Mar 4, 2011 at 7:44 am #1270039
It's always a struggle to get my wife to hike w/ me because she doesn't sleep well on the pads I have. I own two Big Agnes IAC's which are super comfy, but not wide enough for her at 20". So, I decided to make her one(see below)….She loves it!
Fabric – I tried a couple different sources for the fabric. The first I tried was very light, but the heat seal coating was hard to work with. This fabric was from Quest or Owfinc, I will have to look. The fabric I ended up with was 70D from Rockywoods. It's a lot heavier unfortunately, but quality stuff. I will most likely end up making another one for her out of the lighter material. For comparison, the other pad I made was a mummy 72"x20" with 2 oz of 800 fill. Final weight on it was 12.2 oz.
Valve – I wanted a better valve than the Big Ag so that took some looking. I tried both a Thermarest valve and a urethane valve I found. I went with the urethane valve because it's MUCH easier to inflate/deflate the pad & is only 3g heavier than the Thermarest valve. On the DAM I made it takes about 20 secs to deflate compared to some DAMS I've heard taking several minutes. Granted, these valves aren't as clean looking, but I'm about functionality.
Overall, I'm happy with it and so is my wife. She is willing to hike with me more often now, which makes me happy. And in turn means that we can split the load on trips(hence the title of this thread. lol). Any questions let me know.
Length – 72"
Width – 24"
Thickness – 3"
Weight – 23 oz
Valve – urethane
Breaths to Inflate – 15 breaths, 30 seconds.
Fully baffledMar 4, 2011 at 8:03 am #1704345
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I'm very impressed that you would tackle such a challenging piece of gear. Nice job.
Also was a very clever way to reduce weight (wife carrying it).
You've opened up a whole new weight saving strategy for me. For example a pint of whiskey might same me many pounds of weight because I have a couple of friends who would do anything (including carrying gear) for a drink.
DarylMar 4, 2011 at 9:03 am #1704385
drowning in spamMember
Very nice! Can you tell more about that valve, like which one it is and where you got it? How did you do the heat sealing?Mar 4, 2011 at 10:14 am #1704408
The valve I used was a 9mm Airtime valve that is originally designed for kite bladders. It comes with its own adhesive and is very strong. Once its on the pad you cannot come close to pulling it off(at least I couldnt). I also used some seam grip on the DAM I made just to test and it works awesome too. They also make an even larger 11mm valve that flows like crazy. It's a huge port that could deflate deflate down filled mats quite easily.
How I sealed it – Unfortunately, a household iron. Takes a long time and is pretty tedious. An impulse sealer is the way to go on these. If I did these everyday I would get one in a heartbeat. This pad took about 7 hours from start to finish.
RyanMar 4, 2011 at 10:50 am #1704431
It looks like you used the valve that attaches to new bladders. Do you know if the Fix Kit valves will work as well? I have no experience with this type of valve / kit.Mar 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm #1704545
I haven't used that brand, but I remember reading somewhere that the glue in the Fix kit is very good. I would feel confident in using it. Some of the the Airtime valves come with a check valve(i.e. just a flap) to slow the rate at which the valve let's air out. Makes it handy when blowing the pad up, but a pain when you want to deflate. I prefer the valve with no check valve personally.
Edit…I looked up the Fix kit and it's a different valve than I was originally thinking. It should work fine.
RyanMar 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm #1704571
@vesteroidLocale: Eastern Sierras
you dont have any pictures of the parts that make this up do you, as in how do you make those baffles, whats the baffle material etc.
I would love to try one of these but have no idea how its made or how you held the down in (away from the valve etc)
and link an impulse sealer for me that would do this, I just want to see what one is?Mar 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm #1704640
Mark- Sorry, I don't have any in-progress pics. You really just need two identically sized pieces of fabric for the body, seven baffles that are 6" shorter than the body, and an inflation valve. The baffles are just strips of the same 70d fabric used for the body. Heat seal the baffles to one side of the body, then to the other side, then seal the outside edges to form the pad. You want to be careful where you heat seal b/c if you make a mistake there isn't really any going back. That is a very basic set of instructions, but I would be glad to go into more detail if you want.
Google Impulse Sealers and there will be a ton of models out there to compare. AIE is a common brand out there. This link should get you started. http://www.abcoffice.com/sealers.htm
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