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Torsolite and Staying Warm
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Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/04/2009 09:27:57 MST Print View

When using a short inflatable pad, and a 1/8in thick foam pad under it, I find my legs and feet still get cold.

I've got my pack (a Golite Jam with the backpad removed) under my legs also, but it's only two thin layers of Dyneema, so doesn't offer much insulation. Since I'm wearing most of my clothing insulation, there is very little extra to go under my head or legs.

How do other folks stay warm with a torso length pad?

(strong806) - F
Re: Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/04/2009 10:46:59 MST Print View

I've used the same setup you describe, different pack, but with a 3/8" full length pad and was warm when it dipped below 20 degrees.

Going to a 3/8" pad only costs you 3 ounces if you're using Gossamer Gear thin lights. This is just my experience but it may help.

Somewhere there is a thread about various R values of pads, way over my head, but that might help explain things.

Edited by strong806 on 03/04/2009 10:50:38 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/04/2009 11:41:34 MST Print View

I bring a Gossamer Gear sit pad (1.3 oz) and put that under my legs. If I suspect lower temps than normal I also bring Integral Designs hot socks - insulated with Primaloft (4 oz). Kind of a luxury but they keep the feet warm.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/04/2009 12:53:47 MST Print View

Go to a full length inflatable. By the time you add all the extra things you have to carry to make a shorty work, you're close to the same weight, with a lot more hassle.

Edited by skinewmexico on 03/04/2009 14:03:51 MST.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Torso vs Full Length on 03/04/2009 13:21:08 MST Print View

I hiked all last summer with a Torso Lite pad. I also found that I had to supplement with a 1/8" Gossamer Gear Thin Light. If it the ground was cold enough I would also use my pack (Mariposa Plus) under my legs. I especially had a hard time keeping warm with a quilt in that set up.

I am rethinking my sleep set up. I used to use a Pro Lite 3 Regular length and had no problems with insulation. It adds 6 oz. to the set up but I would not take a Thin Light at that point. That is the way I may go this summer. It may add an ounce or two but I think for me I may sleep better that way.

Did I say I was actually going to ADD weight? Please ban me right now!

Edited by scottbentz on 03/04/2009 13:21:41 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/04/2009 14:38:44 MST Print View

"Go to a full length inflatable. By the time you add all the extra things you have to carry to make a shorty work, you're close to the same weight, with a lot more hassle."

I don't agree with this as having a variable set-up means that I pack what I think I need not the whole she-bang all the time. It also means potentially using gear that has more than one purpose. Adding the sitlight pad provides me with an additional pad to sit on and the frame in my frameless pack...all for about an ounce.

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Torsolite vs Thermarest vs? on 03/05/2009 23:55:47 MST Print View

A part of my desire to avoid a full length pad is the fact that my heels/knees hit the ground anyway, because the pad compresses.

I'm also intrigued by the description of the Torsolite that tells of it's incredible durability. By using a Torsolite I can drop my baseweight by 6oz (the Torsolite is 10oz) under the much more fragile Thermarest Pro (16oz in reg).

Still needing something under my legs (and wanting to limit pack volume), my thought now is to go with a half length Ridgerest for my legs, and a Torsolite for my torso, saving what little extra insulation I have for under my head (a good pillow is almost worth it's weight).

In case anyone is wondering, here is the R-Value Thread. Sure can't beat 3.5 R-value for a 1 inch thick pad! (Thermarest Pro is 2.2)

Edited by benklocek on 03/06/2009 00:10:30 MST.

Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
re: pad on 03/06/2009 00:50:07 MST Print View


Have you considered trying a 1/4" Thinlight? They come 41"x61". Cut a pad to go under your torso pad to a full 61"x20". then use some of the remaining to double up under your feet, maybe a 24"x20". You could also use this extra piece folded in half as a sit pad.


Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Torso length pad... on 03/06/2009 00:53:40 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/27/2015 15:13:19 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Torsolite vs Thermarest vs? on 03/06/2009 12:28:19 MST Print View

MontBell UL Comfort System Sleeping Pad, in sizes 90, 120, 150, 180, and 30 (which uses closed cell foam inside for a lighter and more robust sitting surface), plus the UL Comfort System pillow. All of these items are modular and can attached by a system of included toggles. I use the size 90 or 120 with a 30 sit pad and the pillow. I sit on the sit pad while cooking or outside the shelter then attach it to the bottom of the 90 pad. I find that using a pack as part of the ground insulation just ends up kicked, while I sleep, to the further end or side of the shelter and there rarely does very well as insulation. I find that being able to secure the sit pad and pillow to the 90 pad makes for a much better sleep. And the MB padding is uniform (unlike the Prolite, therefore warmer) and wide enough (unlike the Torsolite, therefore I don't fall off the edges during my tossing and turning and side sleeping) and as light as the Torsolight. I would say the MB pads are the best of the lot. For taller folks this modular system works great. Attach a 180 and a 30 pad and you have 210 centimeters of pad.

I had problems with tiny punctures and delaminating with my first 90 pad when MB first came out with the series, but after having MB replace it I never had a problem since.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/06/2009 13:11:19 MST Print View

>I don't agree with this as having a variable set-up means that I pack what I think I need not the whole she-bang all the time.

