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  1. #1
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    Default sleeping pad suggestions?

    I'm looking to buy my first sleeping pad for an upcoming multi-day hike. I have camped many times over the years, but never while hiking so I always slept on an air mattress.

    I see as part of my difficulty in choosing a sleeping pad that I am a side sleeper not a back sleeper; it is almost impossible for me to sleep on my back and always has been. I need something thick enough that whether sleeping in a tent or in a shelter I wont have my greater trochauter pressing against the ground thus causing me pain and discomfort (and not being able to sleep).

    I should also note I am 6'3" and 215 lbs, which probably factors in there too.

    How thick of sleeping pad should I be looking?

  2. #2

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    If you have always slept on air why not stick with air. Some very nice lightweight options out there including insulated. I myself use a thermarest neoair but there's a bunch of others.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  3. #3

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    I have a Big Agnes non-insulted air core 2 1/2"thickness,works for me!

  4. #4
    T-Rx T-Rx's Avatar
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    Try the Neoair X Lite. It works for me and I am 6'4" and 215. It also weighs in at only 14 oz.

  5. #5
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshism View Post
    I'm looking to buy my first sleeping pad for an upcoming multi-day hike. I have camped many times over the years, but never while hiking so I always slept on an air mattress.
    I'm learning things from your post. For instance, the REI web site does not give you sleeping pads if you search for "air mattresses."

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshism View Post
    I need something thick enough that whether sleeping in a tent or in a shelter I wont have my greater trochauter pressing against the ground ...).
    Show off!!! LOL Learned my "hip bone" is my "greater trochauter." Can't wait till I'm on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," in case that comes up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshism View Post
    How thick of sleeping pad should I be looking?
    I have the same problem you do and would say you need at least 2.5", more if you can get it. Just yesterday I purchased this pad at REI (only because I had a 20% off coupon, my dividend, and a store credit)--

    Exped SynMat UL 7 Air Pad

    It felt good in the store. I'll use it this weekend and see how it is on a mountain.

    RainMan

    .
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

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  6. #6
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    Rain Man,

    $155 for a sleeping pad, really?
    Maybe do the right thing here then and get me one too.
    And why corn yellow? Is this so it's not easily lost in a severe dust storm?

    C'mon folks, where are all the gear heads here?
    Post some great options somewhere UNDER a new Cadillac payment that work please.
    (I haven't done enough pad research yet, so I too need the advice, thanks!)

    Last edited by Winds; 03-22-2012 at 10:50.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Well, as with any other sport or hobby, to each his own. If you want light, and proven then its gonna cost you some dough. I'm using the old neo air from Thermarest quite happily. Side sleeper, 5-9, 180. If you can make it to an REI or gear store, try them all out....thats the best advice I can give.

    BTW, we camped with two people on our section last year that had the Big Agnes pads. JEEEEESH those things are LOUD. They kept us up all night.

  8. #8
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    The UL7 is well worth the money.

    There are 2 things that make or break a hike for me:

    1. Not sleeping well. The UL7 is very comfortable, warm when used in its designed temp range and quiet (unlike other ul pads)

    2. Carrying a heavy pack.

    Like most quality UL gear the UL7 is not inexpensive, but it does accomplish what it is designed to do, provide light weight comfort.

    If you are willing to give up comfort or carry extra weight there are cheaper options.

    I would look at the BA IAC or POE as a lower cost alternative if money were a prime concern.

    Sent using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Default

    I thru-hiked with a ThermaRest Pro Lite Plus and never had any problems with it. In 2009, I saw a bunch of the Big Agnes air pads popping like crazy. Must have been a bad production run of bad seam seals or something. The thru's I spoke with directly complained about Big Agnes customer service too. It may have improved.

    Realize there seems to be a life cycle for quality in most every "hiking" product you buy so you can end up with a lemon or a peach. Depends.

    Lately I'm using my old RidgeRest and loving it. Bombproof!
    Last edited by Spokes; 03-22-2012 at 13:34.

  10. #10
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I'm an inveterate side-sleeper also. I used the original and ProLite versions of ThermaRest mattresses for years, but I absolutely love the comfort of my NeoAir (5'9", 175 lbs). I've always used the shortie models, putting my padded framesheet under my legs to save weight.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  11. #11
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    My .02 worth:
    http://www.pmags.com/sleepings-pads-a-grounded-view

    It all depends on your hiking style, budget, comfort level and so on. Like all gear!
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    My .02 worth:
    http://www.pmags.com/sleepings-pads-a-grounded-view

    It all depends on your hiking style, budget, comfort level and so on. Like all gear!
    Thanks for the great link. I currently use Prolite 4 (same as Prolite Plus, I have been told), 1.5' thick, 1.5 lbs (regular). It does not come with a repair kit (though one is sold separately), and I have never been too concerned about it getting punctured, but maybe I should be (it does come with a lifetime warranty though). Apparently this is more of a concern with the inflatable pads (NeoAir and UL), which do come with repair kits.

