Sep 7, 2020 at 7:45 am #3675062Sharon MBPL Member
@arkheel1Locale: Central North Carolina
I’m a side sleeper too, and I had always struggled to get a good night sleep on my Thermarest Women’s X lite pad. I started using the insulated Nemo Tensor this year and it really has changed my sleep for the better. It feels more flexible/softer and is still comfortable when I really fill it up with air. I find that I need to have sleeping pads pretty firm to keep my hip off of the ground, and I can make the Nemo quite firm to keep my hip from touching the ground, while at the same time the Nemo pad still feels softer/more pliable than the Thermarest did.
Hope this information makes sense and is helpful.Sep 7, 2020 at 9:37 am #3675075Beth KBPL Member
Sam – I checked the baffles on my mattresses. They look ok, not defective.
One issue is that my hips don’t have a lot of extra padding. So I really feel the ground. When I fill my neoairs with more air, I tend to roll off them.
I did indeed try using the insulated pad (zlite) underneath an air mattress. It was tough to keep the two together but it was better than the air mattress alone.
This is the non inflating pad I used along with the neoair uberlite: https://www.rei.com/product/829826/therm-a-rest-z-lite-sol-sleeping-pad
One nice thing about bringing along the 10 oz. zlite short folding mattress is that I always had a comfortable sit pad too. But 10 ounces in addition to my air mattress was a tough decision. But my overall base weight was still only 14 lbs. even with two air mattresses.
I tried out the Nemo tensor and I think I’m sold. It did not bottom out on me. I’m leaning toward getting the wide since one issue I was having is that my legs kept coming off the neoair. When my legs came off the pad, there was no weight on the bottom of the mattress so a lot of the air shifted there leaving my hips high and dry (or should I say low and painful?).
Have others used wide mattresses and found them worth the weight penalty? I’m 5’6″ and slim so I could use a shorter mattress. So using a wide pad isn’t a big deal weight wise.
I haven’t yet tried the Sea to Summit Ether Lite XT but that looks like a good solution too.
I just think the narrow mummy style Neoairs are just not working for me unless I sleep on my back. perhaps it is the baffles and the direction they run.
Thanks all! Sleep well.Sep 7, 2020 at 10:17 am #3675082GumboBPL Member
@redgumLocale: Aussie in exile in the PNW
I think the weight penalty of a wide mattress is worth it. As a side-sleeper, I need to partially deflate, which means edge collapse, regardless of mattress brand. This effectively narrows the usable width of the pad; a wide pad helps compensate.Sep 8, 2020 at 8:40 am #3675216Scott SmithBPL Member
@mrmuddyLocale: Idaho Panhandle
I say….next to your boots, the next most important thing to a successful backpacking trip is a good nights sleep
as a side sleeper myself, I can a long wide Uberlight..and gladly carry the few extra ounces for great night sleeps.Sep 8, 2020 at 9:11 am #3675221Josh JBPL Member
I’m really tempted to pull the trigger on the exped synmat hl mw to try it out the vertical baffles or the nemo tensor…. just wish I could try them before buying!Sep 8, 2020 at 12:19 pm #3675241GumboBPL Member
@redgumLocale: Aussie in exile in the PNW
The Tensor is available at REI, which means it’s returnable if you don’t like it.Sep 8, 2020 at 2:31 pm #3675255Paul SBPL Member
I already posted the comment (below) on the other pad thread (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/comfort-crinkling-coldness-and-cloudlike-characteristics-lets-talk-pads/) and think it would be apropos here too:
As long as we are talking about pads, I had a recent mini-insight: With a thicker pillow most of any shoulder discomfort (when side sleeping) has disappeared. So, the side-sleeping discomfort I attributed to my pad was due to the combination of pad and pillow, not just the pads fault. Anyhow, just food for thought.Sep 8, 2020 at 10:59 pm #3675326OneilBPL Member
@oneilLocale: Sierra Foothills
I’m also a side sleeper on a pad odyssey. I’ve an Uberlight that I was so keen on due to weight and it is ostensibly comfortable…until it is 8 PM and I’m crawling in for the next 10+ hours.
The pad has been warm enough even down to 35 degrees or so but just not enuff ‘pad’. Not wide enough and I’m not digging the mummy. I side sleep rotisserie style and think I need a 25” rectangular pad. Funny thing that even though I side sleep, it bugs me to no end (even/especially at 2 AM) that when briefly on my back, my arms fall to the floor. Maybe I’m a closet back sleeper? So a wide pad for me.
