Author Topic: Sleeping pads  (Read 2753 times)

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Offline Scotty0424

Sleeping pads
« on: December 18, 2021, 10:54:37 am »
Thought I'd beat this dead horse again ...On a recent trip I was trying out an ultralight Klymit (sp?) pad. As soon as I put my weight on it (215 lb) it went flat and, being too tired to mess with it, I left it that way. I'm looking for a DURABLE, lightweight and packable pad. It doesn't have to be full length (I'm 6'1"). Just looking for a good night's sleep. Won't buy Klymit again. Any ideas?

Online John Nettles

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Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2021, 11:16:42 am »
I use some of the older NEO Air pads by ThermoRest.  Full length and full width.  I have gotten one or two pin holes in them and used trusty Tear Aid patches to fix them. 

Don't give up on your mattress yet though.  If your current mattress has some pin holes, I would highly suggest you buy some Tear Aid patches and just patch it.  Tear Aid even has big patches if it is a bigger hole.  Can't recommend Tear Aid enough.  If the hole is a seam leak, I think it maybe under warranty. 

If you want a fool-proof mattress, you will need to get the closed-cell foam style.  They are only about 1/2" thick and can be a bit heavier, but they are basically bulletproof and cheaper.  I would consider them but my fat old body likes the 2+" of cushion.  When I was younger (and lighter), the closed cell types were fine.

Tailwinds, John

Offline Scotty0424

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2021, 11:34:48 am »
The leaky mattress has found rest of its own in some landfill. I used. a 3/4 Thermarest for three months in Europe 20 years ago without a hint of leak. Tempted to go look for one of those. Meantime I'll pack some TearAid. Thanks for the comment.

Online John Nettles

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Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2021, 12:27:16 pm »
Remember, I got the 1st and 2nd generation NEO Air.  I "think" the most current generations are lighter so probably have less fabric thickness so "may" be more prone to punctures. 

I too wish the rush to reduce grams would not sacrifice durability.  It is sad how a $500 tent has fabric so thin you can actually see through it.  Almost makes me long for the old Eureka Timberline.  It's getting to the point where I am almost willing to take a heavier "less quality" tent like a Eureka Mountain Pass and maybe buy it durable custom poles.  The semi heavy-duty 68d polyester ripstop fabric will wear much longer than the current 15d-30d fabrics being used. Heck, some go as low as 7d.  Why is it so hard to make a tent with a durable floor, fairly durable netting, a durable fly, and durable poles? 

I will get off my soapbox now.

Offline ray b

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2021, 02:25:51 pm »
Thought I'd beat this dead horse again ...On a recent trip I was trying out an ultralight Klymit (sp?) pad. As soon as I put my weight on it (215 lb) it went flat and, being too tired to mess with it, I left it that way. I'm looking for a DURABLE, lightweight and packable pad. It doesn't have to be full length (I'm 6'1"). Just looking for a good night's sleep. Won't buy Klymit again. Any ideas?
Well, this should go a few pages, and give us northerners an excuse to avoid riding in the cold.....

Again, I'm reassured by the fact I use the same equipment as John - currently, an old, full-size, rectangular Neo Air with >100 well-rested nights on it. No leaks (to date). As an old guy (and among other things, a sleep medicine specialist), I care a lot about the quality of my time in the rack. As Jay P - who won the Tour Divide this past year without a sleeping pad - might tell you, it's easy to fall asleep after a long day in the saddle, but sometimes it's tricky to wake up pain-free.

My Thermarest days also go back to the '80s, after years of collecting open and closed cell foam pads of varying thicknesses and lengths. Technology has come a long way. One would think the NeoAir would be old news by now, but in spite of the noise it makes, it still remains one of the more popular pads on the Great Divide Trail and GDMBR.

For what it's worth, one of the time-trialers I met on GDMBR this summer was using a Klymit Inertia X-frame. Even though he was running a minimalist pack (bike, food, water, tools, and equipment came in at ~34 pounds), he still carried a small, thin, roll-up pad to use under his skeleton pad to protect it from abrasion or puncture when sleeping directly on the ground.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 02:40:36 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Online John Nettles

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Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2021, 02:35:02 pm »
One would think the Neotec Air would be old news by now....

Is this an actual pad or a typo that should have read Neo Air?  I am always on the lookout for new equipment.  Whether I personally think it is better for me may be a different story but I will always be willing to at least look at something.

Offline ray b

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2021, 02:38:53 pm »
Remember, I got the 1st and 2nd generation NEO Air.  I "think" the most current generations are lighter so probably have less fabric thickness so "may" be more prone to punctures. 

I too wish the rush to reduce grams would not sacrifice durability.  It is sad how a $500 tent has fabric so thin you can actually see through it. 

Almost makes me long for the old Eureka Timberline. 
.
There's still a lot of Timberlines out there. I think the one my father bought 50 y ago is still in operation - though those of us who started with canvas argued at the time that the new nylon tents were not sufficiently UV resistant and would wear out too quickly.

To further procrastinate about getting out to ride today, and at the risk of getting the thread heading down the wrong hole, I've attached a screen shot from the Eureka web site. Yep, the 2-man Timberline still comes in at 7.5 pounds, if you're really looking for something rugged to haul up the hills on your bike. 
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline ray b

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2021, 02:44:45 pm »
One would think the Neotec Air would be old news by now....

