Sep 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm #1263026
I was thinking of getting a ThinLite or BPL pad and supplementing it with a piece of bubble wrap or Reflectix underneath, or possibly creating a sandwich of wrap between two pads. I've searched for posts on this but haven't found much. It has to have been tried though, no?
Oh also, hi everyone, I'm a new member! I have been lurking a while but finally signed up.Sep 6, 2010 at 6:06 pm #1643487
@billreyn1Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
I have often thought about this too but have never tried it. Welcome!Sep 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm #1643495
Seems like an easy enough way to get almost an inch of inflated air cushioning plus a bit of insulation from the foam for maybe 6 oz, right? Probably a bit heavier with the Reflectix, maybe 10 oz for a 40" pad.Sep 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm #1643498
Yes, I've used it periodically over the last 30 years. I don't fool with Reflectix, but it is slightly tougher. There are two forms of Bubble-Pak. One has large bubbles, maybe 3/4" in diameter. The other has small bubbles, maybe 1/4" in diameter. I found the small form to work better. It seems like the small bubbles pop less.
Obviously this stuff is not tough like closed cell foam. However, it is better than nothing. I would use it only when I thought I was going to be out in mild weather conditions, because the insulating value is going to be almost zero.
On one recent trip, I had one piece of closed cell foam that was about 16" square. Then I had the small bubble type that was 18" wide by 36" long. To carry it, I roll it up and stick it under the pack lid. It's not elegant, but it works.
–B.G.–Sep 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm #1643499
Not to burst your bubble , but…
Every so often the idea comes up. Never see a "long term" report on that so I suspect it works very well in the backyard not so much on the trail.
Could be good for a night or two.
Apart from bursting bubbles the stored size for warmth ratio is not that good.
I would look at one of the ThinLight mats
Bob came in with some practical experience whilst I was uploading…Sep 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1643501
FWIW my FBC cozy is a bubble wrap envelope intended for shipping bottles. It makes a great sit pad when it isn't being used to "cook" dinner or breakfast. Unfortunately it picks up enough of a food odor that it spends its nights hanging in the bear bag instead of as extra cushioning but it's certainly occurred to me that it could be used for that.Sep 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm #1643506
That sounds ok for the type of trips I usually take (3-5 days, not much winter camping). With care, I believe the bubble wrap could last for a few days, and even if it failed I would still have a Thinlight or two to sleep on.
I agree it would probably be bulky, but I'd probably do what Bob does and roll it up and stuff it under my pack lid.Sep 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm #1643509
Yes, I used mine for nine nights sleeping in Alaska. The temperature never dipped lower than 43 F.
Figure that you might pop about 5-10% of the bubbles per night. So what you bring home will be a little flatter than what you started with. I beat that by putting a thin plastic sheet on the ground underneath it.
–B.G.–Sep 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm #1643511
WillWeb, is that the Black Forest Trail in your avatar?Sep 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm #1643521
Good spotting! We did the circuit over 4th of July weekend. Home base is Harrisburg.Sep 6, 2010 at 8:15 pm #1643534
I did the BFT July 26-28, it was awesome. Such a great variety of settings, and tons of wildlife. We saw four different rattlers, oh and I almost stepped on one.
My avatar is from Minister Creek Trail in the Allegheny National Forest. Nice scenery, but a short trail. Have you checked out the Quehanna Trail?Sep 7, 2010 at 10:59 am #1643665
I've used expanded polythene (not polystyrene) sheet for many years, as it's more robust and less bulky than bubble wrap, which tends to pop. Thermawrap tends to be mechanically weak, and delaminates. I'd guess Reflectix is the same stuff.
One common brand of expanded polythene is 'Jiffy Foam', but it's like the stuff used a laminate floor underlay, or protective wrapping packaging.
I find it a remarkably good insulator, probably due to the multitude of tiny air pockets.Sep 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm #1643693
What does that stuff weigh? Do you use a single layer, or fold it to add thickness?Sep 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm #1643698
I just weighed a piece of the large-bubble stuff, 2 feet by 5 feet, and it weighs 2.2 ounces. If I had to guess, I would say that the small-bubble stuff weighs a similar amount, even though it offers less cushion.
–B.G.–Sep 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm #1643704
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
"possibly creating a sandwich of wrap between two pads"
I've had some success with modeling balloons between two thin sheet of CCF. 2" thick mattress – 6oz including pump.Sep 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm #1643730
Bob – thanks for doing that, now I'm even more intrigued! I would probably go for the smaller-bubbled stuff, because it seems less likely to pop. I'm definitely going to order a couple thin CCF pads and give this a shot. I'll test it in my backyard.
Rog – do you sell similar items?
What CCF pad would you guys use for the sandwich? I'm thinking either the BPL DIAD pad which is 40" and 3/16" thick, or the GG Thinlight, which is thinner at 1/8", but longer. Both weigh ~2 oz.
I currently use a Thermarest Trail Lite, which weighs 31 oz, so the prospect of a ~5 oz pad is veeeerrry tempting.Sep 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm #1643736
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
You can source the modeling balloons from ebay. Look out for a 1/2oz bulb type pump. If you want to buy a ready made kit, these adventure racing folks do the business. They don't use foam though, just a light nylon shell. It's worth a read of their site for tips and hints.Sep 8, 2010 at 11:02 am #1643931
> What does that stuff weigh? Do you use a single layer, or fold it to add thickness?
Matthew, if that was directed at me, then a 185x52cm x3mm thick sheet weighs about 70g. I use various grades of it, mostly salvaged. The thinner versions make a nice tent footprint protector, and add a little insulation under the entire tent.
I've carried a smaller sheet of the stuff for years (it's a fetching pink, since it's anti-static packing material…). I've used it as a sit mat (35x55cm = 14g) on snow, and the snow doesn't melt under me, or stood on it on freezing, snowy railway platforms waiting for British Rail trains running late in the snow…Sep 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm #1644593
…I noticed this product in Home Depot next to Relectix. It appears to be several sheets (min 3) of aluminized mylaar laminated together. It is more compliant than Reflectix and half the cost.Sep 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm #1645002
This enerflex looks interesting… perhaps i could sandwich a layer of it between two layers of bubble wrap, between two layers of GG Thinlights. The enerflex weighs about .5oz/square foot, so this would add ~5 oz to the pad, but at 10oz, it would still probably be more comfortable than a small ridgerest. anyway, my thinlights come in on wednsday, so i'll be sure to report back after i test out this contraption in my backyard.Jan 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm #1687087
@t43eagleLocale: Central MN
For $6 at a local automotive store, I picked up a full size SUV windshield reflector – it has silver reflective foil on both sides of a closed cell foam pad. It is very, very light and z-folds – just strap vertically on the outside of my pack. It is about 6' long and I used it on top of a closed cell pad and also with Therma-Rest style pad. Definitely adds several degrees to your set-up for almost no weight. They are wider than normal pads and could be trimmed and have a new piece of grosgrain webbing sewn on.
FYI – reflectix is great stuff – made a cozy for my Heine Pot and also use it in my portable ice house to keep the heat in and reduce propane consumption. Lots of R-value for minimal weight.
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