I'm hoping for some suggestions on non-inflatable pads. I use and love the BA dual core air pad. It's heavy of course, but for 3-6 day trips the comfort/weight trade off is acceptable. But I've got a multi month hike in the spring and need to both cut weight and gain the security a foam pad will give me as I'm bound to pop an air pad on such a long hike . I'm also cursed with a lousy lower back and really need the extra cushion....
Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated!
Good luck with that.
Foam in the comfortable cushion density will be bulkier and heavier than anything out there. There are no non-inflatable pads that I've seen.
If you want something that's a good balance of comfy, light and packable, the NeoAir is going to be it - I've been using mine for years now, all the while helping people patch their "durable" self inflating pads and other pads/mattresses. Don't inflate the thing to capacity, don't bounce on it, don't put it on bare ground, pick your campsites carefully, don't leave it fully inflated in the tent in the sun... If you're really nervous about it take a torso length foam pad just in case.
I don't do anything but inflating pads, I go all the time, I took one out for nine days this summer, and I have no issues. Which is not to say that no one will have issues - just that rumors of the fragility of inflatable pads is exaggerated and I think that often there are other factors at play. I have never seen a BA inflatable POP. They develop leaks sometimes, and the patch kits will address those. Sometimes they have manufacturing defects, but this is why trying them out at home or car camping is a good thing.