Dec 11, 2008 at 2:22 am #1232554
I did a search and couldn't find anything so I'm going to ask. What pad is suitable for use with a nunatak arc alpinist in 20 F?
JayDec 11, 2008 at 5:08 am #1463633
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Check out insulated pads at Big Agnes and Pacific Outdoors Equipment.
Google "backcountry.com pads".
Another site for pad comparisons is here:
http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/sleepingpads.cfmDec 11, 2008 at 6:53 am #1463641
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
If you are willing to add a few grams/ounces consider a down mat. My Exped DL7 adds twenty degrees F to any bag and my bag stays on top. Well worth the extra weight in my opinion (which appears to be shared by most reviewers at this site). Stephenson's of New Hampshire makes down mats too and will make a custom size at no extra charge.Dec 11, 2008 at 7:09 am #1463646
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Another vote for the Exped Downmat. I have used mine to 4* on snow and it feels like it is actually creating its own heat it is so warm!Dec 11, 2008 at 7:19 am #1463648
I'm a comfort hog. I use an exped downmat 9.Dec 11, 2008 at 9:21 am #1463669
I'll second the DownMat 9. Love it. It's a heavy beast but worth every ounce for me. R-value of 8.
Lighter weight alternative, R-value 5.1, still suitable for your 20*F temps, Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Women's. It's a 66 inch pad instead of 72 inches like the mens; the mens version only has a R-value of 3.8. Either Trail Pro weighs 2 pounds. (Incidentally, plan on your head being on balled-up clothing, not your pad, and the 66" pad works to ~6 feet tall.) You could get a ProLite 4, R-value of 3.2, weight of 1.5 pounds, but in my mind would definitely want to supplement with a foam pad–adds weight and ~60% less warm than original example.
In large part determines on the level of comfort and warmth you want. For some people here weight is significantly more important than comfort. You could stack a RidgeRest and RR 3/4 for combined weight of 1# 7 ounces and R-value of 5.2. Bulky, but might be a compromise.Dec 11, 2008 at 10:29 am #1463691
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
I use a cut-down, tapered Ridge Rest Deluxe pad for those temps — 13 ounces, R 3.1. I just stuff my pack under my feet.
An Arc Alpinist itself by itself won't get you down to 20 degrees, though. At those temps, I'd add something like a Nunatak Shaha Plus down sweater, BMW cocoon pants, and Integral Designs Hot socks. :)
-MikeDec 11, 2008 at 10:41 am #1463694
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
Do not use the Big Agnes AirCore pads. they will suck the heat right out of you at anything under 30*F, especially 20*!
I'm speaking from experience.Dec 11, 2008 at 11:01 am #1463700
I'm just the opposite. I've used my BA insulated pad in the low 20's with no problem. I AM a warm sleeper so YMMV…Dec 11, 2008 at 11:09 am #1463703
What's up with the P.O.E. Hyper High Mountain. A buddy of mine is interested in one, but I think they're over-Hype-d. Pun intended.Dec 11, 2008 at 11:11 am #1463704
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
I agree with Tad on the BA Air Core, however the Insulated Air Core is reasonably warm at 20F. I haven't used mine in awhile, but at it's rating limit (10F to 15F) it worked fine with a Thinlite underneath.
On many occasions, for really cold conditions I, too, have gone to an Exped Downmat. I feel almost Hedonistic when I use it.Dec 11, 2008 at 11:23 am #1463706
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
The one I have is an Insulated AirCore. I used it w/o anything else and it was cold!Dec 11, 2008 at 1:47 pm #1463731
is there something lighter than an insulating mat? Will a closed cell foam mat work? And i wont be sleeping on snow. This is the absolute minimum temperature it gets down to in winter. It usually only gets down to 0 C (32F)Dec 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm #1463739
The RidgeRest I mentioned is a closed-cell foam pad. I'd be… cautious, I guess, about taking the thinnest, lightest pad on a winter trip. You can lose about a third of your body heat to the ground, which kinda nullifies a big chunk of that down on top of you. Not to mention the cold ache in the bones, but maybe that's just me. Cheers-Dec 11, 2008 at 5:07 pm #1463781
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
Jay, Each person is different but I use a Gossamer Gear thin light 3/8" sleeping pad trimmed to 38" long and it weighs 3.45 oz. I use it now with a Golite Ultra 20 quilt that weighs just under 19 oz (so proabaly similar to your quilt). I use it in temperatues just as you describe…temperatures down to 20 degrees with the expectation to be around 32 degrees without snow (under tarp, but in bivy). I try to find ground that has some natural insulation (i.e. leaves or grasses) but I dont have issues with cold and I am a person that tends to get cold fast.
