Sleeping On Air - Request for Experienced Item Recommendations

Discussion in 'Sleep Systems' started by WoodsJack, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    I've been switching it up these most recent coupla' years, between hammocks and/or groundpads. Continually advancing age and sundry injury aftereffects apparently pose priority comfort challenges. And not only "comfort" in the cozy indulgance sense, but also in resultant functionality the next day.

    Seems that gravity pressing me down on relatively hard surfaces (and more so the more thin the pads) results in a distinct "achey" morn. While a hang seems to more "stretch" joints, with a different kind of "creaky" morn. Both are bothering me.

    Some years back, I had/used a military air mattress - rubberized thing that it was, that just may have been one of the most comfortable of all time. If I recall, it was about $50 or so, but heavy and relatively large. Yet the insulation factor was fantastic, too.

    What might you suggest?
     
  2. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom I'm not lost, I've just misplaced myself. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Check out the Neoair line from Thermarest. Mine is 3" thick and wonderful. Klymit has a good, thick insulated pad too but I can't remember the name now.
     
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  3. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Thanks. Just did a brief Google and see that the pricing sure does range a LOT. My challenge is how to reckon the lowest price with minimally effective comfort.
     
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  4. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom I'm not lost, I've just misplaced myself. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Haha, good luck. I watched a ton youtube before I went with the Neoair Xlite. If you have an REI close they will usually have some out that you can try.
     
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  5. bodhran4me

    bodhran4me Supporter Supporter

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    I have Exped Downmat9 DLX, Exped Downmat 7 and Klymit StaticV Insulated.

    They are listed from most comfortable to least. Also, not coincidentally from most expensive to least.

    Have slept in -26*C (-40windchill) on the DM 9 with no issues. It is the largest mat and has a substantially larger pack size. I am not sure how low I have had the others on their own, but the bride used them stacked on the same night and was warm. I do know I have never been cold with the DM 7 but I was in the Klymit (think it was -12* to -20*C) I knew it was beyondthe rating but wanted to see how long I would last in the hammock.

    The Klymit is still comfortable on packed dirt and hardwood , just not as comfortable. I would have to check but I believe the DM7 and Klymit are pretty close in pack size but the Exped is heavier. Having said that the Exped seems more robust.



    Both DM use either an inflation bag/schnozzle or an integrated pump to protect the down from moisture in your breath. The Klymit you simply blow up, which is much quicker and easier.

    I always use something underneath them in the woods such as sheet of plastic, bivy etc.

    Exped does make a less expensive line called Synmat, which uses synthetics rather than down for insulation, but I have no direct experiences with them.
     
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  6. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Unfortunately, a good night sleep generally comes at a cost these days. I use a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core and have been very happy with it. Pricey yes, but for help with a good night sleep, it's worth it to me.
     
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  7. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

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    Another vote for thermarest's neoair line of pads. I have the "xtherm" with the silver material and higher R-value. Quite light and packs pretty small. Works great on the ground, and I also like it for my hammock as the material is actually sort of sticky against the hammock material so it doesn't slip around under me. Great pad, but it was pricey.

    I keep hearing praise for the Exped downmats. If/when my neoair ever dies, I just might have to give one a try.
     
  8. BigDaddyHoss

    BigDaddyHoss Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass II

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    big fan of my nemo cosmo insulated pad. not cheap but worth it.

     
  9. HP500

    HP500 Scout

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    I have a Klymit Static V that I used a couple of weeks ago sleeping on top of the snow (with a tarp and tent) with temps in the 20s. It was comfortable once I had the right layers on in my MSS. The other bonus is that it is pretty small and light. It is about the size of a water bottle when in the stuff sack.
     
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  10. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Right now, I'm in the home of the 2nd REI. Think they'll let me overnight there, until I find the one that gives me the best morning?

    :50:
     
  11. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    The dual duty like that would sure suit me. Prices like these are worth it to me for the value of the results. That is, assuming the gear will last longer than a month.
     
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  12. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

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    With regards to durability, all I can tell you is that I'd guess I've used my neoair pad over two dozen times, mostly in my hammock, and so far it's still in pristine shape. In addition, maybe a half dozen times or more on the ground. I always have something between it and the ground (tent floor or tarp) to help prevent punctures.
     
