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#75976 - 07/01/07 12:19 PM sleeping comfort
nimby Offline
member

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 216
Loc: intermountain west
What do you carry to sleep on? I usually end up sleeping on my side and a blue foam pad just doesn't do it anymore. For car camping I have started using a cheap beach air mattress topped with that blue foam pad to soften the 'tubeness', stuffed into an old flannel bag liner to hold them together. This gives enough depth for my hips, but is cumbersome to set up, and potentially too fragile for backpacking. The thought of carrying a couple of pounds for a 'luxury' self inflating pad is daunting.

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#75977 - 07/01/07 03:51 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
Slosteppin Offline
member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 33
Loc: NW lower Michigan
I now carry a Big Agness Insulated Aircore air mattress. The ground just got too hard for a CFF pad to work. Even a Therm-a-Rest was not enough for me to sleep on my side. It is a bit lighter than the old Therm-a-Rest but a lot heavier than the CCF pad.

I don't like the time and effort to blow it up but I do sleep in comfort!

Slosteppin

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#75978 - 07/01/07 07:45 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I use a 48"x20" piece of firm convoluted open-cell foam, about 2" thick, with a homemade nylon cover. It weighs 23 ounces, and with a little effort, rolls up to about the size of a 3/4-length Ridgerest. The bottom of the cover is coated nylon, so I can lay it directly on the ground without worrying about dampness if I want a place to sit while I eat or just loaf. I have the convoluted side up, because it rolls up better that way, with the coated side toward the outside. It might be slightly more comfortable with the flat side up. It's a little bulky, and certainly not UL, but it's more comfortable than anything I've tried. The insulation is sufficient for cold ground, but not snow.

Others I've used: Flat closed-cell foam, Ridgerest, Z-rest, original thermarest, ultra-light thermarest, and the old Berkley AirLift air matress.

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#75979 - 07/01/07 08:34 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Short answer, a hammock. it's lighter than anything else that's anywhere
close to as comfortable. Other than an XL wide cot topped with two thick
foam pads, it's the only thing I can sleep on my side comfortably in the bush.

Having said that if you just can't stand the notion of hanging between trees.
you may wanna try something like the new exped downmat or Big Agnes
insulated mat. Some friends bought me a wide big Agnes for a present and
it's not as heavy as an old school air mattress, and relatively comforable. Dunno
if it would have the depth on it for you for side sleeping (doesn't for me, but
I'm kinda large.
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#75980 - 07/02/07 09:01 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
I got a Pacific Outdoor Equipment Insul-mat Max Thermo last winter. I've only used it on the floor, but it was very comfy overnight when somewhat underinflated (fully inflated it's too hard). It only weighs 22 ounces, as I recall, and it is comparable in thickness to an air mattress. I bought someone's 3/4 length version a couple of days ago; haven't gotten it in the mail, but that one is only 15 ounces.
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dk

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#75981 - 07/03/07 07:56 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: dkramalc]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6540
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I bought an InsulMat Max Thermo 3/4 length from Sierra Trading Post last winter. It weighs 17 oz (on my scale) and really does the job (I'm a side sleeper who gets really painful hips and shoulders on hard surfaces, and I have large hips). I have no trouble with its construction. The trick is not to blow it up all the way but only until it's about half full. Of course, when empty and folded it doesn't do much towards stiffening the pad pocket in my pack (Six Moon Designs Comet), but I also carry an insulating pad (30" x 20" piece of a Coleman closed cell foam pad, 3.5 oz.) for my dog, which takes care of that problem. At 17 oz., the Max Thermo is 11 oz. lighter than my 3/4 length Thermarest LE (no longer made), and cushions me better. I haven't yet tested it on freezing nights, though. If it turns out to be borderline, I might have to carry a second torso-length pad to help with insulation.

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#75982 - 07/03/07 09:35 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: OregonMouse]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
OM, do you have any problems with the lower part of your legs "hanging in the air" due to the thickness of the 3/4 Insulmat? I haven't yet tried it, but thought it might be a potential problem for me. I suppose I can put my empty pack under there to take up some of the difference in height.

I may have been wrong about the weight; 17 oz sounds more like it (I think I saw 15 somewhere on the web, but that's less than 3/4 the weight of the full-length one). I'm looking forward to using it!
_________________________
dk

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#75983 - 07/03/07 07:55 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: dkramalc]
nimby Offline
member

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 216
Loc: intermountain west
I also wonder about the 'hanging' lower leg effect-this would give me knee strain, I think. Also, these look as 'tube-y' as a pool float air mattress. How do they feel-do the tubes flatten together, or is it hard to turn over against the tubes?

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#75984 - 07/03/07 08:28 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6540
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Length: I sleep curled up in the fetal position, so no problems with length for me. And I'm 5'3". My feet may hang off but that has never bothered me. That's why I didn't want a BA mattress because even their shortest length (60") is longer than I need. For those of you who are tall or who like to stretch out, you'll have to try it for yourselves (maybe a night or two on the floor at home, so you can send it back if it doesn't work). A lot of folks seem to do just fine with a 3/4 pad, maybe with their pack under their lower legs, while others are miserable. If you've used a 3/4 pad successfully before, you should be just fine. If you didn't like a 3/4 pad before, you definitely won't like a 3/4 air matttress. YMMV!

