Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up

  • 27 Replies
  • 15107 Views
*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4322
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« on: December 27, 2008, 05:50:33 PM »
For those new to this thread make sure to also see the updates, with pictures, below

In an earlier discussion on sleeping pads for the hard desert I had mentioned using a combination of a Cascade Designs/Thermarest Ridgerest closed cell pad under a Prolite 3 short inflatable pad for extra insulation in the winter when it is really cold. When using this combination on the hard wooden shelter floors, here in the east, I sleep great.

On this last trip to the Bend I tested it out in this way: I took a 47" Ridgerest and cut it down to 36" to fit my Thermarest lite chair kit, then I put my Prolite 3 on top. This gives not only great cushioning of 1.66 inches but great insulation as well. It also gives a puncture proof pad incase something happens to the inflatable one (like happened to Ay Chi on his last trip).

I have increasingly become a side sleeper and with this combo I can deflate the Prolite a bit and get the old hip and shoulder hole effect we used to do when sleeping in the washes. At 52 my hips, back and shoulders really appreciate it. I slept better on this trip of 6 nights on mostly rock surfaces than I have in years.

I also just have to have my chair and this way I get it and when it's time to lay down I just loosen the side webbing struts and it's done. Same in the morning just in reverse when I sit up to have that cup of coffee as the sunrises while still in the warmth of the sleeping bag.  :icon_biggrin: I am working on a new chair that may be 4 oz. lighter than the current 10.5 oz.

Here is the inspiration that sent me in this direction finally. Thermarest is coming out in January with a 36" Prolite that will weigh 8 oz. and fit in the chair kit great. Combined with the cut down Ridgerest at 6 oz. that brings the combo in at only 2 oz. heavier than my old Prolite 3 short alone. I tried, in vain, to get one of the new 36" pads for this trip but they said there weren't any around yet, even sample pads.

Now I know that 36" sounds short but I am 6'2" and have plenty of room to spare to get my hips and shoulders on the pad. I have always used short pads and just put my pack under my feet and legs. If it is really cold I take a full length Ridgerest instead. At 14 oz. for the new combination I can't find any other pad that will give the toughness, insulation and padding.  

Here is the info on the new Thermarest Prolite 36":

Quote
For three-season use, Therm-a-Rest has streamlined the shape of their existing Prolite 3 pads and renamed them, simply, "Prolite." The new pads are tapered slightly more aggressively and feature rounder tops and bottoms. These changes reduce the amount of material used for a given sized pad and result in weight reduction - always a plus for lightweight hikers. The new Prolite pads will be offered in three unisex sizes, plus a women's size. The smallest and lightest pad in this series is the torso-sized extra-small version, measuring twenty by thirty-six inches, and claiming an eight ounce weight. This makes it one of the lightest self-inflating pads commercially available. MSRP's range from US$59.95 to US$119.95, depending on size. Available January 2009.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 05:45:07 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline TexasGirl

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 460
Re: Maybe the perfect sleeping pad set up
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 07:49:53 PM »
Thanks for the info.  Sounds like you have nearly perfected your own set up.  Last winter I took a blue foam pad and used it under my women's model Prolite 4 (chosen over the 3 for warmth).  It worked out very well.  I too am a side sleeper.  I don't know whether I'd go to the extra trouble for backpacking but for car camping it was nice to have the extra warmth and cushioning.  TG
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

*

Offline Neville

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 14
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 08:40:34 PM »
Check out the Big Agnes Air Core pads.  I too am a side sleeper and those pads are a blessing.

Recently I picked up one of their new Clear Core pads.  It seems a bit fragile by the feel, but it has held up pretty well thus far.  Not bad at 14oz either.

*

Offline catz

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1033
  • Old enough to know better, but...
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 01:59:12 PM »
Check out the Big Agnes Air Core pads.  I too am a side sleeper and those pads are a blessing.

