Jul 7, 2012 at 6:22 am #1291732
Ive always used closed cell foam pads but would like to make the switch based on the fact that I primarily sleep on my side. There seem to be two main pads out there in self inflating and manual inflating air pads. Is the self inflation a nice luxury or will the manual inflation work just as quickly. I like the manual based on weight but I have never inflated either so Im just looking for specifics on that. Thanks in advance!Jul 7, 2012 at 6:55 am #1892791
Sunny WallerBPL Member
@dancerLocale: Southeast USA
I have used these pads for years and never had good luck with the "self inflating" part. I usually wound up being the inflator…not such a big deal on the early thin thermarest&s but very time consuming on the 2.5 inch pads we have now. You cannot blow your breath into a pad with down insulation..you have to use a pump. When I bought a Stephens Warmlight Down Air Matress it came with a huge stuff sack with a valve that you use to inflate it…you just hook it up and roll the stuff sack up pushing the air into the pad. Very fast and easy. I liked this so much I bought the Big Agnes Pump House Dry Sack. This dry bag weighs 1.5 oz but it is big enough to hold my winter sleeping bag and my winter clothes. It is waterproof with a roll top closure with a nice little connector on the end that you can inflate your pad with..sweetJul 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm #1892870
I have a self inflating Thermarest pad which is super comfortable, but heavy compared to the inflatable air mattresses. I usually give it a couple of puffs of air manually to make sure it is inflated all the way before I sleep on it.
I keep meaning to try out an air mattress to see what all the fuss is about, but there are a couple of things playing on my mind about them. First off, if you get a puncture then your pad will have no insulation… at least with a self inflating pad you still have a bit of foam underneath you. Second, the way the air moves around inside the chambers feels strange… though this might just be because I'm not used to them. Also, unless you get a pump sack, you have to supply all the air yourself… be careful if you're camping at altitude and you live at sea level, or you'll make yourself dizzy!Jul 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm #1892876
Mike In SocalBPL Member
I have a Prolite Plus self-inflating pad. I take it out when I get into camp and let it self-inflate. When I am ready to go to sleep, I add a couple of breaths of air and seal it off.
I also have an Exped Synmat UL 7 – the most comfortable pad I have ever used. An Exped pump bag inflates the mat very quickly. I don't miss the light headed feeling. To add to the comfort, I don't inflate the pad all the way and I put my Gossamer Gear sit pad underneath where my hips would be so I don't bottom out on the ground. This combination works very well if you are a side sleeper.
MikeJul 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm #1892881
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
If you're at 9,000 ft. and have to fully inflate by mouth a mattress like a Big Agnes or the like you "may" become lightheaded by the time you're done – or you may just pass out briefly and have to start all over again, :o)
Plus manual inflaters lose much more volume on a cold night unless they have insulation in them.
I'll take my Thermarest Prolite reg., thanks. Been there and done the other type.Jul 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm #1892899
jeffrey armbrusterBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Get an Exped pad and get the Schnozzel. Problem solved.Jul 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm #1893118
Exped sounds like problem solved except for the fact that every exped pad ive seen is very pricey. Are they really that much better than thermarest? Because Ive seen thermarest at a decent priceJul 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm #1893202
Steven HanlonBPL Member
@asciibaronLocale: Mid Atlantic
i found myself going back to the old school closed cell RidgeRest pad. nothing to inflate once in camp, nothing to deflate at 2am, and it's light. sure it takes up some space, but it's very cheap and easy to trim to size. need more cushion on your hips? fold it in half and use your pack to support your legs.Jul 9, 2012 at 7:10 am #1893303
I currently use a Z lite and have tried doubling up in sections to help pressure points, but at least for me they seem to stay just that, pressure pts. I think I would just keep using the zlite full time if it wasnt for the side sleeping pain. I want to invest in a inflatable pad but since ive never used either type its a tough decision.
Im currently looking at the Neoair trekker, great price on rei right now, or the pro lite plus. Anyone use both?Jul 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm #1893511
I gave up on the neoair and inflattable pads in general. In my hands and hands of other people I know they are just to darn fragile and too darn expensive. The xlite only makes this worse, you can literally see through the fabric. They aren't that easy to patch in the field either. I recently went back to a Short Prolite Plus, which clocks at 15 oz. Its marginally heavier than the original neoair and at 1.5 inches is quite comfortable. It takes a few puffs to get nice and firm. Gram weenies can have the inflatables.Jul 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm #1893537
Adam KlagsBPL Member
@klagsLocale: Northeast USA
I liked the older neo air regulars, but now the xtherm looks like the way to go. the xlite is very fragile, whereas the original was super durable for something that light. plus the noise sucks from the xlite. if you are an accomplished hiker, heck, if you hike at all, you will have decent lung capacity. this means you will be very able to blow this thing up. don't do it too fast, but come on is it really so bad? well, ok fine if you say so, OR if you are a nut about keeping condensation and your breath out of the inside of your neo air, or use it for winter camping with its good R value, go for this:
that's right, it weighs 2.3 oz w/batteries… even with this you just saved ounces from your sleep pad while also getting up to a luxurious 2.5 inches of padding.
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