Tubes: I inflate the mattress only about halfway. I therefore have no problem with getting stuck between the tubes or even feeling the space. I do a LOT of turning over, too! The space between the tubes could be a problem if you pump the pad up full. Pumping it up full makes far too hard a surface for me--similar to being directly on the ground! The manufacturer's instructions say to let the air out until the mattress is comfortable. With my Thermarest LE, I would let it self inflate and then, once I lay down, let a little air out of it to make it softer. With the InsulMat, I have maximum comfort when my hip sinks down in until just barely (maybe 1/2-1/3") off the ground. YMMV again!

Weight: The InsulMat Max Thermo on my digital postage scale is 16.8 oz. without the rather heavy stuff sack, which I don't use because I put the mattress in my pack's pad pocket. Evidently the manufacturer rounds down while I round up....


Edited by OregonMouse (07/03/07 08:41 PM)

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#75985 - 07/05/07 09:08 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: OregonMouse]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Sounds like you and I sleep similarly (except I'm about 4" longer than you) - and my previous pad was a 3/4 Thermarest LE also. So I guess I should be OK on the 3/4 pad. Good to hear! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
dk

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#75986 - 07/05/07 01:53 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
Haiwee Offline
member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 330
Loc: Southern California
I've stated often on these forums the main reason I decided to go lightweight was to be able to carry more luxury items. However, with arthritic hips that only get worse with each passing year, I don't consider my sleeping pad a luxury, but a necessity.

Right now I'm using a Pacific Outdoors 3.5" Insul-Mat. I've tried Themarests in several incarnations and none of them are thick enough to keep my hips off the hard ground. At a tad over 22 ounces, it's worth every gram.
_________________________
My blog on politics, the environment and the outdoors: Haiwee.blogspot.com

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#75987 - 07/14/07 07:51 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: OregonMouse]
Salish Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 129
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I bought the Insulmat pad this past spring at an REI closeout sale for something like $29. I've used it only for camping thus far, but it has proven to be MUCH more comfy than my old T-Rest ultralight 3/4 pad. Mine is the full length pad (72"??) and I wish I had purchased the 3/4 length. I'm 5'7" and it's really too long for me (sleep on my side, too). I inflate it pretty much to it's fullest and then deflate it until I reach the level I like, after I lay down.
It packs pretty small in it's pouch and doesn't take up much room in the pack. My only problem right now is that I have always used the old 3/4 length t-rest as a rounded "frame" in my frameless Rodney pack, so I will have to buy a very cheap and thin closed cell pad to frame my pack. I can use it as a sit pad, too. I haven't tried my Insulmax pad over cold ground or snow, yet. I may have to pad it for that. I really love the added comfort over the t-rest, though.

Cliff

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/pacific-outdoor-equipment/insulmat-max-thermo/


Edited by Salish (07/14/07 07:52 AM)

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#75988 - 07/14/07 05:45 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: Salish]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I see the Insul-Mat Max is no longer made. If they were that great what happened to them? I see they make a green one, too much $$$.

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#75989 - 07/14/07 10:03 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: hikerduane]
Salish Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 129
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Quote:
I see the Insul-Mat Max is no longer made. If they were that great what happened to them? I see they make a green one, too much $$$.



I don't think they were "that great", since they were on closeout on REI.com. All I can say is I really like mine.

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#75990 - 07/15/07 07:14 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: Salish]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I had some time to check out POE mats. The Ether Thermo 6 seems to be as close to the old Insul Mat Max that I can come up with at only 16 oz for the 3/4. I'm in the same boat as others, I have a Thermarest LE 3/4 and my shoulders and sometimes my hips start hurting part way thru the night. Depends on whether I was picking peas before my trip or squatted too much before a trip working in the garden and sometimes over the bp stove during a trip. At 22 oz. for more comfort and less weight I may pick up the thicker one, after my 21 oz Slinglight chair is paid off.:) Trying to offset the weight of the chair now and the 2.5 inch thick one would cut 10 oz. from the weight of the Thermarest and if I bring my Esbit stove and fuel for a week long trip I could cut another 4 oz, l would then be at 7 oz heavier than last year for a week long trip. Thank you.

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#75991 - 08/27/07 10:12 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
Dennis Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 257
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
3/4 length Therma-Rest. This year I went from an Ultralite (pre Prolite 3) to a Prolite 4. The slight increase in weight was definitely worth it in sleeping comfort. I generally carry a small chunk of Z-Rest pad to use as a sit pad, kneel pad, and foot pad for sleeping.

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#75992 - 08/28/07 02:05 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
A z-rest cut down to seven sections for three season use.. This covers me from shoulders to hips - just let the legs hang out there. I do choose the softest possible ground on which to sleep. It does make a difference. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#75993 - 09/07/07 09:45 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
The weight of an inflatable pad is a little off-putting - add in the weight of a chair kit for it, and it's even moreso. However, when I finally admitted that my hips would no longer go peacefully into that good night unless they had some cushioning, I found a way to have my chair and sit in it too, so to speak.