I totally concur, especially for backpack use.  Not only is it extra thick (2"+) but it folds down to next-to-nothing and will easily fit in your pack.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 02:14:04 PM by RichardM »
Wake me when it's time to go.

*

Offline Ay Chihuahua!

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 879
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2008, 03:28:59 PM »
Thanks for sharing, Mule Ears.  I may need to try this out.  I'll be looking for the 36" Prolite.

Quote
It also gives a puncture proof pad incase something happens to the inflatable one (like happened to Ay Chi on his last trip).

Actually, I've sprung a leak the past 2 of 3 trips out.  :icon_frown: :icon_frown:

Also, by my math, your Ridgerest should weigh about an ounce more than stated, if you cut it from 47 to 36 inches...6.89 oz. to be overly precise.   :icon_lol:

Looking forward to hearing about the weight-reduced chair.

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4322
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2008, 04:31:32 PM »
Check out the Big Agnes Air Core pads.  I too am a side sleeper and those pads are a blessing.

I totally concur, especially for backpack use.  Not only is it extra thick (2"+) but it folds down to next-to-nothing and will easily fit in your pack.

I have stayed away from air mattresses for the puncture issues and they are horrible insulation. 95% of the time I am sleeping out near or below 32 degrees so they would not be very warm. But you are right about the comfort above freezing.

Thanks for sharing, Mule Ears.  I may need to try this out.  I'll be looking for the 36" Prolite.

Quote
It also gives a puncture proof pad incase something happens to the inflatable one (like happened to Ay Chi on his last trip).

Actually, I've sprung a leak the past 2 of 3 trips out.  :icon_frown: :icon_frown:

Also, by my math, your Ridgerest should weigh about an ounce more than stated, if you cut it from 47 to 36 inches...6.89 oz. to be overly precise.   :icon_lol:

Looking forward to hearing about the weight-reduced chair.

Technically your weight is correct, mine came out 6.24 oz. I guess it depends on which side of the ridge you cut on.  :icon_wink: I may also round the corners down a little too.

The Big Anges Cyclone chair is 6.5 oz. but all the reviews are that it is not very durable and I think they have recalled them to beef them up some. It is also shorter and I think a shorter back would not be very comfortable at least at my height.
http://www.rei.com/product/763954# read the reviews and you will see what I mean.

I may start by cutting some of the top corner materials off of my 15 year old Thermarest chair and maybe some narrower webbing and smaller buckles. I will wait until I see the actual shape of the new Prolite. That should shave at least a couple of oz. off.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline Ay Chihuahua!

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 879
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2008, 06:10:54 PM »
Quote
I may start by cutting some of the top corner materials off of my 15 year old Thermarest chair and maybe some narrower webbing and smaller buckles. I will wait until I see the actual shape of the new Prolite. That should shave at least a couple of oz. off.

I just weighed my Thermarest chair and it comes in at 9.8 oz.  Surely it is the four stays that add the most weight, but I'm not eager to tear my chair up to find out.  Mule Ears, if you're interested in sacrificing your chair, you might try weighing the stays.  I'd be curious if replacing them with something like aluminum arrow shafts might be a weight-saving option.

*

Offline homerboy2u

  • The Chipewa Cris tribe,Canada:
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 5103
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2008, 08:14:06 PM »
Some images i found on the internet,but this could change once the pad goes out on the market,thought it could help on the visualization of the product:




 An REI LINK to the pad.

Saludos


Stay thirsty, my friends.

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4322
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2008, 09:32:51 PM »
Quote
I may start by cutting some of the top corner materials off of my 15 year old Thermarest chair and maybe some narrower webbing and smaller buckles. I will wait until I see the actual shape of the new Prolite. That should shave at least a couple of oz. off.

I just weighed my Thermarest chair and it comes in at 9.8 oz.  Surely it is the four stays that add the most weight, but I'm not eager to tear my chair up to find out.  Mule Ears, if you're interested in sacrificing your chair, you might try weighing the stays.  I'd be curious if replacing them with something like aluminum arrow shafts might be a weight-saving option.

