- Nov 6, 2019 at 3:27 am #3617435Nick BBPL Member
I’m heading out this weekend into 15F or so night time temperatures. I’ll use a 15F bag and a quilt so I have my top side covered. It is my pad system that is my concern. I have a long/wide Neoair Xlite and I’m worried that will not be enough insulation. In the long term I’ll probably buy an Xtherm or similar but for now I’m thinking of using a length of Reflectix or some closed cell foam (1/8″ or 1/4″) under the pad. The whole system will be inside a Borah Gear Argon 90 bivy.
Have any cold sleepers used an Xlite in Winter, and how did you supplement the pads R-value?
Thanks!Nov 6, 2019 at 9:26 am #3617458Edward John MBPL Member
You will need more than a thin pad or Reflectix to get the R-value you need for winter. I use a pad rated at 5.5R and I need to use my RidgeRest Solar plus a thin CCF for temperatures that low. For very low temperatures I will use a thick CCF as well as the RidgeRest. Note tho that I’m old with a reduced sleeping metabolism and I have always slept colder than the average but in general it’s poor planning to take less pad than needed for the conditions plus a safety margin.
At least use a thicker pad [ 12 to 20mm] under the torso and thinner under the feet. I wish Cascade Designs made a short wide RidgeRestNov 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm #3617470Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
Where are you going and what are the ground temps going to be like?
I ask because I’ll be out this weekend (in low 20d weather) but I know for certain the ground wont be frozen whatsoever. Although the air temp very much affects air mattresses, the surface ground temp itself will also be a big factor.
The good thing about November (in the northern hemisphere) is the ground is still reasonably “warm”, all things being equal.
But I, too believe that a single 1/8″ or 1/4″ ccf pad might not quite be enough for your ground contact.
I’ve been on many trips in 15d weather and have been reasonably comfortable sandwiching my XLite with a pair of 1/8″ ccf pads (in November). 1/4″ pads would obviously be even better.Nov 6, 2019 at 4:17 pm #3617487Tipi WalterBPL Member
If I’m heading out in the winter and expect temps at 15F—I take a bag rated at 0F—because bags usually are overrated. In other words, a 15F rated bag is good to around 30F or 25F.
And who knows, your planned-for 15F temps could dip down to an unplanned 0F.Nov 6, 2019 at 9:48 pm #3617534Nick BBPL Member
I’m heading into the Sawtooth Mts. At this point in the season the ground temperatures won’t be too bad, the air temperature may get down to 15F or so. I’ve borrowed a Thermarest Z Lite to use under my Xlite. I’ll be using a 15F bag with a 10F quilt over the top. It may be a little overkill but I’m a cold sleeper and I can always shed a layer. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.Nov 8, 2019 at 1:31 am #3617703Dennis RBPL Member
@mojorisenNov 8, 2019 at 3:42 am #3617735Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I use mummy shaped 1/8″ closed cell floor underlayment under my FLASH 3 season mattress.
But I do have a winter REI FLASH All Season winter mattress good to around -15 F. If I expect colder weather along comes the floor underlayment pad. Also I lay my insulated pants and other “day” layers under the mattress. It all helps.
If I get a chance for camping in truly frigid weather, around -20 F. and below, I’ll add my Thermarest Ridgerest instead of the floor underlayment.Dec 28, 2019 at 4:43 pm #3624586Adam GBPL Member
I tried an X-lite while snow camping, with a Z-Lite Sol underneath. I didn’t freeze to death, but I was cold and woke up throughout the night uncomfortable. Now I use a WM Antelope, X-therm, and half a Z-Lite underneath my torso (for some reason, my lower half is warm without it). I came to the unfortunate conclusion that pretty much none of my three season gear works in the winter.Dec 28, 2019 at 9:59 pm #3624622Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I came to the unfortunate conclusion that pretty much none of my three season gear works in the winter.
CheersJan 8, 2020 at 7:53 pm #3626178Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Adam, I just wish every backpacker, especially “SUL” backpackers, would learn the lesson you did regarding 3 season sleeping gear.
Yeah, I can push my 3 season REI FLASH air mattress and 20 F. overstuffed WM Megalite bag to 10 F. by wearing a heavy base layer and insulated jacket and pants plus a fleece balaclava.
But below that? Out comes my LL Bean -20 F. down bag and the FLASH ALL Season R 5.3 air mattress and maybe a Thermarest Ridgerest closed cell foam mat beneath.
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