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  1. #1
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    Default Thinking of ADDING sleeping pad weight...

    I've got my solo base weight down to 13 pounds (with a bear can!). I'm really happy with this.

    I've slept on a Thermorest Neo Air 47" 8oz pad for 23 days. I LOVE the weight, but not loving the sleep. (I've gotten all of the potato chip sounds out of it. Just not loving the shape, width, (side sleeper) and horizontal baffles.)

    My husband just got an REI Flash (16oz), and OMG... I think I have some serious pad envy. I loved those vertical baffles.

    I also have an ALPS Mountaineering 47" pad that weighs 25oz. http://www.amazon.com/ALPS-Mountaine...3C65X7BDYN3C03 I used that pad for 9 days on the TRT in 2012, and I loved the sleep, but not the weight.

    I spent 90 mins doing the Princess and the Pea thing and blew up all 3 mats and they all have their pros and cons.

    And then, to complicate things, there are even more pads in stores and online. I'm 5'2" (or less). A 66" woman's pad would be PERFECT for me... but the lightest one is made by Thermarest - and it is the width that is more of an issue, not length. If the Flash came in 66"... I'd be all over that! OR... my PERFECT mat would be 25" wide and 47" long. Does anybody make one?

    I've seen YouTube Videos of a guy cutting a pad down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kumSl-cbLlY But, OMG... the thought of buying a $179 long/wide pad and cutting it down to 47". There is no way I could show up at REI wanting to return a pad I'd cut on! Anybody cut on a Neoair pad?

    Or I'm thinking of velcro-ing or glueing some inflatable pillows to the side of the 47" neoair I have now.

    I really, REALLY like a good nights sleep... and thinking of adding 8oz or even 16oz to get it. Don't want to spend $$$ for lighter pack (pack is currently 34oz and new). Only thing I can think of getting rid of is stove and pot. But we are going out for 3 weeks in September... and I'm thinking I'll want some hot food.

    Any words of mental health wisdom? Obviously, if 8 oz is my biggest problem... life is good.
    Last edited by DLP; 06-19-2014 at 13:53.

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Cool

    I took advantage of the recent REI sale and finally bought a NeoAir XTherm Wide/Long. Weight: 1 pound 4 ounces, exactly as advertised. I also bought the Exped Air Pillow Large.
    So far, I have spent a total of 11 nights (8 consecutive nights) on the combination in my apartment. Conclusion: Inflated, the XTtherm is 23" wide (not 25" as advertised). I am a side sleeper. Who decided that we all should sleep on 20" wide (or less) pads? I don't hear anything. I can't tell which way the tubes are aligned. I sleep very well. Waiting for winter to verify the R-5.7 rating.
    In warm weather the XTherm/Exped combo is a WINNER! 8 ounces lighter than my ancient Therm-A-Rest self-inflating pad.
    If the XTherm fails the winter test, I am going straight to an Exped Wide/Standard insulated air mattress.
    By the way, I am 5'-8", 150 pounds. I bought the wide/long size for the width. Glad I did. Haven't fallen off yet.

    Wayne
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Conclusion: Inflated, the XTtherm is 23" wide (not 25" as advertised). I am a side sleeper.
    Thanks for the review. Inflated, my 20" neoair is about 18". It is 20.5" at the widest point, deflated. According to REI/Thermarest, the Neoair is 20" and the REI Flash is 20.5". They both inflate to 2.5" thick. However, the Flash is a good 7" wider when they are both deflated. No wonder I have pad envy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    The XTherm/Exped combo is a WINNER! 8 ounces lighter than my ancient Therm-A-Rest self-inflating pad.
    That is too funny. We bought the REI Flash last weekend to replace our ancient, slightly leaky Therm-A-Rest self-inflating pad. My husband actually said, "It will be ok if I have to blow it up a couple of times during the night". Hey, they were state of the art and super light at 2.5 lbs... 15 years ago!

    He said that the Flash was his most comfortable night ever. He's a happy camper. I'm going to use the Flash for a 7-10 days this summer. We'll see... It might be one of those, "I will carry this to the ends of earth... I don't care what it weighs!". Or if it turns into, "I'm not carrying these extra &^%$*# 9 oz another mile... I don't care how comfy I am!", I'll go back to the 8oz 18" Thermarest.