Mine weighs 9.92 oz. and the stays are fairly easy to get out (there is a slit at the near the end of the sleeve that hold them and you can get the stays out that way. My 4 stays weigh 3.2 oz. so I am not so sure how much weight can be saved there.

That is one reason the Big Agnes chair is lighter but it's mostly because the  bottom stays are considerably shorter and then don't give as much support.


From Backpacking Light.com:
Quote
The Cyclone chair design is very similar to the Therm-a-Rest chair kit (both my older UL version and the current Trekker version). Weight savings are achieved by making each component lighter than what is used in the Therm-a-Rest chair. Fabric is lightweight Cordura rip-stop nylon instead of a heavier nylon, the stays are aluminum tent stays rather than composite rods, the webbing is 5/8 inch instead of 1 inch with correspondingly smaller buckles, and reinforcement where the two stays meet is less substantial in the Big Agnes chair.

Big Agnes did not stop with lighter materials, but also employed some clever redesign to reduce chair weight. The pad pockets are significantly shorter, but most notably, the stays forming the Cyclone seat bottom are four inches shorter than the back stays (instead of equal length as in the Therm-a-Rest). The Cyclone back stays are about 3/4 inch shorter, and of course the bottom stays are considerably shorter, than those on the Therm-a-Rest
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline Ay Chihuahua!

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 879
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2008, 05:05:19 PM »
Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair

And more goodies coming soon from Cascade Designs.

Quote
New Therm-a-Rest® Innovative Air Mattress Design Announced

NeoAir™ mattress offers warmth, comfort and stability in ultra-light, compact package

SEATTLE, Washington – Cascade Designs, Inc., the Seattle-based industry leader in the design and manufacture of premier outdoor equipment, today announced the April 2009 release of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress as part of the brand’s Fast & Light® series. The ultralight NeoAir mattress is a compact air mattress designed with patent-pending technologies that make it warm and comfortable when inflated for sleeping in the outdoors.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress packs to the size of a one liter bottle and weighs only 14 ounces for a regular size, making it the perfect choice for people with strict weight and space limitations. When inflated, the NeoAir mattress is warm to sleep on, thanks to a patent-pending Reflective Barrier that reflects heat back to the user’s body and reduces convective heat loss to the ground. A second patent-pending technology, the Triangular Core Matrix, contributes to the warmth by creating a multitude of air cells that minimize air movement and convective cooling. This matrix also creates an internal truss system that virtually eliminates the instability generally found on large tube-based air mattresses and assures that the user will shift less while resting comfortably on a 2.5 inch-thick mattress. Since thermal efficiency is achieved without the aid of down or fiber insulation, the NeoAir mattress can be blown up directly, without the added weight of an air pump or having to worry about exhalation moisture wetting insulation and decreasing performance.

“Nearly forty years of hands-on mattress-building experience has been utilized to create the NeoAir mattress,” said Doug Jacot, Therm-a-Rest Business Director. “That experience has been key in engineering the unique design and manufacturing process it takes to make this truly innovative air mattress.”

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress will be available in four sizes, ranging in retail price from $119.95 to $169.95 USD.

In addition to the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress, the entire Therm-a-Rest Fast & Light series of mattresses and accessories are new, re-designed or updated. New products include the Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair, the lightest and most compact chair sleeve available for regular-width Therm-a-Rest mattresses, and the Therm-a-Rest SimplyDry Sack, an ultralight and waterproof roll top stuff sack for all Therm-a-Rest mattresses and accessories. The Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 mattress is redesigned—now called the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus™—the mattress features innovative die-cut foam, making it 20% warmer than the original four-season ProLite 4 of the same weight. The Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 mattress is also redesigned—now called the Therm-a-Rest ProLite™—the mattress features a new streamlined shape along with lighter fabric and foam, making it even lighter than the original Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 mattress.

