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Increased Strength Bubble Wrap for a Pad
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Bob Ellenberg
(BobTheBuilder) - F
Increased Strength Bubble Wrap for a Pad on 07/01/2008 12:58:08 MDT Print View

In the past I have used Bubble Wrap in conjunction with a light weight pad. It works fair to begin with but after a few nights so many of the bubbles have popped that by the 3rd or 4th night it is a worthless supplement to the pad. Lately I have been using a Thermarest but these days my bones want more cushion and I want less weight so I have been exploring alternatives and again looked to Bubble Wrap. My set up won’t be ultra light but I thought others may be interested in my ideas—particularly in the type of Bubble Wrap I have located.

Real Bubble Wrap (trade marked) is made by the Sealed Air Corp. and comes in a huge variety of sizes and strengths. With some effort you can locate what they call UPSable wrap which has a nylon coating and I have found that none of them pop from lying on it. If I kneel it makes enough of a concentrated load to pop some but it will be adequate for quite a few trips. I am taking a 48” long insulated air mattress and a 48” long section of ½” bubble wrap. I will double the bubble wrap so that it is 1” thick and use it as an extension of the air mattress for a total length of 6’. I am using small stick-on pieces of hook and loop to keep the doubled Bubble Wrap attached just below the air mattress. In the event my air mattress fails during a trip (not an uncommon occurrence) I would have a 48” long ½” bubble pad to finish the trip.

Bubble Wrap has the disadvantage of being bulky (air already in it) but I roll my bubble wrap in a piece of Tyvek and strap it to the outside of my pack. The weight is inconsequential and the Tyvek protects it from snags and scrapes and I use the Tyvek to protect my mattress if sitting on the ground or at the vestibule to help keep out some dirt.

Sealed Air also makes a stronger one that is 3 times the strength of the nylon coated USPable wrap! This stuff is sold to manufactures for packing motors and other heavy duty equipment and is nearly indestructible for our potential uses but it of course weighs more, though strong bubble wrap is still much less in weight than most alternatives.

victoria maki
(clt1953) - F

Locale: northern minnesota
re; bubble wrap on 07/01/2008 13:45:35 MDT Print View

bob, are you sure you want the hassle of the bubble wrap? a big agnes insulated air core mattress isn't that heavy to begin with. i have the same trouble with not enough cushion with my thermarest, so purchased the air core. i can't be happier. my hips don't hurt in the night anymore....just a suggestion...vic p.s. you do have to blow them up. it takes about 20 good size puffs

Edited by clt1953 on 07/01/2008 13:47:11 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Increased Strength Bubble Wrap for a Pad on 07/01/2008 13:59:48 MDT Print View

Interesting idea. How wide is the bubble wrap and how much does it weigh?

Bob Ellenberg
(BobTheBuilder) - F
Weight of bubble wrap on 07/01/2008 19:59:45 MDT Print View

Victoria--a 60" long insulated Big Agnes ladies mummy is 18 oz.and that is what my wife intends to go to. I am looking at using a Pacific Outdoor Equipment Ether Thermo 6 Sleeping Pad - 2/3 Length, which is 16 oz. I get a slight weight advantage with the double layer of bubble wrap on the lower portion but it also gives me a back up if the air mattress fails.

Eric--I haven't been able to weigh my small pieces on my small scale yet. The listed weight for the UPSable is about 3.5# for 125 SF or .45 oz/SF. The very strong industrial stuff is listed at .75 oz/sf.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
bubble wrap? on 07/01/2008 21:06:26 MDT Print View

have you ruled out reflectix?
it seems to be pretty tough

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 07/01/2008 21:18:06 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Weight of bubble wrap on 07/02/2008 01:20:50 MDT Print View

this is great info! thanks for sharing.

Mireille Halley
(tinyscrafts) - F - MLife

Locale: So Cal
reflectix pad on 07/05/2008 22:14:31 MDT Print View

I had my daughter try reflectix. She had a big problem with sweating on it. gross.