Big Agnes AXL insulated mattress R value??

12:49 a.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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BA does not list an R value for their very light (10.4 oz.) Regular size mummy shaped insulated air mattress.

Would a 5 R rating be about right since the Neo Air xTherm is 5.7R?

Anyone used both in cold weather?

Eric B.

8:18 a.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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Skurka guesstimated it as more like the XLite than the XTherm and put it around 3R for whatever that is worth.

https://andrewskurka.com/2018/preview-big-agnes-insulated-axl-air-pads-neoair/

12:46 p.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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BA mentions a temp rating of 15f which would roughly equal about a 4.5 R value (Obviously a lot of other factors go into determining the R value though). 

They also only call it a 3 season pad, so it probably not over a 5 R value or they’d be able to market it as a winter. 

Probably a conservative high 3 to low 4. 

11:08 a.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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The 3 season pads are good to around freezing. Anything much below that I feel the cold. Then it is better to bring a heavier thicker pad. 

9:10 p.m. on March 15, 2018 (EDT)
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Lone Stranger, Thanks for the Skurka site write-up on theBA AXL.  Very informative. 

Eric B.

10:06 a.m. on March 16, 2018 (EDT)
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The BA pad I have is around 3.5. Lighter ones would have an even lower rating. 

3:06 p.m. on March 17, 2018 (EDT)
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Much as I dislike Neo-Air mattresses it look like the X-Therm is by far the lightest per R value at 5.7 R. 

I may have to wait for an REI 20% sale and get one. GAK!

Eric B.

5:22 p.m. on March 17, 2018 (EDT)
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What sort of temperatures are you looking at Eric? How low do you want your safety zone to go, not just what you expect to see, but that cushion you allow for just in case?

I'm asking because in my mind, when you get down below freezing, it starts to make sense to think in terms of a system of layers under you rather than just one. A closed cell foam pad or a sturdy self inflating pad like the Trail Pro combined with an inflatable pad seems to work best. If you can get the inflatable to work for you on the bottom so much the better.

When you start to look at the weight vs R value vs $$ math in terms of two pads rather than one it can change what makes sense. Best place to start is figuring out what you are looking for in terms of that low end temp and work from there.

2:39 a.m. on March 20, 2018 (EDT)
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LS, I'm looking at possible temps to -30 F. or -40 F./C. in Colorado's Indian Peaks range above the treeline or North Dakota. But I'll be inside my TT Moment DW (ripstop inner) so that will raise the temperature about 10 F.

Yeah, I agree that my Trail Pro self inflator and a newer Ridgerest Solite would be "safer" but as a geezer I need to cut weight to a minimum. I'm quite fit but at my age (75) I'd rather not push it too hard B/C "parts" do wear out and fail without warning, like hearts, etc. ;o)

So I'll likely be getting that TR Neo-Air X-therm. When possible I put cut evergreen boughs under the floor of my tent in my sleep area as a backup insulation layer. Not exactly LNT but close B/C I scatter them when breaking camp.

Eric. B.

6:01 a.m. on March 20, 2018 (EDT)
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As someone who camps out in all four seasons here in NE, let me just say "ooooh, that's cold!", Eric. Once it gets beyond -20°f I'm worried enough just walking around and keep the hand warmers close when I go to sleep because I may need to pop one or two before dawn. So neat to be out in weather like that, but it really ramps up the sense of fear healthy respect for Nature.

As an apprentice geezer I'm finding that using a sled really helps deal with both the extra weight and volume that winter camping entails. It adds issues with the sled of course heh, but not wearing a heavy pack on snowshoes really adds a lot of benefit too. Biggest problem is that my legs may get lazy from not carrying that heavy pack all season.

I remember that bough cutting trick from my youth but we didn't have a soft mattress on top so it was pretty lumpy. Hope that works for you and I'd love to hear how this trip turns out when you get back!

8:24 a.m. on March 22, 2018 (EDT)
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I'm in the middle if reviewing the Big Agnes Third Degree foam pad. For those considering a layered system this one should be on the list...very light and warm at least down to single digits. Hope to wrap it up early next month.

2:42 p.m. on April 5, 2018 (EDT)
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This winter pad conundrum is, sooner or later, going to be solved by a "quiet X-Therm" type mattress. I've slept in -22 F. temps in Erie, PA but in a Quinzhee snow shelter. That makes at least a 20 F. difference from the outside temperature.

And -10 F. is the coldest I've slept in using a tent. My LL Bean -20 F. down bag plus puffy jacket and pants will take me to -30 F. I'm very sure. Below that is getting into risky territory I realize.

My ultra cold camping did not materialize this winter but "Wait 'til next year."

Eric B.

July 22, 2019
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