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  1. #1
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    Default Boosting Infatable Pad R Value

    A while back I read that there is an inexpensive way to put "something" on the ground beneath an inflatable pad to increase its R-value. I can't remember what they used. Does anybody know an inexpensive yet effective way of achieving this?
    zig-zag man

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  2. #2
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    My guess would be a piece of Reflectix.

  3. #3
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    Same guess here, Reflectix. It can also be used under a closed cell foam (CCF) pad, or by itself. I find it especially effective, for its weight, on snow under my CCF pad. You can buy a 25' roll at most Home Depots. Use the rest on home heating system projects, if that applies, or share with other hikers.

  4. #4
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    Reflectix (plus aluminum tape) is also what you want for a homemade cozy to keep your cookpot warm after you take it off the stove. You can buy it in 10' rolls, which is still more than adequate for a second sleeping pad, second butt pad, and several cozies.

  5. #5
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    Reflectix is not a very good insulater. Could try a car window shade . They can b bought cheep

    thom

  6. #6
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    In deep winter I use a RidgeRest on top of my inflatable. (In deep winter you need two pads, and one has to be foam, or else a leak could turn an uncomfortable night into a survival situation.)
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    In deep winter I use a RidgeRest on top of my inflatable. (In deep winter you need two pads, and one has to be foam, or else a leak could turn an uncomfortable night into a survival situation.)
    +1 on that!

    I've used a ridge-rest, z-rest, a blue foam pad from some department store, and a gossamer gear 1/8 or 1/4 inch CCF pad. All work well. Thicker is warmer. Foam on top works significantly better than underneath. It's just warmer that way, significantly (at least below zero), and I don't know why.
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  8. #8
    Registered User DownEaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Foam on top works significantly better than underneath. It's just warmer that way, significantly (at least below zero), and I don't know why.
    You're trying to make the total R-value (Resistance to heat transfer) high, and most of that usually comes from the foam. So if you resist most of the heat loss in the foam pad, you're not losing much heat into the air in the inflatable. The other way around you're constantly losing heat out of the air mattress (from all the parts which are exposed rather than covered by your sleeping bag).

    The exception is if you've got a higher R-value in your inflatable. My Klymit Insulated Static V Lite has R 4.4. So putting the foam pad below then becomes a reasonable choice, and doing so protects the insulated inflatable from whatever sharp objects might be lying about.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownEaster View Post
    . . . The exception is if you've got a higher R-value in your inflatable. My Klymit Insulated Static V Lite has R 4.4. So putting the foam pad below then becomes a reasonable choice, and doing so protects the insulated inflatable from whatever sharp objects might be lying about.
    Actually, all my experience is using a significantly higher R-value inflatable than the foam I use. The foam on top is still a significant advantage in sub-zero conditions where I've experimented with it. There is no doubt there may be some heat loss through the side of an inflatable.

    It may be that the limit of the r-value for ccf is heat loss to the ground (with little loss to the sides) whereas the limit of the r-value for an inflatable may be via air circulation to the sides. Whatever the reason, for warmth, put the foam on top! For pad protection, camp on the snow.
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  10. #10
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    I use a 1/4" pad from G.G. under my inflatable. It supposedly adds around 0.75 R value. It definitely helps keep the pad from sliding around the floor of the tent.

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    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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