Sleeping pad advice

8:00 a.m. on June 6, 2015 (EDT)
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I am considering a new sleeping pad. Currently using an REI Lite Core 1.5 for most trips. I am relatively pleased with it having used it for 10 years. I find the comfort good but not great, the weight at 27 oz OK, insulation fine down to my usual teens, but the reliability has been excellent. Recently, I bought a NeoAir Xlite for my wife but didn't want one for myself as it is too noisy in my opinion. I just tried out the NeoAir Trecker for a night on the floor, and found similar noise problems.

My goals are comfort down to mostly 15 plus, weight as a factor but comfort would trump due to a bad lower back, and reliability. This is for tent not hammock by the way.

I haven't gone with a pure air mattress before for two reasons...if they fail there is no padding and having to blow it up seems to be a pain at the end of a long day. I looked at some Big Agnes pads but have heard a lot of issues with the valves. Thermarsst and REI have proved reliable over the years. Interested in other brands as well if they meet the specs.

Any advice would be appreciated.

8:25 a.m. on June 6, 2015 (EDT)
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What about a minimalist Klymit paired with a thin foam pad?

As for blowing up an air pad, I agree -- check out The Instaflator.

8:37 a.m. on June 6, 2015 (EDT)
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That's a good thought. I could break out one of my old ridgrests. Do you have a Klymit? Is it noisy?

5:43 p.m. on June 6, 2015 (EDT)
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the ridge rest (the bumpy one) is still my primary pad. i stack two of them in the winter.  simple, bombproof, and they last a long, long time.  basically until you decide to use it as an impromptu sled...  :)

5:35 a.m. on June 7, 2015 (EDT)
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For 3 season, I use a multimat superlite air, and a multimat superlite foam 3/4 mat.

Together they weigh 400 grams, are very comfortable, and give me the insulation and built in redundancy in case the inflatable fails.

I found this to be preferable for me over a single pad. I still have other pads that I use, but this is my go to when there isnt snow on the ground.

6:07 a.m. on June 7, 2015 (EDT)
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I have the Neo Air Xlite..I looked at the klymit.My personal problem is I don't even sleep straight through a night on a regular bed,,But with 15 mile to 20 mile hike.Iam out cold...Longstranger and lah both did reviews on the pad..+2 on the instaflator.

6:50 a.m. on June 7, 2015 (EDT)
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I also have a NeoAir Xlite, yes it's noisy but on balance doesn't wake me.

Can't speak from direct experience about the Klymit, just know of it and lay on one in REI once...

7:36 a.m. on June 8, 2015 (EDT)
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My neighbor, my girlfriend & myself all own the Klymit Static V sleeping pad (non-insulated), and while we're all very pleased with the price, comfort & compactability, it is a little loud when rolling around on it. I can hear my neighbor"s pad crinkling when he's shifting around from 20 yards away easily. I don't know about their other models, but I would assume that they're made of the same material, just shaped differently.

10:04 a.m. on June 8, 2015 (EDT)
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Thanks for the input and reccomendations on the NeoAir and Klymit. I am a light sleeper and my wife's NeoAir wakes me up sometimes when she shifts. Mostly I am a solo hiker but am still concerned with that as I tend to shift around a bit. For some reason, coyotes, loons, owls, and other night critters don't wake me but people sounds do. I love my old ridge rests, but the back can't handle that any more. Will look into a combo approach with the RR in the winter, but the bulk on those is something to consider. I'll probably experiment with a couple of options using REIs generous return policy and let you know what I end up with through a review.

7:37 a.m. on June 9, 2015 (EDT)
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Two more words of advice: ear plugs.

8:28 a.m. on June 9, 2015 (EDT)
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I'm curious if those having noise issues with their NeoAir pads are using a sheet on the pad? I don't really notice the noise myself, but I'm using a sheet on the pad along with one or more quilts. Wondering if that might be dampening some of the squeaks.

9:33 a.m. on June 9, 2015 (EDT)
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Last fall, I reviewed my Nemo Cosmo Insulated 20R pad. It's been the best pad I've slept on, hands-down (but as I state in the review, I'm no pad guru or anything). It is a little pricey, but for me, it has been well worth the investment. Since the review, I've slept on it in colder conditions and I found it to be true to its temp rating. It may be worth a look for you. 

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/nemo/cosmo-insulated-20r/#review32549

It might be helpful if you read the comments too, as I address noise concerns in that section.

9:47 a.m. on June 9, 2015 (EDT)
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Thanks folks. I used to carry ear plugs but for my own quirky reasons I felt it separated me from the wilderness experience a bit (same reason I like a tent with mostly netting for views during bug season). On the Nemo mat...coincidentally I was reading Kiwis review last night and also considering the Nemo Astro.

Noise issues for us were just with the bag on the pad on the tent floor. It seems to be the innner materials making the noise but I could be wrong.

10:42 a.m. on June 12, 2015 (EDT)
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Here's one I'll throw into the mix for a different reason. The Big Agnes Q-Core SL is well insulated (down to 15) and has a huge pad height, plus the weight just hovers around a pound for the regular size. 

I have the non-mummy cut and the height is 3.5", spot on with the specs. I move around during the night and haven't had any issues with hip pain or feeling the ground when on my side or even when using it to sit on. The vertical baffling is also against the norm, but I haven't had any issues in the past 1.5 years with unevenness. The sides of the pad are raised just slightly higher than the middle, so as to keep you from sliding off. Makes for a great night's sleep without having to carry a 25+ ounce pad. 

