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2oz pad
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John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
2oz pad on 06/20/2011 19:38:01 MDT Print View

Someone may have posted this before, but I had never seen it on here.

So anyways, today I got some homebrew supplies in the mail, and they came wrapped in this dark grey bubblewrap stuff. I had tried bubblewrap backpacking pads in the past, and hated how easily they popped, and having them burst in the middle of the night on me.
This bubblewrap was different though, with all of my weight on one foot, it would still not pop.
I cut it to the length of my Ridgerest, and taped the two pieces together with some tape. Laying down on it for a few minutes felt comfortable. I put it on my scale and the two pieces taped together weighed 2.1oz. If I was ever going to put this to use, I would sew a nylon sleeve for it, adding aprox. .5oz, so a finished product weight of ~2.6oz could be possible with this setup.

Heres some pics of the stuff I am talking about

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: 2oz pad on 06/20/2011 20:15:28 MDT Print View

Hmmm. That looks like good stuff.

Within normal Bubble-wrap, there are at least two types. One has the big bubbles similar to this stuff of yours. Another one has small bubbles, maybe 1/3 of an inch across. Obviously you get better cushioning from the big bubbles, but the small bubbles are easier to roll and pack. The normal stuff will hold up for several nights. Then you pitch it and get another piece for your next trip.

I agree, on the normal stuff, you put an elbow down and you've popped one or two bubbles. So, maybe a protective fabric sleeve is the solution. I would think that a plastic bag would work also.


Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Good find on 06/20/2011 20:17:45 MDT Print View

I've seen this kind of bubble wrap before. It's made of polyurethane instead of the standard polyethylene, and, as you said, it is much tougher without any significant increase in weight. Two layers of this would probably provide almost as much cushion as an inflatable mattress (like a kookabay). It wouldn't provide any insulation, but it seems like a great way to increase comfort if you don't mind the bulk.

Polyurethane needs to be stored dry (in between uses) to avoid hydrolysis (a slow chemical reaction with water), and it is also very sensitive to damage by sunlight. The coatings on many tent flies are polyurethane, and the typical cracking and peeling of the coating on an old fly is due to the combined actions of water and sunlight.

When you say "nylon sleeve" are you basically talking about a stuffsack? Something to protect it when it is rolled up?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: 2oz pad on 06/20/2011 20:27:16 MDT Print View

I wonder if this is the same thing (gawd I hate this nearly useless forum software):

Or this.

Edited by idester on 06/20/2011 20:31:20 MDT.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
wrap on 06/20/2011 21:10:37 MDT Print View

I am not sure where it can be bought. It is really weird, not only is it made of a different material like Colin pointed out, but the bubbles are not individual. What I mean is that each bubble has a small tube going to the next bubble, all the way to the bottom. So what looks like 5 bubbles is actually one. I think that is why it is so resistant to popping.

The nylon sleeve I was talking about would pretty much just be a pillowcase, in which one end is open while other 3 are sewed shut. This would make it less clammy and give it a tad more protection.

edit: its even more pop-resistant than I thought. I put a small section down on my tile floor, and I stood on it barefoot and jumped on it. No popage. Only way I could get it to pop was putting it over some small pieces of dirt/rocks and then jumping on it. That popped a section.

Edited by skyzo on 06/20/2011 21:14:39 MDT.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: wrap on 06/20/2011 21:18:32 MDT Print View

too bad they aren't all connected or you could put a valve in it and be able to deflate it...

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Valve on 06/20/2011 21:19:55 MDT Print View

I know that would be great, because thats the only thing I dont like about it, it is still the same bulk as my Ridgerest

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Nice on 06/20/2011 22:24:08 MDT Print View

Very cool stuff....The weight savings are tempting. How bulky is it rolled up? I wonder if a 20 x 48" piece would be too bulky.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Size on 06/21/2011 08:28:57 MDT Print View

When I get home from work today I will measure how big it is rolled up. I think my piece is roughly 55" as well, so 48 would roll even smaller.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Find it! on 06/21/2011 08:58:57 MDT Print View

Somebody find this product! Since it's used for packing boxes, it will be in rolls and should be very inexpensive "per sleeping pad length" if we amortize that across the price of a full roll, at least.

