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View Full Version : Opinions on short (3/4th) length sleeping pads



atsent
05-18-2008, 23:11
My thermarest prolite3 was attacked by hot ashes which put at least 7 tiny holes in it. Bought the repair kit, patched it up in a bunch of places, and it's still letting out air (the holes are so tiny they're hard to find). So I've pretty much accepted the fact that I will have to shell out money for a new one. Since I like the prolite series I was thinking of just replacing it but with a 3/4th lengths. It would shave 7oz off my load.

Anyone have experiences with these? Does it drive you nuts to have your feet hanging off? Do your feet get cold?

I'm open for suggestions on other sleeping pads also, I just thought the inflatable prolite was pretty comfy. Thanks :)

atsent
05-18-2008, 23:13
I should also mention that though I'm doing 5-7 day sections hikes now, I'm planning on a SOBO thru hike next year-- If that makes any difference in recommendations.

sofaking
05-18-2008, 23:15
i used an older t-rest 3/4 for years, until my son and his friend decided to use it as a sled down the stairs and turned it into a ginormous blister pad...anyway, i just used to prop my feet on my pack, never had any complaints.

Survivor Dave
05-18-2008, 23:18
My thermarest prolite3 was attacked by hot ashes which put at least 7 tiny holes in it. Bought the repair kit, patched it up in a bunch of places, and it's still letting out air (the holes are so tiny they're hard to find). So I've pretty much accepted the fact that I will have to shell out money for a new one. Since I like the prolite series I was thinking of just replacing it but with a 3/4th lengths. It would shave 7oz off my load.

Anyone have experiences with these? Does it drive you nuts to have your feet hanging off? Do your feet get cold?

I'm open for suggestions on other sleeping pads also, I just thought the inflatable prolite was pretty comfy. Thanks :)


I tried it and it was uncomfortable AND cold. There's only so much a sleeping bag can do. I found it worth toting the extra few ounces. I like the Prolite 4.

burger
05-18-2008, 23:39
I've never used anything but a 3/4-length ridgerest on the AT, and that was fine. Just throw your pack or some clothes under your feet.

rafe
05-19-2008, 00:09
I've used "short" Thermarests since the dawn of time. Now that I'm hiking with an internal-frame pack, I use that as a rest for my feet and ankles. Works for me.

Jimmers
05-19-2008, 00:14
I've never used anything but a 3/4 length pad, and never had any problems with the padding. The only problem I've encountered is when it gets really cold, down into the 20's, my legs can get rally cold from the knee down. If you know you'll be in that kind of weather it might pay to have a cheap full length to supplement the 3/4.

Frau
05-19-2008, 00:22
I like the self-inflating pads, the 3/4 length bothered me in summer and then in winter it bothered me AND I had cold feet. Last month I bought a z-rest to use UNDER the self-inflating when we are car camping. LOVED having it this past weekend--significant improvement.

Frau

10-K
05-19-2008, 05:11
I use the Gossamer Gear 3/4 pad - weighs around 8 oz or so and I have no complaints at all.

http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/nightlight_3_quarter.html

camojack
05-19-2008, 06:40
I use the Therma-rest ultralite; it works fine for me. YMMV... :-?

WishIWereHiking
05-19-2008, 07:26
I've always used the shorter length type with no issues. If it is cold that night, I just use my jacket or pack under my legs to keep them off the ground and that seems to work great. I never really even considered getting the full-length version.

Quoddy
05-19-2008, 07:29
Yes, a 3/4 length pad should be good. The longest pad I use is a 37" long Montbell 90 , which to me is a luxury item. Normally I use a 30" long Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso pad. Occasionally in the dead of winter in the north I use a full length pad.

the goat
05-19-2008, 07:57
you don't need more than 3/4. i just put my sandals down near where my feet are; it's never cold or uncomfortable.

Trail_Suds
05-19-2008, 08:04
I have both a 3/4 Thermarest and a full size thermarest. For the difference in size, weight, and price... I can see no reason not to use the full size. It is definitely more comfortable, especially if it is cold or wet.