  4. #4
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for confirming my suspicion about the 20" NeoAirs. 5" width for 5 ounces. A good deal in my book.

    Wayne


    Sent from somewhere around here.
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  5. #5
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    Default

    I cut down my xlite large to 68". It's very easy once you wrap your head around cutting up a $180 pad for the sake of a couple ounces. I'm still debating cutting it to torso length.

  6. #6

    Default Thinking of ADDING sleeping pad weight...

    If you're in the market for a new pad, check out the exped ul 7.
    http://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-category/mats/synmat-ul-7-m

    At 16 oz, it provides an incredibly comfortable 2 inches of air, 72" length and 21 inch width. I love this thing. The wider baffles on the outer edge really do help prevent you from rolling off, and it doesn't have that potato chip bag sound people complain about with other pads. I can't believe the difference in sleep the extra couple ounces gives me over my old z-rest. Mine did spring a leak on my last night in the 100 mile wilderness. (I had overinflated it). Patched it with the provided patch kit and it held up perfectly for the rest of our trip in Maine and subsequent trips.

  7. #7
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Default

    The lighter you go the comfort goes down... that is the rub with UL! Are you willing to sleep in a three hour downpour on the ground? The pad is there to add a little comfort, I cannot wrap my mind around a 1 pound pad. 8-12 ounces should be enough for a self inflating.... just a couple ounces for a thermarest closed cell.. There are lots of choices. The pad you have already chosen is the best choice. Try to use it more and it will grow on you.

    Oh and that part about pad envy.... very cool!
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    The lighter you go the comfort goes down... that is the rub with UL! Are you willing to sleep in a three hour downpour on the ground? The pad is there to add a little comfort, I cannot wrap my mind around a 1 pound pad. 8-12 ounces should be enough for a self inflating.... just a couple ounces for a thermarest closed cell.. There are lots of choices. The pad you have already chosen is the best choice. Try to use it more and it will grow on you.

    Oh and that part about pad envy.... very cool!
    Like Owl says, the lighter you go the less comfort you have. So, what's more important, sleep or weight?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynn523 View Post
    If you're in the market for a new pad, check out the exped ul 7... The wider baffles on the outer edge really do help prevent you from rolling off
    THAT sounds heavenly! I spend half the night with half of me on the ground and not even on the neoair. My hips are killing me because I sleep for two hours hanging off the pad and lying in the dirt. Climb back up on the mat for 30 mins and then roll off and spend 90 mins with hip on the ground. Rinse and repeat all night.

    I've forgotten that it is possible to actually spend a night ON the pad. That sounds soooo good! AND the whole Exped mat is 20" across? How I've missed that! Could very well be on my next REi 20% off coupon list. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    So, what's more important, sleep or weight?
    Sleep... I want sleep. Night, night!
    Last edited by DLP; 06-20-2014 at 03:22.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    ...what's more important, sleep or weight?
    My thoughts exactly. There are so many ways to cut base pack weight-- witness the "SUL" (sub-ultra-light) folks with their <5 lb base weights. If you're willing and able to sacrifice your comfort, you can get away with a dramatic weight loss. You just have to balance it all out. Dare I say that all ULers have made some "adjustments," increasing base weight by adding creature comforts?

    Personally speaking, I find it impossible to not take a book (yes, a book, not an iPad, not a Kindle, not ripped-out chapters, but a whole-on, printed, bona-fide library-checked-out BOOK), and a travel pillow. Together, they add about 1-1/2 lbs to my pack, but they make things so much more comfortable.
    "We can no longer live as rats. We know too much." -- Nicodemus

  11. #11
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Default

    You have to make your priorities. Mine are:
    1. Safety. (I carry the 10 essentials every trip. Even day hikes I carry rain gear, water purification, a tarp, a knife, map and compass, a headlamp, a lighter, and 1st aid)
    2. Comfort while hiking (I could save 8oz at least if I replaced the padded shoulder straps with paracord, but I won't and neither will anyone else. A low pack is still important a large factor for this though.)
    3. a Good night's sleep. (Because nothing exacerbates a bad day like a bad night prior.) I replaced my Big Agne Air Core with a TR Prolite Plus small after fighting leaks on too many occasions.
    4. Good coffee. (Starbuck's Via is pretty good, but good grounds brewed in a French Press is heaven. I'll give up my shoes before I give up my 6oz french press.)
    5. Good food. (The terrain will make you suffer enough, why add more to it by eating crap.)
    6. THe Good Book. (A big part of why I hike is to commune with my Creator. Bringing His Word (now in a smart phone app), helps in that.

