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#168363 - 08/09/12 01:38 PM homemade sleeping pad?
smidge Offline

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 8
[s][/s]so I haunt been able to Find many topics or videos in the net about this. is there any reasons why? I goto the store and sleeping padscare upwards of 50 dollars. in sure we could make one much cheaper that would be ok to use during summer or spring. I get a bit warmer weather here than most probably being in socall. so if any of you have made your own, tips would be nice. I was thinking just getting closed cell foam and using that lol

Edited by smidge (08/09/12 01:43 PM)

#168364 - 08/09/12 02:07 PM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: smidge]
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 908
Loc: Torrance, CA
If you are talking closed cell foam pad, chopping one up to what you want isn't a very complex DIY project. People have discussed materials to use. If you just want closed cell foam, people usually recommend picking a cheap one up in the camping section at Walmart. If you want additional insulation the hardware stores cell foam insulation with a reflective backing. I think Bill Stephenson was using something like this?

If you want an inflatable pad, now you are talking a real DIY project. I haven't looked into it much, but I understand Bender (who used to run Kookabay and produce very popular sleeping pads) discussed many of his techniques on BPL. I think it comes down to the right materials and a hot iron. The most challenging part is getting the valve glued.

Edited by BZH (08/09/12 02:08 PM)
Edit Reason: added an n't to say what I actually meant

#168365 - 08/09/12 02:38 PM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: smidge]
skcreidc Offline

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
smidge, I'll reiterate what BZH stated. Closed cell foam pads are cheap and you can modify your own easily. With an inflatable pad as a project you might want to ask yourself how much you like making things before you head in that direction. If you are pretty passionate about about making things, then give it a try.

#168367 - 08/09/12 02:49 PM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: skcreidc]
smidge Offline

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 8
cool thanks for the info bZh. for now I'll just be stayingg in the los Padres, L.A., and sanbBernardino forests which shouldn't be to cold at this time. but an inflatable pad does sound like a fun task to create lol.

#168374 - 08/09/12 09:42 PM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: smidge]
billstephenson Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Someone here from Florida mentioned using a cheap pool raft, and I've used those before, years ago. I have one like he recommended, got it at Kmart for $4, but I don't think they carried them this year. It's called a "Clearwater Easy Mat" if you can find one. They're not really light, but they are comfortable and pretty durable.

A good, inexpensive, lightweight sleeping pad is not easy to find or make, as far as I know. If there are any trees where you'll be camping you can always try a hammock. There are some inexpensive options to try those out, and lot's of DYI options.

I use the single layer bubble foil insulation BZH mentioned for insulation, it's too thin for a pad. They make a double layer, and I've seen some with BIG bubbles that might work as a pad, it'd be pretty bulky, but it doesn't weigh much. I'd give it a test if I found a big enough piece grin


"You want to go where?"

#168446 - 08/12/12 01:09 PM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: billstephenson]
intrek38 Offline

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
Here's something I saw a while back but it's questionable..

#168469 - 08/14/12 02:12 AM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: intrek38]
Franco Offline

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
The reason why there are not many DIY project on making your mat is because it is hard to compete with the available stuff.
You can get a solid foam mat for less than $10 and an inflatable from about $20 (E Bay...)

People like Bender make their own to have a particular size and or weight or just for the satisfaction of finishing a DIY project.
However I would guess that now Bender wished he never started that...
Same for another guy that told everyone at BPL how he could do it better and cheaper than the pros, eventually after having bought different types of fabric, foam, valves hot irons and glues he quietly gave up...
BTW, I made my own version of a Z Lite but again I could have purchased the Z Lite for less, I did it just to try out an idea not to save money.

(it is meant to supplement my Neo Air , used under it not over as in the pic)
Balloon beds are great in the backyard,I imagine you will get sick of setting them up after the third night...

#170982 - 10/26/12 09:32 PM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: smidge]
bloodbuzzed Offline

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Yeah smidge, there really isn't that much talk about DIY sleeping pads out there. At least, I couldn't find much when I set about making mine. I think I found a nice design, though, and for dirt cheap. These guys are right on the money. You can pick up a $5 pad from Wal-Mart as your base, works just fine. Then walk a couple aisles over and grab yourself one of those sun shades for your car windshield--the cheapest one will do. Get your measurements, break out the old magic marker and get to cutting. Put the sun shade on top and it's duct tape time (hint: Don't use one long strip on each side, use several sections with gaps in between so the air can escape when you roll it up. Makes for a smaller, tighter roll.) That's pretty much it. There's a slight bit of additional padding in the sun shade and the reflective surface actually bounces some of your own body heat back onto you. Bottom line, the cost is minimal and the weight is almost nothing. It's rested on the top of my pack on several overnighters now--warm and cool weather--and for me it works great. Hope this has been some help.

#171105 - 10/30/12 09:05 AM Re: homemade sleeping pad? [Re: bloodbuzzed]
Hermes (Nick G) Offline

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 9
If your issue is mostly due to cash, check out

He makes some fabulous pads, which ship for free and cost as little as $8! Super lightweight to boot.


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