Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Jeffcee » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:21 am

Im thinking of getting the Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Sleeping Pad, Whats your experience?

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by majorhavoc » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:54 am

For recreational purposes, I have a Big Agnes insulated air core sleeping pad. I've found it to be a nice upgrade from my old ThermaRest (it wasn't the Trail Scout though, which looks like a nice pad). The Big Agnes is substantially lighter and packs more compactly.

For my existing BOB (more properly, a GHB) I have nothing and will have to rely on found materials.

Like all inflatable sleeping pads, they're vulnerable to punctures. Always have a patch kit handy. For me, the risk of punctures is worth it; my back has made it clear in no uncertain terms that for recreational outings at least, my old ensolite closed cell foam pad days are well behind me.

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Asymetryczna » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:31 am

I don’t have a favorite. It depends on where I am sleeping, how I am getting there, etc. Whatever keeps me off the ground, whatever works, etc. Pine boughs produce a fragrant smell if a fellow traveler is gassy, and left behind the plants provide shelter for small varmints. The giant pile of leaves and pine needles work well if it is not tick season or they are not abundant where I sleep. Chiggers, in volume and with access to your ass crack, can nearly take you out of action. In a boat on the river I nearly always take my Isopore mat for obvious reasons. You can find them for under $10. I have used one of mine for over 30 years; so there’s that. They also double as a shooting mat and you can cut them to half size so that you have a barrier between the areas from your buttocks to your brain. I have friends with self-inflating, solar-powered, dectuple-secret, USB solar pouch, ACAT patterned mats but they never go outdoors except to camp once a year so we really do not discuss mats much. Another friend cringes at the idea of anything being on the outside of or hanging from his pack as if every time he throws it on he might be photographed. It’s as if he watched 90210 growing up and I was influenced by the Beverly Hillbillies…
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by ineffableone » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:15 pm

My favorite is found materials, like fern fronds, evergreen bows, etc... However these are not things to rely on in an emergency.

I have a Thermarest ProLite and enjoy it. I opted for the self inflating as they don't loose all insulation and padding if they loose air. Though of course they do loose most of their insulation and support.

For true dependability the solid mats never have issues of failure. But tend to be rather bulky which was why I opted for the self inflating. I have been considering finding something either solid, or a raised cot rather than the self inflating for a more durable and less failure prone sleeping option.

I had been interested in the cuUlz cot since hearing about them on Equip2Endure's youtube channel. However they disappeared shortly after I learned about them only to resurface but owned by Thermarest called the LuxuryLite and at about twice the price they had been when the small company cuUlz invented them ($200 now vs $100 range when owned by cuUlz).

Not too long ago I heard about a Chinese knock off of these cots.



They can be found here http://www.tomtop.com/brs-200kg-bearing ... l?aid=1299
While i haven't gotten one, I am considering getting one, as it actually puts them into an affordable range now. Even competitive with mats. $50 +$20 shipping is not overly pricey and I would not mind spending that to try out this product when I have the $ to spare. Though right now my $ is tied up in a drone build so I don't have the $ to spend on these cots yet.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Asymetryczna » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:21 pm

I may not always be right but I often have an opinion. LOL. Get what you like and then offer up the pros and cons for others. I tend to use a personal formula that places durability and longevity above the other drivers, more Tractor Supply Store than REI, more Carhartt than North Face. Still, there is the urge among some humans to conform so if you find yourself standing in the cold with 100 other men and you are the only one not wearing a black North Face jacket do not be afraid. It is OK. There are a couple of us around.

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by 74 or more » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:01 pm

I have an ExPed DownMat 7 and I love it. A little spendy but worth it if you can swing it.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Redbad » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:25 pm

I use both a Thermarest NeoAir All Season and a Thermarest Ridgerest and have had good experiences with them. The NeoAir packs into about the same space as a Nalgene water bottle. The Ridgerest is inexpensive but bulky. Both have held out well during multi-week all season backpacking trips in the wilderness.

Use of found materials has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the cost is $0 and there is no weight/bulk related to a sleeping pad in your pack. The disadvantages are 1) that the materials have to be available; 2) evidence of your presence is readily available -- definitely not Leave no Trace; 3) time and effort related to assembling materials. In a worst case scenario, "sleeping" on the ground without a sleeping pad can be very uncomfortable.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by majorhavoc » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:00 pm

Redbad wrote:I use both a Thermarest NeoAir All Season and a Thermarest Ridgerest and have had good experiences with them. The NeoAir packs into about the same space as a Nalgene water bottle. The Ridgerest is inexpensive but bulky. Both have held out well during multi-week all season backpacking trips in the wilderness.
One additional point for any readers unfamiliar with the Ridgerest: it has the added advantage of being non-encapsulated closed cell foam. It's not an air mattress, so it can't puncture and deflate. Of course that's also why it's so bulky ...

