May 13, 2007 at 2:42 pm #1223225
I'm trying to put together some gear so I can go motorcycle camping, but I can't seem to find a good foam sleeping pad. Bulk (or lack there of) is more important than weight on these sort of trips and I can't find a pad that will fit in my saddle bags easily, they are all too wide, so too long when rolled. Does anyone know of a foam pad that I could perhaps fold in half then roll without too much trouble? I've tried doing that to mine, but its too stiff and won't stay. Any ideas would be apprecated. Thanks!May 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm #1389120
It doesn't look that way at first, but it's actually easy to fold flat a blue foam pad — just fold it to your desired configuration, then put weights on it for two days (encyclopedias are great for this). After that, the foam will 'remember' this configuration, making future foldings a breeze.
I have used a full-length (72" x 20") pad in the past. I fold it in half length wise (72" x 10"), then in thirds (24" x 10"). After weighing it down as above, it's super easy to fold and slide the pad into my backpack — flat against the back — and using it as a 'frame'.May 13, 2007 at 4:13 pm #1389126
@rivrfoxLocale: Western Slope, Colorado
If weight is less of an issue then bulk: try an inflatable mattress. You can find some decent ones that roll up relatively small and have a higher R rating than foam pads.May 14, 2007 at 4:14 am #1389171
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
I would second the inflatable option. An inflatable will easily fold in half when deflated… just fold and roll. It will also be much more comfortable.
If you prefer foam for it's failure-proof quality… I guess you could always score it in the middle to allow it to fold… and maybe duct tape on the opposite side… behind the fold. Or try the weights idea suggested above.May 14, 2007 at 6:42 am #1389176
As I do a lot of motorcycle camping I would suggest looking at the ThermaRest ProLite 4. I bought it for backpacking and when I received I thought it would be ideal also for taking on the motorcycle. It folds in half length wise and rolls up nice and small. Easily fits into a saddlebag.May 14, 2007 at 7:17 am #1389183
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I would look hard at the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pads. When some friends were putting together a long motorcycle trip across Japan, they picked these up and loved them. The biggest bonus is that they pack so small (exactly what they were looking for) and are very comfortable. I've used 2 of these for years now and have never had a leak…but I take good care of them too.
There's no escaping the bulk of foam. That is, unless you carry a Gossamer Gear Nightlight or Thinlight torso length pad. I use these all the time when going on SUL backpacks but they aren't the most comfortable for extended trips.
DougMay 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm #1389646
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll probably try the weights idea first and then score it if that doesn't work. I understand why inflatables were suggested, but not only are they way more than I'm willing to spend, I prefer the durability and less worry of foam. If anyone thanks of anything else keep them coming!May 18, 2007 at 4:03 pm #1389649
Good choice! Remember, after two days of being weighted down, the blue foam will 'remember' its folded position — so take extra time and care to fold them really straight and exactly the way you want it. You will be pleasantly surprised how something that's a massive roll right now will become so easily foldable. :)May 23, 2007 at 8:50 pm #1390097
"It doesn't look that way at first, but it's actually easy to fold flat a blue foam pad — just fold it to your desired configuration, then put weights on it for two days (encyclopedias are great for this). After that, the foam will 'remember' this configuration, making future foldings a breeze."
Encyclopedias? Those Cd/DVD disks don't seem heavy enough to weight anything down.May 23, 2007 at 9:17 pm #1390100
Ha ha… :)May 23, 2007 at 9:18 pm #1390101
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
National Geographics! At least you will find a use for them after they've been collecting dust for so long…May 23, 2007 at 10:22 pm #1390108
Fenrir, You want small deflated volume, high inflated comfort, and low cost.. there is really only one choice, inflatables. So I agree with the previous posters. Montbell's version has 6 individual chambers, so if one bursts you can sleep through the night and fix it later.. I own one and it is very comfortable. If you are sleeping in an tent, how could it ever get punctured?
Pressurize it so you just barely do not touch the ground, that is maximum cushiness.(sorry to get technical)
470 gram Inflatable:
Light weight is not so important on a bike, but the lightest 180cm combo in the world is the Montbell 120cm pad, 20cm extension, and 30cm pillow..
Choose the components from that same page link…May 23, 2007 at 10:27 pm #1390110
People actually buy them? When they can browse for free in all the bookstores? :)
Separately, blue foam pads are pretty uncomfortable — but for the younger set with strong skeletal and muscular systems, they are just about the lightest weight option around:
– cheap as heck
– light as heck
– decent insulation
– fairly compact and makes for great "virtual frames" when folded flat
– practically indestructible
– OK comfort for the young and strong
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