sleeping pads?

needcoffee

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Been using the Thermarest for many years and am thinking about a new pad that is lighter and packs smaller. Any one use the Neo air or something of that ilk?

Any suggestions. I like the inflatables for their ability to bridge small depressions and such and tend to have a better nights sleep on them than the closed cell pads.
 

LuJon

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$ for $ it is hard to beat the Big Agnes Insulated Air core. That said my buddy has been getting plenty of good use out of one of the light weight neo air pads though it is a bit slimmer and not quite as insulated. At 9oz I am tempted by the Klymite pad though it is certainly weird! I may bite the bullet and drop the $100 to give it a shot this summer. Other than that the classic light Thermarest pads (frequently the "short" version) is common in the sheep hills as is the Z-lite for the closed cell foam crowd. Exped also makes a very plush pad but I have not paid them much thought since they don't offer that much over the BA insulated air core but cost and weigh more.
 

Bighorse

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This is a very personal choice. If your big and heavy a more plush may be helpful to keep you from compressive forces. Width, Length, R-value. Like tents you should have a couple options here. I've got three. A shorty Thermarest for alpine, a new long Therma Rest with highter R-value for open Tepee stuff, and a full on Basecamp pad.
 

fullkurl

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It is all about personal preference and trial and error.
I just gave away a free, virtually new Big Agnes pad with the tent I sold on the SnS.
Blowing up the BA on the mountain was a total pita to me...

I'm going back to my Thermarest long.
 

Timber Smith

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It is all about personal preference and trial and error.
I just gave away a free, virtually new Big Agnes pad with the tent I sold on the SnS.
Blowing up the BA on the mountain was a total pita to me...

I'm going back to my Thermarest long.

+1, BTDT been through a bunch of different sleeping pads. It is hard to find one versatile pad to do it all in a variety of conditions, especially if your an ounce counter. I figure it is just a matter of how much nightly discomfort you are willing to accept. Sleep is over rated and I always like to say I will get plenty of sleep when I'm dead.

I've stayed away from air mattresses (concern is weight, durability, and years ago they didn't insulate well) usually stuck with Thermarest self inflating mattresses found them to be the best compromise of durability, comfort and weight. Foam pads alone of any sort just didn't cut it for me for more than a few nights.

Just might try some of these new varieties of air mattresses, as long as the weight is reasonable. Haven't completely decided on which one yet. Many times I sleep on the high moraines, glaciers and snow fields so opt for a four season sleep system and usually carry foam cut down and 3/4 Thermarest self-inflating.

This summers weight goal for pack, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad is 12 pounds total and the only way I can make that weight is with a Thermarest Z-lite and Neo-Air. I just bought a new Z-lite small, weight actually came in 1oz lighter than published. Looked for a short Neo Air, couldn't find one in Anchorage. Probably just buy a regular and be done with it. TS
 

BRWNBR

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client gave me his neo this past summer...and i love it. wont' go back to my thin thermarest pads anymore. gotta blow it up, but thats worth it to be able to lay on a river bed and rocks and sleep great. comfy pad for sure, small and light.
 

Snyd

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...Blowing up the BA on the mountain was a total pita to me...

I hear ya but I sure love the 2.5 inches of luxury! It takes me about 11 breaths to blow mine up unless I'm sucking wind.
 

BRWNBR

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just think! 11 breaths and you at least have a pad to pass out on!! :)
 

needcoffee

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How is the Neo for durability? I like the idea of it and the Big Agnes for the compressiblity giving me space savings when flying in and putting stuff in drybags. The Neo wins out in the weight department for back packing at about half the weight.

I saw on a previous thread a lot of guys like the Big Agnes Insulated mummy size pad which is roughly the same weight as the Neo. But at 6'2" and well over 24" across the shoulders anyting under a 25" pad is not very comfortable.
 

BRWNBR

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no problems with the neo so far, i guess i've probably only slept on it for 70 nights or so, but so far its been great. no leaks or anything and if it did, i'd get it fixed...others i just toss them and get a new one. but the neo...i'd fix.
 

ROME

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I have been using Theram-A-Rest Prolite plus for many years until I heard about the Exped Downmat 9 sleeping pad with pump. It's a little on the high side for cost but I love it. Super warm and comfy. It is also the perfect length and size for a Hilleberg tent.
 

oakman

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I've had a thermarest, I think it is the guide lite 3/4, for about 12 years or so. Been a while anyway. Still going strong. It doesn't weigh too much more than the Neo, but it sure takes up a lot more room. If I were going to switch, it would be more for reducing the volume of my gear than the weight or comfort. A friend of mine brought a Neo on a hunt we did together, so we had a pretty good chance to compare. I don't weigh very much and don't have too many problems getting to sleep even when conditions are a little less than desirable.
 

