Big Agnes synth fill pads?

6:26 a.m. on November 16, 2010 (EST)
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Not too many reviews on these here on Trailspace. The combination of weight, thickness (comfort), R value and price seems to be pretty good, but a few (of many) reviewers on REI complained about them being noisy and/or slippery. Any thoughts/experience on these?

3:16 a.m. on November 17, 2010 (EST)
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I purchased a BA Sand Mountain pad from REI Outlet for my son. He has used it on two weekend campouts with the Boy Scouts.

The shell material is nylon and is slicker than the shell of my Exped Downmat but it is not as slippery as a cheap vinyl inflatable. He has not complained about sliding off of it nor of it being noisy, but at 12 yrs old, I'm not sure he would know to complain about it or just ignore it. He sleeps like a rock usually. His only comments have been how it is so much more comfortable than the Thermarest he was using.

It rolls up into a small size; about as big as a quart nalgene bottle. It takes up less space in his pack than the Thermarest and is lighter weight. With only one valve, it can be a little difficult to get all of the air out of it and it does not self inflate, so you have to blow it up by mouth.

He is very happy with it and won't trade it for his old Thermarest. I feel like it was a good value for the price.

5:18 a.m. on November 17, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks. It looks like the Exped synthetic fill pads are competitively priced and probably better quality (two valves!) but I'm having trouble finding the long ones (I am 6'4"). I may settle for a 72 incher to save a good 8 ounces in weight.

9:16 a.m. on November 17, 2010 (EST)
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I have one of the BA Synth filled mats and like it quite a bit. It is noisy and slow when being inflated, and especially delfated. I am not sure why they used a valve that doesn't allow higher air-flow volume. I have found that by aligning the closure ring just right the valve will allow a little more flow and less noise, but not much. BA makes a dry bag that has a valve attachement on one corner that allows it to be used as a "pump" for the pads. Though I don't have one of those, I think it would be a good idea, as after several nights of use quite a bit of condensation can build up inside the pad when filled by mouth. But of course that will be true of any non self inflating mat.  

http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Accessory/Pumphouse

12:18 a.m. on November 18, 2010 (EST)
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BigRed,

Plus one for the BA insulated pad.

I have a BA insulated pad and the only complaint I have is that it's a tad heavy and takes a little while to inflate, but if weight isn't an issue then it's one of the most comfortable and amazing pads on the market.

2:48 a.m. on November 18, 2010 (EST)
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Gonzan, thanks for the link. I showed it to my son and he likes the idea of pumping with the bag instead of blowing it up.

I quizzed him about sliding off and noises. He says he stays on it with no problem but doesn't move around much, also there appears to be no issue with it making noises. He really loves how comfortable it is and it is much warmer than the Thermarest.

5:25 a.m. on November 18, 2010 (EST)
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Sierra Trading Post has a deal on the Sand Mountain as a closeout, describes it as foam filled but I guess it's actually Primaloft?

A new Exped Synmat Basic (no integral pump, which I don't want but wold buy a separate pump as I will be getting 2 pads) would only cost me $20 more. As far as I can tell the newest models have big dual valves to make them easier to in/deflate. But one reviewer at REI panned it because it's not baffled like the pump model and that somehow made it uncomfortable for him...

Anybody had a chance to compare the two?

9:10 a.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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You're welcome, SnowGoose!

October 30, 2014
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