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What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore
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Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 12:02:22 MDT Print View

My husband and I have big agnes insulated air core pads, and my son has figured out that he's getting the short end of the stick. He's 2, I foresee many such battles in my future...

I was hoping that someone would offer to sell me their short air pad, and take the decision out of my hands, and also make it cheaper. Since it looks like I'm going to have to pay full price, here's what I need/want:

-As durable as possible. He's been playing on our air cores for a year and hasn't popped them yet.

-Warm enough to go down to 35 degrees with a warm quilt.

-Light as possible, obviously.

-I wish all of the options were cheaper.

I love my air cores, but they are heavy, and I would rather not tote around another one. But I have no experience with the feel of Kooka Bay, are they as sturdy as the big agnes? What about the neoair? I'm afraid that the crinkly-ness of the neoair is going to make that a no-go, but what do you guys think?

Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
I forgot to mention on 03/25/2011 12:20:05 MDT Print View

He also doesn't like our crappy self-inflating pad that we used for him while car camping. That pad was pretty bad though, it was from an army surplus store.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Crazy kid on 03/25/2011 12:25:50 MDT Print View

Two years old, and he's laying down the law?
Boy, are you heading for trouble! ;)
Either give him a slap like my parents did to me, or have a look at Kookabay for a custom sized pad. :)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Crazy Parents on 03/25/2011 12:27:27 MDT Print View

Parents lead by example. Walmart sells full-length foam pads on the cheap. :)

Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
Re: Crazy kid on 03/25/2011 12:33:59 MDT Print View

Lol - as tempting as the slap is sometimes, I really can't say I blame him.

Besides, it's really hard to reason with a 2 year old at night. The last time we went out was last October. I just started pulling out the camping equipment this week and when he saw the foam pad, he kept saying "no blue, no blue", then climbed on my big agnes that was out and inflated to try my myog quilt that I just finished. I think I am going to have to let him win this one.

How's the quality on Kookabay? Are they pretty rugged?

Edited by joyfulmama on 03/25/2011 12:35:14 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Satire on 03/25/2011 12:34:35 MDT Print View

I was using 'satire' Benjamin. ;)

Seriously, i was legally beaten at school here in Scotland. Corporal punishment was only made illegal here about 20 years ago.

The crime rate, and a general reduction in respect, has increased ever since.

My apologies to the OP.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 12:36:12 MDT Print View

Hi Rebecca,

How about a shorty POE insulated mattress, such as the "Peak Elite AC"? It's only 11 ounces (per their specs).

I wouldn't trust a toddler with a Neoair, at least not the original model. My fear would be a rambunctious kid could pop it. They have a new tougher (and heavier) model coming out, if it's not here already, that might be worth a look.

Good luck. I know you won't get any sleep if the kid isn't. BTDT.



Edited by halfturbo on 03/25/2011 13:52:07 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Choice on 03/25/2011 12:39:59 MDT Print View

You can choose shell fabric to suit your end use.
I chose lightweight, but i'm pretty sure you can get 2 year-old proof.:)

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
As long as it works on 03/25/2011 12:43:58 MDT Print View

I'm trying to think back to when my 2 monsters were 2 year old.
How about buying a 'general' pad, and using a 'sleeve' over it? My son liked Ninja Mutant Turtles. :)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Satire on 03/25/2011 12:58:05 MDT Print View

Good for you, Mike -- and you got a laugh from Rebecca. She ignored by attempt. :(

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 13:05:45 MDT Print View

Big Agnes Air Core pads are $45-ish on line.

Add stickers to what he has? Or let him go to sleep on what works and move him--- gotta sneak up on 'em! Two year olds *are* an adventure in themselves. Their wonder and awe is great to experience, but when they are tired and want their way..... I don't miss that!

We did a lot of car camping and day hikes with the kids when they were small, but no overnight backpacking. Last Fall, I saw a guy coming down the trail with a 4-year old who had his own trekking poles, just like his father's. Had to smile.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
bpl torsolite on 03/25/2011 13:18:50 MDT Print View

thats what i started using with my 4 years old.
now that he uses a protege from enlightenned he uses a ridgerest cut to size and i sold the torsolite but he always end up sleeping on the grass !!!!

William Johnson
Re: Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 13:19:32 MDT Print View

As Rick said, the new Neoair model (Trekker) comes in a large torso size, which should last your tyrannical 2-year-old well into his oncoming years.

This is their shorter model, and is tougher, and slightly heavier than their previous yellow pads. It costs approx. 99$. The good news is that REI is having their 20% off sale (till mid April 2011), and if you buy it from them and pick it up at a nearby store, you'll pay no shipping.

