Now entering the ring... (sleeping pads)

Discussion in 'Gear' started by Tater Head, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Tater Head

    Tater Head Hoo are you looking at?

    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Malad City, Idaho
    Looking to upgrade my sleeping pad. I currently use an Alps self-inflating pad. It weighs in at 2 pounds 5 ounces and its pack size is 4.5x21 inches. It's a heavyweight... I have been looking at the Big Angus air core series. Lots of choices. I'm wanting to get as close to 16 ounces or under as possible. Anyone have any thing they really love?
     
  2. Udink

    Udink is Swell

    Messages:
    869
    Location:
    Price, Utah, USA
    I've been using a Big Agnes Air Core for years and I have no complaints, but I've never used anything else to compare it to. It's relatively light, packs small, and very little fuss. :)
     
    Dave likes this.
  3. Nick

    Nick Post 'em if you got 'em!

    Messages:
    11,359
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I've tried a lot of backpacking pads over the years. All of these have gotten at least a few nights under me, most have gotten at least a season or more:

    Big Agnes Air Core (uninsulated)
    Thermarest RidgeRest
    Thermarest Z-Lite
    Thermarest ProLite
    Thermarest NeoAir X Lite
    Thermarest NeoAir All Season


    NeoAir pads = bestest ever, IMO :)

    From all of this I've learned that for me, size is paramount. The way I sleep, I like to have extra length and extra width so mummy shaped pads are no good. If it's going to be a smaller pad, I like them to be closer to the ground so I can flop off of it a bit without being too uncomfortable. Larger pads I like to get the full cushy depth of inflatables like the Big Ag or the NeoAir.

    Insulation is critical. I don't sleep cold so it never really seemed important to me, but once I started sleeping on the NeoAir pads, I learned the real power of insulation. It makes it so I can pretty much use my 32˚ sleeping bag as a quilt for pretty much everything but winter camping. The way it reflects heat back up just makes the whole system so incredibly efficient.

    Closed cel has the insulation, but the comfort factor is just terrible. I slept on the RidgeRest for a couple of years. It was awesome to have around the campfire, not so awesome to have a huge roll on the outside of my pack. Terrible for aches and pains the next day.

    The ProLite's were okay but bulky. Didn't really love them or hate them. I had issues with holes in them a few times.

    The Big Agnes was also okay but I'd never go back to an uninsulated pad. I also had issues with holes in it, but BA was awesome with repairs.

    Oddly, I haven't had any issues with holes in my NeoAirs and I have used the hell out of that X Lite. I'm now using the All Season as my go-to pad unless I'm really cramped on space or room. It's a bit heavier than the X Lite but having that fully rectangular space is worth it to me. I wish I could get an old verion of the X Lite that was fully rectangular in the XL size. That would be perfect.
     
  4. Nick

    Nick Post 'em if you got 'em!

    Messages:
    11,359
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
  5. Riggs

    Riggs Member

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Montana
    We got some Neoair Trekkers last year, and really like them. I tried a friends xlite, and as others mention in reviews, the noise bugged me too much. Another reason was to get rectangular ones, like Nick I like sleeping on them better, and my wife and I use a coupler system that works much better with rectangular. Last reason was I liked the thicker material of the Trekker, I've repaired too many Thermarests over the last 25 years, a few more ounces is OK with me.

    I just looked and see they increased the R value for Trekkers, which would be nice as that was a drawback to ours. That all season looks great. Do these have the foil material (or whatever it is) that gives the xlite the crinkle? I wonder if Trekker has that now.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Post 'em if you got 'em!

    Messages:
    11,359
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    The All Season does not have the crinkly material, although that never really bothered me on the X Lite.
     
  7. Riggs

    Riggs Member

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Montana
    That sounds like a great one then, kinda wish we'd gone that way. Yeah, my friend doesn't mind the noise at all either. Part of it I think was 2 of us sleeping right next to each other, more of a chance of it being a problem.
     
  8. Tater Head

    Tater Head Hoo are you looking at?

