I am planning a Mt goat hunt for the last part of Oct. I have looked at alot of different sleeping pads. Anyone have any suggestions or experiences they would share, either positive or negative? Thanks in advance, Tony
That's a tough one, Tony. Typically I would suggest the smallest, lightest pad that you can comfortably use. That's the route I go, but the majority of my hunting is in August and September. I've used my light one in the winter, but it can get a little chilly. On a goat hunt, however, I'm willing to sacrifice a little comfort for weight.
I use an ultra-light ThermaRest pad, and actually find it to be quite comfortable. Go to REI or Sportsman's Warehouse and spend some time trying them out on the floor, and then go with the smallest, lightest one that you can comfortably handle. If you're really concerned about warmth, however, you may want to go one notch thicker.
I have always used a ridge rest which is comfortable and light but very bulky. Lately I have wished I had an inflatable which took up less room.But I would definitely take a sleeping for its insulating value and comfort.
I've looked into getting a new pad myself, my Thermarest works great but I want something a little warmer and not quite as slick. I've pretty much decided on the Thermarest Prolite 3, my goat hunting partner had one on our hunt last year and he raved about it and it will take a beating. He had that thing strapped to his pack on top with no protection and we walked through some of the nastiest alder tag you can imagine and it never even got a scratch. The biggest thing for me about a sleeping pad is it's ability to insulate you from the ground. REI carries them for about $79.
I agree with the thermarest pads. I've had mine for 15 years and never had a leak (knock on wood). I'm taller than most so I went with the Camprest model (not sure what it's called now) because it's a little longer and wider. Nothing worse than sliding off the edge and waking up on cold ground. As a side benefit it's also 2" thick so I've never felt the cold from the ground. Or even felt the ground for that matter.
As far as weight, I think the difference between mine and a lite-weight model is negligible when compared to the vast increase in comfort. Packing size is an issue, but strapped to the outside of your pack you won't even notice it.
I have a prolite 3 for me & 4w for my wife. Use them yr round, & can't be beat. I went to the full length for me this time & its nice not having to worry about stuffing clothes, pack etc.. under your feet when sleeping on frozen ground. Worth the weight diff vs. the 3/4 for goat hunting.
Like some of the others here I had my old 3/4 for over 5 yrs but sometimes updates are worth the $$.
I second AKMarmot on the normal size Pro Lite 4. After using a 3/4 pad for 10 years I finally have abandoned the silly tradition of stuffing clothes and such under the missing 1/4. My previous Thermarest was 10 years old, and at 1 lb. 8 oz. the new Pro Lite 4 works in spring bear camp or summer sheep camp and it will fit into my same stuff sack with my Western Mountaineering down sleeping bag for a total weight of 3 lb. 12 ouces allowing 2 ounces for the stuff sack. Certainly my whole sleeping setup is under 4 easily and this is with a 6' 6" bag and the normal size pad!