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by tony d tiger » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:59 pm

I've been using an old Coleman foam-filled self-inflating pad for the last 12 years. Big & bulky, but comfy. Added benefits: segmented construction so if you get holed (which it hasn't*knock on wood*) the whole pad won't deflate; foam filled for added padding and insulation; it's big and ugly - nobody gonna wanna steal it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by mad scientist » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:01 am

I have an older version of the Thermarest Trail Pro I've been using for the past few years. The thing has been great.

The only downside was the price. I paid over $150 for it at my favorite local store (I see they're less on Amazon right now). So, with that much money invested in what's basically a large balloon, I've been paranoid about puncturing it every time I've used it.

With that in mind, about a year ago I bought a Klymit Static V for under $50 from Amazon. And I've been blown away by it. To me, the design is just flat out better than the Thermarest. It takes less air to fill up, but at the same time gives you more cushion from the ground.

The materials of both pads seem about the same as far as puncture resistance (which is very good), but the Klymit being a third of the price allows me to be considerably braver with it.

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Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by estoteparati » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:35 am

Thermarest Neoair xtherm max. Light and very high r. Packs tiny too


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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:22 am

Downmat in several sizes for insulated inflatable and the Ridgerest for closed cell.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by modustollens » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:12 am

I am using a Thermarest pro-lite plus. I have the woman's version. I bought that because it has a higher r value than the man's and it is my exact dimensions.

I am not so worried about punctures myself. Holes in my mat are usually the result of rogue sparks from the fire.

I have been tempted to try the downmat given the high r-value they claim to have. But I am not aware of how robust they are or how easy to repair. With themarests, which I have used for many years, I am fairly confident in their ability to be repaired in the field (provided one has a repair kit).

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:08 am

modustollens wrote:I am using a Thermarest pro-lite plus. I have the woman's version. I bought that because it has a higher r value than the man's and it is my exact dimensions.

I am not so worried about punctures myself. Holes in my mat are usually the result of rogue sparks from the fire.

I have been tempted to try the downmat given the high r-value they claim to have. But I am not aware of how robust they are or how easy to repair. With themarests, which I have used for many years, I am fairly confident in their ability to be repaired in the field (provided one has a repair kit).

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The flat values are very good on the downmat. The Downmat is probably the warmest most comfortable night in da woods possible or at least that has been my observation.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Stercutus » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:29 am

My favorite is a blanket over a poncho over beach sand. Most comfortable nights of my life sleeping outdoors have always been over beach sand. Everything else is pretty much the same. Sucky.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by teotwaki » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:54 am

I have a Ridgerest that I combine with a 3/4 length Prolite that together offer good comfort, Rfactor, decent weight and a bit of fail safe factor. I've been lucky and not had punctures and I like the overall combination for comfort.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by ineffableone » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:06 pm

BTW, a pad I have used that is "unconventional" is a folded up military wool blanket. Actually worked fairly well and was pretty comfy. Only issue really is the obvious one of the blanket shifting about in your sleep. Mostly the issue being getting weird folds that become uncomfortable rather than loosing insulation. Not the best sleeping pad but also not the worst. I was experimenting with it as I was thinking it might be nice to have a multi purpose sleeping pad. Something I could use for more than just a pad. However military wool blankets don't roll up all that small, are a bit heavy, and there was the issue of it shifting while asleep.

This is still a sleeping pad option I consider, but it is not my primary or favorite. Though it has bonuses like being able to use it close to a fire with less worry.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Halfapint » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:32 pm

I used to swear by the standard Thermarest, big, bulky, doesn't pack down well, but was a staple. Now I use the Neo Air, and LOVE it. I think mine is 2 1/2 inches of air. Sure you have to worry about it getting a hole in it, but I'm not using it on plain dirt. I've got my tent and ground cloth to protect it so it's never been a problem. I also like it in my hammock because it does pack down so small I can use it instead of an under quilt in my hammock.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Canadian Guy » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:56 am

For winter use my favourite hands down is the Exped Downmat 9, I have used it in extreme cold conditions and it was warm and comfortable. For lightweight summer use is the Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest (classic) which had suprised me as being more comfortable then I had expected it would be. For less weight conscious summer use I'll bring along the Therm-a-Rest ToughSkin. All mats are the extra-long versions.

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Asymetryczna » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:01 am

In previous posts in this thread I added comments from the previous Century. I'll paraphrase now, but basically, I offered that one should, "get yourself a foam pad that is 8 feet long and weighs 10 lbs and just carry it everywhere you go. Just carry it everywhere." Also, I time travel.

