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Topic: Which sleeping pad?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 12:09 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Alright I need help finding a sleeping pad. My closed cell is not working for me.
I do canoe camping, car camping, etc. It doesnt have to be super light or anything like that. If I start doing any back pack camping it wont be multi-mile trips at this time anyway. Comfort so I can actually sleep at night is the most important thing for me right now. I have been looking at the thermarest neo air camper, and the big agnes q core.
So which do you all think is the best of these?
Or if you think theres a better one out there please tell me about it. Thanks for all your help.
I just dont want to spend a bunch of money on something and still be in the same boat.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 12:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

R-Value will keep you warm, and thickness in general for cushion. Thermarest mattresses in general have been extremely solid for me in regards to longevity. I've given them away before any have failed, save for one over the years. If you're not backpacking, I would recommend getting a wide/long mattress since bulk/weight is not an issue. Going from a closed-cell foam mattress to anything should be a drastic improvement. Personally, I would get a nice comfy 2" or thicker mattress. Thermarest has several series so you can get a thicker mattress with the only sacrifice being that it will be a bit heavier.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 12:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Do you want open cell foam or an air pad? how much do you want to spend?
If you already have a closed cell pad then you could get away with an uninsulated air pad but there's not much of a price difference between the two if you're buying quality ones. Open cell foam is heavier than a comparative air pad but you get better insulation from them.

If you don't have to worry about price go with thermarest for open cell foam and exped for air pads. If you need to watch your budget shop around till you find a good price for a good quality pad.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 12:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Keep an eye on REI-Outlet for their brand of comfort pads.  I got a super car camping pad for $35 last year.  Oversized and 3" thick, it's luxurious.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 1:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am planning on keeping myself under $150.00 bucks. I am 5'10" and currently 145lbs.
I figure I can always pack the closed cell pad in cold weather for that extra insulation.
Ive been looking at air pads just because I see they pack smaller and have lots of thickness.
Is open cell foam pads more comfortable?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 2:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They are if they're thick enough. air pads sometimes can be slippy or bouncy plus if you puncture it then it's pretty much useless unless you have a repair patch, open cell will be somewhat better in that situation. as far as packing down they both can pack pretty small especially when coming from closed cell pads, some car camping pads won't but that's what happens when your sleeping pad is as thick as couch cushions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 3:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Try some out in a shop, and see if you have a preference for vertical or horizontal baffles. Get the one you really want, whatever that may be. You're the one that's going to be sleeping(or not!) on it.
I originally wanted a NeoAir, but much preferred the Exped Synmat UL7, and cheaped out with the Big Agnes Air Core, then later the Insulated Air Core. They're fine, and I have no complaints, but if I had to do it over again, I'd buy the Exped.
Unlikely that I'd ever go back to a self-inflator or CCF after switching to inflatables. I sleep as comfortably in the woods as I do at home, and longer.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 6:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(outbackpacker3 @ Oct. 20 2013, 2:44 pm)
QUOTE
They are if they're thick enough. air pads sometimes can be slippy or bouncy plus if you puncture it then it's pretty much useless unless you have a repair patch, open cell will be somewhat better in that situation. as far as packing down they both can pack pretty small especially when coming from closed cell pads, some car camping pads won't but that's what happens when your sleeping pad is as thick as couch cushions.

It's why you never fully inflate a blow-up pad. Blow it up until it's about full, lay down on it, and then slowly release air until your butt touches ground. Most good pads have a 'slow-release' valve. Now, get off and give it another breath.

As far as slippery, all of them are. Put slick synthetic material against slick synthetic material, it's gonna be slippery. It's to what extent they aren't that some will make a decision about a pad.

The thick ones are better because you can let out more air, and support you better.

Self-inflating pads are easier, and often enough warmer, but I'll take my 2.5" BA insulated air core, thanks.

What's an open cell pad? Not familiar with those. I've seen self-inflating, blow-up, and closed cell, but I don't remember seeing 'open cell.'


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 6:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(realitycheck @ Oct. 20 2013, 1:52 pm)
QUOTE
I am planning on keeping myself under $150.00 bucks. I am 5'10" and currently 145lbs.
I figure I can always pack the closed cell pad in cold weather for that extra insulation.
Ive been looking at air pads just because I see they pack smaller and have lots of thickness.
Is open cell foam pads more comfortable?

I use a 3/4 CCF pad (that I cut down, using the remainder for seating) and line the inside of my top-loader, and then fill the space with my crap. Helps the pack balance better.

