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  1. #1
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    Default Increasing R Value or Temp Rating

    I知 looking at doing the CT next year and I知 contemplating some UL pad decisions.

    Has anyone use an air pad with a low r value and increased its efficiency by adding a emergency solar blanket underneath the pad.

    The BA Axl (non-insulated) has. Temp rating if 35 degrees. I was told by BA this was more of a survival temp rating and not a comfort rating.

    Thanks in advance

    TF


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  2. #2
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    Emergency blankets do not add R value. They work by trapping the heat that your body puts off and holds it around your skin. Using one under a pad would not work IMO.
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  3. #3
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    CT. Next year? What timeframe? It matters.
    An R-4 to R-5 pad will help boost a marginal temp rating bag or quilt.
    We need the whole story. My sleep system is based on an Xtherm Large (R-5.7), Western Mountaineering Alpinlite Long and minimal extra clothing above 10,000 in Colorado and Wyoming in September. Cowboy camping or double wall tent. YMMV.
    Wayne
    PS: Your personal sleeping metabolism makes a difference. Everyone sleeps different. Real world testing is the only answer.

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    Don't know about all air pads, but a part of the way Therm-a-rest NeoAir pads achieve their R rating is by including a reflective layer on the baffles inside of the pad.

    You will likely increase your pad's R Value by adding a solar blanket under the pad (because the solar blanket works by both trapping your body heat AND reflecting your bodies radiant heat). But the question is by how much.

    NeoAir does have the Xlite and the Xtherm. The Xtherm weights about 4oz more than the Xlite and has an R value of 5.7 compared to 3.2 for Xlite.

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I see from your profile that you池e in Florida. You could simulate Colorado on the AT along the NC-TN border between Christmas and New Years.
    The Therm-A-Rest Z-lite Sol on TOP of an air mattress works for some folks. Test. Test. Test.
    Wayne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    CT. Next year? What timeframe? It matters.
    An R-4 to R-5 pad will help boost a marginal temp rating bag or quilt.
    We need the whole story. My sleep system is based on an Xtherm Large (R-5.7), Western Mountaineering Alpinlite Long and minimal extra clothing above 10,000 in Colorado and Wyoming in September. Cowboy camping or double wall tent. YMMV.
    Wayne
    PS: Your personal sleeping metabolism makes a difference. Everyone sleeps different. Real world testing is the only answer.
    July start. ETA 5 weeks to finish.


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  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I just got back from Colorado. Car camping in late July to early August from RMNP to Mesa Verde NP. Elevations well below the CT. It was warmer than I知 used to finding. Mid-50s in the mornings. My granddaughter was fine in a NoName Amazon 30 degree synthetic bag on a generic blue foam pad. I left the Alpinlite in the car. I was fine with a synthetic quilt on the Xtherm.
    I much prefer September and elevations up around 10,000.
    Have fun!
    Wayne

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    Contrary to suggestions above, a space blanket, either under or on top of your sleeping pad, only reflects infrared radiation which only accounts for 5 to 10 percent of your heat loss. The most important part of the Thermarest Neoair pads is their baffling. Yes, putting your space blanket under or over your pad will improve its warmth, BUT probably not enough except in high summer type conditions.

    I will always discourage someone from buying an uninsulated pad to save a couple ounces as the usefulness of an uninsulated pad is super limited and the added weight of some insulation is tiny and extends the usefulness of the pad well passed low altitude, mid-summer use in warm climates. Being chilled from below at night really sucks!

    Your probably better off saving weight by getting a short insulated pad than by using a full length uninsulated pad.
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  9. #9

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    I carry a 24" length of blue CCF mat and put it under my NeoAir in my hip area if the ground is real cold. I typically deflate my mat slightly so my hips sink in a little, but that can get cold. Keeping the mat fully inflated helps a lot in colder temps too.
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    Thanks everyone for their input. It痴 been super helpful.

    I致e decided to keep my current sleep system which is:

    Exped Synmat HL
    EE 10 degree Quilt

    Thanks again. A lot of great logic in everyone痴 post.

    TF


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  11. #11
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    You池e welcome! Have a great hike!
    Wayne

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    Unless hiking in sept, nothing to worry about. Nights are mostly in 30s in aug, a few near freezing. Xlite w/r=3.2 is fine.