Now if temps get much below that you might want to consider the 3/4 length GG Night Light pad that is 3/4" thick with the little "bumps". I've trimmed mine just a bit and it weighs 6.05 oz.
Both of these pads are comparatively inexpensive, dont inflate ie. can not be punctured which means you dont have to carry a repair kit or any special pump. Ive not found anything simpler except just sleeping right on the ground. The only drawback is the longer Night Light pad is rather bulky, but both pads make great frames for a frameless pack.
JamieDec 11, 2008 at 5:52 pm #1463789
ok thanks. I have the same problem as you, I get cold very quickly. Thats the sort of thing I was thinking of just didnt know if it would be warm enough.
JayDec 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm #1463793
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
Jay, One more thing to consider, I think the ground has memory. What I mean by that is a 20 degree night during times when the nightime temps range from 20 to 40 degrees is different then a 20 degree night when the nighttime temps have been -5 to 20 degrees. I also think the ground tends to get colder into the winter season as it is exposed to more colded temps for longer times.
I guess what I am saying is that the ground can be different temperatures depending on the recent weather. I also think camp site selection and bed location can help out significantly. So all this being said my advice probably fits better with cooler winter temps that only occasionally drop down to 20 or a bit lower so the ground might still be only 32 degrees….just a guess.
I'd be curious if anyone else thinks this is logical.
JamieDec 12, 2008 at 9:33 am #1463901
Jay- The 3/8" Thinlight has an R-value of 1.4; that's distinctly not a 4-season rating for a pad, especially if you tend to get cold. What Jamie's saying about temperature memory in ground has merit. I think most people would agree that you need more insulation under you for a winter-ish pad, though. Bottom line? Best way to find out is by trying a couple set-ups in your backyard and seeing what works for you.Dec 13, 2008 at 9:52 am #1464094
@pdavisLocale: Yukon, 60N 135W
After much research, being somebody who freezes easily, I replaced my long-serving (10 yrs plus!) Thermarest LE (1050grammes-40oz R.4.1) with a Women's Pro Lite 4, extra-long (750grammes-27oz R.4.1). This was the warmest I could get for the weight.
While the Pro Lite 4 is a tapered design, it will fit in my bivi-sack, whereas the square LE will not. You may want the bulk and size of a square pad if you roll around a lot when you sleep, as tapered-foot pads let your feet fall off more easily, then they freeze!
In high humidity (80% and up) winter camping at -10C/8F on snow I use an aluminized space-blanket tarp under the tent to keep body heat from freezing the tent into the snow, a Bibler I-tent, an 18mm purple Evazote foam pad (full length) and the full-length LE. Then a -5C down bag, recently cleaned by Kluane Mountaineering after 18 years of service, with a bit of new down added, down pants, down jacket, balaclava, pile long underwear, contact gloves and insulated hut booties from MEC. This takes me to about -15C/+5F. I look at the Pro Lite 4 women's XL size (in hi visibility pink!) for summer-fall use and then will experiment with it in my back yard before using it in the winter! Taking a pee bottle with you also saves a trip outside!
This 'spring' (-15C/+5F) am going to experiment with a vapour barrier liner made of orange garbage bags, and also some of the Stephenson Warmlite VB undies.
135W 60NDec 15, 2008 at 5:39 pm #1464585
@hotrhoddudeguyLocale: New England
20* is well within the range of stuff like ridgerests, Zlights, POE classic pads, and the lot. I have slept in these conditions on cold stone and frozen sand down to ca. 10 with just a crazy creek for the feet (virtually impervious to cold) and a frameless backpack with nice padding (stripped Deuter air contact 90) I think its best going foam, because having a deflated pad STINKS and if you think it won't happen to you eventually it WILL, especially if you enjoy sleeping out wihtout a groundsheet. As for the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core, its awesome, I use it comfortably for winter camping. I personally think that the sleeping pad market is "overinflated" and you don't need have the stuff they recommend bringing out into the field. This epiphany came to me while hiking on a 30 day trip in southern Utah starting with a Torsolite and ending with just the backpack and hte occasional borrowed camp chair when we did not anticipate cold snaps. Climbers often bivy with ropes instead of pads, and cowboys and soldiers used to just lay down a blanket.Jan 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm #1467660
George L PrivettMember
@gprivettLocale: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
It seems like it has been around minus 30 C for weeks, and I have been reluctant to go winter hiking and camping except for a couple of day hikes on snowshoes. Cabin fever was starting to rear its head. It was -35 this afternoon and I decided on the spur of the moment to test some gear.
