue. Doesn't blowing wet air into it defeat the purpose of the down insulation?

5:22 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

I didn't mean the bacteria issue, but the warmth-losing issue. Doesn't blowing wet air into it defeat the purpose of the down insulation?

They don't use down but what they describe as " PrimaLoft eco: synthetic insulation made from 50% recycled materials". I don't know how much any moisture inside has effected warmth. The coldest I've slept on it was mid-teens and it insulated very well sleeping in a 20 degree down bag.

6:24 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

Good to know. I saw that they got excellent reviews here on TrailSpace, so I might have to check them out.

11:41 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

In my age I have become more "soft", and I demand more comfort during the night. I simply love my Exped Downmat! It is warm like no mat I have ever tried, and lets me sleep a whole night without waking up because of a stone under the tent or something similar. I twist and roll around during the night, and the Downmat feels just like heaven even on solid ice.

2:26 a.m. on April 21, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Speeling Pads

Sierra Trading Post has Downmats marked down and if receive there discount emails are a pretty good price.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/search/SearchResults.aspx?Ne=9900000&anyWords=&N=9400320+9915265&allWords=&exactPhrase=&allAnyWords=&searchWithin=

Last week I bought online a Big Agnes insulated pad for my better half from Mountain Plus Outdoor Gear. A 20X72 pad for $56 and no shipping charges. There is (or at least was) another 10% discount at check-out.

http://store.mpgear.com/bigagnesinsulatedaircoresleepingpad2008.aspx

11:11 p.m. on April 21, 2009 (EDT)
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This Pad Anygood?

More of a question than a recommendation:

Would this make a good sleep pad for a backpacker?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JF0VAU?ie=UTF8&redirect=true

It is an Everlast Exercise Roll Pad with built-in velcro straps. It's 6'x2', weights 2.2 lbs and rolls up to 25" x 7".

I have both a Thermarest Prolite 4 (Large)

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/therm-a-rest/prolite-4/

and this Everlast Roll Mat. Previously I had a Thermarest Ridgerest, but had some bad experiences with it - gave it away. I must confess having slept on both the Prolite 4 and the Everlast, I like the Everlast a lot more! It feels warmer and more closely mimics the feel of my Temperpedic bed at home. The Prolite 4 isn't a bad mattress, in fact it usually rated as a 5 star mattress. But I haven't been able to get a decent nights sleep on it since I got it (you can tell I'm a newbie to backpacking). I guess I just haven't gotten used to/don't like the feeling of sleeping on air. For an extra 7 oz and the willingness to lash a bulky pad to the outside of your pack you've got one comfortable mattress!

What do you think guys, is this is bad choice for the road? Comparisons:

Thermarest Prolite 4 - $100.00, 13.5" X 5.5" rolled, approx 1.8 lbs (or 28 oz with stuff sack)

Everlast Roll Pad - $25.00, 25" X 7" rolled, approx 2.2 lbs (or 35 oz)

I would be mainly using it in my tent - so getting it dirty isn't really an issue to me.

My main question is - Is this an unwise choice due to it's rolled size? And also, is 7 oz really that big a deal? As for R-value I have no idea... all I know is it's 3/8" "dense" foam and warm when I sleep on it at home.

9:37 a.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Is 7oz a big deal to you? While you're laying on your thermarest (unable to sleep), you can ponder important questions like these.

I'd carry the one that's more comfortable to sleep on, but then again I'm crazy.

6:40 p.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I have a Pacific Outdoor Thermo inflatable and I really like it. I got the mummy shaped to save a bit on weight. It folds small, takes nothing to inflate and is quite light. I have back problems and I find this an excellent pad for the weight and money, it was about 119.00 canadian with taxes.

8:57 p.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I have both the Big Agnes Insulated and the Pacific Outdoor Thermo.

I think the Big Agnes is a bit more comfy and packs smaller, but it is more delicate. The PO is a little bigger and heavier but it is tougher. The first Big Agnes I bought lasted one night in the backcountry(I was being careful with it too). I did get a free replacement with no hassle. The new BA worked all last season, so maybe I just had a lemon. They both are warm and do a good job of insulating you from the ground. I would recommend either one.