Last night I ventured into a nearby outdoor store in order to find something. For reasons unknown to me I was pulled toward a section that had sleeping bags and pads in order to see one of these modern contraptions. Lo and behold I found about 6 variations of the sleeping pad that fold up into nothing and that "with 10-12 puffs of air" become a king-sized mattress that assumes your natural body temperature and remains that way down to -50 degrees. One came with a trolling motor. Another option included a recorded voice of a very intelligent, young Asian woman that puts you quickly into REM sleep by whispering haikus about chrysanthemums and koans about carrying a rock. Some come with a weightless shelf that stores up to 500 30-round mags and twin turrets for mini-guns, grenade launchers and/or smoke canister dispensers. One was so attractive that I wrote my mobile phone number down on the back of someone else's business card (encrypted, of course) and left it there. By the time I was ready to leave it had already sent me a text so we enjoyed an early dinner and some coffee before I dropped it back off at the store. We write back and forth now, regular-like, and have formed a good friendship. It really likes Asimov, Benchley and Christie, Agatha. This farcical journey was to say that I am behind the times on certain things to carry.

Much too often, when I see pictures of what is essentially "outdoor, or hard-use gear" it all looks so new and unused. With some, the total use of the 'thing' is to buy it and then take very clear and detailed photos of removing it from the box it was delivered in and I do not get this. My invite then is to get that person outside or into "in usage" mode so that all of their needs can actually turn into what they require. Mine might be different. Because of my size, walking and travel experience, I lean toward nearly indestructible stuff that does what it is supposed to do when it is asked to do so. Some of you are knowledgeable about MIL-STD-810G, for instance.

And yet, when I picked up 6 different sleeping pads and looked at them in this store I had to laugh at what I did not know: that there are many options available now, and these options are much lighter, much more storable, portable, comfortable, etc., etc., etc.

I stick by the things that I know: my 3-decade old roll has been in rivers and oceans, mountains and jungles, the extreme cold of a snow cave and the extreme heat of desert regions.
But it is clearly not the best option available.
Next, I will venture into stoves.

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by majorhavoc » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:37 am

Asymetryczna wrote:In previous posts in this thread I added comments from the previous Century. I'll paraphrase now, but basically, I offered that one should, "get yourself a foam pad that is 8 feet long and weighs 10 lbs and just carry it everywhere you go. Just carry it everywhere." Also, I time travel.
...
And yet, when I picked up 6 different sleeping pads and looked at them in this store I had to laugh at what I did not know: that there are many options available now, and these options are much lighter, much more storable, portable, comfortable, etc., etc., etc.

I stick by the things that I know: my 3-decade old roll has been in rivers and oceans, mountains and jungles, the extreme cold of a snow cave and the extreme heat of desert regions.
But it is clearly not the best option available.
Next, I will venture into stoves.
Understandable. In my two responses above, I answered OP's direct question, which is that I use and very much favor one of those lighter, more modern, high tech options. I qualified that by saying it's for recreational use.

But I also recognized the same basic conundrum you have, so I also answered the question in the implied context (ie, OP posted his query here, in the "Bug Out Gear" sub-section of "Survival Equipment"). And my answer to that is much like yours; either use found materials or bring an old school closed cell, ensolite-type pad. Which while bulky and not nearly as comfortable, is the fail safe option in a survival/bug out situation.

In other words the best options are, like most things in life, highly contextual.

Hysterically entertaining hyperbole in your reply, BTW.

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by sheddi » Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:50 pm

I'm not going to even try and be entertaining :)

25 years ago I bought a full-size 10mm thick closed-cell foam mat. It was sold as milspec (but probably isn't). It was my only sleeping mat for 10 years or so, by which time it was a bit dog-eared so when my local German supermarket had a seasonal offer on aluminized 10mm thick closed-cell foam mats I bought a replacement.

Unfortunately Mrs Sheddi took a liking to the replacement and started using it when we went camping. I got to use the original one.

Then my son started Scouting, and not wishing to have the worst-turned-out cub scout on camp I found myself giving him the shiny blue one and I was still stuck with the antique.

Admittedly I have a cheap air mattress that I drag along if I'm car camping, but for anything light(er)weight I'm still using that same foam pad from before German reunification.
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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by Roch » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:11 am

If I'm out for more than a couple nights I like my Klymit Insulated Static V, especially in winter.
I'm kind of partial to the OD green milsurp mats too though, fold them up and hog tie it and you got a mighty comfy chair. I always end up cutting them up to make something. But they are cheap as shit and thus expendable.

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Re: Whats your favorite sleeping pad?

Post by justsomeguy » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:38 pm

the wife and I were using thermarest pads, the last time we went backpacking. they weigh a couple of pounds, so along the AT trail in Georgia we stopped at the walasi yi center (a great store) and we up graded to a lighter thermarest brand pad that weigh under a pound. they worked great and were identical in comfort to the heavier ones we had. plus they folded in half lengthwise before rolling so they stored away smaller too.

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