Jan 11, 2010 at 6:36 am #1254008
Looking for people's experience with Kooka Bay sleeping pads. In particular the downmat version.
ThanksJan 11, 2010 at 6:54 am #1561589
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
I have had Binder make me two custom pads and he will be making a third shortly. The pads received have exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend his products.Jan 11, 2010 at 7:10 am #1561592
I ordered one on Friday but obviously don't have it yet. I'll let you know when I get it.Jan 11, 2010 at 7:55 am #1561603
I didn't know he was offering down mat versions yet?Jan 11, 2010 at 8:31 am #1561616
Here's an email from Bender that I got about the downmat:
A standard rectangular cut 72×20 with 6oz of 750 FP goose down will be approximately 20oz, or in mummy style about 17oz. The R-Value is around 6. I can customize the amount of insulation depending on what you need. I am currently out of material so it will be about a week until it arrives. A 48" rectangular pad would weigh between 13-14oz with the same R value. Prices will range from $129 for 48" to $159 for 72". I accept PayPal at Kooka@KookaBay.com
BenderJan 11, 2010 at 9:06 am #1561624
WOW…those weights are impressive.
My 48" Downmat 7 weighs something like 21.9 oz so one of these would save me some serious weight.
How would one inflate the down version? Does he offer an inflation sack or do we just rig up our own setup.
And why isn't it on his website? I was wondering when he was going to start making them.Jan 11, 2010 at 9:41 am #1561629
Bender recommended the 1.5oz Big Agnes PumphouseJan 11, 2010 at 10:22 am #1561642
I have a Stephensons Warmlite on the way … after suffering through a recent backpacking trip with the "pump" version of the downmat 7.
Weights look pretty similar between Stephenson and Kooka … Stephenson may have more down … not sure?
Either way, I bet the Kooka will be a sweet pad!Jan 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm #1561684
@hammer-oneLocale: Walking With The Son
I just bought the Kooka Bay pillow and I am impressed. It packs down to fit in my palm and crazy light. I'm looking forward to using it!Jan 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm #1563278
>> Bender <<Participant
George don't you mean Kooka light ;)
Thanks for the kind words guys :) I'm back up and running in 2010 with lighter material so a standard 60" mummy weighs 9.8oz. I have made a number of custom goose down & Climashield air mats. I will be adding them to the product line soon. The BA pumphouse works great with a little practice. The only downside to my down mats is slower deflation. I usually just open the valve in the morning so lying on the ground makes me wake up! FYI the 70" Exped Downmat 7 has 6oz of 700 FP down and weighs 31.7oz. The 72×20" mat with 6oz down I made for Bradford weighs a hair over 20oz. I also use Climashiled XP and may change over to the new Climashild Apex if I can source it.Jan 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm #1563803
Thanks Bender I can't wait to get my new pad, It will probably be here on Tuesday. I can report back with pics if anyone is interested. I hope to give it a test run this weekend, but the temps thankfully won't be too cold (20's). I am tired of the cold!Jan 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm #1563813
I'd love to see some pics aswell as your first impressions. These pads are looking really nice.
SteveJan 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm #1564280
I got my Kooka Bay pad in today and thought I would share my impressions. First off let me say that it is very light. It weighs 20.85 ounces on my scale and the Big Agnes Pumphouse weighs in at an additional 1.55oz bringing my total weight to 22.4oz. For comparison my Exped Downmat 7 weighed 33.35oz with the pumpsack. First off the quality looks very nice everything is neat and tidy. The baffles on it are a bigger than the ones on the Downmat which might make this pad even warmer. The inflated measurement of the pad is 19” which is about an inch narrower than my Exped or Thermarest. The inflated length is 71.5” which is identical to the Exped.
Here are some pics:
Jan 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm #1564296
How do you find the comfort compared to the Downmat?Jan 25, 2010 at 9:33 am #1566072
I used the pad for the first time this weekend and although the temps weren't nearly low enough for a warmth test, the pad felt comfortable and warm. My only complaint was how long and hard it was to deflate the pad. While pumping it up was just as fast and easy as my Exped Downmat 7, deflating was another issue, in fact, I had to pack it up with some air still in the pad. I think there must have been something (down?) blocking the valve because when I got home, I had no trouble deflating the pad, but in the backcountry, I couldn't force the remaining air out of the pad even sitting on it.
