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#119274 - 08/11/09 09:06 PM R-Value of your sleep pads?
Kieran Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 46
Loc: Seattle, WA
Hi All - as some of you may have seen in the newbie forum, I'm getting ready for my first winter trip since my early teens (read: my first winter trip since I'm mature enough to think this through). As I've gathered from various posts and other sources, one of the most important aspects of a winter sleep system is the padding/ground insulation.

But I've had a hard time determining how much is enough. I found a resource at http://sectionhiker.com/2009/03/27/sleeping-pad-r-values/ that lists R-Values for various pads, but it doesn't relate to actual comfort at various temperatures. Probably the easiest way (that I can tell) to determine how much is enough padding is to ask for R-Values from you all, so as to play this on a level field.

So I was wondering if anyone can give me some comfty R-Values for their pads at about 0*?

I was thinking of using 2 Ridgerests for their relatively good R-Value of 5.2, low weight, and low cost (not sure how much I'm going to like winter camping). I could always add a 3rd ridgerest I suppose, depending on your feedback.

Thanks!

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#119280 - 08/11/09 11:16 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Kieran]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I hear that sleeping on snow is actually not that bad.

Many combine a foam pad and a thermarest for winter. Me, I would take my hammock and a four season underquilt, a down filled air mattress, or a reservation for a cabin with a nice fireplace.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#119281 - 08/11/09 11:23 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: lori]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I haven't kept track of R values for my pads but can say by observation that it depends on how you sleep. I use and old ensolite pad underneath a thermarest trail lite ( 1 1/2" withno cut outs in the foam) and am fine down below 0F. If I take less, I get cold, yet I've been out with friends who will comfortably sleep in the same conditions on just a 1" thermarest lite with the die cuts. See if you can find an older thermarest or borrow one and use it with your ridgerest. If you find you really like winter camping then go for a Down Airmat 7 or 9 from Exped.
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#119283 - 08/11/09 11:43 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Kieran]
Paul Offline
member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 778
Loc: California
I can't quote you R-values, but 2 ridgerests should be pretty good. I use a closed cell pad (about equal to a ridgerest, probably) with an older ultralight thermarest (about like a prolite3) on top. the closed cell is full length, the thermarest 3/4 length. This works pretty well, and is a combination that I've heard quite a few people use. The 2 ridgerests should be as warm or warmer than this combination. The list of R-values you found may have numbers for the pads I use. Ridgerests are very light, but bulky, so if you are in doubt, take 3, if you can find a way to strap them onto your pack. Better to have more insulation below you than not enough.

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#119290 - 08/12/09 02:27 AM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Paul]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I have no idea about the R values of my pads, but I know what works-a Ridgerest and original Thermo-Rest stacked together. I use full length pads, which I think is better than using 3/4 pads for sleeping on snow. I'm a cold sleeper and this combo works fine for me. My bag is a -5C (+23F) rated down bag and I've used it down to about +10F with my parka thrown on top. This works because my parka is the biggest down parka North Face makes. I sleep in my thermals (Capilene midweights) with a hat or balaclava on and sometimes my liner gloves and socks.

Another tip-eat something like chocolate or an energy bar before dozing off and have one handy in case you wake up cold. You need fuel to keep your core temp up all night.


Edited by TomD (08/12/09 02:29 AM)
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#119331 - 08/12/09 10:39 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Kieran]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
My cold weather (-20C, -4F) sleep system is comprised of a 63 cm * 196 cm (25" * 77") Prolite 4 (R3.2), space blanket (shiny side up) and a WM Puma DL.
If it gets much colder than this, sometimes, but not always, I will add a 1 cm (1/2") Zote foam pad (R1.36) between the space blanket and the Prolite 4.
If I'm not in a tent I will use my bivy that has a Refeltex bottom in lue of the space blanket.
I always wear something to bed - boxers and 'T' shirt or Merino wool long johns or more.
Here is another source for sleeping pad R Values

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#119333 - 08/12/09 11:09 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Rick]
Kieran Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 46
Loc: Seattle, WA
thanks for the info and, most importantly, the context of the sleep systems - definitely helps a lot.

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#119337 - 08/13/09 02:06 AM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Kieran]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Keep in mind that Rick is one of our friends from The Great White North, so when it comes to cold, he knows of which he speaks.

