Need a recomendation for a bag and pad for a 6'3'' 300 lb hiker that's getting back into the sport after a 12 year absence.
I'd prefer "not" to have a mumy bad as they are wayyyyy too restrictive.
<wave> Two suggestions based on personal experience:
1) If you're going to sleep on the ground, get the 25" wide and long Big Agnes insulated aircore pad. (the long and wide here)
You will appreciate the extra size, and this is actually a *comfortable* pad as opposed to
thermarests or hard foam. I'm heavy and I use this. it kicks butt for sleeping on the ground.
It also doesn't actually weigh that much.
2) Alternatively try a hammock - I hammock most of the time spring->fall where there are
trees because it's even more comfortable to me than anything else. Try it first with
something like This simple test rig
to see if you are suited to sleeping in one. Not everyone is.
As for sleeping bags, I'm totally with you on the mummy bag front. I suggest a quilt. There are links and plans to make your own on this site, however, I never have. As a big guyI actually end up using (guess what) a mummy bag! - I can buy a light mummy bag for barely more than I can make a good quilt
and I simply *use it as a quilt* - meaning most of the time I sleep in it, I zip up only the foot box, and cover myself in the rest of the bag quilt style. I can still zip it up if I *really had to* - but I don't. bear in mind however that I typically sleep in at least some clothing - long johns, socks and a toque.