9:31 p.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm still using a Ridgerest, two if below freezing, or just for extra comfort. I also pile some leaves and such under my tent for a little more cushioning and insulation.

Maybe I'll get an inflatable one day. Nothing against them, I just like to wear out my gear before buying more and I have three Ridgerests I got from friends who traded up. Come to think of it, maybe that was a set-up.

12:51 a.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Love my Big Agnes. I absolutely could NOT backpack without it; I would be crippled. I sleep like the dead on it. Each one of my family has one.

The moisture issue is best dealt with by hanging the bag open as suggested. If it gets really cold, I have actually used a space blanket under me. worked great. It's a "luxury item" that keeps me moving all trip long.

6:05 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Hmm, after some thinking, oz's are a big deal to me, and I'd like to sleep well, so I think I will bite the bullet and go for the NeoAir. With inflatables I only wory out getting hoels in them.

12:29 p.m. on April 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I have purchased several sleeping pads. I bought the Neo Air because it is so small and light and I neet to keep the weight down in my daughter's pack, because she is only 6. The only things that bother me about it is the material it is made out of is kinda noisy. Also I don't really like the self inflate feature. I end up just blowing it up because it takes too long. Other than that it seem pretty confortable, but I don't think it is rated for very cold weather. I almost got the pro light for my son but ended up going with a pro light plus, because it is a little thicker, and the pro light almost seemed to thin. I like the material it is made out of better but again I get tired of waiting for it to self inflate and blow it up. I have an Exped syn 7 mat that you have to press on to inflat and it inflates pretty quick. I think it is as light if not lighter than the pro light plus and packs as small. It is rated for colder temps too. We also own a Exped down mat 7 and it is very similar to the syn verson. I am not shore what the weights are on them. I like the Exped ones better than the therm-a-rest ones though.

2:20 a.m. on April 26, 2009 (EDT)
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I have purchased several sleeping pads. I bought the Neo Air because it is so small and light and I neet to keep the weight down in my daughter's pack, because she is only 6. The only things that bother me about it is the material it is made out of is kinda noisy. Also I don't really like the self inflate feature. I end up just blowing it up because it takes too long. Other than that it seem pretty confortable, but I don't think it is rated for very cold weather. I almost got the pro light for my son but ended up going with a pro light plus, because it is a little thicker, and the pro light almost seemed to thin. I like the material it is made out of better but again I get tired of waiting for it to self inflate and blow it up. I have an Exped syn 7 mat that you have to press on to inflat and it inflates pretty quick. I think it is as light if not lighter than the pro light plus and packs as small. It is rated for colder temps too. We also own a Exped down mat 7 and it is very similar to the syn verson. I am not shore what the weights are on them. I like the Exped ones better than the therm-a-rest ones though.

Interesting - I'd love to see someone do comparisons between the Prolite 4, Prolite Plus and NeoAir. I know Prolite Plus has an R value of 3.8 (higher than fiberglass blanket insulation used on most American houses). The Prolite 4 has an R value of 3.2. It's a great mattress, but like I said earlier I'm not sure if I like sleeping on mostly air. Mabey the inflatables aren't for everyone? Or perhaps they just take some getting used to.

8:49 a.m. on April 26, 2009 (EDT)
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http://sectionhiker.com/2009/03/27/sleeping-pad-r-values/

I have always been a side sleeper and pads just won't let me sleep on the ground. My hips invariably hurt in the morning and I never got enough sleep. They work just as well to keep you warm in a hammock, however.

8:03 p.m. on April 27, 2009 (EDT)
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http://sectionhiker.com/2009/03/27/sleeping-pad-r-values/

Thank you so much!

12:07 a.m. on April 28, 2009 (EDT)
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http://sectionhiker.com/2009/03/27/sleeping-pad-r-values/

I have always been a side sleeper and pads just won't let me sleep on the ground. My hips invariably hurt in the morning and I never got enough sleep. They work just as well to keep you warm in a hammock, however.

