- Sep 7, 2016 at 1:37 pm #3424868
I recently bought an uninsulated inflatable sleeping pad. I’m going on an overnight trip this weekend, low is supposed to be 54f. I do have other insulated pads, but I’m wondering how low in temp some of you have gone with uninsulated inflatable pads.
Thanks!Sep 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm #3424874
Bob ShuffBPL Member
What model? I have tried a Big Agnes Q-Core SL (R-value 4.5?) and a NeoAir Xlite (R-value 3.2). The Thermarest product page suggests this is fine down to 20f, but if it’s going to be below freezing, or camping on snow I take a second closed cell pad underneath. Both of these have been fine into the 40s for me without anything else underneath.
Your sleeping bag also plays a part. If you have a down bag or quilt you are getting little or no bottom insulation from that, but if you have a synthetic bag it might be helping even though it’s mostly compressed. I would argue wind plays a part – so it matters if you are in a tent or cowboy camping.
That all being said, you are probably fine to 54f. If you are worried, take a mylar emergency blanket just in case. It will reflect back plenty of body heat in a pinch.Sep 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm #3424877
So sorry….I thought I was in the gear forum…Moderators feel free to move this to the proper forum.Sep 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm #3424893
“I recently bought an uninsulated inflatable sleeping pad. ”
“I have tried a Big Agnes Q-Core SL (R-value 4.5?) and a NeoAir Xlite (R-value 3.2)”
There is some confusion here between “uninsulated” and inflatable….Sep 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm #3424895
This is what I bought:
As you’ll notice, this pad has no insulation.
As I mentioned earlier, I do have other warmer sleeping pads that are insulated. Just want to figure out how low I can go in temperature with an uninsulated pad.Sep 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm #3424898
Justin AndersonBPL Member
Well, your sleeping bag will be compressed beneath you which basically eliminates most of the insulating properties, so how cold are you personally comfortable down to? You can wear thick fleece clothing, or even toss an emergency blanket on top of the air mat, although it is slippery and noisy. The air will stay cool beneath you for the most part, so putting something between you and it is key.Sep 7, 2016 at 4:25 pm #3424900
Michael SirofchuckBPL Member
@mr_squishyLocale: Great Wet North
some sort of closed cell foam pad underneath the inflatable will help a great deal – I sleep on a NeoAir Xlite down to 35 degrees or so with no problem. If I expect colder temps I bring a foam pad for underneath – there are thin ones and thick ones out there.Sep 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm #3424903
I start to get cold on my Synmat UL7 when the temp hits the low 40s f. I do have a Gossamer Gear thin light 1/8 I could take just in case. I’d rather not take it because I’m trying to keep the load light, but maybe it might be worth taking until I have a better idea of the temp at which I start to feel cold from the ground.Sep 7, 2016 at 5:46 pm #3424908
Maybe the Exped figures adjusted to your findings , could help.
The Synmat UL7 is rated at R3.3 with a min temp of 24.8f (40f for you…)
The Hyperlite is rated at R1.9 with a min temp of 39.2fSep 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm #3424909
Very good idea….thanks Franco!Sep 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm #3425001
Jon AlmquistBPL Member
Worth noting is that there is no standardized methodology (set by a governing body like ASTM) for measuring and rating R-value. Hence, one pad brand’s 3.0 R-value might not equate to another pad brand’s 3.0 R-value. Yes, the ratings are directional, and most brands producing pads appear to be honest enough to make realistic claims. But R-value is best used when comparing the various pads within a single brand.Sep 8, 2016 at 5:03 pm #3425029
Yes, Thermarest makes that point very clear.
(some may remember very optimistic figures quoted by Pacific Outdoors and BA in the past)
However it just happens that Rob is comparing two Exped pads and that is why I quoted the Exped figures for them.Sep 8, 2016 at 9:49 pm #3425070
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
R values aside, I have had an old NeoAir down to about 10F one time. But I knew it was going to get cold one night. Soo, I put the pad in a Marmot SS 0 bag (actually a 10F bag) and slept like a baby. On a different occasion, I slept in a 40F bag with long johns and down jacket down to 28F (by my gadget watch in my hat next to me) sleeping ON the old NeoAir. I was not cold enough to not sleep. A lot will depend on conditions.
The inflatable un-insulated pads are terrible at edge bleeding. The edges get cold loosing a lot of heat. IFF you can prevent that by wrapping the quilt over the edges or slipping the pad inside your bag, I think you will find them to be adequate down to about 32F. If you sleep on your side with 4″ of pad exposed on either side, you will find them warm only down to about 40F. Position is important.
Anything that will suck heat away from the pad is bad. Wet ground, cold rocks, snow, etc. All will stay cold for a long time and take a lot of body heat to warm up…even through a tent floor.
Someone already mentioned wind. Convection and open areas on the pad are also not good for warmth.
IR barriers do not work all that well. The NeoAirs already have that type of “insulation” installed. Only the first barrier is reflected back. So, not using the internal IR reflections will not allow the air in the pad to warm up by IR…about 30% of a pads warmth. If you pad is feeling cold, try adding a foam pad ON TOP. Generally the strongest insulator should be closest to you. Usually, CCF is a better insulator than an inflatable.
For down filled pads, these are MUCH better, but we are not talking borderline conditions here. These are only for COLD weather…ie <10F. Too cold for me, I rarely go out when it is THAT cold.Sep 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm #3425209
Kevin GarrisonBPL Member
@kgarrisonLocale: SF Bay Area
I regularly use my pad down to 20 F with my bag acting only as a blanket (i.e., nothing between me and the pad). Its an xLite. The only time I put any type of insulation or reflective layer below the pad is when i snow camp in the winter months.
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