If you want to learn about serious cold weather camping, check out www.wintertrekking.com
It is great source of info for all kinds of winter gear and technique. Nothing lighweight about it, though, but don't let that deter you. I think Rick is the one who posted the link to it last winter.

ps. Rick, Did you get one of Harlan's little thermometers? They are very cool.
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#119339 - 08/13/09 06:10 AM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Kieran]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Opps, forgot to mention I always top that system off with a toque. sleep

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#119369 - 08/14/09 02:01 AM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Rick]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Originally Posted By Rick
Opps, forgot to mention I always top that system off with a toque. sleep


That's a funny looking beanie for those of us living in Baja Canada.
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#120136 - 08/31/09 10:53 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By TomD
Originally Posted By Rick
Opps, forgot to mention I always top that system off with a toque. sleep


That's a funny looking beanie for those of us living in Baja Canada.


Funny looking? My avatar is funny looking now? (I'm wearing my toque) smile

Oh, and on topic - my winter system is a 27 inch wide full lenght blue pad on top of a 25 inch wide full length big agnes insulated aircore. if I'm expecting really cold (below -25) there is a second blue foam pad underneath it.

I'm typically sleeping then a full fleece top and bottom, toque, balaclava, -15C rated down bag, and then with a
second synthetic sleeping bag as an overbag.

If it's warmer I adjust the layers accordingly.

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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#120201 - 09/02/09 05:11 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Not you Phat, just the toque. Starting to get cold up your way yet? It's still blazing hot down here-no pun intended. There is a massive fire out in the Valley and foothills and it's been about 40C as well. Not that hot where I live, but still plenty warm. wink


Edited by TomD (09/02/09 05:12 PM)
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#120223 - 09/02/09 10:53 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I wish it was getting cold here. It's been 30C here for the past three days since I got back from across the pond. too bloody hot.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#120379 - 09/05/09 08:44 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
That's about what is down here today, at least in my neighborhood. Inland, it's a lot hotter.
_________________________
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#120498 - 09/07/09 07:35 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
we might freeze tonight
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#120970 - 09/15/09 03:09 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: Kieran]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“So I was wondering if anyone can give me some comfty R-Values for their pads at about 0*?”

For my 0F setup, I use the following layers, bottom to top:
1. ground cloth 5oz: emergency blanket, white side up; the material is the same as this: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___89033
2. GG Squall Classic. Yes I use this in the winter.
3. GG Thinlight: 2oz http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/thinlight.html
4. GG Nightlight cut to 48” 7.5oz http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/NightLight_Full.html
5. WM Antelope Super DL 45oz http://www.westernmountaineering.com/ind...mp;ContentId=49
My breezy tent can handle this setup because of the great windstopper shell of the Antelope.

Note also my pads have an R value of 2.2 + 0.8 (estimate) = 3.0. Yet I feel much warmer on this setup than just my Prolite 4. This tells me R Values are subjective. It comes down to you trying it.

Also, during 3 season, I do not care for sleeping on CCF; I have been enjoying the Neoair short (9oz) or Prolite 4 short (16oz). Yet in the winter, I sleep comfortable on my CCF--- this may be due to my comfy pajamas/long-johns and more padded bag in the winter.

-Barry

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#121039 - 09/16/09 09:16 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: BarryP]
Kieran Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 46
Loc: Seattle, WA
interesting - thanks for the breakdown there Barry

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#123625 - 11/10/09 09:47 PM Re: R-Value of your sleep pads? [Re: lori]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Lori,

That cabin idea appeals to me. Rather more civilized than tenting or hammocking.

For tenting to -10F. I formerly used an old, 3/4 length standard Thermarest (i.e. no hollow cores, just 1" of foam) and for my feet a 3/8" closed cell foam Velcroed at one end to a homemade Thermarest cover.

Now that I got lucky and won a regular Trail Pro Thermarest in a drawing I think that's all I'll need down to -10 F. I do have a Ridgerest I can put under it if necessary. Amazingly my 10 year-old Thermarest Lite has kept me warm to 25 F. Hold it to the sun and you can see the lattice pattern of the foam. That 1st light matress had no fancy lateral coreing like they do now.

Eric
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"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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