Supply chain these days is effed and could not find a Nemo Tensor insulated reg/wide to save my life. REI finally restocked on the long/wide so went with that. Will actually be nice to have both pillow and feet on the pad (I think 77” and 2 oz penalty over the reg/wide?) and will nicely fit my tent. Hoping to be sprawling all over at the end of September. (Ha!)Sep 8, 2020 at 11:10 pm #3675328Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Extremist UL … or good night-time comfort?
CheersSep 16, 2020 at 11:44 pm #3676474Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Reading this thread, it occurred to me that part of the problem with those Neo Airs and their progeny is that they are too thick when mostly inflated, and take up more space in a tent. The thicker air mats also do not work well with a lighter weight shortie, because then the body has to adjust to two different height levels. Good luck with that.
So in a tent, with a durable floor, a ground sheet if you need it, and a shortie Nemo self-inflator, I’ve not had a problem with losing heat to the ground in the shoulder seasons at altitude in the continental US. And I feel more comfortable closer to the ground and the pad takes up less room and leaves more for me in the tent.
When I’ve been cold, it is not from the ground, and use puffies that must be carried anyway to cook and eat, etc.when it gets colder. That includes the puffy top, bottom, slippers, and fleece watchcap, adding to the temp rating of the bag or quilt. Switched to down bags years ago because they are much warmer for weight, even though they require greater care. The difference in warmth for less weight with high quality down was palpable.
Mention these seemingly unrelated matters, because I think the need for the thicker air filled mats to hold heat has become overrated, and as this thread illustrates, is uncomfortable for many others than myself. Insulations can be much thinner, yet hold more heat nowadays. It also helps to pitch in grassy duff, and don’t mind spending a little time finding a good tentsite. So, I’m more comfortable closer to the ground, and don’t have to either pump or huff and puff.
For winter camping, or for sleeping in the open cowboy style, it may be a difference story. But not for me. I’ve found that with food hung up well away, hungry beasts respect human enclosures, and those enclosures may become life savers in freakish weather.Sep 17, 2020 at 4:59 am #3676483Steven ThompsonBPL Member
I too am a side sleeper. Finally settled on a wide neo-air so I wouldn’t feel like I am rolling off, and always give it a “top off” being settling in. Additionally I use and inflatable pillow with a stuff sack of my clothes on top of it which keeps my neck mostly aligned. Still I sleep restlessly switching from side to side about a half dozen times through the night. That said I generally feel rested in the mornings.
Do you guys really sleep soundly throughout the night? I did as a kid, but for the last 20 seasons I can probably count on one hand the number of outdoor nights I’ve slept without waking.Sep 17, 2020 at 5:47 am #3676484Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
Besides the bed at home, the best (and most consistent) sleep I have gotten has been on the old-school self-inflating Thermarests (although the Dreamtime is quite good.)
I believe the reason why they work so well is due to the combination of open celled foam and air. When I lie down, the foam/air mattresses actually “absorbs” my weight much more than on an air only mattress. This means that less of the mattress “lifts” up in other areas with less severity. Years ago when NeoRests first came out, I consistently woke up after a couple days with severe back pain…. every time. This had NEVER happened to me on an air/foam mattress. I realized that the severe redistribution of air (especially while turning on my side) was distorting my spine to such a level where I’d wake up with severe lower back pain.
But I found a great solution: by adding a closed celled foam pad OVER TOP of the NeoRest. Adding this piece of semi-rigid foam helped absorb the impact of my body weight, and dampened the “bounciness” of the NeoRest.
My spine was no longer getting contorted and I was no longer totally waking myself up because my feet got “bounced” off the mattress when I’d roll into my side or back.Sep 17, 2020 at 6:02 am #3676485Josh JBPL Member
The problem with self inflating mats is they are HEAVY!
I’m going to try a ccf pad like suggestedSep 17, 2020 at 7:55 am #3676495Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
Heavy? Nah. Weight is all relative, ain’t it?
The Dreamtime is just over 3,000 grams!
and it’s R-10…
oh wait, isn’t this BPL (Back Packing Luxury)?
My personal go-to (three season) solution these days is an XLite sandwiched by two 1/8″ (70 gram) ccf pads. If I could only sleep directly on a ccf pad, I would. Sadly, my back doesn’t like that any more. And the 1/8″ pads are both foldable and semi-compressible, so storage isn’t really an issue.
Either way, no air mattress can come close to the durability and multi-use versatility of a ccf. So I don’t leave home without one.Sep 17, 2020 at 7:57 am #3676497Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
thermarest prolite is 18 ounces. self inflating. I side sleep on it and sleep okay.
I’ve tried ccf but don’t sleep comfortably
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