    I am thinking I could get by with Prolite 3, 1' thick, 1 lb (regular). This is about the same weight as NeoAir XLITE and UL (the former is 12oz), but perhaps a lot more tear-resistant. Is the outer shell on Prolite 3 and 4 the same?

    Are the 2.5'' thick NeoAir XLITE and UL a lot more comfortable than Prolite 3? I am a side sleeper, 6'3'', 180lbs. What I find the most uncomfortable about sleeping on Prolite 4 is making a high enough pillow on colder nights (because more clothes go on me, instead of under my head). It seems this problem would get worse with thicker pads. I know there are inflatable pillows, but that is another 4-6 oz.

    How long do these infltables (e.g. NeoAir and UL) take to inflate? (without a pump)

  13. #13
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    I've been using a Prolite 3 short since spring of 2004. One hole patched (self-inflicted...my fault). I've changed a ton of equipment over the years, but still love my trust Prolite. Tough, light, and comfortable for me. Also, it took YEARS for me to finally love the orangy-rust color.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by nehiker View Post
    Thanks for the great link. I currently use Prolite 4 (same as Prolite Plus, I have been told), 1.5' thick, 1.5 lbs (regular). It does not come with a repair kit (though one is sold separately), and I have never been too concerned about it getting punctured, but maybe I should be (it does come with a lifetime warranty though). Apparently this is more of a concern with the inflatable pads (NeoAir and UL), which do come with repair kits.

    I am thinking I could get by with Prolite 3, 1' thick, 1 lb (regular). This is about the same weight as NeoAir XLITE and UL (the former is 12oz), but perhaps a lot more tear-resistant. Is the outer shell on Prolite 3 and 4 the same?



    How long do these infltables (e.g. NeoAir and UL) take to inflate? (without a pump)
    My neoair which is a large 25x77 takes 22 breaths less than 2 min. and this is completely full, very firm. then I let a bunch out when I go to bed. Thats if it's hot out. If it's fairly cold, I only put in about 15 breaths to start out, even then I let air out later.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    Rain Man,

    $155 for a sleeping pad, really?
    Maybe do the right thing here then and get me one too.
    And why corn yellow? Is this so it's not easily lost in a severe dust storm?

    C'mon folks, where are all the gear heads here?
    Post some great options somewhere UNDER a new Cadillac payment that work please.
    (I haven't done enough pad research yet, so I too need the advice, thanks!)

    Oh ,you want cheap and heavy,ok go to your local thread shop (JO-anns fabric)and buy a piece of urathane foam 30 bucks 5" 12 lbs. hope this helps.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Oh ,you want cheap and heavy,ok go to your local thread shop (JO-anns fabric)and buy a piece of urathane foam 30 bucks 5" 12 lbs. hope this helps.
    Cool! If it's thick enough for me to sleep on my side with my girlfriend, dog, and her mother without falling off?
    I have a couple of Therm-a-rests from '98 in storage, but don't know their weight...
    On the other hand, I do have some nice cots, they only weigh around 20 lbs.
    I have time, I will keep reading and looking.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    Cool! If it's thick enough for me to sleep on my side with my girlfriend, dog, and her mother without falling off?
    I have a couple of Therm-a-rests from '98 in storage, but don't know their weight...
    On the other hand, I do have some nice cots, they only weigh around 20 lbs.
    I have time, I will keep reading and looking.
    When I'm camping I love my cot .Got it out of someones garbage long ago(I love garbage night).One of these day's I'll probably have to get a (dare I say)Hammock....for these old bones.Sleep well hike on and tell them bed mates ta,"Scooch"

  18. #18
    Registered User Big Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post

    I have the same problem you do and would say you need at least 2.5", more if you can get it. Just yesterday I purchased this pad at REI (only because I had a 20% off coupon, my dividend, and a store credit)--

    Exped SynMat UL 7 Air Pad

    It felt good in the store. I'll use it this weekend and see how it is on a mountain.

    RainMan

    .
    Let us know "how it is on the mountain". I thought I had decided on the TR Xlite, but this mat looks interesting.
    aka Papa Bear! NOBO section hiker, 1023.7 miles... & counting!!

  19. #19
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    As a side sleeper I can't say I've found any mat to be "comfortable". But I've found the Exped UL 7 to be nearly as tolerable as my REI 3.5" XL Camp Bed. I also use the Exped
    Pillow pump. Worth the 5 oz to me.

    The harder I hike the deeper I sleep. So the trick for me is to go to sleep dead tired.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    I'm an inveterate side-sleeper also. I used the original and ProLite versions of ThermaRest mattresses for years, but I absolutely love the comfort of my NeoAir (5'9", 175 lbs). I've always used the shortie models, putting my padded framesheet under my legs to save weight.
    I would think that inveterates don't need sleeping pads, though I can't see how you could stand up, never mind hiking.

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