I now use a 3/4 length Thermarest Prolite 3 pad (13 ounces), and I also carry the 20" Trekker chair kit (11 ounces.) This gives me a soft, supportive bed and a warm, dry place to sit. The chair also keeps the pad (and, by association, my tent floor) clean. This combo replaced the 11 ounce Z-lite pad I had been using. So, how do I justify almost an extra pound?

Easy. I replaced my Granite Gear Vapor Trail pack (34 ounces) with a Granite Gear Virga (20 ounces.) The pad and chair do double duty as part of the suspension of the Virga. In fact, this is a very effective virtual suspension; the chair kit adds the benefit of stays, and lightly inflated, the pad is fairly rigid. It's so good that I've found it raises the load that I can comfortably carry in the Virga from the 20 pound manufacturer's rating to 25 pounds. Since my load for a 4-night trip (including food, warm clothing, and a quart of water) is only 20 or 21 pounds, that leaves enough capacity for hauling two extra quarts of water over a dry stretch, or to a dry camp.

Since I "need" the pad and chair to make my pack work, I don't feel at all guilty about lounging around in it at night. (Next to compound interest, the ability to rationalize may be humanity's most amazing invention!)

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#75994 - 02/11/08 04:36 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: Slosteppin]
traildad Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 2
Another Big Agnes AirCore fan here. At 22 oz. a luxury which pays for itself every night. And I am in much better condition for the next day on the trail.

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#75995 - 03/18/08 01:05 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
spk Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 4
I use a partially inflated hemorrhoid pillow under my hip

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#75996 - 05/27/08 02:38 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
kettle Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 3
Loc: 10EC
You can't beat a hammock above freezing.

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#75997 - 05/27/08 09:38 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: kettle]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:
You can't beat a hammock above freezing.


Can't beat it below freezing either. Just add CCF pad, mylar blanket, poncho, peapod/thicker/second underquilt, extra clothes, and/or a bugnet overcover. Some combo of these elements has served many a hammocker well. Closest I've come to freezing was 33F and all I had under me was a CCF; I woke a few times because there was a slight chill on my back. Wasn't enough to rustle me out to add in a mylar blanket, however, though that would have likely added the few degrees I would have liked.
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"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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#75998 - 05/28/08 01:47 AM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: nimby]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I try to make sure that I am nice and completely exhausted when I am ready for sleep. The first night on rare occasions I take a over-the-counter sleeping pill. The first night on the trail I am usually so tired because I am not used to flipping to a daytime sleep pattern. I work night shift.

The first day backpacking I am usually on second, third, and forth winds. When it's time to make camp, I'm usually wanting to skip dinner and just put up the tent and bed down.

Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

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#75999 - 05/28/08 02:52 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: lori]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
>> You can't beat a hammock above freezing.

> Can't beat it below freezing either

Down here, if it freezes, which does happen now and then, we all stay home until it warms up. That's usually sunrise, but I once saw the town grind to a halt for a week one winter. So we can't go camping below freezing because we can't make it to the woods, sorry. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

To say something on topic, I use a Big Agnes insulated air pad with a BA Mystic when forced to ground, which almost never happens; otherwise an appropriate amount of CCF pad with the same bag in the hammock (pads don't wiggle around with BA bags, not even in hammocks). Except during the summer, when I use a Coolmax sheet in the hammock and dream of being cold (but even then I have a torso-length pad with me in case a thunderstorm cools things off or something).

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#76000 - 05/28/08 03:27 PM Re: sleeping comfort [Re: Hector]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
>> You can't beat a hammock above freezing.

> Can't beat it below freezing either

Down here, if it freezes, which does happen now and then, we all stay home until it warms up. That's usually sunrise, but I once saw the town grind to a halt for a week one winter. So we can't go camping below freezing because we can't make it to the woods, sorry. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />


If I only went out when I expected it not to hit the freezing mark - I'd only ever camp in west edmonton mall <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In our rockies it's completely normal to have temperatures in the 85 ro 90 F range in the day, and
have it hit freezing at night - in July and August.

Quote:

To say something on topic, I use a Big Agnes insulated air pad with a BA Mystic when forced to ground, which almost never happens; otherwise an appropriate amount of CCF pad with the same bag in the hammock (pads don't wiggle around with BA bags, not even in hammocks). Except during the summer, when I use a Coolmax sheet in the hammock and dream of being cold (but even then I have a torso-length pad with me in case a thunderstorm cools things off or something).


I don't think I've ever had the hammock where I didn't use a CCF pad. I've never slept anywhere
that warm <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

With me it's a ccf pad if it's "warm" - more typically it's at least the ccf pad plus a garington insulator type windblock taco made of my ID silponcho - that's usually enough for down to freezing. Below that
I start stuffing things into the insulator - starting with folded up space blankets, and ending with an inch and a half thick layer of poly batting. - which in full on cold weather setup has me comfortable
down to about -7 to -10 Centigrade - below that I give up and go to ground.
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