The only noise I hear from my pad is just the typical clothing/sleeping bag fabric against pad fabric sound. No crunch.

Haven't made a review yet, so I haven't thought of all of the pros and cons, but it'll likely be a 4.5 or a very strong 4. Price is a bit up there, but I snagged it with my REI 20% last year and haven't looked back.

8:09 p.m. on June 26, 2015 (EDT)
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You might learn a bit about pads by reading my recent review of the Big Agnes Insulated Double Z. In addition, I include some perspective on sleeping pads in general.

Barb and I are currently using NeoAires mainly because of the excellent insulation, plus the very light weight and very compact packing (we sleep on snow a lot, especially me when on expeditions for the American Climber Science Program, where we do environmental research in the high mountains of the world). The NeoAires do "crackle" a bit, as does the Double Z. But usually I am so tired at the end of the day, I sleep right through it. And, since so much of the camping is on snow and ice, I usually use a Blue Foam closed cell foam pad, which dampens the "crackle" by a huge amount.

9:14 p.m. on June 26, 2015 (EDT)
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I'm surprised no one has mention the Exped downmat line. In my opinion they are the comfiest, close to at home, sleep you can get in the backcountry. The R value and insulation varies dependant on which model you choose. Mine has been quite reliable (not sure exactly but it's either 3 or 4 years old). The one drawback (for some) is the weight and packed size. I personally highly value a good nights sleep and don't think twice about it in my pack. In the winter I stack it on a z-lite foam pad, and have yet to find the temperatures that combo can't handle (-35C is the coldest I've tested those two in).

10:08 p.m. on June 27, 2015 (EDT)
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I looked for the Exped but it is either not carried where I can get an annual discount or pretty pricey. Looks really comfy though so May keep it in mind in the future.

Anyone had any trouble with Big Agnes pads? A friend who works at REI said he sees them coming back weekly with valve issues. I like BA products but that got me a bit worried.

6:18 a.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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Just returned from a trip with someone who had their BA pad develop a leak over the course of the trip. Haven't heard back yet where the failure point was because his gear is in my garage waiting to be shipped home. To be fair he had the pad for three years, though he only gets out a couple of times a year.

9:40 a.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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Or try a Thermarest cot for some real comfort.

9:47 a.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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I just got a Seat To Summit Ultralight.

 

http://www.seatosummit.com/product/?item=UltraLight+Mat#?item=UltraLight+Mat&o1=0&o2=0&o3=901&_suid=143558539244705052013327231448

 

So far I love it.  I just switched from a 1/4" foam pad I've been using for 25 years.  I had an old thermarest but it was heavy and only used it a couple of times.

10:00 a.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Using Thermarests for 35 years.  In that time I've had about 8 major delaminations---


Trip%20165%20287-L.jpg
This one occurred on a 17 day trip and happened on Day 8 but luckily I had a NeoAir All Season cached 10 miles away under some dead leaves by a blowdown.

Conclusion?  Thermarest inflatables are like socks---you upgrade yearly even if the pad looks okay.

2:05 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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FlipNC said:

Anyone had any trouble with Big Agnes pads? A friend who works at REI said he sees them coming back weekly with valve issues. I like BA products but that got me a bit worried.

 Flip, I discuss some of the problems with Big Agnes in my review. And Vince has some comments in his Big Agnes pad review.   If you find those reviews helpful, remember to click the "helpful" button

2:57 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Thanks guys.

Tipi - I think your pad life may be different from mine based on the number of trips and length. Like converting from human to dog years...

Bill - I read your excellent review and watched the video. I will probably why away from a BA pad due to the concerns you raise and the valve issues I have heard about.

3:26 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Flip,


I use a Thermarest Trail-Pro for comfort and ease of use on canoe and kayak trips...and on colder weather backpacking trips for extra warmth. I rarely camp below 20 degrees so I cannot speak to the pads performance below that temperature...but above 20 it has worked without issue for me for 4-5 years.

7:05 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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FlipNC said:

Thanks guys.

....

Bill - I read your excellent review and watched the video. I will probably why away from a BA pad due to the concerns you raise and the valve issues I have heard about.

 Glad to be of help. But Phil, you didn't check "useful", though you apparently found it such {8(

7:37 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Good point...will do that now. I will have to go back and do that to several reviews and be better about that in the future.

7:59 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Good topic,

I don't have much experience with inflatables, I used a Ridgerest foam pad (or 2) up until 3 years ago.

I currently use an Exped Airmat, no insulation.

I haven't had any issues with it at all, and I have used it on all my trips since buying it.

Might get an instaflator next.

6:45 a.m. on June 30, 2015 (EDT)
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I just tried to find an Instaflator on line and couldn't. After watching Lonestranger's review and the suggestions in this thread I was looking forward to trying it out...I love simple and cheap equipment. Amazon says it is out of stock. Leslie's Pool Supply comes up blank on the search. I hope I haven't missed out on this little item!

PS After much deliberation, I am going to try out the Nemo Astro Insulated Lite pad. Seems to meet most of my criteria for comfort and weight. Just sold an old tent so willing to take the plunge risk free with REIs return policy. I have a couple of backup options including a combo approach, which I may use with the Astro of supplementing with a Ridgerest. Thanks for all the input. I'll review it after a couple of trips.

10:13 a.m. on June 30, 2015 (EDT)
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Instaflator guy says he is making another shipment to his on line retailer this week...

11:08 a.m. on June 30, 2015 (EDT)
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FlipNC said:

Instaflator guy says he is making another shipment to his on line retailer this week...

Thanks for the info! 

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