This could have great application not only for wild-eyed ultralighters that trim their shoelaces and eat with pine needles for chop sticks, but for kids and such that just plain need a super cheap, super light pad. Heck, we could put an ounce of clear packing tape all over the "down side" of a pad, roll it up and voy-la, an ultralight pad for pennies? Cheaper AND lighter than the ridgerests? Could be cool.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Start with the Homebrew retailer... on 06/21/2011 09:07:34 MDT Print View

Who is the homebrew retailer? Can we ask them where they get their bubble wrap from?

kevin timm
(ktimm) - MLife

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Dry Sack on 06/21/2011 09:49:51 MDT Print View

Use a dry sack and keep some air in it.

L Miller
(LMiller) - F

Locale: Maryland
Re: Start with the Homebrew retailer... on 06/21/2011 15:49:34 MDT Print View

I remember getting this stuff in a homebrew shipment - didn't think of using it as a sleeping pad though... I think it was Austin Homebrew Supply.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Supplier on 06/21/2011 17:46:25 MDT Print View

I got it from, its funny because the first thing I noticed before I even saw my equipment was "hey, that could be used for a pad". Just the ultralighter in me thinking haha.

Anyways, I'm in the middle of brewing right now, but I just took a picture of the diameter rolled up. Its about 6" for a 45" pad. It could probably go smaller when rubberbanded. I think that is about the same as my Ridegerest rolled up.

The weights that I listed were also with a 24" wide, whice is 4" wider than a standard pad. The problem is that they come in 12" wide pieces. But my turning them sideways and being careful to cut along the giant bubble strip, it is 8", so by going lengthwise and then opposite on the other side, and just using a tad more tape, a 20" pad could be aquired.
So if my 24" weighed 2.1, I would suspect that a 20" would weigh in the neighberhood of
1.75oz. Not too shabby.


Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
where do they buy their product from on 06/21/2011 20:31:57 MDT Print View

Would you one of you mind very much in contacting your brewing supplier and asking where they get the material from, what the product is sold as, please?


Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Bubble Wrap on 06/21/2011 20:34:22 MDT Print View

Coincidentally, an instrument arrived in my lab today packaged in a box with this kind of bubble wrap. It's gray, very tough, and the bubbles have air channels between them so squeezing one causes a few others to bulge. It says "New Air I.B. Express" on it, so I looked it up.

You can't buy this kind of bubble wrap. It is sold as film for machines that produce bubble wrap on site for packaging operations. I was wrong about the composition of the film. It's apparently a laminate composed of a layer of thin nylon film sandwiched between two layers of polyethylene. The company also makes clear and colored films. The gray stuff is 50% pre-consumer recycled material. So, I think the only way to get bubble wrap made from this film is to convince a shipper that has a machine to sell some.

new air


Edited by ckrusor on 06/21/2011 21:38:58 MDT.

Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
Re: BUBBLE WRAP on 06/21/2011 21:23:26 MDT Print View

Thanks Colin.

Clearly, there is an opening here for an entrepreneuring person to arrange for a roll or two of the stuff to be made, and then re-sell it on backpacking forums.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Supplier on 06/21/2011 22:01:22 MDT Print View

Colin, nice work researching it. Thats a bummer it is not sold. I guess the only other option is for me to buy a ton of brewing ingredients and give it to you all! ;)

But seriously, I will contact morebeer, and see if they would somehow be willing to sell a roll. I'll get back to you guys.

Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
subscribed on 06/21/2011 22:57:55 MDT Print View

subscribed to this thread.

i'm going to look around for shipping companies in pdx that might basically give this stuff away. or maybe trade for the shipping peanuts i constantly give away for re-use to them...

if not, i'd buy a 2/3 "pad" worth for a few bucks for experimental summer use...
what's going to be the frame in my pack! ;-)

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Willing (also subscribed) on 06/22/2011 04:28:48 MDT Print View

I, too, am interested in giving the stuff a try. Looks comfortable and light. Perhaps it could be used rolled up as a BP frame or if it's made foldable, it could be used in the back slots of a zPacks (or other) backpack.