    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Malad City, Idaho
    This might be a dumb question. Do you think that the long vertical air chambers like the ones on the Big Angus Air Core vs. the short horizontal ones on the Neo Air add any comfort or warmth?
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Post 'em if you got 'em!

    Messages:
    11,359
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I don't think the horizontal vs. vertical has that much effect. What really helps is all of the mini air chambers inside the neoair.

    upload_2014-2-2_14-4-28.png

    Pretty sure those are just big open tubes in the uninsulated Air Core.
     
    Tater Head likes this.
  10. steve

    steve Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    Lehi
    I've got a neo air xthrerm and I love it. 15 oz, and super high R-value (I sleep cold). I use it year round and I couldn't be happier with it.
     
  11. Tater Head

    Tater Head Hoo are you looking at?

    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Malad City, Idaho
    Thanks for the input. The one thing more difficult than choosing from so many options is talking my wife into the idea of a of a $150 dollar sleeping pad. If you need to find me I will out back in the doghouse. Sleeping comfortably on my new sleeping pad...
     
  12. steve

    steve Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    Lehi
    Good gear lasts a long time. If you're going to be spending lots of time camping, a good $150 sleeping pad will last 3 or 4 cheap $30 pads.

    That being said, if you just want insulation and no comfort, for $35 you can pick up a Thermarest Z-lite SOL. 14 oz, r 2.6, and SUPER tough. Not super comfy though if you're a side-sleeper.
     
    Tater Head likes this.
  13. Tater Head

    Tater Head Hoo are you looking at?

    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Malad City, Idaho
    I have a friend that uses the Thermarest Z-lite. I'm not sure how he sleeps on it. A have slept on piles of rocks that I thought to be more comfortable. I'm also looking for something that packs a little smaller.
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Post 'em if you got 'em!

    Messages:
    11,359
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Ha! Yeah, I have a friend (@colefeet) that also loves the Z-Lite. I think weighing like 80 pounds might help.

    REI's spring member sale (20% off) and dividends are coming in March. Good time to pickup an expensive pad without taking such a hit to your wallet, especially if you racked up some dividends over the year.
     
  15. steve

    steve Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    Lehi
    light, comfortable, or cheap. Pick 2
     
    Nick likes this.
  16. Miss Buffalo

    Miss Buffalo Never give up!!

    Messages:
    2,403
    Location:
    St. George, UT, Pahoa, HI
    I use the Neoair All Season and really love it.
    It has a bit of noise when turning at night but it is neglectable compared to the XLite.
    I used my All Season the entire last year and even in temperatures around 5 degrees it kept me warm. And I use to sleep pretty cold.
    I'm short but bought the large version because of the extra width: I used to roll off my pads a lot and that kept me awake many nights.
    When I bought the All Season I especially bought the large version for the extra width and this helped me a lot to seep more comfortable.
    it adds a few extra ounces of weight but it was worth to get the larger one.
     
    Tater Head likes this.
  17. Tater Head

    Tater Head Hoo are you looking at?

    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Malad City, Idaho
    Isn't that the truth...
     
  18. Bob

    Bob Trailmaster

    Messages:
    1,834
    Location:
    NUtah
    Thermarest Pro 4 for years. Now on a Thermarest NeoAir............ wonderful. And I move around a lot sleeping.
     
  19. Tyson

    Tyson Member

    Messages:
    10
    I started using the Big Agnes Q-Core SL last year and I absolutely love it! I sleep with a quilt and the insulation that the pad provides is more than enough to keep me warm on my backside. Also, the "quilted" design is MUCH more comfortable than a beam design IMO, and the weight is pretty low as well (for the regular size it is 17oz).
     
  20. fiber

    fiber Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    My wife bought the Big Anges Q-Core SL last year and couldn't stand the it. She kept sliding off the pad. Even on nearly flat surfaces she would still end up half way off the pad. She returned it and bought a NeoAir All-Season and has had no problems sliding off. The Big Anges Q-Core pad is more comfortable than the NeoAir, but that only works if you can actually stay on the pad :rolleyes2:.
     
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