Tinker
05-19-2008, 08:44
I still have one of the original orange T-rest 3/4 length pads. Used it for years and years, both with a shorty pad under my legs and feet (which doubles nicely as a "sit pad"), and with a full length blue foam underneath for really cold conditions. I still use it in the rare event that I share a tent with a friend, but mostly it just sits in my closet where I notice it once in a while, then the memories come back................ :).

Bare Bear
05-19-2008, 08:50
I used the Thermarest Large full size for years but for my Thru tried to switch to a 3/4..........saving some weight....hated it and got the full back two weeks after sending it home. You are a hiker, with hiker friends. Borrow some different types and go hike with them and you will know real quick which 'fits'you best.

Tinker
05-19-2008, 09:06
Great idea. Borrowing is one of the fine benefits to having friends. :0

Bare Bear
05-19-2008, 09:17
It is also a great way to give old gear a new home if they really like it :)

Wags
05-19-2008, 09:29
i'd suggest the BA insulated airmat. but if you're just trying to shave weight, then i second tinker's suggestion of carrying a small piece of blue foam for a sit pad and doubling as the pad for your feet. i personally don't like the idea of using clothes as my pad or pillow. what if it's really freaking cold and you need to have those clothes on? kiss that night's sleep goodbye

atsent
05-19-2008, 18:56
thanks everyone! I actually took some great advice and stuck my thermarest underwater in a bathtub and found the last remaining hole! Patched that sucker up and it hasn't been deflating...problem solved! Looks like the 3/4th size is popular though, will consider that if I it get another hole and I have to get another pad for the thru hike.:D

Appalachian Tater
05-19-2008, 19:37
I compromised on a 3/4 length to save weight because I needed a thick inflatable for medical reasons but it has never been an issue and I have never thought, "Gee, I wish I had a full length pad."

Blissful
05-19-2008, 19:44
Full length all the way for me. Without my sleep I can't do much of anything. I don't compromise when it comes to sleeping. I even take two Cocoon pillows.

Appalachian Tater
05-19-2008, 20:02
Full length all the way for me. Without my sleep I can't do much of anything. I don't compromise when it comes to sleeping. I even take two Cocoon pillows.I am curious as to how how felt the 3/4 length pad was a compromise and what about it interfered with your sleep.

Bear Cables
05-20-2008, 12:16
My thermarest prolite3 was attacked by hot ashes which put at least 7 tiny holes in it. Bought the repair kit, patched it up in a bunch of places, and it's still letting out air (the holes are so tiny they're hard to find). So I've pretty much accepted the fact that I will have to shell out money for a new one. Since I like the prolite series I was thinking of just replacing it but with a 3/4th lengths. It would shave 7oz off my load.

Anyone have experiences with these? Does it drive you nuts to have your feet hanging off? Do your feet get cold?

I'm open for suggestions on other sleeping pads also, I just thought the inflatable prolite was pretty comfy. Thanks :)

I use either a 3/4 length thermarest or as this hike I am using a Z Rest that I cut in half to make it smaller and lighter. No problems about the feet as long as my head and torso are padded. It may depend on your height too. I don't think my 6ft 6 son could ever use a 3/4

superman
05-20-2008, 12:37
I've used both. I used a full length for my AT thru hike. I used a 3/4 length on the CDT. The first night we camped next to the second water tank from the Mexican boarder. What we didn't notice was the million prickers or burrs on the ground. They went through my tent and thermarest. There were at least a hundred holes in it. I continued to use it because it was better than nothing but not by much. I prefer the full length for confort and insulation but if I'm trying to go lite I use my newer 3/4 length. I don'y like z rest but it's durable as hell...especially sine it just stays in my gear room.

Erin
05-20-2008, 21:34
I have always used a three quarter thermarest but I am short. Works for me but my tall friends say no way. Before you pitch your old one try this...air up and put in water to find the holes. Where you see air bubbling, circle with a laundry marker. Put patches there.