When I bed down, I put the 3/4 under the top part of the sleeping bag, and my jacket or pack under my feet.

$150? Get you something nice, maybe this: Exped Down Mat Lite 5 - $99.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 7:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bigsilk @ Oct. 20 2013, 3:34 pm)
QUOTE

(outbackpacker3 @ Oct. 20 2013, 2:44 pm)
QUOTE
They are if they're thick enough. air pads sometimes can be slippy or bouncy plus if you puncture it then it's pretty much useless unless you have a repair patch, open cell will be somewhat better in that situation. as far as packing down they both can pack pretty small especially when coming from closed cell pads, some car camping pads won't but that's what happens when your sleeping pad is as thick as couch cushions.

It's why you never fully inflate a blow-up pad. Blow it up until it's about full, lay down on it, and then slowly release air until your butt touches ground. Most good pads have a 'slow-release' valve. Now, get off and give it another breath.

As far as slippery, all of them are. Put slick synthetic material against slick synthetic material, it's gonna be slippery. It's to what extent they aren't that some will make a decision about a pad.

The thick ones are better because you can let out more air, and support you better.

Self-inflating pads are easier, and often enough warmer, but I'll take my 2.5" BA insulated air core, thanks.

What's an open cell pad? Not familiar with those. I've seen self-inflating, blow-up, and closed cell, but I don't remember seeing 'open cell.'

"open cell" are just self-inflating.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 7:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(outbackpacker3 @ Oct. 20 2013, 11:44 am)
QUOTE
They are if they're thick enough. air pads sometimes can be slippy or bouncy plus if you puncture it then it's pretty much useless unless you have a repair patch, open cell will be somewhat better in that situation.

I see no difference in regards to punctures with an open cell vs. an air pad. Patching is identical and both are just as vulnerable to leaks. If you have a flat mattress, a "self-inflating" will be all but useless unless repaired from experience.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 8:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A flat air pad has no support but a self inflating gives some support when punctured.

I did go back and forth when I first chose my sleeping pad and I found that the packed size and weight difference were almost imperceptible. The exped synmat was a big contender for me but in the end what helped me decide was when I found a rei lite core for $16 at the garage sale and I've preferred them (self inflating) ever since. I do like the extra comfort of the air pads but I'm also plenty comfortable on my lite core that I still have.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 8:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(outbackpacker3 @ Oct. 20 2013, 5:46 pm)
QUOTE
A flat air pad has no support but a self inflating gives some support when punctured.

Apparently, we are talking about two different kinds of pads because I've slept on a flat Thermarest Self-inflating pad a few nights over the years. There is no support.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 9:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Open cell foam is not self inflating. It's a foam pad that has open cells - as opposed to foam with air pockets throughout that are enclosed (closed) the foam is honeycombed.

I have one from when I started hammocking - it's more flexible than closed cell. Wouldn't use it for ground sleeping as it's also more collapsible and not supportive at all. I use insulated air mattresses like the NeoAir and Q Core.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 9:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have the new Exped UL and I'm happy with it.   Right around a pound, easy to pack and fold and not so fragile that I'm worried about damage.   You have to blow it up and I bought the Exped bag to facilitate that need and it doubles as a dry bag for my clothing.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 10:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am going to add the exped to my list to keep looking at. I am going to try and find a store to look at them in person. We dont have an rei so I dont know well see.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 10:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depending on the temps you expect to come across, you might seriously consider the exped downmat 9.  Excellent insulation, of course, but really comfortable, too.
They run around $200 new but you may find one used for less.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For maximum comfort I find I need a different mattress for each activity. If you only want one mattress, I would get the Exped Synmat 7. It will pack nice and small in your canoe. It's a bit heavy for backpacking by some standards but I use it for backpacking. It's comfortable enough for car camping.

If you can see yourself getting more that one mattress eventually, I recommend the REI Camp Bed 3.5 for canoe and car camping. You have room in your canoe for it. It's about 50% more comfortable than the Exped Synmat, which is significant.

. . . but at your light weight there are a lot of mattresses that will work for you.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 10:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I personally find the "self-inflating" open foam pads the most comfortable but I think that's a personal preference thing.  I also find the whole "blowing up the air-mattress" process to be a pain, whether it's by mouth or having to carry a pump/instaflator/shnozzle/whatever.  In my experience, if I spread out an open-foam pad and leave it for a couple of hours, it does, in fact, self-inflate as it decompresses, and I just need to top it off with a breath or two.

