BA Insulated Air Core as Virtual Frame?
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Timothy Chauran
(TimChauran) - F
BA Insulated Air Core as Virtual Frame? on 10/02/2005 14:47:03 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried using the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core mattress rolled up into a tube to create a virtual frame, i.e. by rolling it up, putting it in the pack, letting it unfurl, placing other gear inside it, then adding some inflation? I'm contemplating using it in a Granite Gear Virga pack...I've got back issues that no longer allow me to sleep on a closed-cell pad (or thinner inflatable), and I am intrigued by the comfort claims of this mattress (but not so crazy about the weight)....let me know, and thanks!

Edited by TimChauran on 10/02/2005 14:56:23 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Virtual Frame for pack on 10/02/2005 16:16:18 MDT Print View

Timothy, I use mine folded against my back for my ULA P1 and Mariposa. Works great. I too suffer from back pain and ever since I switched to an air pad I have slept much more comfortably in the backcountry. As for the Granite Gear, I know there are no stay like you would have with The Mariposa or the ULA, but if you pack your Virga properly and fold the mattress with a little air, then rest it against your back, it should be able to work for you. Just my two cents. Good luck.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Virtual frame for Virga on 10/02/2005 20:23:22 MDT Print View

Sorry, I don't have any experience with the Big Agnes pads. However, I have successfully used both a Thermarest Prolite 3 and Prolite 4, folded to the width of the back panel, and very lightly inflated as a frame in my Virga. With back problems, you might also appreciate another thing I've tried. I leave the uninflated (or lightly inflated)pad in the Thermarest Lite Chair kit to create a virtual frame with stays. To do this, I fold the chair in half, where the chair back and seat meet. Then I roll the edges of the pad in to get the desired width, slip it inside the back panel of the pack (stays facing the inside of the pack), and put in the rest of my gear. The chair stays do a decent job of mimicking pack stays and transferring weight, but your back is cushioned by the rest of the pad. The Prolite 3 seems to work best, but the Prolite 4 is passable if you want the extra thickness at night. You can inflate the pad to get the desired frame stiffness - though I found I preferred little or no inflation. The bonus - which might be of interest for your back problems - is that you can justify having a comfortable chair to rest your back in camp. As far as weight difference, the Prolite 3 with chair weighs about 12 ounces more than the Z-rest I'm trying to get used to - which is a little less than the difference between the no-frame Virga and the framed Vapor Trail.

Edited by garkjr on 10/02/2005 20:24:09 MDT.

Marion Watts Jr
(mdwattsjr) - F

Locale: Midwest
Air Core As Frame on 10/03/2005 07:20:00 MDT Print View

I have the BA Mummy Style Max Compact Air Core, and use it with a Golite Jam. It is a bit tougher blow up after everything is packed because of the mummy shape, but it does work and feels fine.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Air Core As Frame on 10/03/2005 09:04:58 MDT Print View

I put 3 small puffs of air in mine..then I fold it four times and use it for the frame sheet in my Golite Breeze. Works great.