Is this an actual pad or a typo that should have read Neo Air?  I am always on the lookout for new equipment.  Whether I personally think it is better for me may be a different story but I will always be willing to at least look at something.
Good eyes. Neotec is the name of a Shoei motorcycle helmet.... My post has been corrected. NeoAir.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline OHRider

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2021, 04:27:21 pm »
I have an Exped that is probably about 3-4 years old.  I'd highly recommend  it with one caveat- if you are in the desert southwest, goathead thorns have the ability to puncture anything and everything.  I doubt there is a sleeping pad that would not be punctured.  This, from first hand experience on a recent trip from San Diego to El Paso.

The bad part about the goatheads is that they leave a tiny puncture and there is virtually no way you'll find it without a tub to submerge it in.  The "good" thing is that it would stay inflated for about half the night and then I'd be on the ground so at least I could reinflate it during the night without too much problem.

I was able to fix the leaks when I got home- they were very difficult to see even in the hot tub I was using but now its fixed.  Other than this trip, I've been very happy with it.

Exped has a guide to selection- here is their site:  https://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-category/mats?f%5B0%5D=field_mat_line%3A1121

They also offer an air bag inflator that is extremely light weight- called the Schnozzel:  https://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-category/mats/schnozzel-pumpbag-ul-m-corn-yellow

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2021, 05:36:04 pm »
I have an Exped that is probably about 3-4 years old.  I'd highly recommend  it with one caveat- if you are in the desert southwest, goathead thorns have the ability to puncture anything and everything.  I doubt there is a sleeping pad that would not be punctured.  This, from first hand experience on a recent trip from San Diego to El Paso.

The bad part about the goatheads is that they leave a tiny puncture and there is virtually no way you'll find it without a tub to submerge it in.  The "good" thing is that it would stay inflated for about half the night and then I'd be on the ground so at least I could reinflate it during the night without too much problem.

I was able to fix the leaks when I got home- they were very difficult to see even in the hot tub I was using but now its fixed.  Other than this trip, I've been very happy with it.

I rode the ST from San Diego to Pensacola with some detours to take my own route.  While I agree that goathead are terrible I have not had any trouble with them puncturing my Neoair pad.  I have wild camped plenty on that trip and others in goathead country.  I rode the southern half of the Sierra Cascades route.  I rode from KS city to Santa Fe.  I backpacked in the Sierras.  Lots of wild camping on some of those trips less in others.  Not many leaks at all and none that I blamed on thorns.

I've punctured feet and tires, but not sleeping pads.  I take some care in picking where I settle for the night but nothing all that obsessive.  Maybe I have just been lucky.

I did have the delaminating problem from sleeping with my bare skin on the pad, but they replaced that pad under warranty and I wore a tee after that with no more issues.

Online John Nettles

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Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2021, 07:05:32 pm »
They also offer an air bag inflator that is extremely light weight- called the Schnozzel:  https://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-category/mats/schnozzel-pumpbag-ul-m-corn-yellow
Due to being immuno-compromised due to a transplant, I am not supposed to blow up a mattress since there is a chance deathly (to me) mold could reside inside the mattress.  I currently use MSR's absolutely most unreliable product ever, their NEO Air pump.  I have gone through 7, count them 7 of them.  They were all under warranty because they all crapped out before the warranty expired.  The dang things last about 20-30 nights then just crap out. For $35 you would think they could spend a few more $ and make it right since it is such a simple pump.

Anyway, have you (or anyone else) use the Schnozzel or similar bags?

Offline OHRider

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2021, 07:15:08 am »
John Nettles- Yes, I have a Schnozzel and really like it. In most cases the air pad inflates with two "bags" of air.  Much easier and quicker than the little air pump that comes with the Exped.  One caveat- the little air pump would have been nice to have along the trip to add a bit of air as the pad leaked down overnight.  It may, however, only work with Exped mattresses but I can't say for sure.

STAEHPJ1- I found the source of the goatheads that caused my issue.  When I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom- some of them stuck to my shoes.  Since I was in scorpion country, I always kept the shoes in the tent along the side (1 person tent)- didn't take long for leaks to start.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2021, 08:01:01 am »
STAEHPJ1- I found the source of the goatheads that caused my issue.  When I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom- some of them stuck to my shoes.  Since I was in scorpion country, I always kept the shoes in the tent along the side (1 person tent)- didn't take long for leaks to start.
Ah, makes sense.  I never take shoes inside the tent.  I kick them off when my knees are in and feet still out.  The majority of the trips in goathead country I was using a bivy though, but again shoes never inside.

When using a solo tent I am really easy on the floor and pad because I don't move around in the tent.  I pretty much crawl in lie down and don't move around.  Same with a bivy.  There is never much weight concentrated in one spot and not the grinding down on the floor that some floors get.  So my tent floors tend to be pristine other than being dirty even with no footprint or groundsheet used.  I don't know if that helps with not picking up thorns, but I have not had issues.

I hope I haven't cursed myself by saying all that.

BTW, I have had goathead thorns work through the soles of shoes.  They are really nasty!

Online John Nettles

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Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2021, 03:28:54 pm »
John Nettles- Yes, I have a Schnozzel and really like it. In most cases the air pad inflates with two "bags" of air.  Much easier and quicker than the little air pump that comes with the Exped.

How well does it provide a fairly firm mattress? In otherwords, with breaths you can get a mattress pretty dang firm.  Can the Schnozzle do that or is it somewhat soft? 

Offline OHRider

Re: Sleeping pads
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2021, 04:28:55 pm »


It's really a function of how hard you squeeze the Schnozzle.  Sometimes I have to let a little air out of it so I'd say its pretty dang firm.  The little hand pump that comes with it will get it a bit firmer- you can always put the bulk air in with the Schnozzle then then make it even harder with the hand pump- but I've never taken the hand pump on trips with me.