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Kookabay pads! Let's see them.
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Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Kookabay comparisons on 01/15/2011 18:40:33 MST Print View

Eugene - my experience with the down v. air pads needs some background information first. I backpack in the Pacific NorthWet, usually above 4,000', I'm trying to get by with a 20 degree quilt and not a full bag year 'round, and I'm a cold sleeper. I always use a 1/8" GG ccf under any pad to protect them from poky things and add a little more insulation. I got the down and air pads in April, so I haven't tested the down pad on snow yet, mostly because I'm running out of friends who will do that. I may just go out by the side of the house and dig a snow trench and try it. I'll call it research when Mr. B starts scoffing.

I used the air pad in August and half of September and was much more comfortable with the wider top and longer length than with previous Neoair and Thermarest pads I've tried. So comfort-wise, they win.

Then I switched to the down pad at the end of September because the nights were getting down into the upper 30's and 40's. I did not do anything different with my clothing or quilt and was warm all night. All of this is subjective and with limited experience, of course, and the real test will be sleeping in 15-30 degrees on snow. I'll report back when I've got the data!

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
web development on 01/15/2011 18:53:19 MST Print View

It is really true that most cottage manufacturers could benefit from some proper web design and development. I just sent Bender an email offering some work after seeing your comment, Mike. It never really donned on me that my day job and my passion for expensive backpacking gear could unite into a happy marriage.

I also have a draft email to MLD I should get around to sending; that website slow and unoptimized and the opposite of Ron's work.

<shameless plug>

Actually, if anyone is interested in trading gear for some design or web programming work, I'll have free time over the next couple weeks as I'll be traveling for work. You can look at work samples and get in touch with me at

</shameless plug>

Edited by kylemeyer on 01/15/2011 18:54:50 MST.

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
2 bender pads on 01/15/2011 20:59:01 MST Print View

I have a non insulated 24 x 2.4 x 77 thats right around 16 0z and have on order one of his r9 down pads thats 24 x 3.5 x 77 in a mummy shape that I think he said would be 24 oz.

I am hoping my down pad gets here next week as thats what he projected when I ordered it.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Kookabay pads! Let's see them." on 01/15/2011 21:53:25 MST Print View

What's Benders turnaround time?

*nevermind... I'll just email the guy.

Edited by Eugeneius on 01/15/2011 22:08:41 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: 2 bender pads on 01/16/2011 08:15:52 MST Print View

an R9 over-length pad @ 24 oz? that would really be the cat's a$$ :)

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Kookabay pads! Let's see them." on 01/16/2011 10:15:19 MST Print View

Mike - I was quoted an R6 value at 26 ounces. So there's a typo or miscommunication somewhere compared to what Mark has on order.

Eugene - I was quoted a lead time of two to three weeks and if the pad arrives on Monday it will have been 3.5 weeks. Which includes the Christmas break.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: "Kookabay pads! Let's see them." on 01/16/2011 10:31:18 MST Print View

yeah that sounded a bit optimistic :)

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
r9 @24oz on 01/16/2011 11:04:38 MST Print View

I bet he could get the r9 in at 24oz is he is using the 30d material (as opposed to the 70d). My 30d pad has dimensions ~26"X48"X3.5" (sized for use in a hammock), is downfilled and has a large valve (much bigger than the thermarest valve) and comes in at 13oz.

bender pad


David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Kookabay pads! Let's see them." on 01/16/2011 11:07:42 MST Print View

I think Bender is a pretty savvy marketer.

Make good stuff, but keep it mysterious so everyone talks about it.....

Joey Dawson
(inabag) - F

Locale: Northern VA
Kookabay pads! Let's see them on 01/19/2011 14:24:52 MST Print View

Just ordered a Mummy 60x20x2.5" R5 Synthetic 13 oz from Bender.

I too wish the website had more information, and a way to design a pad and see the different weights and prices, etc. He was good about answering my questions about email. He also promised to get my pad to me in time for a trip I have next month.

Overall I am very excited for this product, can't wait to use it!

Nick K
(nkline) - MLife

Locale: Northeast U.S.
valve pictures on 01/19/2011 15:00:32 MST Print View

I am interested in seeing some detailed pictures of the valve used in the Kookabay pads. Thanks!


Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: valve pictures on 01/19/2011 15:30:19 MST Print View

Nick, if it's the same as his pillows, then it is a Therm-a-Rest valve.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
my pad and pillow are in the mail! on 01/19/2011 16:36:40 MST Print View

I ordered a pad and pillow (extra thick!) in mid November. Due to some difficulties with materials sourcing, Bender has finally finished my pad and pillow and put them in the mail!

Anyone who has read my posts on Kooka Bay know that I'm very excited about my new pad and pillow. If you're still interested, I'll post some photos of both, including the valves, when they arrive in the next few days.


Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Hey Raymond on 01/19/2011 18:20:51 MST Print View

Eric my pad is supposed to be R6. I blew it up on the first trip pictured with an Instaflator and it works so well it will be all I take from now on. I have also used a pump I stole from my kids slumber party bag/pad and modified to work. It can be seen at the back of the tent in the pic below.

Ken, those are the deflated size. If it is inflated tight it takes up a half inch (1.25 cm) from the size. I don’t like it too full though.

The coldest so far with it has been the trip with the half bag. It was right around 0 F (-18 C). If the wind is not blowing I am taking it out next weekend when it is supposed to be -14 F (-26 C). I do not use a closed cell pad under it. I do stick my sit pad under my shoulder area once I turn in. I sleep right on it with my quilts and was in the half bag with a Marmot Plasma Parka for the last trip
.kooka pad2

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Re: Hey Raymond on 01/19/2011 22:23:03 MST Print View

Wow... 0 degrees, with no under pad, sleeping on the bare pad with just a quilt. I think I'll be putting one of these on my wish list.

Thanks again!

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Hey Ray on 01/20/2011 09:09:43 MST Print View

Ken the trip with the quilt was 23 F (another at 19 F), the trip that was around 0 F was actually 4 F (I went and looked in my hiking log)and that one was in the half bag and parka. This weekend I will be in a sleeping bag of some sort as the temps are going to be too low for my quilts. (It is -9 F as I write this at 10:08 am.)

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
r9 on 01/23/2011 21:36:56 MST Print View


I dont have it yet so I cant weigh it for you, but its the mummy shape and uses 900 FP down. I believe most of the r6 pads use synthetic?

Perhaps thats the weight difference?


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
R9 on 01/24/2011 07:02:17 MST Print View

be sure to weigh it when you get it :)

I think a lot of the R6's are down as well- the mummy shape I'm sure has something to w/ it as well- that has to shave some weight