  12. #12
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    I returned my neoair to Backcountry. The crinkly noise was not a big deal but the thing was I kept falling off of it.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  13. #13
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Default a cheap experiement

    DLP-
    A bit confussed- you appear to be a petite person, side sleeping making you narrower still. Although if I imagine you not as a side sleeper but more of a fetal or curled sleeper then it seems a bit clearer perhaps.

    A thought with that thought in mind; being slightly curled up your ass to knee width is seriously wider than your side sleeping shoulders. Simple anatomy dictates the back sleeper to be wide at the shoulders and narrow at the hips, hence the shape of the NeoAir, however a petite side sleeper like yourself is quite the opposite if I am picturing things correctly.

    So, before you quit the pad or drop another dime- try turning the pad 180 degrees. Sleep with your narrow shoulders at the foot end and your hips/knees at the widest part.
    I make the short size work for me in this way, in addition I use a pillow set up of some sort for my head. With the neo-air I've had to resort to stuffing my water bottles, bladder, and bringing a 2 gal ziplock to fill space.
    The pad stops at my shoulder blade, and my head is on the pillow, not the pad. At your height, that would put the short nearly to your calves when curled up a bit and likely take pressure off.

    Another cheapie trick- are you a flopper or do you sleep on one side?
    If you sleep only on one side, tuck the toes of your shoes under the pad to elevate your ass side of the pad a bit, one just above and below said ass, this will stop you from scooting off the back as you curl and uncurl.
    To a lesser degree of success- you can tuck a shoe on either side if you flop.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    The lighter you go the comfort goes down... that is the rub with UL!
    I hear ya! I think that I was at perfection and the at the right balance of weight vs comfort for me and shaved off 4-8oz too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Are you willing to sleep in a three hour downpour on the ground?
    Nearly been there. Spent a night in a HUGE puddle in the fetal position (probably should have been in the "if you are about to be struck by lightening" position...) on that little 46"x18" Neoair Life Raft. (This is the Sierras. Thunderstorms happen in the afternoon! Not 11pm.) No tent. Practically no tarp. But one of the most spectacular, scary and memorable nights of my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    The pad you have already chosen is the best choice. Try to use it more and it will grow on you.
    I don't know Owl. I got it March 2013 and have taken it on 8 trips for 22 nights. I think I have given it my best shot. I had high hopes for the NeoAir, but it isn't working for me. I actually loved it after two days... and it is the opposite of growing on me. I'm beginning to dread "sleeping" on it. Sleeping in quotes... since I don't do a lot of that while on it. It will be going up for sale... now that I've done a fantastic sales pitch for it.

    @FlemDawg, the Nalgene Ninja: Love your list. I'd put BOTH Comfort while hiking and Good Nights Sleep as number two. LOL at "good grounds brewed in a French Press is heaven. I'll give up my shoes before I give up my 6oz french press." I can wait for good coffee when I get home. Telling myself, "You can wait 8 days for a good nights sleep at home"... not so much.
    Last edited by DLP; 06-20-2014 at 11:49.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodentWhisperer View Post

    Personally speaking, I find it impossible to not take a book (yes, a book, not an iPad, not a Kindle, not ripped-out chapters, but a whole-on, printed, bona-fide library-checked-out BOOK), and a travel pillow. Together, they add about 1-1/2 lbs to my pack, but they make things so much more comfortable.
    One reason my pack weights are so high is that I start out with many books, or internet "book rolls" which are 70 pages of typing paper printed on both sides of interesting crap I find on the web. Stuff like trail journals and gear reviews, etc. Pick up a "ream" of typing paper at 500 pages and it's heavy. I often carry around 850 total pages HEAVY. Thing is, ALL OF IT IS BURNED. Even books. I would never return from a trip with reading material---books or book rolls. Read and Burn, my mantra.

