winter closed cell pad advice
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Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
winter closed cell pad advice on 11/06/2008 17:56:13 MST Print View

I'm putting together a kit for this winter, and I'm trying to decide on a closed cell foam pad for sleeping on snow.

I would be using a thermarest 3/4 length on top of this pad, probably with a piece of old ridgerest that I use a sit pad under my feet. Previously I have used a similar combination with a ridgerest full lenth (now retired and cut up into sit pads, see above)

So, should I just plunk down for a new ridgerest, or buy an ensolite pad, or a thinlite, or is there something I haven't considered?

Any thoughts or experiences you can share would be appreciated.

Edited by joshcgil2 on 11/07/2008 05:54:00 MST.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/06/2008 23:32:29 MST Print View

Joshua, I've been using a setup similar to what you propose in combination with a GG nightlight (below freezing) or thinlight (to freezing), but a ridgerest would probably work just fine as well. I happen to prefer the lighter weight of the GG products; if I recall, costs are similar.

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 05:53:12 MST Print View

Monty,
how bulky is a full length nightlight when it is rolled up? Equivalent to a ridgerest?

I was straying away from it because it seems to make a really fat roll on your pack, from pictures I have seen.

Have you ever used an ensolite pad (the classic blue foam pad, right?) in conjunction with this setup? I remember reading somewhere that they come in varying degrees of quality and insulation value, depending on the manufacturer.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 06:24:26 MST Print View

I used a BPL TorsoLite + 3/8 inch thinlight + pack under my feet on the WT3 trip. We slept on light snow (we cleared most of it) and the temps reached the low teens. I was plenty warm with that setup in those conditions. I know some of the other guys used foam closer to 1/8 inch and I didn't hear any real complaints.

Edited by simplespirit on 11/07/2008 06:26:52 MST.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 14:23:20 MST Print View

Joshua, I guess I was pretty spare in the info I provided, sorry. Here's more specific info:
* Thermarest ProLite 3 short, 13 oz.
* GG Nightlight 3/4, 3.3 0z (about 2" thick when folded. This is the "frame" for my pack).
* GG Thinlight full length, 1.75 oz (rolls up to about 2.5" dia).

Similar to what Chris says, for cold weather (mid twentys) I combine the two GG pads. For really cold weather I include the Prolite. No matter what the weather the pack always goes under my legs.

I haven't heard ensolite mentioned in ages! I don't think it's available anymore as it went by the wayside because it's so heavy, and it's not the same as the blue foam pad, which is lighter. I still have a 3/4 pad and it weighs 18.5 oz! A lot of folks swear by the blue foam as it's inexpensive, but I don't have any direct experience with it.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 14:47:33 MST Print View

Ensolite -- a blast from the past.

Ensolite was quite heavy, and the light colored version would become brittle and crack in temperatures of about 0 degrees F. There was a dark colored version that would remain flexible at lower temperatures, but it was even heavier, and hard to find.

Blue foam doesn't seem as durable or flexible as the GG foam products.

Edited by jdw01776 on 11/07/2008 15:54:53 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
winter closed cell pad on 11/07/2008 15:49:42 MST Print View

EVAZOTE is the best. Those are the YELLOW pads from Canada's Mountain Equiptment Co-Op (MEC)

www.mec.ca

Three thicknesses and sizes and weights:

a) BIVY (thin and shoort, nice for summer)

b) STANDARD (sorta normal sized)

c) WINTER (thicker and a little bigger)

For winter, the standard is appropriate, but the WINTER is a little bit nicer on snow!

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: winter closed cell pad on 11/07/2008 15:59:13 MST Print View

Mike:

The Gossamer Gear pads are also Evazote...

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 17:01:32 MST Print View

Mike,
I got the ensolite pad terminology from your book! (birthday present, score!)

So when you guys say ensolite you mean evazote? And this is not the classic blue foamy? I have been laboring under a misapprehension, it seems.

So how do EVAZOTE pads stack up against a ridge rest?

Edited by joshcgil2 on 11/07/2008 17:02:22 MST.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 17:21:06 MST Print View

Maybe way more information than you want (from the manufacturers websites):

ENSOLITE is a trademark for closed cell foam material made from a blend of Poly Vinyl Chloride and Nitrile Butadiene Rubber

EVAZOTE is a trademark for closed cell cross-linked ethylene copolymer foam

Anyway, I think the Evazote pads, at least as sold by GG, are more flexible than the Ridge Rest, and seem a bit more durable. To me, the blue foam pads (as found at Wal-Mart) are almost disposable in nature, and are a bit stiff.

