Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

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Ooooo
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Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by Ooooo » Jan 17 2016 3:43 pm

Well, I love my inflatable Neo-air pad, but getting a hole in it in the desert would be no fun. For those of you who have done the AZT or lots of backpacking in Arizona, what are your thoughts on inflatable pad vs foam pad? I've done several trips in the Grand Canyon and only once punctured my pad. Luckily my husband had brought his crazy creek chair and I was able to sleep on that.

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AndrewAZ
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by AndrewAZ » Jan 17 2016 3:57 pm

My friend punctured his inflatable NeoAir XLite mattress twice on the AZT. He was able to patch it both times using the included pre-glued strips. I punctured mine once, but it was on the last night, so I just patched it before I did my next trip.

Both have held up since then with the patches. Applying them and then sitting a pot of hot water on it works very well to seal them.

I've tried the foam pads, but they don't provide enough support for me, so I'll keep using the inflatable.

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big_load
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by big_load » Jan 17 2016 5:49 pm

I'm definitely sticking to inflatables. They're not perfect, but they're a lot easier on my aging bones, and I've done hundreds of miles in AZ without catastrophe.

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by outdoor_lover » Jan 17 2016 7:03 pm

If I'm correct, Inflatables also have a Higher R Value, so that's something to think about...I have an Inflatable that I haven't used in a couple of Years since the Wind took it and slammed it down on a Cactus. I've been using the Foam since then and it's fine. Bulky, but very very Light...I'm actually thinking about going Inflatable again though for some more "Specialized" Trips...
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Trew
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by Trew » Jan 17 2016 7:39 pm

Younger bkpackers can do very well with a closed cell pad. The older one gets, the more he/she appreciated the inflatable pad. My pad had 5 or 6 patches on it before MSR replaced it because of a baffle problem. You just learn to be a bit more careful with an inflatable.

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rcorfman
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by rcorfman » Jan 17 2016 8:22 pm

Outdoor Lover wrote:If I'm correct, Inflatables also have a Higher R Value, so that's something to think about
Maybe they say so, but I don't know if in reality they're warmer. I have a Thermarest Neo Air Xlite and sleep directly on it as I use a quilt. When it's cold (below freezing), I have to put a closed cell foam pad on it otherwise I'll be cold. My pad is just an 1/8" thick pad from Gossamer Gear that weighs just 2.5 oz. December 30th I was out and the temps dropped to low 20s, maybe even the teens and I wished that pad was a bit thicker.

When it's warmer out, I put the Neo Air on top of the foam pad to help protect it.

I use the foam pad during the day for laying or sitting on during breaks from hiking, such as lunch and snack times.
Last edited by rcorfman on Jan 17 2016 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The_Dude
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by The_Dude » Jan 17 2016 8:28 pm

I like a combo of both, I use a z-lite foam pad with a small (head to pelvis size) Prolite. I get better insulation than either by itself, weight is 24 oz for both combined. I really like the foam pad for lounging at camp but a little extra cushion for sleeping. The small pad rolls up really small, and I can always stow the fold up on the back of my pack.

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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Jan 18 2016 6:16 am

I used both for my Superstition trips when there was catclaw. The Thermarest rolled up first with the hard foam pad around it to protect the inflatable. On real long trips guiding older Boy Scouts along with a lot of catclaw I placed a cooking pot over each end to protect both pads. Armor plate for the real off trail bush wacking!
Last edited by SuperstitionGuy on Jan 19 2016 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AZWanderingBear
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by AZWanderingBear » Jan 18 2016 10:26 am

Another option for a foam pad under your inflatable is Reflectix. Available at Home Depot, Lowes, or most any building supply store, Reflectix is essentially aluminum foil coated bubble wrap with a fairly high R value and minimal weight. I use it for pot cozies and a rehydration sleeve for freezer bag dehydrated meals. It also makes a very light sleep pad. Besides significantly increasing the insulation value of your inflatable, it also provides additional protection against a puncture from below.
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cavaroc
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by cavaroc » Jan 19 2016 1:43 pm

I've actually been using a Klymit Inertia X Frame. It's pretty odd looking in terms of inflatable pads, but I sleep incredibly well on it. It also fits inside my sleeping bag to keep it warm. It's also only 9.1 oz. It got a hole last season and since it's winter up here, I haven't patched it yet, but I definitely will before heading down there this season.
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 19 2016 2:14 pm

Klymit pads are awesome! Tracey has a Static-V and I have an O-Zone and we've never slept more comfortably outdoors.
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ALMAL
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Re: Inflatable sleeping pad or foam pad?

Post by ALMAL » Jan 22 2016 4:22 pm

Pad!!! Ha... Just make one when you get there.

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