    Quote Originally Posted by flemdawg1 View Post
    You have to make your priorities. Mine are:
    1. Safety. (I carry the 10 essentials every trip. Even day hikes I carry rain gear, water purification, a tarp, a knife, map and compass, a headlamp, a lighter, and 1st aid)
    2. Comfort while hiking (I could save 8oz at least if I replaced the padded shoulder straps with paracord, but I won't and neither will anyone else. A low pack is still important a large factor for this though.)
    To me, comfort is safety. Staying warm when wet or dry, getting a good night's sleep, not worrying about lake effect or ground water in an all-night storm, pegging out the guylines and sleeping thru a tremendous storm or blizzard, hiking in ice with microspikes, hiking slow enough to avoid falling---all these things are part of safe backpacking. If I carry more weight to handle tough conditions then I am happy, comfortable and safe. Maybe not lightning strikes, falling trees or marauding pigs---but everything else I can anticipate.

    (Oh, except for a broken tooth or a lost crown or the midnight Bung Squirts with the Giardia Rush Abouts. Or the occasional food poisoning.)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I imagine you not as a side sleeper but more of a fetal or curled sleeper... curled up your ass to knee width is seriously wider than your side sleeping shoulders.
    You are imagining correctly.

    Try turning the pad 180 degrees. Sleep with your narrow shoulders at the foot end and your hips/knees at the widest part.
    I have tried this. The air seems to be distributed "wrong" when I do this.

    I AM a flopper. Right now I have the narrow end velcro'ed to my backpack so that they stay stuck together. I was ending up with the backpack and pad two feet apart. That helped some... but maybe I should try velcro'ing the wide end to the backpack. I also put clothes and stuff all around the edges of the pads in an attempt to create some kind of damn that will help me stay on the pad. It isn't working too well.

    You can't really tell from the little photo but the green REI Flash is 6" wider than the widest part of the yellow NeoAir. If you click on photo, you get a better picture. I look at that Flash and think, "I want to sleep on THAT... even if it does weigh 8 oz more... I don't care".

    Attachment 27517
    Last edited by DLP; 06-20-2014 at 12:22.

  17. #17
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    As long as you tried it all, that's all that matters. Not sure what you mean by the air distribution exactly, I kinda have a feel for what you mean- but either way, the trick don't work.
    Bummer.

    That's UL really- push yourself to the edge and into SUL territory- and come back wiser, adding an extra pound back leaves you in UL luxury.
    You are in good company- even the BPL crowd has started to drift back to the middle. Don't feel bad about it at all- you cut, slashed and burned to a near perfect setup, sneaking a half pound back in to achieve nirvana is well worth it.

    If nothing else- console yourself with the fact that after adding in your 8 ounces you will be back to 13.5 lbs with a bear can, sleeping sweetly and dreaming of unicorns, sunshine and rainbows- while dozens of folks sit crying on their excel sheet and pounding their wallet against the register to hit 15.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    If nothing else- console yourself with the fact that after adding in your 8 ounces you will be back to 13.5 lbs with a bear can, sleeping sweetly and dreaming of unicorns, sunshine and rainbows- while dozens of folks sit crying on their excel sheet and pounding their wallet against the register to hit 15.
    ROTFLOL!!!

    Figured out how to pitch Big Agnes fly creek ul1 with trekking poles. 8oz gone and I can sleep on larger pad with no weight penalty. It is a wash.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLP View Post
    ROTFLOL!!!

    Figured out how to pitch Big Agnes fly creek ul1 with trekking poles. 8oz gone and I can sleep on larger pad with no weight penalty. It is a wash.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLP View Post

    I've forgotten that it is possible to actually spend a night ON the pad. That sounds soooo good! AND the whole Exped mat is 20" across? How I've missed that! Could very well be on my next REi 20% off coupon list. lol
    There is also now a wide version of the regular length Exped, the Synmat UL 7 MW that's only 3oz heavier than the regular version.

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