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  13. Bonekrakker

    Bonekrakker Not a chiropractor Supporter

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    I've got 2 neoair all seasons and 1 neoair camper. Probably had them for 2-3 years. All have been on numerous car camping/boat camping (think lots of abrasive sand) trips and have never had a problem with any of them. Always used them on the ground in a tent, so no direct ground contact, but haven't been easy on them either. Been happy with them. I blow mine up really firm then lay on them and let air out slowly until it's comfortable. A good pillow makes a lot of difference in how you feel the next morning too.
     
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  14. Timex

    Timex Scout

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    Keep an eye out for factory seconds. Understand size limitations for your pack or outfit. My first was a Pacific Outdoor full sized mat for under $40.00. I bit on the large side. What a difference. More comfortable than some beds. A bit large for a lightweight, summer backpacking trip. It was destroyed by none other than Mr. Bear himself in Wyoming. Have fun and I would not be afraid to take the plunge on a value pad.
     

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  15. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    I used a DM7UL by exped for about 6 or 7 years maybe? Still going strong. You have to fluff the down after its inflated and can get cool spots which require more shaking.. id almost rather have the synmat TBH.

    But Ive never been uncomfortable and Ive never been cold on the ground with it.
     
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  16. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    My full length 1lb NeoAirXL has me back on the ground after years as a dedicated hammocker... I still hang here in LA due to the bugs, but I love my Thermarest.
     
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  17. hdlv

    hdlv Treen Machine Supporter

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    Another vote for thermarest. I have the neoair xlite, mine was already a year and a half old when I used it on the AT last summer and plan to use the same one on the PCT this summer. They are very durable if you pay a little mind to where you are putting them. The repair kit that comes with it is solid, too. I use mine on the ground but I've also used it in a hammock with success.

    If that is out of your price range check out big angus. They make great pads, they're not as light but still pack down pretty small and you can usually find them on clearance at the big box online outdoors stores.

    Edit: here's one I just found. I believe it's non insulated, so spring, summer, early fall.

    http://www.ems.com/big-agnes-air-core-rectangular-sleeping-pad-long/1303785.html#q=big+agnes&start=1
     
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  18. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter

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    OP speaks my language, except that my issues are no discriminater of age..
    I second this mat choice, but I went the extra step to a wide, since not only do I have back and thermo regulation issues, I'm also a flip flip side sleeper. This is my fourth mat... Have tested indoors, but will be reality testing it during overnight in March.
     
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  19. RJM52

    RJM52 Scout

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    Have been using just a Wiggy's pad year round since 1999. Never goes flat, reasonably comfortable and warm at the coldest temperatures.

    That said the bones are getting old and two years ago added a Klymit Lux to the bedding. The airmatress goes on top during warm weather and underneath during cold...makes the old bones feel good all night again.

    Also by having both, if the air mattress goes flat I still have the Wiggy's.

    Wiggy's has a new thicker mattress that I'll get one of these days...

    Nothing beats a good night sleep...Bob
     
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  20. Backyard

    Backyard Supporter Supporter

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    I use the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Mattress. Bulkier than other products, but very comfortable. One of the "self-inflating" options. I still add some air, but I'm not starting from empty. The vast majority of the time I'm on the ground under a tarp. At 50+ I'm more interested in next day function than small or lite.
     
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  21. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Yeah, I've had a coupla' few years experience with a variety of lowest end, Then some with a few Thermas and the like, closed cell and self-inflates. But the 'tefhnology' has passed me by and the years mount up some of their own effects, which requires modifying all my own previous test runs znd ratings.

    I figure if folks are actually using things, have been for some time, share similar priorities as mine and are still happy with their whatever... THAT's real advice and a solid recommendation. Which also just might keep me from having to do as many new test runs.

    Also have enjoyed seasons of uncanny luck at flea markets.
     
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  22. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Whoa! That DOES sound cushy.

    Amen, on the night's rest. 'Cuz nothing can beat ya' up like a bad one.
     
  23. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Where are those found, other than the company's liquidation stores?

    Destroyed? Dumb bear - it's got to sleep for, like, months at a time. Shoulda' USED it.
     
  24. Timex

    Timex Scout

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    Sorry...I meant to say would not be afraid to try ....... value brands. I found a blemished model, therma rest, at a local outdoor store.
     
  25. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Someone mentioned being careful where you lay the NeoAir XL... fwiw, I carry a small piece of poly tarp to lay it on as a groundcloth, either 2x5 or 3x7 depending on how dear weight is on that trip, and it weighs either 4 or 8oz. Never had a problem with it getting holes, though I'm pretty careful not to just throw it down anywhere.
     
