Author Topic: Packing Thermarest  (Read 17558 times)

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Offline oiselette

Packing Thermarest
« on: June 13, 2010, 03:21:59 pm »
I inherited a sleep bag and pad from a friend. The bag is in a non-waterproof stuff sack, and the inflatable thermarest rolls and is secured with velcro, and has no stuff sack. Neither of these will fit in my panniers (sleeping bag, maybe, but it's bulky). How do you secure and weatherproof your large items?

Offline ericb

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 04:05:07 pm »
I use a 3/4 length ultra light Thermarest (I think equiv. to the Trail Pro) that rolls up very very small -- maybe 8-9" x 4" or so. So I always put it in the tall round-ish pocket on the back of one side of my Arkel panniers (with room to spare) where it is moderately safe from rain, but it will also easily fit inside if it's wet enough out.

If yours is the full-length variety, Thermarest does sell various stuff sacks or you can easily find one that fits at REI or similar store. In my experience these sacks are not that water proof and you are better off with a plastic bag. A dry bag seems over kill to me.

For making your Thermarest compact nicely, it works well to fold it in 3rds or 4ths with the valve open, and sit on it to get a lot of the air out. Close the valve, then I fold mine lengthwise and roll tightly. As I get near the end I open the valve again to get the remaining air out. If yours is an especially thick kind, you may need to or prefer to roll full-width. I keep mine rolled up with a rubber band. 

I mention this because if you are new to Thermarests, it may not be apparent just how small a size they can compact down to.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 08:35:04 pm »
I inherited a sleep bag and pad from a friend. The bag is in a non-waterproof stuff sack, and the inflatable thermarest rolls and is secured with velcro, and has no stuff sack. Neither of these will fit in my panniers (sleeping bag, maybe, but it's bulky). How do you secure and weatherproof your large items?

My wife made  a bag for a thermarest - normally they do come with; the sleeping bags have waterproof stuff sacks.  You can buy just stuff sacks from out door shops, such as REI or MEC.  These are generally waterproof (probably not to 10m, but good enough), and strong enough that you can compress the sleeping bag a fair bit when you stuff it in.  But you need to know the size. 

The need for waterproofness for the thermarest is minimal: roll it up with the "sleep side" in, and since the thermarest itself is waterproof, it won't be harmed if the other side gets a little damp.  The sack she made was lightweight rip-stop nylon; keeps it clean, but not totally dry.

But as the previous respondent said, we now have Arkels, which have a specific location for Thermarests  :)

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 10:46:08 am »
If I don't trust my sleeping bag's stuff sack, I put the bag in a light weight plastic bag before I put in it the stuff sack.  Since my ThermaRest rolls up small and fits in a pannier, I don't need any other protection, but you could go the garbage bag route with yours.  I would try to find a suitable sack as the bag route isn't always aesthetically pleasing.

Offline Galloper

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 06:30:06 am »
A further tip with Thermarest is that once you've folded it and rolled it, you can suck some air out yourself which will roll it up even smaller.   

Offline MTBMaven

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2010, 01:05:17 am »
Yes the thermarest does not need a stuff sack as it is waterproof.  The pad is air tight and thus waterproof.  OR and Sea to Summit both make lightweight silnylon stuff sack with a roll top closure.  If rolled as designed it will be pretty much waterproof.  There are multiple sizes so you should not have a problem finding one that will hold your sleeping bag. 
You must be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline ericb

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 12:52:02 am »
Thermarests are not waterproof! 

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 01:29:20 pm »
Mine is. Made of a closed-cell foam, it can get wet but does not soak up the water.

Fred

Offline ericb

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 09:18:31 pm »
Ah yes, there is the Ridgerest. I have one and indeed it is waterproof. But for me it's terribly uncomfortable. The inflatable ones are not waterproof, which unfortunately I know from experience. They do dry quickly, but they'll absorb enough water to dampen a sleeping bag, which obviously isn't something you want.


Offline rvklassen

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 10:11:12 am »
Mine is. Made of a closed-cell foam, it can get wet but does not soak up the water.

Fred
We are talking about ThermaRest (TM)?

The Cascade Designs self-inflating mattress is open-cell foam inside a rubber-impregnated cloth cover, with a valve.  When deflated, it will inflate itself naturally as the foam expands when the valve is opened.  The cover, being air-tight, is also waterproof, although it will get damp, especially on the "sleep side".  These are heavier than most alternatives, but they are high on comfort.

Offline dracolytch

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 10:19:03 pm »
How do you secure and weatherproof your large items?

Bungie cords and trash bags. Take a couple extra of both. Last year I ended up riding through the remnants of hurricane Danny (ugh). My sleeping bag and thermarest were only damp(double-bag so there's no opening), whereas anything else not in ziplock was soaked. Even stuff in purported "weatherproof" bags.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2010, 01:51:06 pm »
We have been carrying both pad and bag inside our panniers lately, but it does depend on what bag, pad and panniers you have.  Most models of thermarest self inflating pads can be rolled up pretty small.  As was already mentioned, fold it in half lengthwise first before rolling and take pains to roll it tightly getting all of the air out before closing the valve.  For the sleeping bag a compression sack helps a lot to get it packed small.

I used to carry my thermarest on top of the rear rack and just put in a plastic bag, but I only bothered with the plastic bag if it rained.  If you have one of the huge base camp models of pad you may have to do the same and bag it when it rains.

Offline biased bohemian

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2010, 08:31:04 pm »
I use a 35 liter Sea to Summit “Big River Dry Bag”, which fits my tent, thermarest and water bladder with room to spare.  the bag itself has strong reinforced loops sewed onto the body so it can easily be strapped to the top of the back bike rack with a couple of bungie cords.  It is waterproof and easy to seal.  Purchased mine at EMS.  One of the best decisions I made.

I rode with trash bags prior to this, but these rip easy and aren't as easy to tie down.  Also can be a pain to get to the rear panniers with a bunch of loose junk strapped on top of the back rack.  With a single bag accessing the back panniers is a snap.
___________________________________
www.biasedbohemian.com - an unabashedly biased look at the world from one small unapologetic man

Offline Rep

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2010, 10:47:23 pm »
For my sleeping bag I use a waterproof compression sack.  I purchased mine at REI.
Bicycling, Brewing & Backgammon...What a life.

Offline cyclocamping

Re: Packing Thermarest
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2010, 12:47:29 pm »
Self-inflating Therm-a-rest pad are definitely waterproof - that's how they stay inflated! Oiselette, Did you try to fold the pad lengthwise before rolling it, it might feet in your bag that way. I fold mine that way, it is a 3/4 lenght but I know that you can roll the full length pad too.
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