Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Sleeping pad advice
Display Avatars Sort By:
John Kinzer
(gardentrail27) - F
Sleeping pad advice on 04/13/2010 22:48:08 MDT Print View

Hey Everyone, I need some help deciding on sleeping pads for my wife and I. I will be carrying both of them in an REI Flash 50. Though not an ultralight pack it is very comfortable and versatile; most importantly it's what I have.

What I am wondering is if there is a pad that I can put in place of the removable internal frame. Has anyone tried folding up a self-inflating pad and sliding it into the backpacks frame slot (like the prolite)?

Would I be better off removing the frame and using a roll-up style pad and packing into it? If a roll-up is better what "ultralight" pads are recommended? Also, we're relatively young and don't camp for the comfort. Thanks!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sleeping pad advice on 04/14/2010 00:58:22 MDT Print View

> a pad that I can put in place of the removable internal frame
Inspects Flash 50 in hand. Nope, no chance imho.


Edited by rcaffin on 04/14/2010 00:58:39 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Sleeping pad advice on 04/14/2010 01:08:41 MDT Print View

You don't mention if it's a long trip, but I advise trying out a few options at home before committing to a long period of potential night-time discomfort.

If you are going to ditch the frame, a closed cell foam pad to pack into is the stiffest and lightest option. I shove a couple of tent pole sections down between the coils too, which helps shape up a bigger load. Under this at night, you can add some extra comfort with a BA clearview 3/4 inflatable for an extra 11oz each and little extra bulk. You can always post the clearviews home and kick depressions in the ground for your hip bone and shoulder if you don't find the extra weight is worth the comfort.

Listen to the wife...

John Kinzer
(gardentrail27) - F
Thanks on 04/14/2010 02:10:03 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, listening to the wife is always best. ;) I ordered two Therm-a-rest z-lite pads. I don't know how an accordion style pad will work for framing the inside of the pack (should be interesting). I figure worst case I can cut one in half and situate them in a cubed fashion internally and stuff everything into the empty cube. A little velcro for reassembly shouldn't add too much weight.

Roger, do you use the Flash internal frame & top lid? Seems like I might keep both on heavier trips and leave them at home for solo weekends.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Thanks on 04/14/2010 04:32:17 MDT Print View

Hmm, those things won't stiffen the pack as well as a normal pad, due to the egg crate shape being so pliable and the slits where they fold. They are colder than the ridge-rest too. I'd go for one ridge rest coiled inside the pack, and the other rolled tight and strapped on the outside.

Maybe not too late to change the order? Failing that, experiment with coiling one into the pack with the slits to the inside, and 'engage' the egg crate shape with each successive turn.

James Patsalides
( - MLife

Locale: New England
Sleeping pad advice on 04/14/2010 09:14:12 MDT Print View

+1 on Rog's concern. A complete z-lite will not work, however... if you're up for some customization...

My sleeping pad is 1/3 of a z-lite (torso) glued to 2/3 of a GG thinlite pad (legs). When I fold the z-lite part, then roll the thinlite part around it, it creates a cohesive "beam" of pad (about 6.5"x3.5").

This slides nicely into the space where the hydration pocket used to be on my backpack (golite jam). I snipped the hydration pocket and most of the back pad pocket out, leaving a small (4") pocket at the bottom and two thin (1") "straps" to hold the pad in place higher up.

This method creates a stiff central 6-7" wide back support beam, and does not intrude much into the main pack body. Works great. Bet this setup would fit in the REI Flash pad space (might want to measure before you cut).

If you did this, you could send one z-lite back, cut the other one into thirds, and order two BPL torsolite DIAD pads from the store here ($10 a piece), and glue 'em together... then you'd each have a super light pad, comfy on top, and warm on the bottom, and multi-use as use pack "frame"... pretty hard core! :-)

John Kinzer
(gardentrail27) - F
Good tips on 04/14/2010 21:26:51 MDT Print View

Thanks guys good tips. I might end up creating a monster like James did! ha

Edited by gardentrail27 on 04/14/2010 21:28:12 MDT.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Inflatables on 04/14/2010 21:38:50 MDT Print View

Keep the frame - the pack will carry much better with it.

And instead of getting two foam pads that will take up much of the volume in your pack, go for inflatables that will pack up nice and small and be really COMFORTABLE as well.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Inflatables on 04/15/2010 01:00:27 MDT Print View

I find a foam pad fully controls my load, but then I'm not carrying for two and I've got my base weight well down now.

I still think a foam pad plus an uninsulated inflatable gives the most seasonal flexibility at the best price, but for the OP, Kristin may have a point.