Mar 31, 2007 at 6:20 am #1222624
@brianfitzLocale: philadelphia PA
just wondering if any has any experance with insul mats' hyper lite pads i tried foam pads and there not working for me . i lke the idea of haveing the foam part as a back up.Mar 31, 2007 at 8:15 am #1384317
@ericlLocale: Northern Colorado
A couple things. I've found air mats pretty reliable, at least since Thermarest came on the scene. They now make a heavy but hard foam inside line (toughskin) which would work if punctured.
You could also buy a GG thinpad as a backup.
I do have one of POE's combo pads. It's the Aspen Aerogel, (the R-20 winter pad which no one has reviewed yet) but it's made the same. I've found it fine for sleeping, and have tested it without air just to see how it worked. Not as good, naturally, but there is some cushioning to be sure.
That said, I'm someone who can sleep on a Z-rest or similar.
[ We had some monster cold and snow in Colorado this year, abating as soon as I got my Aerogel, which is why I haven't reviewed it myself. ]Mar 31, 2007 at 8:44 am #1384319
This does not exactly answer your query, but since you want an open/closed combo as backup, here's what I do. I carry the Montbell inflatable UL pad/pillow set (the lightest 180cm setup I know of) and a 60gram closed cell GG Thinlight 1/8" for additional insulation/comfort. The GG evasote is a great insulator, I can not feel the coldness of snow with my bare hand, although certainly there is SOME heat loss going on. This combo rolls up into a few 1L sized cylinders. Lightest full length open/closed cell combo in the world I dare say.(someone correct me if Im wrong)
I can't imagine going back to Thermarest or god forbid, my old Coleman.Mar 31, 2007 at 5:04 pm #1384363
>>i lke the idea of haveing the foam part as a back up.
me too, brian. For that reason I gave the hyperlite pads a serious look. Ultimately, I went for the greater versatility, packability, and comfort of a two pad system. What I currently use is a 3/8" Thinlite pad cut to 48 " + a Montbell 90 torso pad + a Montbell pillow. Total weight for the three pieces is 16.1 oz.Mar 31, 2007 at 5:11 pm #1384365
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
What's the coldest temp you've slept atop your combo set up — the 1" Montbell pad over the 1/8" Thinlite? How low would you go and still consider the setup comfy — not just bearable, but downright comfy?Mar 31, 2007 at 6:50 pm #1384372
@geneticLocale: Out back, brewing beer in BPA.
Brett, can you suggest some shops in Japan for outdoor gear?Mar 31, 2007 at 8:03 pm #1384377
Ben, about -2C, on packed snow. My one and only night out this winter.
Rob, my personal favorite is Montbell, with a huge store in Shibuya, and store+outlets in Yokohama and Odaiba. You can get some great deals like a down #7 bag for $100.
For stores selling all brands (not primarily their own) I suggest the Jimbocho area, between JR Jimbocho and JR Ochanomizu. Stores include Victoria, ICI sports, Murasaki, etc. This is the sports shopping area in Tokyo.
For UL or cottage goods, ODBox, near exit A6 of Oedo-sen's UenoOkachimachi-eki. They have Hennessy Hammocks, TrailDesigns, IntegralDesigns, BackPackingLight long handled Ti spoons(!), etc..
PM me if you want exact directions or anything else.Apr 1, 2007 at 4:40 am #1384388
Miguel ArboledaBPL Member
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Three other stores besides the ones that Brett suggested that I really like are Kamoshika in Takadanobaba (one of my favorite stores, though still very traditional… GREAT alpine tents! They also make their own lightweight packs. They really know their stuff there.), the mountain climbing head ICI store in Shin-Ookubo (station after Shinjuku, on the Yamanote Line), and Nippin, in Akihabara (they make very strong, single-wall mountaineering tents designed by Reinhold Messner). There is also a small outdoor backpacking store (I keep forgetting the name) on the south side of Kichijoji, where they have a really unusual assortment of equipment that often you cannot find anywhere else, including some really nostalgic mountaineering items from 20 to 30 years ago.