    I was never cool on CT with poor 20f quilt, short xlite, thin ccf under feet

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Unless hiking in sept, nothing to worry about. Nights are mostly in 30s in aug, a few near freezing. Xlite w/r=3.2 is fine.

    I was never cool on CT with poor 20f quilt, short xlite, thin ccf under feet
    Along these lines... I've found my NeoAir Xlite to be adequate for camping in GSMNP at any elevation between April thru November.
    The only time I've felt my pad wasn't warm enough was a few trips in March where the ground was frozen from recent snow.

  14. #14

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    What length BA AXL will you be using? How do you sleep? If it's the shortest one and any part of you is off the pad that part of you gets colder unless modifying that areas insulation and warmth capturing. I'll throw into the sleep system a solar/silvered mylar SOL "blanket" as my full length ground sheet for heat reflecting putting a 66"(R Value 3.7, women) or 47"(R Value 3.2) Neo Air under. What length neoAir I use depends on how cold I anticipate it to get. I'm tall too so the 66" length I can fetal position fully on it with my feet under or in my empty pack. The BA AXL already has a Primaloft Silver defective barrier. The TR NeoAir has a defective layer as well and it the added SOL molar blanket helps add warmth but just a bit when under such one of my NeoAirs. If in doubt you could throw in a 1/4-38- CCF pad sandwiched between the SOL and BA AXL. What I use also is dependent on whether I'm using a quilt or conventional accurately rated sleeping bag. All things the being equal I sleep colder in a 20* quilt verse a 20* WM, FF, or Valandre 20* sleeping bag.

  15. #15

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    How about those Sea to Summit Thermo Reactor bag liners ? anyone have experience using those effectively to increase the warmth of their sleeping bag ?

  16. #16

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    I know a tarp camper that uses a piece of reflectix under his pad with good results.Lots of us hammock campers use a piece in our hammocks with 3/4 underquilts and position it under our feet for a little boost in heat.Works for me.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    I see from your profile that you’re in Florida. You could simulate Colorado on the AT along the NC-TN border between Christmas and New Years.
    The Therm-A-Rest Z-lite Sol on TOP of an air mattress works for some folks. Test. Test. Test.
    Wayne
    Through trial and error, I found that pairing the Z lite sol with my Thermarest Prolite plus works the best for me. Using a “space blanket” did not make a significant difference for me.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tflaris View Post
    I知 looking at doing the CT next year and I知 contemplating some UL pad decisions.

    Has anyone use an air pad with a low r value and increased its efficiency by adding a emergency solar blanket underneath the pad.

    The BA Axl (non-insulated) has. Temp rating if 35 degrees. I was told by BA this was more of a survival temp rating and not a comfort rating.

    Thanks in advance

    TF


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Try putting it on top of the pad, underneath your sleeping bag. Since the bag will compress under you, the space blanket may help to slow down the heat loss by reflecting it back up to you. Of course, it may make you slide off the pad onto the shelter floor. Try it and let us know what happens.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by tflaris View Post
    Has anyone use an air pad with a low r value and increased its efficiency by adding a emergency solar blanket underneath the pad.

    The BA Axl (non-insulated) has. Temp rating if 35 degrees. I was told by BA this was more of a survival temp rating and not a comfort rating.
    I have not used a solar blanket with an insulated pad, nor do I think it would be of any real value.
    What I have done, however, is used an uninsulated BA pad into the upper 30s. Tried to, anyway.
    I've shared this story as an example of a pad's importance several times.
    I sleep outrageously warm, have comfortably used a 40F bag into the mid-20s, and even managed some sleep in the teens once, using that bag with a torso length Z Lite.
    The one time I have used it and been unable to sleep at all was at 38F with an uninsulated BA Air Core, which they also claimed was good to 35F.
    Thankfully, it was just a short overnighter, because I ended up hiking out to my truck in the dark.
    You definitely want some r value for anything but summer use.
    I put out so much heat that I'm now using a r3.3 pad into the lower teens without issue(with a 30F rated quilt), and if I can't sleep on an uninsulated one into the 30s, I don't see how anyone can.

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