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4322
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2008, 01:36:47 PM »
Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair

And more goodies coming soon from Cascade Designs.

Quote
New Therm-a-Rest® Innovative Air Mattress Design Announced

NeoAir™ mattress offers warmth, comfort and stability in ultra-light, compact package

I knew about the NeoAir but blanched at the price and again the non-insulative properties of an air mattress. The new chair I did not know about, hmmm. :eusa_think:
Made out of silnylon may make it too flimsy, not durable enough. We'll have to see.

Thanks Ay Chi!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 08:54:40 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4322
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2009, 09:19:47 AM »
Looks like BackcountryGear.com is the first to have the new mattresses, even the 36" Prolite. No NeoAir's available until April though.

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/accessdetail.cfm/CA15510

and Thermarest has finally updated its website including the new Compack chair but not the 36" Prolite.

http://www.thermarest.com/product_detail.aspx?pID=42&cID=1
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline partsdude

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 22
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 08:16:48 AM »
Gonna say something here,may sound silly to some of ya,but... Ever heard of a Vellux blanket? They used to sell them everywhere but not anymore,kinda hard to find. Do a google search if interested. They are a SUPER lightweight material yet very warm. If memory serves they were originally designed for space flight. I found that sleeping on an air mattress in the cold that you get cold from the bottom side. One night,sleeping on a friends floor that didnt like to run the heater, I took my blanky & put part of it between me & the mattress. WOW,hell of a diff. So I took a Kingsized one,cut it down,sewed it too fit & VOILA.A cheap light warm Sleeping bag actually. You can do various things with it,tho.My next project is to glue it somehow to a pad,maybe sew it. I am telling you these things are AWESOME. My nickname for it is the FABULOUS blanket. They weigh nothing. They use to sell them at Wally world, Sears Target but now you have to mail order but JC Penneys may still keep them. Machine washable too.

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4322
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 06:14:31 PM »
So here is the update, with pictures, to the first post above. I finally got my hands on one of the Prolite 36" short pads and the new Compack chairs. I have not had a chance to use it other than on my hardwood floors but thought some pictures would make it come to life.

First this is the bottom of my old Prolite 3, 47" long, 12 ounce pad. If you look close you will note there are 6 patches done at the factory and several more goop fixes done by me and the factory. Hence the search for a lightweight, comfortable, warm and durable pad set up.



Next here is the comparison of the 47" and the 36", yep it sure looks small but it easily takes care of my hips and shoulders at 6'2".



Then the side and top views of the new 36" on top of the cut down 36" Ridgerest. 1.66 inches of puncture proof (almost) resistant [edit for trtlrock] comfort and 4.8 R-value of warmth (remember I mostly hike in the winter with night temps below 32 degrees).





Now in the chair kit in sleep position, note the new chair side straps unclip to lay flat.



A shot of the chair in siting position, there is a strap across the pad where the hinge is but I think that it can probably be cut off to save some weight, I think it must be for when people use longer pads. In this picture I have it completely loose and the pads don't move at all.



Finally a shot of the perfect chair/pad system in use at an awesome Big Bend camp, just what the doctor ordered (and maybe some bourbon too). Yes this is the old pad and chair but you get the idea  :icon_wink:



The 36" Prolite pad came in at 8.5 oz. the 36" cut down Ridgerest closed cell pad at 6 oz. and the new chair at 6.4 oz. The whole thing at 21 oz. but might could drop another ounce with some trimming. I will let you know how it works in "the field".
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 04:26:15 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline dkerr24

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1424
  • The worst day hiking > the best day in a cubicle.
Re: Maybe the perfect lightweight sleeping pad set up
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 07:05:31 PM »
Great idea for a chair/pad setup.  The Ridgerest closed cell pad is pretty tough and should keep the inner pad from getting a hole in it.

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments