May 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm #1289554
I'm a "trad" backpacker trying to get up to speed in the hurly-burly world of LW backpacking. Mike Clelland says in Ultralight Backpackin' Tips that, "One of the nice things about a (heavier) inflatable sleeping pad is that it takes up very little room in the pack, unlike a (lighter but bulky) closed-cell foam pad, […]"
As a trad backpacker I have habitually shoved everything into stuff sacks, and then shoved them into the pack. But Clelland's suggestion to just push the gear into the pack is something I'd like to try. Is the Neoair (my latest big-ticket acquisition) tough enough to be treated roughly?May 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm #1874541
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
We've carried our NeoAirs in our packs for the last couple of years–about 250 miles worth of hiking. They go right in the bottom of the pack, next to our sleeping bags. Everything else goes on top. Obviously, we don't put anything sharp down there…but we don't coddle them.
So far, so good, No leaks, and a very nice sleep!May 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm #1874553
I shoved my Neoair Large (rolled up) into my bag for over 4 months straight last year on the A.T and other than an internal baffle failure – didn't have a single problem. I just shoved it in (not in a stuff sack) and away I went. Just don't shove it against your sharp pointy items like a stove or spork and you should be good to go.May 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm #1874564
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I feel it is an important piece of gear like a stove and should be treated as such. I have a Granite Gear stuff sack to store it in as I had read how delicate they were, before they even came out. Surprise, they are doing well. I don't sleep very good even at home, so any time I can spend asleep at night is great.
DuaneMay 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm #1874574
Neoair stuff sack= 0.4 oz
I'll carry 0.4 oz over the aggravation of trying to patch a leak on the trail any day.May 5, 2012 at 7:22 am #1874621
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
I have never used a stuffsack w/my NeoAir and haven't had a problem. Other than reasonable care w/what is next to it, the only precaution I take is the valve position – The part of the valve that's inside the pad looks like it could wear thru the fabric eventually if not careful.
But again, I haven't had problems nor have I heard of any issues w/this part of the pad.May 5, 2012 at 9:33 am #1874656
Thanks guys. It's interesting to see how gear and techniques have changed since my early days a la The Complete Walker.May 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm #1874673
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
My pack has an internal sleeping pad pocket, and my inflatable insulated pad (KookaBay, not NeoAir) gets folded and put there. I therefore don't have this problem. During the few months I had a NeoAir (before returning it), the folding and pad pocket worked just fine.
I have a friend who rolls her sleeping bag around her pad before stuffing it into her pack. This might be the best way to protect your pad without the additional weight/expense of stuff sacks. Of course, with this setup you'd want a waterproof pack liner of some sort to keep the sleeping bag dry.May 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm #1874726
"I have a friend who rolls her sleeping bag around her pad before stuffing it into her pack"
Me likee.May 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm #1874803
I've almost always just stored my NeoAir directly in my pack, sometime with a hair elastic to keep it rolled up and other times with nothing. I place it at the bottom with my sleeping bag and I've never had a problem thru lots of use.
I think the logic of carrying the 0.4oz stuff sack to prevent leaks is a bit weak. The sacks are normally just thin silnylon that is weaker than the pad fabric is…if there's real trauma it's just going to be cut too. I haven't done the study, but I bet virtually no leaks are caused while the pad is in the pack and the ones that are, are due to negligence (ie. packing an axe/knife right on top). Virtually all leaks I've ever seen arise from improper care when inflating or using the pad, or selecting a pokey spot to camp. Stuff sacks are a pain to use. They add weight, time and complexity. A hair elastic (or nothing) + reasonable care is a better approach.May 6, 2012 at 8:52 am #1874893
I'm not worried about punctures, I'm worried about abrasion.May 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm #1874952
I fold my neo into thirds (length wise) and then roll tightly and put a hair band around it, comes out to roughly the size of a can of coke, it resides near the bottom w/ my sleeping bagMay 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm #1875110
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
With in reason. If you are shoving your down sweater and shelter in there too, you should be fine. Don't put it in with exposed crampons, axe, stakes, etc. Duh! Neo Air material is pretty tough. (The valve may be the weakest link.) Personally, I fold and roll mine…I suspect it occupies less space this way.
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