Author Topic: Sleeping Pad Issue  (Read 4453 times)

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Offline Ctyboy33

Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 23, 2009, 01:38:50 am »
Hi All,

Just purchased a Therm-A-Rest Neo Air and its super comfortable and lightweight. However, I almost passed out from inflating it. Anyone have any ideas on how I might inflate it with my bicycle pump while on tour? I searched around online and couldn't find anything. I was hoping there would be some sort of bicycle pump adapter, but no luck. I was hoping maybe someone has run into this problem and has figured out how to rig their own adapter. Maybe a wide piece of rubber to wrap around the pump and pad nozzles to create a seal?

Thanks,

Dave

Offline whittierider

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 04:50:22 am »
The bike pump is made for high pressure but very little air volume.  What you need is very little pressure but the volume of scores, maybe even hundreds, of tires.  I haven't seen the sleeping pad, but I'm thinking it may take thousands of strokes with the tire pump to get it inflated.  After you've blown it up several times you'll do better.  The band teacher at the elementary school where my wife teaches says sometimes the new flute players get light-headed and fall off their chairs; but you know full well that that's not a problem for flute players who have been playing for a long time.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 07:34:32 am »
A bike pump will take thousands of strokes to inflate an air mattress.  It takes me 15 breaths (about 30 seconds if I don't take any breaks) to fully inflate my medium size (72"x20") NeoAir.  I have a hard time imagining it being a big deal to inflate, unless you either have a problem with how you are inflating it or a respiratory problem.

If it isn't a respiratory problem, are you maybe are letting air escape between breaths? or maybe not opening the valve all the way when inflating?  Watching others inflate air mattresses I see that a lot of folks let air escape between breaths, that makes it a lot slower and wastes effort.  Keep a seal around the valve with your lips and when ready to close the valve, either close off the valve with your tongue or a finger tip.  If you get winded easily try giving it one breath, breathing normally for a moment, then give it another, and so on.

There are high volume pumps designed for inflating air mattresses, rafts, or exercise balls.  The ones that come with exercise balls are fairly small and light and could be adapted.  They would still take quite a few strokes, but much fewer than a bike pump.

Offline DaveB

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 09:34:12 am »
Unless this thing is very different from all of the other Therm-A-Rest pads,  it is self inflating.  You just open the valve and let is sit for a few minutes so the interior foam can expand and "suck in" enough air to get the pad pretty much up to full size.  All you have to do by mouth is add the last few breaths to get the firmness you want.

Offline Ctyboy33

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 11:32:49 am »
Unless this thing is very different from all of the other Therm-A-Rest pads,  it is self inflating.  You just open the valve and let is sit for a few minutes so the interior foam can expand and "suck in" enough air to get the pad pretty much up to full size.  All you have to do by mouth is add the last few breaths to get the firmness you want.

This is very different from all other Term-A-Rest pads. This isn't a self inflating mattress and must be manually blown up. I own a Base Camp pad which is self inflating and I can honestly say the NeoAir is more comfortable, but a bit more work to get inflated.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, but I was hoping that there might be a solution to quickly inflate this thing. I will be camping in a stormy part of the country and was hoping I would be able to quickly get settled at my campsite in the event of a storm. I guess I will just have to work on my chops.

D

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 12:22:41 pm »
I have a ProLite Plus.  I don't think I could do a NeoAir.  All that work just to save 10 ounces. 
Danno

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 07:52:53 pm »
I have a ProLite Plus.  I don't think I could do a NeoAir.  All that work just to save 10 ounces. 
I love my NeoAir.  It is one of my favorite pieces of gear.  It packs to the size of a waterbottle, weighs 10 ounces less than the Prolite Plus, and is much more comfortable.

I really don't get the fuss over inflating it and have a hard time thinking of 15 breaths as "All that work".  It takes all of 30 seconds to inflate.

So far my only complaint is that it was expensive, but It is so much nicer than my regular Thermarest that I think it was well worth it.  That says a lot because I am a bit of a cheapskate and usually lean toward fairly inexpensive gear.

Offline Ctyboy33

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2009, 03:29:19 am »
I think the key is that it is much more comfortable than any other Therm-A-Rest pad. I feel like the pad being the lightest pad available is just an added perk.

Online John Nelson

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 04:12:11 pm »
I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.

I suggest that if you are almost passing out from inflating it that maybe you are trying to inflate it too rapidly. Consider taking a break or two. Sometimes I will half inflate it, work on putting up the tent for a while, and then finish inflating. As Pete says, it's usually no big deal to inflate--a price I gladly pay for the extra comfort.

Offline DaveB

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 09:05:20 pm »
I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.
The advantage to self-inflating pads isn't just ease of use but insulation.  The foam inside is a very effective insulator and, if you camp in cold weather, this is a big plus.  Plain, unfilled air matresses are very poor insulators.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 08:30:59 am »
I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.
The advantage to self-inflating pads isn't just ease of use but insulation.  The foam inside is a very effective insulator and, if you camp in cold weather, this is a big plus.  Plain, unfilled air matresses are very poor insulators.
Very true, but there are various schemes to insulate the non-self-inflating ones. For the Thermarest models the R values are as follows:
  • Neoair R2.5
  • Prolite R2.2
  • Prolite Plus R3.8
So the NeoAir is not as good at insulating as the Prolite Plus, but it is better than the regular Prolite.  In really cold weather you can double up the NeoAir with a Z-lite and the two together weigh the same as a Prolite Plus while insulating slightly better.

I am not sure how the Big Agnes Air Core insulated models compare, since they do not list R values.

Online John Nelson

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 05:23:08 pm »
Yes, I do have an insulated Big Agness blow-up pad. I have no idea how much insulation it has.

Offline Ctyboy33

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2009, 02:06:56 am »
I did a test run on the pad in my apartment when I first received it to make sure the pad was ok as far as leaks and what not. I didn't think it would be a good idea to find that out on my first night out. I found it to be surprisingly warm for a self inflating pad. I guess those inner chambers aren't just savvy marketing.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2009, 07:23:35 am »
I think the reflective layer helps as well.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2009, 04:25:06 pm »
Funny story relating to ThermaRests.  I remember reading a user review of one model on REI's web site. The reviewer was complaining about not being able to fold the mattress in half and get it in the stuffsack after she had rolled it up.  Because of this, she was going to return it.