Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: rjones35 on September 07, 2011, 09:01:38 pm

Title: Sleeping pads
Post by: rjones35 on September 07, 2011, 09:01:38 pm
 So, I'm leaving Friday for a three week ride, the Santa Fe trail trek! I was going to take a twin size air mattress, but I'm having second thoughts.  It's a supported ride, so size isn't really the issue.  I'm a little concerned about the cool nights, down in the 40s high 40s but still.  Will I get too cold on the air mattress?  So I'm thinking about a self inflating insulated mattress.  The thermarest prolite plus, or big agnes? has one too, that looked good, I don't remember the model, or models. Any thoughts one way or another? I figure if I'm going to buy one I might as well buy a good one that I can use for touring later.  Thanks for the help!!
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: John Nelson on September 07, 2011, 11:11:04 pm
I think you will not get cold with any of those with temperatures in the high 40s. Go for comfort.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: rjones35 on September 07, 2011, 11:56:54 pm
I like comfort!! Thanks!
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: PeteJack on September 08, 2011, 12:48:29 am
I did the Sierra Cascades using a Thermarest ZLite. Don't use one. It insulates just fine but is as hard as concrete. I'll never use it again.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: roadrunner on September 08, 2011, 12:55:30 am
I rode the Santa Fe Trail Trek 3 times.  Every time it snowed overnight in Trinidad.  I suggest being prepared for unexpected freezing temperatures, with an insulated mattress and a sleeping bag that will keep you warm.  Other than Trinidad, the weather was usually mild.

The SFT Trek is probably the best organized tour available -- an intresting historic route, well organized, small enough group to get to know everyone, and an unbeliveable cost.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: rjones35 on September 08, 2011, 01:03:47 am
Snow! Yikes, I hadn't EVEN thought about snow!  I guess parts of it are kinda high.  Okay, I'm liking the idea of the insulated pad more and more.  I'm really looking forward to the ride.  It sounded like it'll be a lot of fun with some interesting things to see on the way!!
Thanks for the info!
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: JayH on September 08, 2011, 07:18:55 am
I have a Big Agnes AirCore that is insulated with primaloft, a cushy 2.5" and 66" long, it packs to the size of roughly larger than a standard 40oz nalgene bottle and is pretty comfy. Not really self-inflating though.. It will definitely fit the bill of comfy and warm at the temps described.

I have a thermarest ProLite 3 too but it is definitely not as comfy or as thick as the Big Agnes, however it is a tiny bit lighter. 

p.s. I've always use the Z-rest foam fads just as insulation, underneath a non-insulated thermarest in winter... Yes they are generally hard! :-)

Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: bogiesan on September 08, 2011, 08:59:14 am
The sleeping pad I've seen most often on supported/sagged rides is the inflatable twin size portable bed. The sound of battery air pumps has become common in camps.
I've traveled with one but found I didn't like sleeping on it (I have a Tempurpedic at home) so I've gone back to a luxuriously thick self-inflator.

I support the need to be prepared for weather and temperatures far below what you expect. Trinidad is only 6,000 feet but a clear night can plunge into the high 20s. You can wake with heavy frost which means your tent is going to get packed wet. I carry neoprene gloves for packing wet and frosty camping gear. Besides knowing your sleeping arrangements will keep you comfy all the way down to about 20, you need to be able to keep warm in the mornings as you wait for breakfast.

Have fun.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: Westinghouse on September 08, 2011, 10:30:40 am
The blue, closed-cell, foam pads at Wal Mart work just fine. They are extremely lightweight and cost only seven dollars. They  are rugged too.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: rjones35 on September 08, 2011, 01:04:41 pm
Thanks everybody!! After more thought and the advice and info from you guys, I splurged and got a Nemo Cosmo insulated pad.  I liked it because it has a built-in pillow, a foot pump and a regular mouth fill valve, and its wider than the regular sized pads, it would be a large I guess.  The baffles run across instead of the length of the pad, which, just laying on them in the store, I liked better.  We'll see how it as after a couple weeks worth of sleeping on it.  Thanks again!!! I went to Dynamic Earth in Kansas city, very helpful guys and a real nice store.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: bogiesan on September 11, 2011, 11:07:04 am
I'll be posting a separate note about this episode but I wanted to tell you that Cascade Designs has just notified me my 25 year-old Thermarest has been successfully repaired under warranty, at no charge, and is being returned.

Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: rjones35 on September 15, 2011, 11:09:09 am
A little follow up.  I've been sleeping on the NEMO for a few nights now, and its awesome, so far! Very comfy and warm!! Easy to inflate, not as easy as self inflating, but not too hard or time consuming.  Rolls up nice, I like it! I've got a few more weeks left, I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: mucknort on October 04, 2011, 11:26:02 am
After much research, the Exped Synmat pads served a family of 3 for 4 months of bike touring. Since there were 3 of us, we bought the version w/o a built in pump and then bought their separate lightweight pump to save even more weight. Even when we hit snow in Yellowstone and night time lows of 20 degrees at the Grand Canyon, we slept warm. Great, comfortable pad!!!
Title: Re: Sleeping pads
Post by: rjones35 on October 08, 2011, 10:58:21 am
So, an additional follow up....after three weeks sleeping on the NEMO.  It never really got cold on this trip, maybe 40, but the pad was warm, and I found that the amount I inflated it made a big difference in my sleeping comfort.  I would usually inflate it all the way and then lay on it and let a little air out to get it perfect!!  Definitely a good investment!! I'm glad I bought it before the trip.