Sleeping Pads What do you use? Looking....

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Jim SoG

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I am looking for thin but super "pad-die" mattress/pads to use under our sleeping bags, What do you use and how long?

Sadly aint getting any younger and my bones scream to remind me all the time....LOL

Jim
 
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tjZ06

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Exped Megamats. I have the Megamat LXW for tent camping, and the Megamat Duo 15 LW+ for my Four Wheel Camper. I love them, super comfortable (and I'm a heavy side-sleeper), do NOT lose air, insulate from cold great, pack up relatively small (not backpacking small... but certainly great for Overlanding), and inflate easily (mostly inflates by itself, then a little addition with one of their manual pumps or a little rechargeable pump gets it done quickly). Biggest downside is they're expensive. Everyone who has ever borrowed mine has ended up buying one.

-TJ
 

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Exped, Synmat. I had a Exped and the cap for the in-tube started leaking and I arranged for it to be repaired under warranty. They sent me the New model vs repairing mine. I sleep great on it and the bag inflation method is a LOT easier than blowing it up. Rolls up small, even good for bikepacking!
 

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Although I haven't used them since going to the roof tent, I have and love my two "Exped Megamat 10's" single and duo. Warm cool and confrotable in the worst of conditions.
 
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For car camping with the big tent we use the same pad that Cypress highlighted above. My husband loves it and he says it is super comfy. Since I am princess I will put one extra blow up pads underneath it to level it out if we are on uneven ground. This pad is not small but if you have a basecamp it makes it worth it to get a good nights sleep. Combine that with the Klymt rechargeable air pump and it sets up pretty quickly.

When I go solo I use a Nemo insulated pad ( it has a built in foot pump ) sadly Nemo does not sell these anymore and if I am feeling really squirrelly I will put the Klymt Insulated Static pad underneath ( which I really like just by itself as well. )

Good Luck!
 

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I just want to add that if you are ground sleeping that it will behoove you to prepare the ground before laying out the tent. I learned from reading Mountain Man biographies as a kid that they would dig out a small depression for their hips. For me I have found a 2" deep 22"or so wide and 10-12" long works a treat. I taper the sides and pile the dirt up next to the tent so I can replace it when I leave. This allows me to both side sleep and back sleep in almost home mattress comfort with just a sleeping pad.
I dig my depression and then position the ground tarp and laydown on it to make sure I have it located right. Then pitch the tent, before staking it down I test fit it again.
 

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For ages I use self-inflating Therm-a-rest mats. Am super satisfied with it. Therefore, I have in the Pop Top Roof also Therm-a-Rest mats. They are even about 10cm/ 4inches thick when inflated. Super comfortable!!! However, you have to be careful that they are not inflated in the (warm) vehicle or in the sun, otherwise they break (well, that's logical, similar to an inflatable kayak or so). So in the morning after getting up I always open the valve.

When it gets very cold, a self-inflating mat can have disadvantages in terms of insulation. Then maybe foam mats are better. or one of these modern combinations of different techniques and materials.
 

tjZ06

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For ages I use self-inflating Therm-a-rest mats. Am super satisfied with it. Therefore, I have in the Pop Top Roof also Therm-a-Rest mats. They are even about 10cm/ 4inches thick when inflated. Super comfortable!!! However, you have to be careful that they are not inflated in the (warm) vehicle or in the sun, otherwise they break (well, that's logical, similar to an inflatable kayak or so). So in the morning after getting up I always open the valve.

When it gets very cold, a self-inflating mat can have disadvantages in terms of insulation. Then maybe foam mats are better. or one of these modern combinations of different techniques and materials.
Interesting you find the self-inflating mats are a disadvantage in the cold. Therm-a-rest's name literally comes from its thermal insulating properties.

-TJ
 

El-Dracho

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Interesting you find the self-inflating mats are a disadvantage in the cold. Therm-a-rest's name literally comes from its thermal insulating properties.

-TJ
Hi,

Not in general. But simple self-inflating sleeping pads often reach their limits in frosty conditions. Why? Let's go into a little more detail.

The sleeping pads are classified into different performance classes. The R-value describes the thermal resistance of the material. The higher the R-value, the higher the insulation performance. And for this, it is important which material the mat is made of, how the filling is made, how the surface structure is built up and how the mat itself is built up and so on. Not necessarily the thickness.

A self-inflating sleeping pad that is not only filled with air, but has a special filling for example and a special surface structre, so usually has a higher R-value and is better suited for cold environments. For real frosty winter conditions I would go with a pad with a R-value 4.5 and above.

By the way, the base is also crucial. So you can easily create a better insulation under the mat with hay or dry leaves for example than if you put it directly on the cold ground.

Bjoern
 
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I would agree with @El-Dracho. The therm-a-rest is good in most conditions. The down side to the self inflating materials is they usually are made of open-cell foam. Using a closed-cell foam mattress under the self inflating mattress will add insulation from the ground and additional padding.
I have used a cheap closed-cell mat and Therm-A-Rest combination in sub-zero (F) temperatures with success.

Now I need to find a better (read larger) sleeping bag…
 
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El-Dracho

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I have used a cheap closed-cell mat and Therm-A-Rest combination in sub-zero (F) temperatures with success.
That's also a good idea to combine it that way. An extra fleece blanket, which you might have with you anyway, can also help improve the insulation if you put it under the self-inflating mat.
 
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The Ex-Ped Mega Mat is amazing—been using it for years now for car camping. At 4” thick, it is not a thin or compact choice if you’re pressed for weight or room. For backpacking, I’ve been extremely impressed with the Sea to Summit Comfort SI (self-inflating open cell foam) 3” pad. It’s heavy for backpacking, but honestly it’s so comfortable I’d rather lug the extra weight and actually get some sleep. There are a few different sizes—if I wasn’t carrying it, I’d go with the largest because the “regular” size is just too narrow to be totally comfortable to me. But it rivals the feel of the Ex-Ped for less space and weight.
 

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The Ex-Ped Mega Mat is amazing—been using it for years now for car camping. At 4” thick, it is not a thin or compact choice if you’re pressed for weight or room. For backpacking, I’ve been extremely impressed with the Sea to Summit Comfort SI (self-inflating open cell foam) 3” pad. It’s heavy for backpacking, but honestly it’s so comfortable I’d rather lug the extra weight and actually get some sleep. There are a few different sizes—if I wasn’t carrying it, I’d go with the largest because the “regular” size is just too narrow to be totally comfortable to me. But it rivals the feel of the Ex-Ped for less space and weight.
Exactly what I got and why. Can’t beat it. I also carry the backpacking version as well in case I venture away from the rig.
 
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Getting older (Who am I kidding?! I was recently carbon dated! Ha!). I went for the ultimate in comfort. When we go out I strap the queen sized mattress to the back of the rig to toss up in the RTT (For those who might think I’m serious , I was taking it to the dump)
 

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REI's version of the Therm-a-Rest. 3" thick. This one is five years old. Regular Therm-a-Rest for many years before that. I'm looking at the Ex Ped's for my next one. I want something wider.
 

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Jim,
We used and loved the exped matts but!
Had them for maybe 4 years then got holes in them, patched the holes then they kept leaking from ? not the patches. WE put them in water then sprayed soapy water and found nothing. We left them in the dumpster at the Mojave.

The biggest problem was they failed during a trip causing a huge hassle. I dont have a recommendation for you sorry.