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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by camper10469 View Post
    ive always had issues sleeping on my side n did alot of experimenting. my best solution.... put the foam pad on top of the air mat. as someone sugested, overfill the air mat and while laying on it, let out some air so you sink in comfortably. the stiffer foam pad distributes the weight more enenly instead of just sinking into a hip hole.
    I'm going to try that. I can lay it out on the floor in my bedroom, then try slipping into my bag for a while. I should be able to know within a few hours whether it will work. Of course, a wooden floor won't have the same 'hardness' as the tent floor on hard ground, but it should give me an idea of what it will be like without having to drag myself (and all my gear) onto the trail.

    I have attempted to 'over-inflate' the air mattress, but either I don't have strong enough lungs, or I'm not doing it right. Is there a mechanical pump that could help out? Some sort of bellows with a hose that fits over the valve on the mattress, but at the same time allows one to twist the valve closed...
    I wish they used a one-way valve with a release button for deflating. It would make inflation much easier.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arden View Post
    I'm going to try that. I can lay it out on the floor in my bedroom, then try slipping into my bag for a while. I should be able to know within a few hours whether it will work. Of course, a wooden floor won't have the same 'hardness' as the tent floor on hard ground, but it should give me an idea of what it will be like without having to drag myself (and all my gear) onto the trail.

    I have attempted to 'over-inflate' the air mattress, but either I don't have strong enough lungs, or I'm not doing it right. Is there a mechanical pump that could help out? Some sort of bellows with a hose that fits over the valve on the mattress, but at the same time allows one to twist the valve closed...
    I wish they used a one-way valve with a release button for deflating. It would make inflation much easier.
    Inflate as much as you can by blowing air into the valve. Then keep your lips on the valve, keep inflating, and twist the valve shut.
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  3. #23
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    The main reason why I previously mentioned my wt, ht, frame, and having a runners frame is because, if I'm recalling correctly you(Arden), have similar traits. Of pics of yourself you've posted you too have little 'padding' on your hips. This can affect your side sleeping comfort. If I'm not having issue also as a side sleeper, as others are saying, it may be your use of your pads ie; inflation, etc OR something else perhaps not gear related.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Inflate as much as you can by blowing air into the valve. Then keep your lips on the valve, keep inflating, and twist the valve shut.
    At some point, it becomes impossible to keep a good seal around the valve with my lips. Perhaps that is the point where the mattress is properly inflated, but I am getting the idea that I could put more air into it if I had a stronger set of lips... I know, that sounds really corny, but I don't know how else to put it.
    If it were a one-way valve (with a release for deflating), it would be much easier to inflate further.

  5. #25

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    Might have better luck if you use your tongue as a valve stop instead of your lips

  6. #26
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    Maybe it depends on make and model of the pad.
    My Thermarests, I can inflate full-power, and put the tip of the tongue over the opening of the valve to keep it sealed while twisting the valve shut.
    With a little training, I can inflate the Thermarest to a pressure level where sleeping becomes uncomfortable.

    Regarding the topic of this thread, I try to find a spot for placing my pad where there is (or I can create) a shallow groove right under the hip area.
    Makes all the difference for me, beeing a boney guy without padding around the hips.

  7. #27
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    Thanks for the tongue tip guys; I hadn't thought of trying that.
    I did do a bit of testing this afternoon, and have come to think that perhaps I have been over-inflating the mattress. Using the RidgeRest under the green inflatable, it felt too hard, so I started letting air out a little at a time until it felt more comfortable. This felt more comfortable that putting the CCF pad on top of the inflatable.
    I also tried rolling slightly off my side, and that also helps, but it causes too much twist in my neck, being that I wasn't using a pillow. I will try it again using a pillow. I've got a down backpacking pillow, and I thought I had an inflatable as well, but I am unable to locate it now. I thought perhaps slipping an inflatable inside the pocket in the down pillow might result in a much more comfortable setup. Don't know what I did with that inflatable... perhaps I tossed it when I bought the down pillow? Oh well. It wasn't expensive, I can always buy another.