The valves Bender uses are the same as the ones used by Thermarest so they have a long history of durability and performance, but perhaps they might not be the right choice for a down filled mat, or perhaps it was a freak indecent.
Overall I was pretty impressed, if I can keep from having the valve issue, this will be my winter pad of choice.Feb 8, 2010 at 11:05 am #1571166
I used the pad for the second time this past weekend. Temps were down to 24*F and I was sleeping on around 4" of snow. I used my Golite Ultra 20 with just a baselayer top and bottom and was plenty comfortable. Though still a bit slower to deflate than the Exped (1 valve instead of 2) everything worked as it should. There must have been something stuck in the valve last time because I had no issues this time. This pad is very warm, very light, and well made.Feb 8, 2010 at 11:13 am #1571172
I also had the issue with the valve, but it was at home instead of in the field. I will have to blow it up again to see if it deflates better next time. Did you do anything differently?
– BenFeb 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm #1571257
I recently received a pad from Bender. Haven't had a chance to test it in the field, but I did inflate/deflate it in my gear room. Mine is a rectangular, 70x20x3.5" down filled pad. Weighs 614 grams with rubber band on my scale!
Inflates easily, deflates a bit slow but not horrendously so. Bender now offers two valves, normal to inflate and a larger one to deflate.
I'm pretty psyched about this pad. Seems very well made, and the weight (IMO) is pretty amazing.Feb 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm #1571269
Bender's currently making me a custom 2-person model, about 67" x 44" x 2.5" down filled. It will have horizontal baffles, except for the sides which will have slightly larger vertical baffles to keep arms from sliding off the sides. Large deflation valve.
Very excited to see it – when it's done and I have it, I'll post a full report and photos.Feb 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm #1571300
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
Very appealing. Can you give a price for the curious?Feb 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm #1571304
I got two pillows from Bender. One is the regular 70 denier pillow shown on his website (for my wife) and the other is a lighter 30 denier version of this pillow. The 30 denier pillow weighs just 26g (0.9oz). That's about a third lighter than the 70 D pillow which weighs 38g (1.3oz). I haven't had the chance to try out these pillows yet besides in my living room, but it seems like a great luxury for just 0.9oz.
I suspect that that constitutes a significant portion of the weight of these pillows. I bet the valve is 5-10g. I wonder if there are any options for lighter valves? One idea is that the squishy valves used in cheap plastic inflatables (ie. beach balls) might do the trick for a pillow. I don't know if I'd trust that for a sleeping pad though…..then again, those cheap inflatable pool mattresses use these.Feb 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm #1571308
I've never liked an inflatable pillow. Just doesn't work for me. But I do like the 'insulated' pillows Paul sells (Arrowhead Equipment). I've got the small one for my hammock, it's the perfect size. I just ordered a larger one for ground sleeping. Worth the 5 oz for me!Feb 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm #1571347
I don't want to give the exact number Bender quoted me, just in case it's set as a "test" case. But it was definitely cheaper than 2 x Exped 7's, which is the closest alternative. Looks like it will be a lot lighter, too!Feb 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm #1571355
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
Fair enough- I kinda figured… Seem like a VERY interesting idea. Any of you thermal gurus know if 1 big is more efficient than 2 smalls?
EDIT: changed subject to catch eyes of prospective answerers.Feb 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm #1571393
To my knowledge the only thing I did differently was open the valve while I was on the pad. I laid there in my quilt for a minute or two until the air stopped escaping, then I closed the valve until I was ready to pack it up. I inflated and deflated it a few times at home and it worked fine. It is good to hear that he may have found a solution by using two valves. I know I got version 1.0 and knew that going into it. It is a great pad and you just cant get anything warmer for the weight.
Ben, if you have any more valve info (more problems, fix, etc) please let me know.
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