Clothing: (not my regular hiking gear) light wool long johns, cotton polyester pants, cotton t-shirt, polyester pullover, breathable shell, fleece vest, poly insulated inner, leather 'street boots' with thin insulation and thin wool dress sock.
Pad: 7XL Exped down mat
Sleeping bag: 30 year old down rectangular Mount Whitney bag, lots of miles, 4.25 lbs total. No tags with specs – just some nylon tape covering holes.
Location: outside deck with poly-tarp shed to keep out snow.
1. I took a fully inflated Exped outside in the cold. In a couple of minutes the air in the Exped seemed to shrink by half and it sounded and felt like waxed paper. I added more air with the pump/bag by rolling the bag shut rather than pressing it on the floor. It was not 'hard' full.
2. Covered it with the sleeping bag in quilt fashion.
3. Lay on the mat under the quilt for a few minutes – felt a bit cool but not cold. Could probably slept if tired.
1. Put a 16" x 50" foil bubble wrap down centre of mat. (It is used to wrap hot water tanks and pipes. Put a cheap sleeping bag with 1/2" polyfill lined with a mylar space blanket under the down sleeping bag.
2. Lay down for about 30 minutes – didn't feel cool, even with the jacket unzipped. Would have stayed longer but had to pick up some folks downtown.
Conclusion: I would probably feel confident winter camping in a tent or tarp at -25 C with a 7XL Exped and a down sleeping bag. I would probably take take an extra foil bubble wrap or thick foam pad as a precaution. It might make sense to take a pulk or toboggan for the additional weight and bulk.
George – Whitehorse, YukonJan 3, 2009 at 9:51 am #1467721
FWIW i have slept with ease @ around 20F with Prolite4S and feet on rucksack. this was inside doublewalled tent (TN Laser) so no wind. I used a custom Nunatak alpinist (extra fill) so was REALLY toasty.
i can relate to your question since i am also looking at hikes where temps will hover around the 32F range but MIGHT get to 20F or so. and would sleep without a second thought with prolite4 and your bag (assuming of course you have tent and balaclava and such.
I am now converting to tarp+bivi for shorter trips and plan to use 40F bag+ MB UL jacket and pants+cocoon 90 balaclava (might also try my yet to be ordered MLD XP 2.5oz/syd) In these circumstances i will probabaly take GG torsolight and GG thinlight 1/8" for feet
MikeJan 3, 2009 at 10:16 am #1467726
You said –
"I took a fully inflated Exped outside in the cold. In a couple of minutes the air in the Exped seemed to shrink by half and it sounded and felt like waxed paper. I added more air with the pump/bag by rolling the bag shut rather than pressing it on the floor. It was not 'hard' full."
No experience here with -35C, but inflating a mattress just to the point of "no contact" between body and ground seems to keep things warmer. It will look about 1/2 full.
Perhaps not as much loss out the now shorter sides?
Maybe a more restrictive convection path to the ground?
Definitely more comfortable to lay on than a "firm" mattress.Jan 4, 2009 at 3:28 am #1467834
George and Greg,
I assume you are all aware of the fact that air as it cools also contracts in volume (approx lineraly) so your account is very reasonable – you inflated with warmer air and then it cooled off and the pad shrunk!
For that reason i always inflate my thrmarest way before i have to sleep and let it cool down and then inflate a bit more if i want…the worst thing is inflating with (in case if the Thermarest) your warm breath right before you go to sleep and then wake up at 2AM to a really thinned out mat!
BTW – a bit off thread – have any of you had real trouble with inflatables and frost inside – i.e. if you inflate with breath and then it freezes inside? I havent any trouble for temps around 20F or so but i guess thats because not cold enough and my body warmed it up.
Is there any other inflation trick w/o using breath?
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