16 votes

Sleeping pad slightly wider than tent?

If you only need the extra width for your elbows, try a sleeping pad with wings. This is a common practice in hammock camping, because the elbows tend to get chilly when pressed up against the hammock ...
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  • 4,364
15 votes
Accepted

Self inflatable mats: the more air, the more comfortable?

It depends on the thickness of the mattress and the ground below it. With a very thick mattress and a level ground, it's the opposite: Less air is softer/more comfortable.** The thinner the mat or the ...
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  • 21.6k
14 votes

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

Air Mattress Pros: Comfortable (Come in many varying thicknesses.) Warm (Some air mattresses are down-filled.) Compact (I have one air mattress that can pack down to fit inside a pop can.) Lighter (...
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  • 53.1k
14 votes

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

Pads have several measurable characteristics that may be important for you when you make a decision: Weight. How much you carry is important if you actually carry it. Weights ranges from ~250g to ...
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  • 2,614
12 votes

Is there a simple at-home test to objectively measure the insulating value of a sleeping pad?

If you want to test a sleeping pad's insulation yourself at home, then the way to do that would be to try sleeping outside your house in and see how they work. That is worth doing because you might ...
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11 votes
Accepted

What are other alternatives to Sleeping pads?

Depends on the situation and therefore the gear you have along and the environment you are in. For example if you are on an alpine tour, you can do similar as we did this year in a bivouac: try to ...
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  • 12.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Are self-inflatable sleeping pads more slippery than other mats?

I think the reason for this difference in slipperiness is purely a factor of surface material. Most foam pads have a tacky surface finish. Inflatable pads, on the other hand, usually have a sturdy ...
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  • 1,325
9 votes
Accepted

Choosing a sleeping pad for camping

For the characteristics of the pads you selected, here is what I can say: Weight Crucial when backpacking. 1lbs 1oz (740g) is on the heavy side, but still doable. 2.5 lbs (1140g) is enormous. If ...
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  • 2,614
9 votes

Is there a simple at-home test to objectively measure the insulating value of a sleeping pad?

It is not clear whether you are motivated mainly by scientific curiosity or mainly by a desire to ensure comfort in the wild. My answer assumes the latter. This answer adds only one point to Charlie'...
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  • 22.5k
8 votes

How to repurpose an old self inflating sleeping pad?

My only thought is to use them as patching material for the other self-inflating pads your kitties will puncture. Cutting them to-size for inside an animal crate or other surface you want to protect.
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  • 365
8 votes

Self inflatable mats: the more air, the more comfortable?

You need the right balance of air pressure. Both too much and too little can reduce comfort. This can be seen by thinking about the limiting cases. With no air, you're directly on the ground. If ...
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  • 21.3k
7 votes
Accepted

What is a good R value for a four-season sleeping pad?

My 2 Cents: Winter camping requires two pads, one inflatable and one foam. The reason for this is that not having any pad at all looses a lot of heat into the ground if you are camping on snow. Even ...
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7 votes

How much of a temperature difference does a reflective sleeping pad make?

This is an unsourced quote, I'm afraid, but perhaps relevant. Reflective foil is very effective, reducing radiated heat loss by 97%. That's almost all of the 5% we lose by radiation. In other ...
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  • 4,357
7 votes

Sleeping pad slightly wider than tent?

The best approach would be to measure it - pitch the tent at home and see how bit it is at ground level, with and without trying to stretch it. A mock sleeping mat made from cardboard packaging would ...
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  • 23.5k
7 votes

Sleeping pad slightly wider than tent?

Yes, there are definite problems when your sleeping gear is slightly too wide for the tent. I speak of personal experience here. I have a single-person throw tent from Decathlone, which is rather ...
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  • 1,522
6 votes
Accepted

What should go in an inflatable sleeping pad repair kit?

Many manufacturers of inflatable sleeping pads sell repair kits. Duct tape could be used in an emergency, but I would only use it as a last resort as it will leave a residue on your sleeping pad ...
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  • 9,554
6 votes
Accepted

Do self-inflating sleeping pads have to be kept dry during trips?

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 ...
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6 votes

Self inflatable mats: the more air, the more comfortable?

Extra air works if the reason it feels too hard is that you're compressing the filling (these mats have an open, springy foam inside). But of course there's a point where adding air makes it firmer ...
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  • 23.5k
5 votes

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

Foam pad(s) for me! Because: inexpensive, different types can be combined, always ready, waterproof, lightweight. After years of trying just gave up on inflatables (or should we call them ...
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  • 61
5 votes

What is a good R value for a four-season sleeping pad?

It looks like there is not a consensus on what the minimum R value should be, but that the higher the R value the better. It will also depend on how you sleep and what your comfort level is. If it ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Down inside of a sleeping pad does it make a difference?

In terms of sleeping, a sleeping pad performs two purposes. The first is to provide warmth and down is a good insulator. The Exped XP 9 LW has an R value of 8.00, a weight of 41.3 oz, a length of 77.6 ...
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  • 10.6k
5 votes

How can I fix an airbed valve that pops open?

Stick a cork in it. Or a rubber stopper. Or a wooden dowel (wet or waxed). See what you can find you might luck out. You got me curious though and I’ve been googling. Sounds like your best bet ...
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  • 3,466
5 votes
Accepted

Are sleeping system R-ratings additive?

Yes, they should be additive in this situation and its pretty commonly done. As long as the materials involved are dense solids in direct mutual contact,[9] R-values are additive; for example, the ...
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4 votes

Down inside of a sleeping pad does it make a difference?

Down reduces the convective heat loss substantially. The movement caused within a fluid by the tendency of hotter and therefore less dense material to rise, and colder, denser material to ...
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  • 7,097
4 votes

How much of a temperature difference does a reflective sleeping pad make?

As you probably know, there is an industry standard for measuring the thermal effectiveness of sleeping pads known as the R-Value. It's not the most realistic of tests, but it's better than nothing. ...
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  • 11.6k
4 votes

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

You might also consider a Z-Rest, which greatly improves on the warmth of a foam mat. It also solves the problem of condensation under your mat, which afflicts both air and foam mats, by the "egg-...
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  • 2,209
4 votes

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

Fully inflatable mattresses don't provide a great deal of insulation from the ground and tend to be fairly heavy plus they take a bit of effort to inflate and deflate which can become a nuisance if ...
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  • 6,192
4 votes

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

I used a three quarter length foam pad -- just the basic $20 (or so) Ensolite pad -- for decades until, growing older and more effete, I thought an inflatable pad, aka air mattress, would be more ...
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  • 22.5k

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