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#104843 - 10/14/08 10:03 PM bubblewrap sleeping pad?
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Has anyone tried using a roll of bubblewrap instead of a foam pad? I know that bubbles will lose air after a while, but I'd think they'd be good enough for a few trips.

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#104844 - 10/14/08 10:07 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Wolfeye

If you raise up on one elbow the bubbles below will pop. Its a 40 year old idea that was scrapped. sorry. Otherwise its like sleeping on a bed of nails - you have to lay still. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104845 - 10/14/08 11:07 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Funny you should ask.......

Just a couple of days ago I ordered some parts that came in bubble wrap. 2 sheets with quarter size bubbles. I rolled them up and they were VERY light. That was the good news.

But the bad news came when I attempted to lie on them. A couple of bubbles popped immediately. The only way that particular bubble wrap would have worked was if I could distribute my weight over it juuust right.......and then not move at all. Which is not conducive to a good night's sleep.

Too bad. It really was light.

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#104846 - 10/15/08 06:14 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
Dryer Offline

Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
It works ok in a hammock above 50 deg. but you'll only get 2-3 nights out of if, tops.
On the ground, like already mentioned, you'll pop bubbles with every move.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#104847 - 10/15/08 07:59 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

Today's Bubble wrap will pop, as others have mentioned, but as jim said this was an old idea. I may have somewhere one of the supa-old-skool 1979 vintage bubble mat sleeping pads that were made fore sleeping, and were thicker and therefore wouldn't pop - but that also made them heavier, and they sucked <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
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#104848 - 10/15/08 09:06 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Jimshaw]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oh well. Not surprising, then, that I found the reference on an old timer's bicycle camping website.

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#104849 - 10/15/08 10:03 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2930
Loc: NorCal
Yes, in fact, REI used to sell an industrial-strength bubble wrap pad that was tough enough to sleep on. Only problem was I froze--it provides no effective insulation whatever. Paired with an ensolite pad (the closed cell foam of the day) it definitely made a more comfortable bed than foam alone.

Quote:
Has anyone tried using a roll of bubblewrap instead of a foam pad? I know that bubbles will lose air after a while, but I'd think they'd be good enough for a few trips.
_________________________
--Rick

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#104850 - 10/15/08 10:55 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
It would be a lightweight solution if it weren't so bulky, didn't pop bubbles every time you moved and provided some insulation. Another cheap suggestion that was offered by someone on this forum was the use of the thin CCF that is used for packing material. I have yet to try it but plan to use some as underquilt insulation for my hammock.
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#104851 - 10/15/08 02:15 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: chaz]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

You could always use the starch packing peanuts for underquilt insulation - then you could dual use
them and eat them <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#104852 - 10/16/08 06:22 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: phat]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Eat them? Not unless you can make peanut butter with em. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#104853 - 10/16/08 11:49 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
I experimented with a roll of insulation bubble wrap from Home Depot. 24" wide roll, stuff about 1/4" thick, sandwiched between two layers of aluminum foil.
The label even showed a picture of a backpacker in the snow carrying a roll of the stuff on his backpack.

My experiment was to use the stuff while sleeping on the carpeted living room floor for a week.
The bubbles didn't pop but they did start to go flat in areas subject to bearing a great deal of weight for hours, like the bubbles under my butt. I also think the bubbles distended and flattened in general whenever my body weight rested on an area, like under my knee, palm of my hand or elbow.

I decided it was not durable enough, even on plush carpet.

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#104854 - 10/27/08 09:22 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
Ecrow Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 85
Loc: N. New Mexico
I'm the kook here that regularly uses mylar foil bubble wrap to sleep on. I'm just so cheap I guess. My 24" x 74" piece weighs 10 oz. It isn't much padding, but the mylar foil really reflects the heat. My wal-mart blue foam just had no compressability and was hard as a rock. I would buy something else thin and light, if it would just compress a little. The best use of mylar foil is a small meal cozy/ fire fan/sitting pad/foil hat.
_________________________
Ecrow
Live to tell.

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#104855 - 10/28/08 11:37 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Ecrow]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
I was speculating on the construction of a "semi-permanent" or seasonal camp, something that could stand for several months but not more....

Essentially a structure that would substitute for a sizable backpacking tent....The attraction ---to me --- being something that could be practical and at least tolerable, in the colder six months of the year....(Where I live near New York City, this is maximum range of zero to 40 F.)

My friend suggested insulating the "tent" or "shack" with bubble wrap....I expect it might be feasible and effective.....but possibly expensive.... at least relative to using moss, or fallen leaves... or more simply and realistically double-walled plastic.... I am not really informed about reasonable alternatives.

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#104856 - 10/29/08 06:51 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: johndavid]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
It is possible to construct a structure in the backcountry. I hope your on private land. I don't know the laws in your area, but I imagine it wouldn't fly around here.
And since this isn't a lightweight idea, or the forum to be posting "how to build a shed" it's intriguing anyway. If I were to build a structure that would withstand the elements for a couple of months, I would use lightweight foam sheets cut so you could assemble panels. These would be lightweight, (well atleast lighter the wood etc). Depending on the size of your finished structure, and how to transport, you may need a truck. Personally, I would do a tent and check out Phat,s stove Idea.
But don't melt your shed down with a stove. Plastic and foam etc is very flammable!
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Enjoy your next trip...

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#104857 - 10/29/08 10:08 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: chaz]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
nah I wouldn't need a truck. A couple of rolls of tar paper carried in at night...maybe, a saw and some nails. One might even manage to insulate and heat the thing...Certainly a half-dozen candles would help....