Brian Richardson

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Put 6 EXPED pads into my raft and camp gear rentals last year... mainly to provide pack-ability for multi-mode float trips and also making a warmer Roll-a-cot setup.

I have used these now in all four seasons including a couple -20F bellow nights.

Here are my thoughts:

Out of six --- 4 where the synthetic fill deluxe long version #9. Two of these failed early on. Simple issues...
The 1st had the exit valving go bad as in completely fell off and the cap alone was not good enough to maintain all-night's air pressure.
The 2nd had fabric porosity problems - likely a de-lamination on the interior coatings.
The other two survived the summer and fall use - now ready to go another season in perfect condition. These are nice because they regulate temps nicely... when too hot they feel cool - when too cold they feel warm. Takes 85 CPR-like pumps to full pressure.
* Greatest factoring to be made aware of on these is that a failure under freezing temperatures or saturating wet conditions is a scenario that's not all that fixable. Pad must be dry, cure temps must be held to some degree of significant warmth, and high humidity is not an option in a repair state.

The next two I received (same time-line) where the long deluxe version of the Down mat #9. This is truly a better mat of the two insulations. It's also made of black color fabric so faster to identify any problems or leaks plus heats up in the sun.
Major complaint is that in sub-zero conditions the synthetic foam self-inflating pump is really slow to rise... 85 pumps turns into 160+ shallow breathers.
*** in winter this endless pumping is nearly a deal-breaker and a failure could be dangerous under the worst of situations.

I'll continue to utilize the EXPEDs as a niche pad, yet would not rely on them solely in harsh extremes.
 

shearej

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Seems someone else commented recently on another thread about the Neo-Air being very noisy for folks who toss and turn a lot in their sleep...? Anyone else recall a report along those lines or am I just making things up? Even if true, that may not be a deal breaker for someone.

I have an Exped Downmat 7. I only have 30 nights on it so far, mostly in temps at or above freezing. It is nice and comfy for base camp situations, most of my experience with it has been sleeping on rocky gravel bars. It definitely hides any indication of sleeping on rocks. The internal pump that Brian describes does give me some concern. I think LuJon summed it up though that the Big Agnes Insul. Aircore is a good compromise between comfort and weight.
 

BRWNBR

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noisy...i can't remember off the top of my head, i think it is noisier than the others...but not to a point that i remember it.
 

Water_Gremlin

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I am the very particular when it comes to my sleeping pad. I roll, fidget, knee, punch, kick and sleep on my side. Sometimes I wake up and wonder how I got in the position I am. A good sleeping pad makes all the difference for me on a hunt. With a good sleeping pad I wake up refreshed and willing to walk that extra mile to bag game. A bad nights sleep equals me wanting to sit in camp stiff and sore.

I've tried a number of pads. Most have been too thin or too noisy. Since my hunting trips have been by boat, truck, or ATV I take my REI 3.5" XL pad. In those cases the weight and bulkiness are not an issue. I sleep better on this pad than I do at home on my memory foam mattress and that says a lot. It's warm, quiet, comfortable, and just right for sleeping on my side. Well worth the money and more. I am still hoping to find a better pad for me but that has not happened.
 

Sollybug

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Check reviews on a lot of sites before buying a pad cause a lot of pads have durability issues. And a problem with inflatables is you get a hole you are sunk! That said I switched to inflatable (some kind of REI lightweight weighing less than a pound) and love it. Its as comfortable as my ridgerest, same weight and takes up half the room in my pack. So far no holes........ I didnt get the NEO cause at the time every other review complained about holes. Maybe they have new models with better durability. But Inflatables are pretty cool.
 

stid2677

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It is true that any inflatable pad can get holes, but a little drop of aqua seal will take care of most of them. My buddy used one of the Neos last fall, it got several holes from being close to the fire. It was not very near, but a few stay embers put several pin holes in it. I used a few little drops of aqua seal to fix it. That said I found the Neo to be a very cold pad, not for me.

Steve
 

BRWNBR

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not anything there on a neo to insulate thats for sure. lightweight also means less material...
 

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