So, for *me*, if I had to pick ONE pad, I'd probably get the Thermarest ProLite Plus.  They're comfortable, warm and reasonably priced (you can find them on sale often.)  Drawbacks are that it's a little heavy (for backpacking) and the foam pads are, in general, pretty bulky.

Having said that, I just picked up an Exped Downmat Lite 5 for kayak-camping and short hikes.  It weighs 21oz, so on the heavy side for an air mattress, but it has an R-value of 4.1, rolls up reasonably small and, with a 20% discount coupon, only cost me $71.  It comes with a pump, so that's my total cost.  My intention is to pair it with a quilt for backpacking and I like the fabric material much better than the NeoAirs.

If you want a warmer pad, I think TrailTamper's Synmat recommendation is excellent.

Also, FWIW, Backcountryedge.com currently has a 20% discount coupon that you can use on any of the Expeds (but not the Thermarests.)  www.backcountryedge.com.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 11:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Oct. 20 2013, 9:37 pm)
QUOTE
Open cell foam is not self inflating. It's a foam pad that has open cells - as opposed to foam with air pockets throughout that are enclosed (closed) the foam is honeycombed.

Open cell is self inflating

http://m.rei.com/mt....ad.html
Pioneered by Therm-a-Rest® pads, these offer a combination of open-cell foam insulation and air. Open the pad's valve and air fills the vaccuum. These pads are wrapped in air-tight, waterproof nylon shells. Popular with backpackers, a few of the thickest models are better suited for car campers.

It sounds like you might be thinking of closed cell pads
Self inflating or open cell

closed cell
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2013, 4:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been a big fan of Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pads since they first came out

Here's a good deal if you're short

http://www.6pm.com/big-agnes-insulated-air-core-short-brown-black

Or if you're tall

http://www.amerioutdoors.com/Big-Agnes-2-PIAML8.htm?feed=Froogle


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2013, 4:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Prolite Plus too...I carry either shorty or 72 depending...
1 1/2 inch thick inflated. That extra 1/2 inch over other Thermarest models makes a big difference.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2013, 5:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The ProLite Plus is made with 70/75D nylon so stronger than the 50/70 ProLite or the  X Therm at 30/70.
According to a fabric expert, with mats, a 70 denier is  2.2 times stronger than a 15 denier.(not sure if this applies to puncture or abrasion resistance)
Apparently the SynMat UL is 15 denier.
70/75 the first figure is for  the top.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2013, 5:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If comfort is your highest priority...

The Exped SIM Comfort mats, either the 7.5 or the 10 is gong to be a good choice.
I use my Exped Mega mat on occasion and the comfort is second to none.
There are others that are certainly lighter and more compact, but these score high in the comfort dept.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2013, 5:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

BTW, open cell foam is self inflating...
A synthetic sponge is open cell foam , you squeeze it and it pops up (self inflate...) when you let it go.
Most manufacturers to save weight and bulk will perforate the foam but that has nothing directly to do with self inflating.
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(vigilguy @ Oct. 26 2013, 5:23 pm)
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If comfort is your highest priority...

I use my Exped Mega mat on occasion and the comfort is second to none.

Aren't the Exped Mega Mats great?!
Two fit perfectly in our Mutha Hubba, our car camping, base camp, visiting the relatives tent.
And when company comes to our house, we sleep on the floor on the Mega Mats.  Still a great night's sleep!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 27 2013, 6:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love my Big Agnes Q-Core SL for backpacking, but for car camping, the REI Camp Bed 2.5 or 3.5 is hard to beat.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 28 2013, 10:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i switched to a wide-sized pad (exped synmat UL7 LW) this year and it's very much improved my sleep quality... i couldn't sleep on my back with my arms outside of my bag without them floppin onto the cold ground. it has also made it easier to change sleep positions without too much of a spectacle.

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[double post --my bad]

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 28 2013, 11:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have Exped's Snymat 7 DLX and a BA Q-core. Both of these mats will satisfy your need for comfort (a big requisite for me) in the backcountry.

Synmat pros:

-Fiber-coating on top (warmth important)
-Integrated pump

Synmat cons:

-On the heavier side
-vertical baffles (less load-stable)

Q-Core pros:

- Very comfortable due to baffle arrangement
- Lighter than Synmat (feels about 6 oz. but haven't weighed)
- Rolls slightly smaller than Exped

Q-core cons:

- Lack of top coating means mat feels like a block of ice outside of bag in cooler temps.
- Corner valve (I've had bad experiences with these on BA aircores)
- No integrated pump. Blow, Blow, blow your boat.

Summary: Love the Q-core's comfort but my overall preference is for the Exped.
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