Apr 5, 2006 at 2:40 pm #1218243
What is the best sleeping pad for conserving space in the backpack?Apr 5, 2006 at 4:04 pm #1354209
@davidpasseyLocale: New York City
the balloon bed :)Apr 5, 2006 at 4:15 pm #1354210
@cbertLocale: N. California
it’s pretty comfy to, at least when I tested it out at home
first trip this weekend – I’ll post how the sleep goes
even with enough baloons for 1 week trip, it’s very small & under 6 oz. for baloons, sleeve, pump & bag (and all just fits in bag)Apr 6, 2006 at 2:36 pm #1354277
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I would agree that the balloonbed (or the DIY equiv) is the most compact option. I am not sure I would call it “comfy”. Keep in mind that the balloonbed product is only around 16″ wide when inflated. This feels signficantly more narrow than a typical 20″ wide pad.
I wrote up a brief review which can be found at http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/reviews/balloonbed.html
I suppose I should get around to updating the review with additional experience.
–markApr 6, 2006 at 3:23 pm #1354283
Dylan SkolaBPL Member
@phageghostLocale: Southern California
I would imagine it provides little insulation from cold ground, since the balloons are nice little convection cells. Similiar to a plain inflatable air mattress, just much lighter.Apr 6, 2006 at 3:52 pm #1354287
This is posted on a thread here someplace but I can’t find it:
Back in the fall of 2004 I had a lot of fun making a Balloon Bed and it worked OK. Weight was 5oz.
My first one used a bag/sleeve and 5 poly tubes. The total Air Mattress weight is just under 10oz. The size of this Air Mattress is 78″ long, 24” wide and 3″ thick.
Then I found a Poly Tube material that was 5″ wide and made out of 2Mil material. It can be cut to any length, heat sealed completly on one end and sealed about 80% on the other end. This lets you blow it up easy by mouth or with a small balloon pump and then tie a knot or use a clamp to hold the air in. You can take the knot/clamp out/off when you want to pack up and use it again next time. This material is about 4″ in diameter and I was cut to 78″ long. This stuff can be used over and over. If you get a small hole in it Duct Tape will stick to it. The duct tape should seal any small holes and maybe a small tear. One of these tubes weighs 26grams vs 4grams for a (one time only) balloon.
The idea of using the Poly Tube material moved on to become a home-made Down Air Mattress(DAM).
Here are a few pictures of my home made Balloon Bed.
Apr 6, 2006 at 5:00 pm #1354291
Mark W HeningerMember
@heningerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Why is it made out of a shower curtain? Just kidding.Apr 6, 2006 at 5:23 pm #1354292
It is made out of some $1 a yard stuff from Wal Mart. I got a lot of it and you can’t beat the price.
It weighted about 1.4 oz a sq yard and before Cuben that also wasn’t to bad.
If you make your own Balloon Bed you can make it any size you want. Mine had two balloons in each sleeve to give me a total length of 78″ long.May 29, 2006 at 5:47 am #1357105
Do I remember in your origional post an offer cut some lengths of the poly tubing? My apologies if i’m remembering wrong. I’d like to play around with making one of the balloon style beds, but I don’t want to buy a 1500′ foot roll of poly tubing. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TravisMay 29, 2006 at 10:36 am #1357107
Travis, This is where I got my Poly Tubing. I was asked your question by several others back then and the person I got mine from said he could provide small amounts to others if they wanted it. Here is what he provided to me. You can ask about cutting the tubing the lenght you want and I don’t think that will be a problem.
I have nothing to do with this business.
I will also add this to the MYOG Materials list.
— Michael Joseph <email@example.com> wrote:
10 tubes for bedding. Inflates to 3″+, diameter Flat is 5″ x 80″ sealed on one end 100% / other end 80% sealed air hole left for inflation. Must be folded and clamped.
Price is $8.00 Plus Shipping & Handling Shipping in US is $5.00 Priority Mail no tracking / $9.00 FedEx Ground w/tracking
Please email this information:
Ship to Address:
Credit Card Info
Name on Card
Billing Address if different than above
Expiration Date xx/xx
CCV (last 3 numbers on back of card)
Will ship within 1 business day of receipt of order.
Michael Joseph, Owner
P.O. Box 691181
San Antonio, TX 78269
210-696-0992 FaxMay 29, 2006 at 8:33 pm #1357129
@walksoftlyLocale: Piney Woods
An old idea from Bob Gross – used to have one of the first ultralight websites years ago.
Use bubble wrap packing material to cushion from shoulder to hip. 1/4″ bubbles recommended. Light and comfy. Not very wide and doesn’t pack up too small, but it is light.
As an added bonus, popping the bubbles will frighten away things that go bump in the night.May 30, 2006 at 3:31 am #1357134
ThanksMay 30, 2006 at 4:10 am #1357135
Arapiles .BPL Member
The adventure racers in the UK have long used bubble wrap for races like the LAMM and the KIMM/OMM.May 30, 2006 at 4:16 am #1357136
Arapiles .BPL Member
I posted this over on TLB a while ago – basically the Leisure Mat is a commercially made balloon bed. Unfortunately there's no web-site and I don't have a digital camera, but I'll see what I can arrange …
And just to note – that weight of 12.7 ounces/360 grammes is for a pad that's 31 inches wide versus the 20 inch Thermarest.
Was browsing in the supermarket here in Tokyo today and came across the "SunFriendly Leisure Mat". Cost was 980 Yen – about US$9.00.
Basically it's an air bed with a top made of the aluminium foil used in emergency blankets – blown up it's 184 cm long x 80 cm wide x 3 cm deep and weighs 360 grams. If it was 51 cm wide – standard Thermarest size – it'd be about 230 grams.
It has 60 tubes that run width-wise rather than lengthwise. The tubes are connected to each other by four gaps but the air doesn't move that easily between the tubes, meaning that the tube your weight's on doesn't completely flatten out.
There are two valves for inflating it, which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
I tried it out in the house and it's actually very comfortable, if a little crinkly.
Durability? Well …..
I recently bought a 40+ litre pack designed with a rear mesh pocket so that you can put a sleeping pad down the back, like a Mariposa etc. It's meant to be for earthquake kits. Usually sells for about US$40, I got it for about US$25 using membership points.
I'm thinking of doing an ultracheap overnighter …May 31, 2006 at 6:59 pm #1357265
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Damian said, “I’m thinking of doing an ultracheap overnighter …”
Call 206-555-1234 and ask for Suzy. DOH!
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