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This is a follow up on question that my friend asked earlier, but I can't comment on. My friend and I have an ongoing argument about a question :

During cold winter camping (-20C air temperature, ground has more than 20cm of snow thickness, in a regular summer tent that has a thin soft floor) my friend slept on a regular uninsulated airbed and I slept on a yoga mat. We both had similar sleeping bags.

I had a relatively comfortable night of sleep, my friend got very cold.

I believe that his choice of sleeping on a thick airbed filled with cold air was the main reason why he felt more cold than I did, since his mattress is so big that his body could never heat up the air inside. He disagrees and believes the air in the mattress acted as insulator that protected him from the ground cold.

Who is right, and why?

  • Adding a second question for what is essentially the same question isn't productive as I'd point you to my answer in the other question anyway. – Gabriel C. Sep 30 at 21:03
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    @GabrielC. Yes it is a follow up to that question, because I wanted to add more information but Stack Exchange requires 50 points to add a comment. I saw you modified your answer based on the info, thanks. – b0nd Sep 30 at 21:25
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    This is not the complement of what the previous question asked. The comparison was between using a sleeping bag on an air mattress, or directly on the ground. It didn't mention any alternative method of insulation. – Weather Vane Sep 30 at 21:32
  • @WeatherVane The previous question was missing the mention of the yoga mat / sleeping pad that is why I posted this one. – b0nd Sep 30 at 21:38
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200 liters of air weighs about 240 grams and heats up about as fast as 240 grams of sleeping bag, or 240 grams of yoga mat, I mean in a short time.

It was reported that the air never heated up much though. Well that was because the air was moving around and dumping heat into the ground, as still air is one of the best insulators.

If a bony person lays on a hard mat, the thermal contact to the mat may be poor, which would be a good thing. Like when a processor cooler is installed incorrectly.

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