Edited by jdw01776 on 11/07/2008 17:21:42 MST.

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
Re: winter closed cell pad advice/ evazote on 11/07/2008 17:58:54 MST Print View

Thanks John. this explains why a web search for ensolite only gives you hits on army surplus websites.

My ridgerest was a bulky beast for sure, and I have been pretty sceptical of those blue foamies.

Might have to pick up the MEC model. It's cheaper than a ridgerest, I think (I'm no good at currency conversion.)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
winter closed cell pad on 11/07/2008 18:22:45 MST Print View

ENSO-LITE is sort of a term that ends up like Klee-Nex.

I work at NOLS and we tend to call any ol' foam pad an ENSO-LITE. That's how it ended up in the book. No other reason.

And - Those MEC Yellow pads are awesome!

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
MEC Yellow pad vs Ridgerest on 11/07/2008 19:48:43 MST Print View

Well, I checked out MEC yellow pads.

MEC Zotefoams Evazote Winter Sleeping Pad
50 x 150 x 1.5cm
R-value: 2.06
Weight: 525g

RidgeRest
51 x 183 x 1.5cm
R-Value: 2.6
Weight: 400g

yellow pads seem to be the heavier and less warm then ridgerest.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Re: Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 20:07:34 MST Print View

John Whynot,
>Anyway, I think the Evazote pads, at least as sold by GG, are more flexible than the Ridge Rest, and seem a bit more durable.<

Just your assumption or have u used both GG and ridgerest?

From the reviews, GG nightlight do not seem to be very durable while I have never read a review stating durability problem with ridgerest.

Edited by huzefa on 11/07/2008 20:11:52 MST.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Pads on 11/07/2008 21:55:28 MST Print View

I used the ivory coloured Ensolite pads to well below zero back in the '70s and they were Ok, but, not up to Evazote; they would sometimes crack, but, that was more likely at -20*F and colder and few go out in such cold.

I have Ridgerest, MEC orange Evazote, forerunner of current yellow, Z-rest, GG Torsolite and Canadian Tire Roots Evazote, I much prefer the GGTL and this Can. Tire slightly softer Evazote to any of the others. It IS a heavier pad, but, I am at the age where such is worth packing and it works so well in real cold that I favour it for any cold camping.

My take on it is that the MEC yellow pads FEEL warmer than Ridgerests, which I have four of and do not care for, each to his own.

NOLS, I used my Paul Petzoldt Expedition Bag with an Ensolite pad I made by using pink plastic surgical strapping to fit together three layers of 1/8" Ensolite. I often used this at -20 to -25*F and it actually worked just fine. The bag was warm, but, very bulky and heavy.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: winter closed cell pad advice on 11/07/2008 22:07:29 MST Print View

Hufeza:

Yes, used them both. I see what some of the reviews mean when referring to durability. I was referring more to abrasion resistance - I haven't noticed any loss of thickness yet.

Edited by jdw01776 on 11/07/2008 22:08:13 MST.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: MEC Yellow pad vs Ridgerest on 11/07/2008 23:17:48 MST Print View

I would like more info on where the R values come from.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Re: MEC Yellow pad vs Ridgerest on 11/08/2008 00:03:24 MST Print View

>I would like more info on where the R values come from.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442094579
http://www.thermarest.com/product_detail.aspx?pID=49&cID=2

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: MEC Yellow pad vs Ridgerest R Values on 11/08/2008 08:33:11 MST Print View

>I would like more info on where the R values come from.

Well, yes, vendors will post a number for R value, but is there a standard/organization/process that normalizes the R values for all of these materials?

Consider the situation with down - 800, 850, or 900 fill, depending on who and how it was measured.

Good question David.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: MEC Yellow pad vs Ridgerest R Values on 11/09/2008 10:15:20 MST Print View

Here is r-value from Wiki

"The R value or R-value is a measure of thermal resistance (K·m²/W) [1] used in the building and construction industry. The bigger the number, the better the building insulation's effectiveness[2]. R value is the reciprocal of U-value and one "R" is equal to ten tog.

Doubling the thickness of insulation will not double the R-value. An R-value only covers conducted heat, and is not a measure of the building insulation materials' qualities as a radiant barrier."

It would seem R value is only a partial measurement of
insulative value and only for certain applications.

Doubling the thickness doesn't double the R-value.

The manufacturer of Zote foams doesn't provide an R-value
so those figures must come from somewhere else.