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  26. RJM52

    RJM52 Scout

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    If you are looking for Klymit factory seconds they are on eBay...

    Bob
     
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  27. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My FIL and I both carry Big Agnes pads. They are nice and also affordable. I won my wife a sea to summit pad a while back. It's really nice, but spendy.

    The Big Agnes pads are generally thicker than others. The more air in between you and the ground, the more comfortable you will be. On the flip side, a thicker pad takes a lot longer to inflate.
     
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  28. SomeCallMeSquatch

    SomeCallMeSquatch Tracker

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    I have had the regular Klymit pad for about 2 months now, and so far so good. No holes or anything yet, and it's quite comfy. I've been using it with a CCF pad since it's been chilly, and it works great. I'd love to have an insulated one myself.
     
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  29. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

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    I'm an older guy and sleeping on the hard ground started to bother me while using my regular pad. I was hoping not to spend a fortune to get something that gave me a good nights sleep in the woods. After much looking around I bought two of these pads
    (REI Camp Bed 3.5 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad) and they were perfect. Anything thinner and I was feeling roots and rocks. The regular price was around 120.00 but I waited until they had a sale and I bought them for around $68.00 each. They might have been last years model. I used them all last year and they were great. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you get one.
    https://www.rei.com/product/870757/rei-co-op-camp-bed-35-self-inflating-sleeping-pad
     
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  30. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter

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    Therma-rest neoair Xtherm. Best I've ever owned. Pricey ($200), but so worth it. I won't ever use another. Good for summer, winter, any time, one of the lightest and packs down the smallest.
     
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  31. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Just want to briefly add that I can vouch for Thermarest's warranty. Extremely responsive and received a replacement in about three days when I told them I needed it for an upcoming trip. They kept me as a customer.
     
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  32. teb_atoz

    teb_atoz Banned Member Banned

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    just go to sierratradingpost.com and buy an airmattress. Also if your not carring it the 3 and 4 inch thick thermarest pads are great. COnsider a cot and a thermarest that is great.

    cheers
     
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  33. xRangerx

    xRangerx Woods wandering bird nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    The klymit luxe is a solid pad at a good price. I've use their insulated static one and the regular luxe. If you can swing it though, the xtherm is fantastic
     
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  34. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Scout

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    Therma rest !!!!
    Forget the rest. You don't need a crystal ball to see the future the best way to see tomorrow is a good nights sleep tonight.
     
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  35. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    It really depends. Are you backpacking? If not, who cares. I use a thermorest Dreamtime. It rolls up to about the size of a fourth grade kid. It's huge. Unrolled, it's as good as sleeping at Home.

    Packing light. I use a BA ulight.
     
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  36. Lazy J

    Lazy J Tracker

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    Yet another vote for Thermarest. I've got the neo-air venture which is good value, packs down well and very comfortable. A word of warning though, it has a R-value of 1.8 which is fine for me as I'm in the sub-tropics but might get a bit cold in temperate climates.
     
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  37. JR Greenhorn

    JR Greenhorn Scout

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    A good night's sleep is quite a thing to achieve. Years ago an accident left me with a broken back (T12/L2) and spinal injury, so for me sleeping accommodations are all about what allows me to wake up with my back feeling better than it did when I went to bed. I'm also 6' 5" and a side sleeper, further complicating things.




    If you're packing in, it's difficult to find something light enough that provides enough comfort to sleep, soft enough to not cause sore hips and numb legs, and allows enough spinal alignment to wake feeling rested. For me, for single-portage Boundary Waters trips, I had some good nights of sleep with just an Empire Canvas Wool Blanket Shirt laid out over a Ridge Rest pad. However, I found that this was entirely campsite dependent, and some campsites weren't flat enough for me to rest my back.




    Next, I tried a Luxury Lite cot (they were purchased by Cascade Designs/Therm-A-Rest at some point). My hope was that the cot would create a flat surface for my back. It almost does, but I could still feel the high spots where the supports were. I even bought an extra set of supports to experiment, and to get a more taught set for my weight. Finally, the answer proved to be a CCF pad on top of the cot, a Alps Mountaineering .625" pad, to be specific.

    The Luxury Lite cot isn't much heavier than a lot of self-inflating pads, but carrying the weight of the cot (with the extra stays I added) and the bulk of the rolled-up CCF foam pad didn't seem like a winner. Also, while the flat surface was much appreciated, it wasn't as comfortable as packing that much weight seemed like it should be.