Practically speaking, I wouldn't actually bother with the idea --- though I've recently located a nice site on state land where such a thing might be tucked away..

The particular park cops in question never, ever leave their vehicles.....Law being one thing, ethics another.....Even the ethics are, I admit, questionable or maybe simply wrong......The only thing saving the idea from downright depravity would be to be sure and remove the structure after a few months...

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#104858 - 10/30/08 12:01 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Despite the comments on bubblewrap failure in the wild, it does seem to work in the office quite well, as recorded here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh1Kuo1NWJ0

(. . . submitted while wondering about yet another Englishman's bizarre fetish, or else UK office workers have way too much time on their hands, as shown by these First Responders in their dispatchers office, here -- at least the woman in the background is still taking emergency calls.) <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

And if the proposed Prada/Nike merger takes place, and already with their announcement of the first prototype pair of hiking-platform-shoes, I see even less chance of this bubblewrap sleeping pad ever catching on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VDmQFf9C0

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#104859 - 10/30/08 12:46 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
When we went camping last weekend a buddy brought two 18"x18" pieces of the foil covered bubble wrap material used as insulation in the construction industry for us to sit on.

It was really pretty amazing. We sat the mats on the ground, foil side up, and as soon as you sat on them your butt warmed up.

I took my piece and placed it on top of my thin foam mat and under my sleeping bag in my hammock and put a "Hot Hands" over it inside the bag. I was warm and toasty all night.

I'm going to get a piece that's about 20"wide by 6' long and put it under my entire sleeping bag the next time I go out. I may just glue it to my foam pad and roll it up with it.

It's very lightweight and I believe the warmth it provides may be well worth the weight, and may possible save weight by allowing you to carry a lighter bag and pad in cold weather.

Bill
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#104860 - 10/30/08 01:03 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: billstephenson]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Most of the claims made by the manufacture are misleading, and some are just plain wrong. Many people are fooled once though, myself included. A blue foam bad of the same weight will give you are much much much higher r-value.

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#104861 - 10/30/08 01:09 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Rick_D]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Yes, in fact, REI used to sell an industrial-strength bubble wrap pad that was tough enough to sleep on. Only problem was I froze--it provides no effective insulation whatever. Paired with an ensolite pad (the closed cell foam of the day) it definitely made a more comfortable bed than foam alone.
He is right. This company should have had its butt sued years ago, but everyone still sells and everyone still buys the crap. It is only good for two things, and that is only if you remove the tinfoil from the bubblewrap. Looks impressive though. I know I've ranted about this before in the past. I hate marketing. It's crap. It sells, but it's still crap.

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#104862 - 10/30/08 01:15 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I had considered light muffler tape on a blue foam pad as a small wood-fire reflector.

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#104863 - 10/30/08 01:42 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Here is that link:
http://www.glacierbay.com/reflxtest.asp

Product Name: Reflectix
Insulation Classification: Radiant heat reflector
Thickness As Tested: .28"
Claimed "R" Value: 8.3 to 14.3 depending on type of installation.
Actual "R" Value (at product thickness): .67
Equivalent "R" Value (per inch): 2.38

By comparison blue foam has an r-value of R 4.34 per inch. I believe it also weighs less for the same thickness. Apparently the FTC has prohibited these bubble-wrap alumuminum foil type insulation manufacturers from making such false claims about r-values, but you still see alot of crap out there on the internet my resellers.

This stuff really annoys me. I should get a life. LOL

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#104864 - 10/30/08 06:42 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: JAK]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
RE: R value.
The R value of any insulation foam is directly related to the size of the air pockets it contains. The smaller, the better because heat is transferred primarly by convection in this situation.

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#104865 - 11/01/08 08:38 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: JAK]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I don't think it's a good reason to bring the mylar/bubble wrap is for insulation value or padding. It won't provide much of either. But it may be good to bring it for its ability to reflect your radiant body heat back at you.

This is easy to test to see if it's effective. Get a one foot square piece of it and take it outside on a cold day and set it on the ground and sit on it for one minute. Then sit on the ground without it for one minute. You can feel your body heat radiate back at you almost instantly. I've done this and I'm convinced it works great for a butt warmer when sitting on the cold ground.

I haven't tested it under my entire bag yet, but I'm going to. You can probably accomplish much the same thing with one of those mylar "Emergency Blankets" under your bag and on top of your pad. The plastic bubble/mylar laminate does provide some durability and makes the product more functional with little cost in weight. That's why I'll start working with it first. But the Emergency Blankets are cheap, so I'll play with them too.

I'll let you know what I find out <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Bill
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#104866 - 11/01/08 02:01 PM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
bobthebuilder Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 9
I have used it in conjunction with my Zrest for some extra comfort with almost no weight gain. Bubble Wrap comes in 2 stronger forms. the middle level is pretty easy to find and the bubbles don't pop as easily. The strongest is for industrial wrapping and I haven't been able to find it in small quantities.

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#104867 - 11/02/08 07:32 AM Re: bubblewrap sleeping pad? [Re: Wolfeye]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
I did use bubblewrap in two layers as some kind of torso pad in the seventies, when inflatable mats were horribly heavy (and not comfortable at all, as I still find they are!). Bubblewrap was, then, better than nothing, or a simple blanket, but lasted only a couple of days before the bubbles started to blast.That was before we could find these "marvelous" blue closed cell mats...

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