sleeping pads

Tents, tarps, sleeping bags & general campsite gear

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Post by hikeaz » Mar 17 2003 2:31 pm

I use a Therm-a-rest; however, there are a few viable alternatives; some of which, under certain circumstances, would be a better alternative.

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Post by MaryPhyl » Mar 18 2003 1:00 pm

I use the lightest 3/4 length thermarest in summer. In winter I use a thicker 3/4 thermarest and take two sections of a Z-rest for my feet. The Z-rest makes a nice chair with the pack for a backrest.

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Larry Bolton
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Post by Larry Bolton » Apr 04 2003 11:09 am

I use either a Z-Rest or a Campmor knock-off of a Thermarest. Both are full length (I'm 6" 3"). The Campmor is 2 1/2 pounds vs Z-Rest at 15oz so it's a trade-off between comfort and weight. My trip last week-end to Havasu had me packing the heavier Campmor since I knew I would be hurt'n by the time I got done (I was) and I wanted a good nights sleep (I got it). If you're backpacking you're already roughing it so why be uncomfortable?

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Post by mountain goat » Apr 16 2003 4:24 pm

I use the origional thermorest inflatable. (notice a trend here) It has survived for 6 years including a trip through Europe and other extended use options.

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Post by mttgilbert » Apr 17 2003 4:14 pm

OK you're all going to laugh at me but...

I use regular old open cell foam, the kind you can find at a thriftstore for about a dollar. I made a water-resistant nylon shell and a compression stuff sack to carry it in. Overall it weighs a little less than a pound, with the sack and all maybe 14-15 ounces. It compresses down to a 4' x 18' cylinder. Total cost was about five dollars. Talk about low tech. Who was it that said something about neanderthal?

I suppose eventually I will probably go to a thermarest (that seems to be the trend), but I would be interested to hear more about the specific performance, having never used one myself. Do they tear easily? How difficult are they to patch? Is is it significantly warmer than open or closed cell foam alone?

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Post by youngboy » Apr 18 2003 7:07 am

matt gilbert wrote:Do they tear easily? How difficult are they to patch?
mine (ultralite full length) tore mysteriously under my bed (still tryin to figure that one out)
but they are pretty easy to repair, but you need to boil water for 10 minutes, so it's pretty fuel consuming

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Post by cactuscat » Apr 18 2003 12:18 pm

Thermarest Fusion EX! :D
Where is the "dislike" button?

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Post by Larry Bolton » May 01 2003 8:55 am

Reply to Matt Gilbert

I stopped using the open cell foam for 2 reasons. It soaks up water like a sponge (sounds like you’ve covered this) and it doesn’t insulate as well. The other prohibitive feature is cost of Thermarest sleep pads. That’s why I bought the Campmor knock-off for $25 (still available).

:idea: Maybe we should start another forum on cheap (but acceptable quality) alternatives to the name brand stuff and a forum for tall people or people with wide feet. I’m both and 95% of the clothes and boots and some other equipment doesn’t fit. I’ve written to manufacturers but, while I’m big, I’m not a large enough market for most of them to pursue. :(

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Post by mttgilbert » May 01 2003 3:22 pm

Larry Bolton wrote:and it doesn’t insulate as well
Isn't the insulative value equal to loft, or the amount of dead air trapped inside the layers of the material? I used commercial mattress measurements to determine what thickness of foam pad to use. I know that when I lie down on it the material compresses and loft is lost, but the same thing happens to air mattresses doesn't it? If this is true shouldn't the mattresses have about the same insulating value?

And I am all for a topic on cheap but acceptable alternatives to commercial gear, especially with a focus on home-made gear. I'm sure that a big and tall topic would be helpful to many other hikers as well. (I am not plagued by that problem, mine is a problem of thrift)

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Re: sleeping pads

Post by Nighthiker » Feb 25 2014 5:20 pm

Since I am slightly older and a little wider at the navel thought I would upsize my sleeping pad that I would use for bicycling touring and backpacking. I currently use Thermarest products and have narrowed my selection after floor testing the various models offered at local retailers around the valley. I have narrowed it to the TrailPro or the Prolite Plus. Some of my friends who bicycle tour have been using the Prolite Plus as the TrailPro is a newer design and not to many reviews that I can find. Any comments on either models would be appreciated.

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