Brett's suggestion for the OD Box in Okachimachi is spot on; I think it is the best store in Japan for UL gear. Sakaiya Sports in Jimbocho is the best all around store in Japan for the newest international outdoor gear, I think, though they're often out of popular sizes for shoes in their shoe branch store. If you go to the Mont Bell head store in Ebisu, the second floor (that many people don't know about) is a MontBell outlet store with some great deals on older items. One thing about Japanese outdoor stores is the availabilty of great brands that most Americans don't know about, like Eider from France (sort of like the Patagonia of France), Millet of France, Fjellraven and Haglofs of Sweden, Norrona of Norway, Camp and Mello's of Italy, and Artiach of Spain (they make a wonderful, thin, very light (170 g, 185 cm x 55 cm) closed cell sleeping mat called the "Light Plus" that is just as comfortable as a Ridgerest).Apr 1, 2007 at 7:16 am #1384397
@geneticLocale: Out back, brewing beer in BPA.
Thanks. Sorry to go off topic.Apr 1, 2007 at 8:24 am #1384404
"I can't imagine going back to Thermarest…"
Is that simply because the MontBell pad is lighter and more compact, Brett, or is the MontBell pad more comfortable as well?Apr 1, 2007 at 9:13 am #1384417
Primarily because the MB system allows me to attach the pillow to the mattress so it does not slip around. The indention in the center of the pillow similarly does not allow my head to slip off while sleeping. The MB is similar in comfort, and lighter. The last 30cm of the MB system is a detachable closed cell pad used as a sit pad during the day. Versitile system.Apr 1, 2007 at 9:20 am #1384418
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Brett – I like the versatility you described. But I currently sleep on a 1.5" REI Lite Core pad — similar to Thermarest Prolite 4. I can't imagine going back to 1".
Now, if MB will come out with a 60" or 48" pad that's 1.5" thick, then I think my life will be complete…
But even now, my system mimics the MB by use of velcro strips. Works pretty well.Apr 1, 2007 at 9:37 am #1384422
Ben, the Montbell pad + 1/8 Thinlite didn't quite do it for me. But the Montbell + 3/8 Thinlite does. The Evazote gives a bit of additional cush, much more so than the blue foam pads.Apr 1, 2007 at 5:51 pm #1384473
I'm with you, Ben — I'd really like to see the shorter MontBell pads offered in a 1.5" thickness. After using an air mat for the last few years, I'm not so sure that I want to go pack to a 1" pad. I e-mailed MontBell soon after their UL pads came out with just such a query, and their response was that they had no plans to offer the 1.5" pad in shorter lengths. On the other hand, I'm really taken with their modular system — I hate my current pillow (stuff sack with rain gear), which slips and slides all over the place all night long, and the idea of comfortable pillow that actually stays where it belongs and weighs a mere 2.3 oz. seems too good to pass up. That's why I keep coming back to MontBell pads. So…I'm intrigued by your experience with the 1/8" vs. 3/8" ThinLight, Dondo. Pairing the MontBell pad with a ThinLight seems like a great combo for insulation purposes, but I really didn't expect the ThinLight to offer much in the way of extra cushioning (based on my experience with the blue, generic pads). The fact that you've found that it does is exciting news! I'd also considered using it in tandem with a NightLight pad, but maybe that won't be necessary.
Thanks for the follow-up, Brett. I didn't really expect the MontBell pad to be noticeably more comfortable than other 1" pads, but, for the reasons mentioned above, I had my fingers crossed. I'm definitely sold on the overall comfort and convenience of the modular system, though.Apr 1, 2007 at 6:07 pm #1384476
Dondo, Couldn't find this "Thinlite" pad on the Monbell site. Is this a discontinued product, if you know? Thanks, JohnApr 1, 2007 at 6:13 pm #1384477
It's a Gossamer Gear product. Here's a link: ThinLight Insulation Pad.Apr 2, 2007 at 8:27 am #1384544
Thanks Ernie!Apr 2, 2007 at 5:01 pm #1384613
>>So…I'm intrigued by your experience with the 1/8" vs. 3/8" ThinLight, Dondo. Pairing the MontBell pad with a ThinLight seems like a great combo for insulation purposes, but I really didn't expect the ThinLight to offer much in the way of extra cushioning (based on my experience with the blue, generic pads). The fact that you've found that it does is exciting news! I'd also considered using it in tandem with a NightLight pad, but maybe that won't be necessary.
Ernie, yeah, I was real excited when I found out that combo worked for me because I've been through so many sleeping systems. Unfortunately, the only way to find out what works for you is to keep trying things. I've been through all the closed cell pads, some 1" self-inflators, and the Insulmat insulated air mat. My maximum weight budget was one pound and I just went over it by a tenth of an ounce.
MEC also sells Evazote mats up to 1/2" in thickness.
Good luck in your quest. A good night's sleep is worth it.
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