Amen to that. Why can't I learn to sleep on my back like everyone else??

5:49 a.m. on April 28, 2009 (EDT)
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NotQuiteThere said:

http://sectionhiker.com/2009/03/27/sleeping-pad-r-values/

I have always been a side sleeper and pads just won't let me sleep on the ground. My hips invariably hurt in the morning and I never got enough sleep. They work just as well to keep you warm in a hammock, however.

Amen to that. Why can't I learn to sleep on my back like everyone else??

If you're a side sleeper, I've simply got to mention my new setup that allows me to comfortably sleep on my side. I bought this pillow [url=http://www.trailspace.com/gear/sierra-designs/sleep-e-z-pillow-down/]http://www.trailspace.com/gear/sierra-designs/sleep-e-z-pillow-down/ and then I bought another one! I put one inside the pillow case with the other and finally I have a compressible backpacking pillow that is capable of holding my head UP while lying on my side. Here is a review I posted (if interested):

http://www.backcountry.com/store/SDS0400/Sierra-Designs-Sleep-EZ-Pillow.html?CMP_ID=SH_FRO001&CMP_SKU=SDS0400&mv_pc=r126

I'm currently using with with a lightweight sleeping bag and a dense foam mattress. It's an amazingly comfortable setup. (And East_Stingray - I still haven't gotten used to the Thermarest Prolite 4 yet... always good to hear comments from you in these forums)

2:15 p.m. on April 28, 2009 (EDT)
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POE Ether Thermo 6. Especially if you're a side sleeper. You'll wonder why people even waste time on a self-inflating mat.

9:24 p.m. on April 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Walker, I wasn't even kidding about laying on your uncomfortable pad thinking about 7 oz. I have most of my gear epiphanies while uncomfortably doing one thing or another in the backcountry.

I mentioned it in another thread, but the last trip I took ended with what seemed like a never-ending uphill scramble on loose rock. Since I was climbing out of the valley, there wasn't any water access until I hit the top, and I quickly ran through the three liters I was carrying. I also started cussing (mentally and verbally) the heavier pieces of gear I was carrying (I believe I thought of it more as "crap" at the time). I was probably halfway out of my mind by the time I hit the top, between the lack of water and swarming ticks.

By the time I made it to the top I had decided that carrying a pump and backup tablets for water was dumb, so I ditched the pump for all my trips since then. I also ditched and/or cut weight on a bunch of other gear and added an extra water bladder for situations like that one.

10:00 p.m. on April 28, 2009 (EDT)
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IF you are forced to side sleep in a tent:

Before pitching the tent, take your trowel or whatever you have handy, and dig two shallow holes to fit your shoulders and hips.

Lay down and fine tune it, then pitch the tent on that spot. It works pretty good. You can easily dig out a lounger of sorts as well, which I do at times since I sleep only on my back. Learned that, and a lot of other stuff from a Marine buddy, like how to dig a cache under your tent for valuables while you are away.

Also how to fend off those flying ticks east stingray was talking about!

11:28 p.m. on April 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Re: Sleeping Pads (Neo-Air!)

I have a new Neo-Air regular. (Yeah, I know, redundant) and I really like the added comfort over my other two ThermaRest self-inflaters.

This is truly a revolutionary design and I plan to have even a better night's sleep than on my old, full length ThermaRest Lite. I've slept on it in 40 F weather in a WM Megalite bag and found it as warm as the Lite Thermarest (the one with the "lattice" cutouts in the foam).

Eric

11:06 a.m. on May 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I just got ordered a neoair online. In pics, they don't look much bigger than a nalgene, but pics of the stuff sacks look fairly large. I imagine the stuff sack is tuned to be the same size of the neoair rolled up, correct? I think the neoair is more prone to punctures than some of the previous thermarests, so would like to get at least the minimal protection that the stuff sack offers. Thanks for any advice.

8:44 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
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The stuff sack is the same size as the pad when is comes. It did take me a few tries to roll it small enough again to get it in it.

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