Sleeping pads . . . ?

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Kent Lufkin, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    Ed, I've seen a couple Neoair pads returned at my store for delamination. There's no doubt that Cascade Designs will make it right. My personal Neoair is going on five years and still going strong. I've used it down to near freezing and been fine using a 15 degree bag. Still, the Neo's aren't as warm as some other pads. Much below freezing or snow camping would make me add a foam pad underneath. I love that I can pack a large 25x76 pad and still be ridiculously light, small and comfortable.

    Expeds are certainly great pads. I thought the built-in inflator was gimmicky at first, but the more I played with it the more I liked it. Adds a little weight, but it's convenient enough.

    My next pad will probably be a Big Agnes Q-Core. I just have to look at that thing and my eyes start closing....
     
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  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info Chad! I need to get mine to Cascade Designs soon.
     
  3. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    I have a couple of Thermorests and a Big Agnes from REI. They work well as far as insulation, but they always seem to slip around under my sleeping bag during the night. My heavy bag is a Butler and it has a pocket to slip the pad into and that helps a lot.

    But, THE most comfortable pad I've ever used are the pads the packers use on mules. These pads are about 4" thick and are ~ 3.5 feet x 3.5 feet in size. It's like sleeping on a mattress at home and you don't slip around on them. Sure, they smell like mule sweat, but they are very comfortable. Sleeping on mule pads under the stars in the high country, I sleep really, REALLY, well.

    I end up sleeping in a wall tent about 10 weeks each year. I have a cot then. I also have a 4" thick foam mattress which doesn't slide around under my sleeping bag. It's not fancy but it's comfortable and it's thick enough to insulate me from the cold air below the cot.

    I've gone full circle from a simple "egg carton" foam mattress to the tech of Thermorest back to mule pads and the "egg carton". But, my sleeping pads get transported by mules, not on my back.

    Trapper
     
  4. underachiever

    underachiever !

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    It's surely not a pad for backpacking but I just spent my first two nights on an REI camp bed 3.5 and I've never slept better while camping. It is extremely bulky so I'd consider it for car camping only.
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I've got these bulky foam (ensolite?) pads about 70" x 20" x 5/16". Two of them roll up together nicely into a huge and bulky bundle. I figure if I fall off the trail over a cliff, then I'll bounce when I hit.:p
    If I fall into a river, then they should serve as a PFD.
    They were cheap to acquire.
    Am I still living in the "Dark Ages" of backpacking?:confused: Or what?
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Wow, I guess my post was a conversation stopper. My sleeping bag packs down much smaller, and so does my tent.
    I still like my external-framed pack that I bought from REI on sale back around 1982, since it has a lot of external pockets and is divided into upper and lower sections. Access to all my stuff is easy, and I can strap on a lot of stuff to the frame. It is "free standing" too, on level ground, because of the frame design.
    I don't bushwhack, and seldom go off-trail when packing this beast, so its width and the "squareness" of the frame don't usually pose a problem hanging up on anything.

    I can hang my rolled up sleeping pads off the bottom, or lash them to the top, since they are reasonably light. I can care less if I look trendy or not.
     
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  7. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. My wife has the same things for her horses (she's a backcountry horsewoman). Those saddle pads are nice. Hmmmmmmm, may have to look into those. Could buy two of them cheaper then the pads above (through her work discount). May be a good idea. :)

    I did have a chance to look at all the pads (or most) mentioned above at Sportsmans Warehouse yesterday. Very nice and really do collapse to a small size. I'm tempted to pull the trigger on one here shortly. Just not sure which one yet.
     
  8. zeroforhire

    zeroforhire New Member

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    I am a big fan of the thermarest neoair xtherm. I use it mountaineering directly on the snow, and still find it to be warm.

    The exped down mats are very nice too.