    Meanwhile, my brother was making the hard sell trying to convince me that the Cabela's XPG Insulated inflatable pad (the black one) he bought was the best thing since sliced bread. In general, I haven't had good experiences with air mattresses, due to pressure loss causing my hips/butt to dip, and my back to go out of alignment. My brother persisted though, and finally lent me his pad to try. It took a couple nights on it get it figured out; too much air is as uncomfortable as too little air. However, once I got that figured out, I have slept well on it. When not packing far, I put a thin wool blanket between my bag and the pad, because why not? Defeating clamminess also goes a long way towards a good night's sleep.



    Finally, I decided to buy my own inflatable pad. I ended up with a Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated inflatable pad, the green one in a large size. It's almost the same weight as my brother's Cabela's XPG, but with more area, and the "double density" pattern in the middle seems to deliver sufficient firmness while being less sensitive to air pressure. I also got the little concertina-like pump for it, which is very light and works surprisingly well. It doesn't work as a stuff sack for a large insulated pad, however. I don't have a full night outdoors on the Sea to Summit yet, but based on some napping on it, I think it will fit the bill.



    As far as costs go, I kind of lucked out with both the cot and the Sea to Summit pad. I found the cot on sale at Aerostich, a great Duluth, MN-based company that has been providing innovative motorcycle gear for decades. They were closing out the cots, and I nabbed one for much cheaper than I'd ever seen one elsewhere. Similarly, last fall I spotted the Sea to Summit pad on one of LL Bean's clearance sales, and took advantage of one of their 10% (or was it 20%?) off your order promos, to get one of those for much cheaper than anywhere else. In both cases, catching a clearance deal from a place who's primary business isn't really camping gear turned out to be lucky deals for me.
     
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  38. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    I owned several of the original Neoairs, they were a great pad- very cushy, very light, but still warm (down to about freezing or so)

    I ended purchasing two XTherms for winter camping, the R value is 5.7 (vs 3.5 for the "regular" neoair)- the weight difference between the pads was pretty negligible, negligible enough I ended selling the "regular" pads. The Xtherm also boasts a slightly sturdier shell vs the regular.

    The XTherm definitely fits the bill for a one and done pad.
     
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  39. Sargent

    Sargent Bushwhacker Vendor

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    I'm using an xtherm now. If you travel far to sleep on the ground at any time of the year it's worth every penny.
     
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  40. Scratchthejeepguy

    Scratchthejeepguy Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I use to use a thermarest but switched to a Klymit Stativ V Luxe. I wanted a wide, long, thick, mattress that packs as small as possible. I didn't need to worry about R value. I like it a lot!
     
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  41. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    I also have back and shoulder aches. I started with Big Agnes pads and bags. I found the combo kept me on the pad all night, and quasi-comfortable. I still tossed and woke stiff. A good trick was to not inflate the pad all the way...leaving it a little soft. My biggest complaint with the Big Agnes was they sprung leaks, often. Not just mine, but my kids too, and that's a big problem in the field.

    Next, I moved to the Therma-Rest pads in the Big-Agnes sleeping bag. My problem with their conventional pads was size and weight. To get one that offered enough loft jumped me into a huge pad.

    Then I got into hammocking. Mt first venture was a Hennesssey Expedition zip. It was a huge jump towards a more comfortable nights rest, but I still experienced shoulder squeeze, ankle twist and that hammock set up wasn't exactly small or light.

    I've finally found the perfect fit for me, the WarBonnet BlackBird XLC. No more shoulder squeeze or ankle twist and it packs about as small and light, if not smaller and lighter than my tent with sleeping pad. Honestly, size and weight were a secondary consideration because I finally sleep well. While the under, top quilt and fly it isn't cheap, but my journey towards a good night sleep in the field has been reached. As I'm an avid outdoorsman, it was well worth the price to me. Good luck brother, I feel your pain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  42. kevinkinney

    kevinkinney Current on Tetanus. Supporter

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    I use the same Luxurylite cot with the monstrous Exped L9 downmat. Aerostich purchase too!
     