Might be an option. Certainly a quicker one than having a custom made pad.

Edited by Steamboat_Willie on 03/25/2011 13:21:50 MDT.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 13:36:51 MDT Print View

Give him something that he can think of his own rather than upgrade his pad. Perhaps an inflatable pillow all his own? My son loves to try to inflate our pads and can roll up a Prolite for me like nobody's business. Hard for me to say without knowing the details, but I think giving my kid his own special air pillow would allow him to get in on all the inflatable fun without getting a more expensive, less durable, and/or heavier pad.

If that doesn't work, I'd personally avoid a 2.5" inflatable pad like the BA or POE pads or the NeoAir and go for a self-inflatable like the Prolite or Torsolite. I've not taken my son backpacking yet, but we've done a lot of car camping with him and for the last year I have been bringing along some sort of sleeping pad for him to sleep on when we're visiting friends and family. So far, I'd say that his small Ridge Rest has been the best thing over all.

Took me a while to figure that out, at least for visiting friends and family. I brought my POE Ether Compact 6 and Kooka Bay Pad for a dozen overnights, and he usually ended up on the floor or half on the floor by morning. He's been sleeping in a bed (no side rail) since he was 16 months old and very rarely rolls out of bed, but for some reason does tend to roll off of the thick air pads. He doesn't have a problem staying on the RidgeRest or a cheapie blue foam pad.

In addition, I'd advise against the NeoAir for a 2 year old - from personal experience, I can say that it provides a lot of opportunity for noisy fun when you're trying to get the little one to shut his eyes and fall asleep... :)

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 13:37:40 MDT Print View

Lets just say I wouldn't give a toddler an air pad, especially not a boy toddler!

Anyhow, blue pads are cruddy and yes kids are smart enough to know that. At least get the child a cool Z-Lite! My oldest at 13 still sleeps on one most nights, although a couple years back I did get him a long NeoAir - kids abuse gear.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 15:12:50 MDT Print View

So, are you sure that it's really a comfort issue and not that he justs want to have the same pad that you have? Just a thought; you might want to make sure before you invest in an expensive pad that he's going to reject because it's still different from yours...

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: What air pad for my toddler? Crazy kid won't sleep on foam anymore on 03/25/2011 15:16:18 MDT Print View

How about something like this? ;)


Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
Re: Re: Satire on 03/25/2011 15:16:21 MDT Print View

I'm sorry Ben, the "not that I can blame him" was a nod to your comment. I feel bad making him sleep on something that I remember hating as a kid.

Thank you everyone, you've given me a lot of food for thought.

I'm seriously thinking about having Bender just make one. His would be warmer and almost 10 oz. lighter than the big agnes.

I hear you all about the dangers of giving a little boy an air pad. I may definitely regret this. But, he's a fairly calm 2 year old, especially when he's gotten a lot of exploring time in outside.

I've looked at the POE ones, but I would rather a rectangle shaped one, and I feel like the trekker won't be warm enough.

Although now I'm thinking that maybe I should start with a z-rest and put a ton of thomas the train stickers on it.... I may try this first, it might actually help a lot.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Satire on 03/25/2011 15:24:41 MDT Print View


No worries -- it was just bantering. But I like the idea of getting a customized pad from Bender -- so you get the right size and warmth for your child.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Satire on 03/25/2011 15:31:11 MDT Print View

I would be hesitant to give a toddler a Kooka Bay pad, but I wouldn't have problems with my son using one of the POE pads which use a heavier 50D/75D fabric, like the Classic AC or Adventurer AC. They're not the lightest, at 15 and 16 oz respectively, but I think they'd be pretty bomber. Both are rectangular.

I have an Ether Compact 6 that has gotten a beating from my 2 year old- jumping on it, falling on it, folding it and jumping on it, etc. I didn't mind because that model was never terribly expensive, I got a good deal on it, and have replaced it with a Kooka Bay pad for my own use. They used to make a rectangular Ether Compact 9, always a change you could find one of those in regular or 2/3 length.

Bender will make you a pad with 70D fabric instead of the standard 30D, but from what I understand the rest of the construction is the same. My Kooka Bay pad strikes me as something which needs to be treated somewhat gently, like most UL gear- while the valve itself is a Thermarest valve, the way it's attached feels less sturdy than the POE or most Thermarest pads. I don't mean to scare you or anyone else off- I just don't think it'd deal with the rigors of a toddler quite as well.

Z-Rest + Thomas Stickers = Moms FTW!

Edited by areichow on 03/25/2011 15:33:04 MDT.