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Thread: Sleeping Pad Recommendation

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Sleeping Pad Recommendation

    I've had a fairly dismal year on the sleeping pad front so I'm looking for recommendation for a pad for a side sleeper. I've had a Big Agnes Quad Core pad for a few years which was fine, not amazing, but good. On my first trip out this Spring I woke up to it deflated so I just slept on ground rest of night. Following trip I inflated in living room, laid on it for about 15 minutes and no leak. Figuring I probably didn't have the valve closed all the way I took on next trip....and of course it deflated again. I reinflated and an hour later it was flat. So next trip out I said to hell with it and I went with my z-fold, which I found is very similar to sleeping on the ground on a deflated pad. I went to a cheap Klymit pad which is fairly light and firm but it kills my back after about 30 minutes so I have to keep rolling over. So after last weekend's trip I made a serious effort to locate the leak. It must be very, very small because I don't hear air leaking anywhere. I tried swabbing some questionable looking areas with soapy water but no luck. Could it be a seam? The valve. I can fully inflate it, lay on it for 15-20 minutes and it doesn't deflate at all and I hear nothing even while kneeling on it with my head close to listen. Other than submerging in a pool (which I don't have) are there any other tricks for locating a pesky leak?

    I think I'm all done with screwing around with it and would like to just get another one. Anyone in love with their sleeping pad, and preferably, a side sleeper? I'm more than happy to trade off some weight for durability. Would also be curious what sorts of things people might be doing to protect pad and ensure it survives the trip, i.e. ground cloths under or in tent, spray coatings, putting some sort of sleeve over it, etc. I really don't want to carry a second foam mat for this due to space/weight/irritation factor. Would really prefer a wide mat as well and I am fairly tall (6'3") if that helps at all.

    My sore back and exhausted brain thank you in advance.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  2. #2
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    I've had the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus for about two years now and can heartily recommend. On super sale at REI now for $140. I got the rectangular shape, which adds a little bit of weight, but it's considerably wider and that seems to help me sleep through the night.

    I've had two different friends tell me their BA pads deflated on them mid-trip. I have other BA products that I love, but it will be a long time before I trust their pads.

    The S2S pad has two air chambers that inflate independently. Super comfortable to sleep on (I sleep on my side and sometimes even my stomach), and a nice insurance policy if one of the chambers ever leaks. I got it specifically for winter as I think that insurance policy is pretty awesome, but it's so comfortable I take it on my summer trips too. My kids fight me for it. Since hitting my 40s, I've come to greatly value a comfortable sleeping kit. It's on the heavy side, but my tent and sleeping bag are light, so it's a trade off I'm willing to make.
    Last edited by hikerbrian; 08-15-2019 at 11:17 AM.
    Sure. Why not.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I know you say you don't want a 2nd closed-cell foam pad, but I love having one. I doubles as a seat no matter where you are, rests under your pad to protect it, adds additional warmth, can stand on it in the winter to keep the cold out, and also works as a seat cover on a snow-bench.

    I cut mine into a 1/3 and a 2/3 piece. The 1/3 fits in my pack to protect my back in case somethings sticking into me, and the 2/3 goes on the outside (either vertical or horizontal depending on which pack I have)

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    I use a NeoAir XTherm but I think you're probably looking for something plushier. It comes in wide/long sizes, though. It does its job well but is no Tempur-Pedic. As far as protecting it, I use a Borah Gear UL bivy and sometimes some Tyvek or mylar under that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    As far as protecting it, I use a Borah Gear UL bivy and sometimes some Tyvek or mylar under that.
    I saw you mention that product in another post and made note of it. Would you recommend a bivy in a tent though? Overkill that could lead to condensation inside bag? If I recall I thought you mostly hammock camped.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Since hitting my 40s, I've come to greatly value a comfortable sleeping kit. It's on the heavy side, but my tent and sleeping bag are light, so it's a trade off I'm willing to make.
    Agreed. I turned 49 in July and the body definitely doesn't respond like it used to. I've had some horrible sleep nights out there in the woods this year. The Sea To Summit you reference is actually slightly lighter than my BA, although it is about 3" narrower so it won't really be a weight penalty for me. I'll research some of the other models. I like the 2 chamber idea as insurance too. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I saw you mention that product in another post and made note of it. Would you recommend a bivy in a tent though? Overkill that could lead to condensation inside bag? If I recall I thought you mostly hammock camped.
    I do mostly hammock camp but have been going to ground (tarp, cowboy) more frequently lately to expand my site selection. It might be overkill in a tent in summer. I use my CS APEX quilt when using the bivy in warm weather so the inevitable condensation isn't as much of an issue. They make a bug bivy that is the same thing with just netting on top.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    I've had the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus for about two years now and can heartily recommend. On super sale at REI now for $140. I got the rectangular shape, which adds a little bit of weight, but it's considerably wider and that seems to help me sleep through the night.

    I've had two different friends tell me their BA pads deflated on them mid-trip. I have other BA products that I love, but it will be a long time before I trust their pads.

    The S2S pad has two air chambers that inflate independently. Super comfortable to sleep on (I sleep on my side and sometimes even my stomach), and a nice insurance policy if one of the chambers ever leaks. I got it specifically for winter as I think that insurance policy is pretty awesome, but it's so comfortable I take it on my summer trips too. My kids fight me for it. Since hitting my 40s, I've come to greatly value a comfortable sleeping kit. It's on the heavy side, but my tent and sleeping bag are light, so it's a trade off I'm willing to make.
    Thanks for this recommendation on this. I wound up getting the long version of the mummy style comfort plus (78" long by 25" wide at shoulders) on sale. It is very comfortable and I like the redundant chambers as a back up. I slept on ledge with it over the weekend and it didn't feel any different than normal ground. Hopefully I finally have found the right pad for the job.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  9. #9
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Cool, give us an update when you've got a few more nights on it. Mine has behaved very well over the two years I've had it. Actually I've been impressed with S2S gear in general.
    Sure. Why not.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Since I went to hammock camping a dozen or more years ago I haven't had to worry much about a pad for comfort (only needed for insulation under my sleeping bag in the hammock), and I am a side sleeper. I use an old style reliable lightweight thermarest that I have had for years It works great in a hammock and my body is comfortably supported. The few rare times in recent years that I have actually slept on the ground in a tent, the thermarest was disappointing and unsupportive to my hip on the hard ground, even with the addition of a z-rest foam pad.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  11. #11
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    I have a S2S comfort light. As long as I don't overinflate it, its very comfy. The GF and I used to use to separate sleeping pads, but now we use an Exped Hyperlite Synmat Duo. Her side had a couple small leaks I couldn't locate. I e-mailed Exped and got an RMA and sent it back to be repaired with a couple local craft beers. They sent me back the repaired mat with a free Exped air pillow, to boot. For Winter, we slip a couple z-lites underneath and have slept comfy down to -10.

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