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  43. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Scout

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    In reading through these posts, I get the clear sense that I'm a bit of an oddity here. I don't backpack any more, preferring to canoe in. Thus, my sleeping "system" is very, how shall I say it - comprehensive. Comprehensive because it covers any contingency in the ground surface, being about 6" deep. I just buy the cheapo blow-up twin size mattresses that sell for about $25 a pop. I have a Coleman rechargeable pump that inflates it in about 45 seconds, good for 6 refills before needing a charge. I bring a roll of thin white bubble cell packaging to put down on the tent floor to insulate the bed. Any blanket over the top, sometimes my wool one, and a sleeping bag for the fart sack. Or, if it's warm, just the blanket

    Now, this ain't hi-tech, I know, but the bed rolls up and fits neatly in the bottom of my Frost River Timber Cruiser. I don't know what it weighs and I don't care, but I'm telling you that I sleep like a newborn - better than at home on my $2500 mattress. The only thing that wakes me up is the need to take a leak - except for the time a bear was rolling logs right behind my tent. That got my attention.

    I've had the same cheap mattress for four seasons now and it has never leaked after anywhere from 12 to 30 uses a year. I figure I got my money's worth.
    IMG_0120.JPG
     
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  44. JDeanP

    JDeanP Tracker

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    NeoAir XTherm is one of the best night's sleep I've ever had. As previously mentioned, a layer between the pad and any misc pokey bits does a lot it keep it in good order. Keeping an eye on sales and gear forums is how I managed to score one at a more reasonable cost.

    Mine was used in setups ranging from open air to hammock hangs. More than once I've been "snowed in" under a GoLite floorless with no concern for warmth or comfort. If you require, or just indulge in, a bit more for comfort's sake, it happens to be money well spent. Never once did I regret a single penny spent while getting a great rest on that pad.

    Some people have issues with the noise factor of the XTherm, but I was always wore out enough that the sound of my own log sawing was more intrusive.

    Another side note, while also pricey, the little fan they sell to pre-inflate the pad comes in real handy when you're camping at elevation. It weighs almost nothing and the last thing I want to do when over 10k' is pass out from blowing up my air matress before I can even bed down. A buddy was ribbing me about being a nancy, then he went to inflate his pad by lung air only. He owns the fan now himself. This will also keep more of your breath's moisture from entering the pad, which some say will prolong the life of your matress.
     
  45. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    Sure, if ya' ain't gotta' lug it much, the whole POINT of beds is comfortable rest! Go for it.

    "Hi-tech" is only meaninful to the extent that means 'better suited' to one's purposes. Otherwise, now I'm wondering why you don't use this at home too?
     
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  46. CHREBA

    CHREBA Scout

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    I'm going to chime in . I have the Klymit static V as well . It rolls up about the diameter of a large soup can and fits in one of the smaller pockets on my Alice pack with room left over . I also use a One Tigris underquilt . I believe this coupled with a good bag or top quilt will get you through most but the worst conditions in your hammock keeping in consideration proper clothing . I'm a side sleeper so the pad is plenty wide for me . I also would/have a down packable jacket and some rather nice quilted surplus ECW pants that I would/could slip right over my pants if I were to brave extreme cold in my hammock . They can be had online 3 for $20 ish at SG warehouse .
     
  47. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

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    $30 off Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad -- https://www.massdrop.com/buy/klymit-insulated-static-v-lite
    • Fabric: 30d polyester with antimicrobial laminate
    • Insulation: Klymalite synthetic fibers
    • R-value: 4.4
    • Inflation: 10 – 15 breaths
    • Dimensions, inflated: 72 x 23 x 2.5 in (183 x 59 x 7 cm)
    • Dimensions, packed: 5 x 8 in (13 x 20 cm)
    • Weight, pad: 19.6 oz (556 g)
    • Weight, stuff sack: 0.5 oz (13 g)
     
  48. Gramp Camp

    Gramp Camp Supporter Supporter

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    I use the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core and love it. I don't sleep on the ground anymore, I use this in my hammock and it works great. I have winter camped and kept plenty warm and as someone stated above I haven't had any issues with it slipping out from under me in the hammock, but for insurance I had my wife sew a couple of tabs to each side of my sleeping bag in two places, added some shock cord and I slip the air mattress between the bag and the shock cord just in case!! These are pricey as well. Shop the sales at the different online dealers.
     
  49. dirtwheels

    dirtwheels Supporter Supporter

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    The best compromise I've found with weight and comfort is a gathered end hammock and a down under quilt. Duck down ifn you want to save a dollar. It's hard to beat that for comfort.

    If you don't mind a little extra weight its hard to beat the AMOK hammock that requires specific pad types. Its a floating bed and very comfortable, The 1 pound weight penalty just might be worth it, and it's built more bulletproof that any hammock I've seen.

    I still opt for the gathered end personally and have both.

     

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