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Context: I'm planning to take my self-inflating sleeping pad on a bike trip this year. The bike doesn't have any mounting points for a rack, so space is somewhat limited. Currently, my plan is to simply strap the pad to the handlebars in the manufacturer-provided stuff sack.

Question: Do self-inflating pads need to be protected from rain? Will water from the outside do any damage? I'm wondering whether I should get a dry bag or whether the (not fully waterproof) stuff sack is enough.

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Not exactly, if your sleeping pad gets wet and you lay your sleeping bag on top of it then your sleeping bag will get wet and that's not a good thing.

Otherwise, your sleeping pad is preventing air from getting out, and that means its capable of keeping water out.

On the other hand blowing into it will introduce moisture which can be a problem in cold conditions.

Winter use: If freezing conditions will be encountered daily for several weeks, avoid breath inflation. Moisture from breath may accumulate and freeze inside the mattress. Under extremely cold conditions, the mattress may be slow to self-inflate.

Source

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