  8. #28
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    I'm using the sleeve of the Thermarest as a pillow, stuffing it carefully with spare clothes, getting best results with the fleece jacket or the down puffy (if its spare).
    When the ground is not exactly my favourite shape, I'd use the hiking trousers and even the camp shoes (Flipflops) to do some terraforming.
    Most of my hikes are done in desert environment, where its really easy to form the sandy ground, though.

  9. #29
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    I have used spare fleece clothing as a pillow as well, but the down pillow I bought is nice - just needs to be a bit higher sometimes. I think that's why there is a pouch sewed into its cover. If I can locate that air pillow, I'll slip it in there and see what it does. Otherwise, I'll try some spare clothing.
    Unfortunately, all of my hiking is in the northeast, where it is difficult to find a spot that isn't rocky. In some areas though, there are tent platforms, which helps.

  10. #30
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    A few nights out, weight no big deal, sleep is the most important to have an enjoyable time. Maybe go this route:


  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    I'm using the sleeve of the Thermarest as a pillow, stuffing it carefully with spare clothes, getting best results with the fleece jacket or the down puffy (if its spare).
    Same here - down puffy is a great pillow to use atop other clothes/items in a sack. I wonder how it would be as a "topper" to an inflatable pillow. Side sleeping requires higher pillow height for me. If I don't have to hike far to the backcountry site, I'll strap on a walmart travel pillow and case, and stuff my puffy on top of that. Great height for side sleeping. The pillow alone is enough if you double it up (but by that time you have a pillow that is 10x15 instead of 20x15 travel size, vs. 20x30 standard size). The puffy alone is even smaller, and not big enough by itself for side sleeping, IMO

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Same here - down puffy is a great pillow to use atop other clothes/items in a sack. I wonder how it would be as a "topper" to an inflatable pillow. Side sleeping requires higher pillow height for me. If I don't have to hike far to the backcountry site, I'll strap on a walmart travel pillow and case, and stuff my puffy on top of that. Great height for side sleeping. The pillow alone is enough if you double it up (but by that time you have a pillow that is 10x15 instead of 20x15 travel size, vs. 20x30 standard size). The puffy alone is even smaller, and not big enough by itself for side sleeping, IMO
    I smarted out with a Walmart travel pillow. Loved that thing. I now use a Thermarest compressible pillow. Same weight and size but packs smaller. Worth carrying.

  13. #33

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    I am a side sleeper and have used z rest exclusively. perfectly light and just enough to mask the ground. FWIW I have spondylolysthesis while only minor, the z does the trick. But YMMV

  14. #34

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    I am a stomach and side sleeper. I'm quite comfy on a not-quite firm NeoAir.
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  15. #35

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    I've been using the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core, which is a whopping 9cm thick. I REALLY need that thickness though, as I'm on the heavier side and I only ever side-sleep. The downsides are that it's fairly expensive (compared to what back sleepers can get away with... forget it for me, as I have sleep apnea), and it can leak. It feels pretty big and heavy when it's all you have, but compared to alternatives, it's pretty good on those fronts. In the end, the biggest problem I've had was that it leaked very slowly and irreparably (likely through the valve) on my first trip within 3 weeks. I got it replaced with a brand new one, no problem, but I'm always going to worry a little about air pads now. It's just part of life as a side sleeper though, I think.
    Edit: after reading every other post, I see that you've got a skinny build, so clearly being heavy is not the problem Maybe even for me, the heaviness spreads out, resulting in the same thing? Anyway, my Air Core is indeed quite crinkly, and most annoyingly, slippery. I have a nice inflatable pillow (I really need all the help I can get) which has rough rubber dots on the back so that it doesn't slip off the pad, but my bag does slip. And it's always a real pain to get all the air out and roll up an inflatable pad every morning, like we didn't have enough to do... while feeling the aches. Still, for now, my only workable setup is that very thick, relatively affordable Air Core. Oh, last thing, I don't find that having the pad blown super tight is good. I like to deflate it until I'm just above the ground while on my side. Fully inflated feels horrible IMO!
    Good luck to you!
    Last edited by Sporky; 11-11-2019 at 02:42.

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