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Posted: 4/20/2007 12:05:29 AM EDT
What do you guys use for a sleeping pad and how do you like it?  I have used the blue closed cell foam and it sucked.  I used a Thermarest original and it was comfy but heavy and difficult to get air out and was large.

I have seen the Thermarest Prolite 4 and it folds in half, then riolls (quite easily) and seems nice but wonder about durability and comfort outside a "in the store" environment.

Anyone use the pool floaty style blow up pads?  How are those in the cold? For comfort?
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 2:02:36 AM EDT
blue pad here, i have a therma rest prolite also. matgters how  im packing. if its wieght and size  issue i dont carry a pad
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 2:43:09 AM EDT
Have you had any reliability issues with the Prolite?  Is it comfortable in the field?
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 3:01:16 AM EDT
Thermarests are heavy and they eventually pop. I had one get a long cut in it somehow right at the beginning of an Alaska trip, and it made the next couple weeks miserable.

I have a Ridgerest that I like. It's light but bulky, and not as warm as a thermorest.

I just got a Z-rest. Haven't camped with it yet, but it might be my new favorite.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 6:21:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 8:28:30 AM EDT
I assume you're talking general 3-4 season backpacking, and not BOB material. I have four different pads that get used regularly:

Thermarest Ultralight full-length- packs away small, durable (has not leaked once in 30+ nights), only slightly more comfy than regular closed-cell foam, only 1" thick;

Thermarest Standard 3/4- weighs the same as the Ultralight, is more comfortable, patched one leak about 6 years ago in the field, doesn't pack away as small, 1.5" thick;

InsulMat Max Thermo full-length air mattress- yeah, I was skeptical at first, too, but I sleep great on this pad, even down to mid '30s. Used it about 7 nights- so far so good. Packs down as small as the Ultralight, weighs the same, 2.5" thick;

Walmart blue pad- as previously discussed, closed-cell foam is light but bulky, I mainly use mine as part of a two pad set-up with the Standard 3/4 in winter.

As I get older the 15 mile days are a little tougher than they used to be, and a good nights sleep is essential. I don't mind a little extra weight as long as I get my Zs.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 11:57:53 AM EDT
For BOB, I use a Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest Deluxe

The Deluxe is thicker and the seems to absorb any bumps better than the regular Ridge Rest and is only 5 oz heavier.

I wont use an inflatable air mattress in the BOB for two reasons:
1.  Once it gets a hole it's useless, and sleeping on bare ground in the winter can kill you.
2.  First Aid.   I carry a regular length pad (72 inches) so that I can cut off up to 25 inches to use for splints, etc and still have a long enough sleeping pad.

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:32:52 PM EDT
what are these pad things you are talking about ?

i dont need one with my hammock
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:42:50 PM EDT
I use an older model z-rest in dark green, before they went to neon orange and gray

I have found it to be comfortable and durable. It is slightly less bulky than the ridgerest, which is why I have not switched.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 12:50:20 PM EDT
In a real survival situation here in WA, I wouldn't hesitate to make a browse bed.  If lives are on the line, "leave no trace" goes out the window, IMO.

For normal backpacking, I use blue foam when I want to go light, and a Big Agnes Insulated Aircore if I want comfort.  I've also accumulated a few T-rests over the years, but the Big Agnes Insulated Aircore is way more compact.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 2:16:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 2:52:57 PM EDT
big agnes insulated air core

Hands down without a doubt the next thing to having a bed in the woods

I really don't know how long or well it will hold up cause i havent had it long enough to judge that but it is by far the most comfortable pad i've used or tried out and i own or have used several...

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 4:41:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 5:06:14 PM EDT

lightest pad I know of. Decent R value.

Some of the air pads can be pretty light especially in the 3/4 length, and a 3/4 1" rolls up very small if size is more an issue than weight. A repair kit is a good thing to always have to repair everything from a boot to the pad. I wouldn't go anywhere with an air pad (if it was really needed) without a repair kit.

Here's an interesting one:

In a hammock you stilll need a pad in winter, a space blanket will do ok, but not as good as a pad. Both are better.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 5:54:13 PM EDT
nope i have no problem in winter in my hammock. i have done 30 degrees and been too warm. i use both a hennessy ( summer, netting for bugs ) and a speer type for winter
i have no doubt i could go down to 10 degrees if i pick a non windy spot. i have done hurrican type weather in a hammock and stayed dryier than the inlaws in a tent. its all on how and what you do.

edit post 1200
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 6:31:37 PM EDT
I've always been satisfied by  with these inflatable models that even work in the water:

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 7:34:54 PM EDT
That's cute! Because that's exactly what we used to call our inflatable pads back when I was in the Army..... a "Rubber Lady".
AND as TomJefferson already said, they sucked BIG time! I can honestly say that I never, ever once slept on one that I didn't wake up the next morning laying "flat" on my back.  What a waste of time!
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:41:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 8:39:49 PM EDT

30 whole degrees, wow, that puts you above about 80% of the posters, however I have seen days here in TN below zero and wind.

This is survival not camping 101 and if you want to risk you life on being able to find two trees you can tie off to, being out of the wind, and temps above 10 degrees that's your business.  It's all a matter of odds.

It's just my job to keep people alive by making sound reccommendations and part of that is pointing out falacies in blanket statements that could get someone in deep trouble.


TJ i am not saying hammocks are the end all, but zero degrees in a hammock is not hard, but do have to pick spots that work well weither in a tent or a hammock. i also have a 4 season tent for when the weather get real cold. but most people here would not even think of going out being un preped for the season. i would not even think of carring my summer bags in the winter, nor my heavier winter bags when the temp is in the 60's. i change my set up based on the season. i was just being a smart ass, and dont recommend anyone ever go out with out testing stuff in real life, for me i have done safe tests in hammocks in cold weather for a few hours then shifted over to tents.

i also love the comfort and flexabilty of a hammock, i have camped on 45 degree slope hills, when a tent would be useless. in a survival situation being able to get a good night sleep on the side of a mountain where it is hard to walk because of the slope sounds a lot safer then needing to find a flat spot to set up a tent.

back to the OP
sleeping pads, when its real cold i use a blue pad under a self inflater. the foam pad helps with temp while the inflatable helps with comfort. also doing dual pads helps protecting the inflatable from holes
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 9:06:20 PM EDT

I use the same setup I used in the Army. Standard PolyPad, extreme cold weather sleeping bag with Gortex shell, both slipped under a low poncho hooch. I have slept quite comfortably in -20 weather many times with this setup. ( If it gets really bad just light a small candle under the hooch and you will be sweating in no time )
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 9:52:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 11:22:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/23/2007 9:09:20 AM EDT
The SLEEPING PADS from Oware USA work well to insulate the bottom of a Hennessy Hammock in cold weather.  They are Ensolite closed-cell foam.  They are about 1/4" and wide, but you can fold them lengthwise and then roll them to a little larger than a regular closed-cell foam pad.
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