New Sleeping Pad?

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The time may have come to treat myself to a new sleeping pad. Among the family we all use Thermarest pads. The one I typically take is 26” wide (and I wouldn’t want it too much narrower), 76 long (at 5’ 11” it could certainly be shorter) and 1 ½” thick when inflated (and my old bones could use more cushion these days).

Neither weight nor compressed size is much of a factor in selecting a new pad. Nor is R-value; I don’t do extreme winter camping and sleep warm in any case.

Things that are:

I would like to be mostly self-inflating. Systems that use a stuff bag bellows or pump to inflate don’t appeal to me, especially if it is raining and I need to inflate the pad inside the tent – which isn’t much bigger than the pad. If the pad needs a couple of lung puffs to finish it off that’s fine. That’s probably a no-no for pads with down fill.

I would like it to be of proven durability. I’ll never buy another Slumberjack pad, having had 4 of them fall apart in the course of too few trips – two delaminated huge bulging bubbles and two simply wouldn’t hold air. I did hole one of our Thermarest pads on a hidden greenbriar thorn at the beginning of a trip, but other than that forceful lay-on-a-thorn puncture they have held up very well (and Thermarest patched the holes).

I would like it to have more cushion/thickness/comfort than a 1 ½” thick Thermarest. Maybe much more.

Big Agnes systems won’t work for me as I usually sleep with the bag open and draped over me. I’ve heard good things about Exped comfort, but their selection of self-inflators is limited. I’ve heard Paco Pads are uber durable, but I use my pad only for sleeping and not lounging on rocks.

Should I just buy a thicker (and 20 year newer) ThermaRest, or is there really something better?
 
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Exped Synmat. I have the 7. Now you might think it does no self inflation but if you unroll it and let it sit 30 minutes, it only requires a few pumps or puffs. I have not been too concerned about cheating and blowing in damp air.

The internal pump that you do CPR on is good CPR practice.

Or buy a RidgeRest. It would add a little padding below your Thermie and still grab it. Or go to Lowes and make an underlayer of workshop flooring.

I think I have a couple of unused wide Thermarests in the attic that I could donate to the cause. Though I better check. They are the old Base Camp LE and might with what you have with carpet grab in between not slide.
 
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New ThermaRest

New ThermaRest

Mrs Santa brought me a new Thermarest. A Luxurymap L; same footprint as our (quite) old ones, but 3” thick instead of 1 ½” on our vintage models.

Self-inflated (which takes a full day with a factory compressed pad) and eventually re-rolled it fits into one of our DIY drybags with enough space left on top for a few easy-access items; I strap that long tubular sleeping pad dry bag to the stern in decked boats, and don’t otherwise use a deck bag, so having a repository for hats, gloves and an extra layer seems handy.

Mrs Claus included a Therma-Rest fitted sheet. I almost never sleep inside the bag but instead with the bag draped over me, so having a washable cover should keep the pad cleaner and me more comfortable.

I’m looking forward to trying it out soon on a winter trip.
 
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Thanks Mike, I just ordered a Thermarest Luxury Map "Reg", only 20" wide, but the same 3' thick and 72 long. And it has a 6.8 R rating compared to 3's and 4's the thinner ones have.
I used to be able to sleep on an inch and a half Thermarest but not any more. I like to sleep on my side and that extra padding will be great on the hips and shoulders.
I'm also happy about that R rating, I'll use it in my wall tent now fall, spring and winter and leave the bulky cot home. I have an old 1 & 1/2 Thermarest I might use underneath on the cold ground which will be real nice after the stove goes out.
Sounds too comfortable....;)
 
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Thanks Mike, I just ordered a Thermarest Luxury Map "Reg", only 20" wide, but the same 3' thick and 72 long. And it has a 6.8 R rating compared to 3's and 4's the thinner ones have.
I used to be able to sleep on an inch and a half Thermarest but not any more. I like to sleep on my side and that extra padding will be great on the hips and shoulders.
I'm also happy about that R rating, I'll use it in my wall tent now fall, spring and winter and leave the bulky cot home. I have an old 1 & 1/2 Thermarest I might use underneath on the cold ground which will be real nice after the stove goes out.
Sounds too comfortable....;)

:) :) and here I was thinking cot to get me up to the warm air.. but that wont work when the stove goes out anyhow.
 
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If your paddlin' in off season with a hot tent and stove plus all the other goodies we need, that cot just takes up too much room. Then you set up the tent and the cot takes up more room inside. But it sure is comfy sleeping up off the ice cold floor...and those pesky mice looking for some warmth.
If your pulling a sled with winter gear the cot needs to stay home, just too heavy.
I'm looking at a dog harness, let one of my overfed Labs pull my gear, then we both sleep on a cot with thermarest underneath. Nice:)
 
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Well, I think that to dismiss the idea of a cot out of hand is doing yourself a disservice. I suggest you go to the REI site and look at the Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot. They have a photo of someone's hand holding the packed up cot in it's bag. To my mind it's pretty small and then once you've slept on it it's miniscule when you factor in the Ahhh.......comfort! I was and am impressed with the durability of my old sleeping pad so I thought I'd give the cot a try. (same company) There is a part of me that didn't want to spend that kind of money so I gentled into it by thinking that if the cot proved anything less than stellar I'd send it back to REI, ha! I still have it and it would take some serious violence to get it away from me!
Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I was wondering in a hot tent, if cold air can actually circulate under you and make you colder if you use a cot. I am not sure I would like the hot above and cold downstairs thing.

On the floor a sleeping mat with no potential to cause air currents can be very comfortable, especially paired with a RidgeRest. Thick airmattresses actually make you feel colder as they can generate air currents inside..(eg Coleman single cell four inch airbeds). The nice thing about a cot..especially an Army cot is the easy getting up..
 
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I do a lot of winter camping in a hot tent and find the trick with a cot is to use either a blue foam, piece of thermofoil, or (ultimate comfort) thermorest on top. This gives you a thermal break from the cold air and makes it a lot easier to put those %^$%^&$ half frozen packboots on in the morning :)
 
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Thanks Mike, I just ordered a Thermarest Luxury Map "Reg", only 20" wide, but the same 3' thick and 72 long. And it has a 6.8 R rating compared to 3's and 4's the thinner ones have.
I used to be able to sleep on an inch and a half Thermarest but not any more. I like to sleep on my side and that extra padding will be great on the hips and shoulders.

The Luxury map is certainly much more comfortable than our ancient Thermarest base models (which I believe are only 1” thick). I’m not tough enough anymore to side-sleep on 1” of foam & air. As a bonus the Luxury map compresses to almost the same size as our old basecamp models and fits in the same DIY drybag>

Yellow bag on the stern
http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a593/CooperMcCrea/P1090574_zps0c76ecc4.jpg

I’ve only experienced one Thermarest failure, and that was when a single greenbriar thorn hidden in the sand punctured 3 tiny, slow leak holes. I had a patch kit but couldn’t find the leak(s).

One failure in 20+ years isn’t bad, but I camp in a lot of thorny and shell-sharded areas. I have a Thermarest sheet cover atop the pad for comfort, but would like some puncture-resistant layer underneath. Thorns can obviously pass through a ground cloth, tent bottom and thick sleeping pad material so I doubt that another layer of nylon would be much help.

One solution would be to bring another pad, something like a Ridgerest, but that is a damn bulky solution even for me.

Does anyone know of a thorn and shell shard puncture-resistant material that wouldn’t be stupid heavy or bulky to use, either under the pad or even as a ground cloth under the entire tent?
 
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