I pack what I think I need all the time. Which is a full length POE Max Thermo. Year round. Some day, I may get an uninsulated version. I need my sleep.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/06/2009 14:59:32 MST Print View

I'm not sure how the thermarest is considered fragile... i have had mine for years and had not any problems with durability until a hole got burned in it by someone borrowing it. I have never once even considered being gentle with it and just throw it on anything without any sort of consideration. Thermarest are quite durable in my experience.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/07/2009 16:19:37 MST Print View

I would not call the torsolite super durable. I slept outside with it and a few nights of sleeping on sandstone did it in. Granted that is high wear, but it was disappointing. It created about 10 pinpricks that deflated it slowly. My definition of super durable would be those thermarests with foam protecting the pad, but that gets heavier. I wouldn't say the fabric makeup of torsolite is exceptionally strong compared to other pads.

Paul Davis
(pdavis) - M

Locale: Yukon, 60N 135W
a vote from the North for a Women's Prolite 4 Full Length... on 03/08/2009 22:40:18 MDT Print View

Having just loaned out a R-5 Thermarest 60cm x190cm full winter ('Orbit' for MEC) pad plus an 18mm foam pad, a wearable Wallcreeper primaloft overbag and a Kluane -30C bag, to be combined with my buddy's -5C inner summer bag, for lows in the -40C range, I still wonder if it was enough...I hope Luc eats lots of chocolate cookies before bed time!

North of 60 where the 'summer' can be as cool as -12C if it is a clear night in August, I pull for the full-length Women's T-rest Prolite 4, I bought one after years of looking for something as warm as a T-rest LE. As long as they are used inside a tent or on a ground cloth, T-rests wear like iron. Pack a foam 'sitz' fanny pad for sitting on rocks with. I am amazed how T-rests have cored-out foam, mummy shape, etc as the Women's Prolite 4 is 750grammes for an R-4 pad, whereas a 2003 LE is 1200 grammes for the same insulation...

I looked at velcro-ing 2 Torsolites together with an existing T-rest kayak seat pad to make a 3 piece modular sleep pad, but it had 3 cold spots in it where the pads came I went for the pink Prolite 4!

So, seen from the North, pack a full-length pad!

60N 135W

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/08/2009 23:13:34 MDT Print View


What kind of conditions are you experiencing this cold? I am a vey cold sleeper, but find I stay warm enough with a torso and my pack under the legs with no other pad. Even a quilt has some insulation under your legs. In snow I have to use a full length pad.

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re:Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/09/2009 14:15:00 MDT Print View


I find I'm cold most 3-season conditions, 40 down to 30F, after which I go to a full length if I'm expecting it.

When my wife and I go, she likes a full length pad, and I find my feet migrating onto her pad by morning (snuggling is the best UL insulation :D).

I haven't been in snow recently, so I would definitely bring a full length + Thinlite when I do.

I'm planning a quick overnight to Point Reyes (temps have been in the mid 30's) during which I'm going to try a few new things. I want to try a half length 1/4in foam pad for my legs + the Prolite 3/4 length. If that works, I'll get the Torsolite and use it with the 1/4in foam under my legs and leave the pack for my pillow.

In terms of durability, I've had many holes in my Thermarests over the years, and I'm only going off the description on the Torosolite page in terms of it's durability. (Thanks for the firsthand, Jon.)

The one thing that does make a big difference is if I rub my feet completely dry (just using my hands is fine) and put on warm, dry socks just before getting in my sleeping bag, my feet and legs stay much warmer during the night.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Full length on 03/09/2009 15:43:48 MDT Print View

I need a full length pad, too. I get too cold without it, I need the cushioning under my feet and anything torso length simply does not work with my quilt. One could taper the shape of a full length pad to a mummy shape and save a little weight that way.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re:Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/09/2009 17:55:21 MDT Print View


In cold weather (snow), I find that keeping my feet warm keeps the legs warm. I usually use a vapor liner in my bag. But if things are on the edge, I wear a pair of neoprene booties. Only weigh 3.2 oz for the pair. There are probably lighter ones available. And what is great about these, is they are waterproof, so if I have to make a bathroom trip, I don't have to worry about putting on shoes. Bottom line is that warm feet mean warm legs.

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/09/2009 18:51:17 MDT Print View

Very interesting point Nick. That would support my finding of warming my feet up before bed.

Unfortunately neoprene does funny things to my body (found out the hard way, when I got migraines every time I would go surfing). However, that doesn't mean that a pair of down booties, or some such foot insulation wouldn't do the trick. I normally wear two pairs of socks to bed (one med, one large on each foot) and that helps, but taking it up a notch would probably allow me to get away with the 1/8in pad under a Torsolite, with only a little knock in base weight.

Great idea Nick, thanks! Now to find the right foot insulation that will fit in my footbox, and not compress the insulation. I've felt that adding extra insulation around my feet would do the trick, but never pursued the idea.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Torsolite and Staying Warm on 03/10/2009 02:34:06 MDT Print View

I too got cold legs in the weekend without a pad under my legs. I agree with using another foam pad, have a look at the different thicknesses of the Gossamer Gear ThinLight pads. When cut down these really don't weigh much, and I find make a big difference.