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Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame
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Robin McKay
(rlmckay) - M

Locale: Auckland NZ
Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame on 11/29/2006 02:32:38 MST Print View

I want to changing my sleeping pad, I've got a Thermarest light (old model 500 grams - about 17.6oz in your language) too heavy!. I am looking at two options - the Montbell UL Comfort System pad 90 at 9.6 oz (35x20x1) or the Gossamer Torso Light Pad at 3.7oz (29x18 - folds 3 ways no thickness given for this).
I don't want the back of my pack too stiff - I think the deflated Montbell will work nicely with my ULA Conduit framless pack (mould well into my back), but it's heavier.
What do you guys think of the Gossamer Torso light? Is this going to make the pack back too stiff? Any experiences here? We can't get this product in NZ to try before you buy.
Of course the Bozeman torso light was my first pick, but I can't get stock anywhere and Backpacking light can't tell me when stock will be replaced? Appreciate any "user" advice, or other sleeping pad suggestions. Cheers Rob in NZ.
PS It's for 3 season use only.

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
TorsoLite on 11/29/2006 03:01:54 MST Print View

Backpacking Light product page for the TorsoLite says that it should be back in stock in December 2006 (one could only hope).

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame on 11/29/2006 03:30:12 MST Print View

I often use the GG Nightlight Torso-length pad as a frame in one of my GG packs (they have an external pad pocket which fits the pad nicely and holds it in place. It works fine. I don't find it too "stiff" to use your term. It's foam. It's soft. It somewhat conforms to my back. For heavier loads (still w/i the acceptable range for the pack to carry, but at the upper end of the range), i feel that it is not quite stiff enough, but still works fine for my purposes, but YMMV.

i have an old back injury that is not bothered by these pads.

i have not tried the GG Nightlight Torso-length pad as a frame in other packs. so, i can't address how it would work in the ULA Conduit. Recently, some have posted that the pad is too wide for some (all???) of the ULA packs and require some minor cutting down, or some such operation (sorry, i didn't read these posts closely, as currently i don't own any ULA packs, and so don't remember the specifics).

oh, duh!! just remembered (my "old-timers" is acting up this morning), i have used the GG Nightlight Torso-length pad in the SMD Essence pack as a v-frame. It fits and works fine. Still, not stiff enough at heavier (relatively speaking) pack weights and could deform a bit until one's food load gets lighter.

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
GG Nightlight and BMW Torsolite on 11/29/2006 06:37:05 MST Print View

GG Nightlight torso length - I've used this pad in the Conduit's sleeve, but it's an uncomfortably tight fight. I've yet to perform surgery on my pad like Jason Smith describes in this thread, but I may give it a try some day. I found the pad to work great--not too stiff, comfortable against the back--but I never carried more than 12 pounds (6 pound base), so I don't know how much weight it could handle before beginning to collapse.

The tight fit led me to try another pad: BMW's Torsolite. If you can wait for a new shipment or find one used, it might be worth it. The pad, while heavy by SUL standards, is amazingly comfortable, durable, and, dare I say, attractive. It also worked perfectly for me folded up and inflated in the Conduit's pad sleeve, again keeping in mind that I never had a heavy load that might have collapsed the virtual frame.

In the end, I would advise getting the GG Nightlight torso if spending the $16 isn't much of a financial burden for you because it's a great foam pad for when you really want to drop some weight from your pack, go as simple as possible, and still be pretty comfortable. It will probably work very well as a virtual frame in almost any UL pack, including, with a little bit of post-purchase hacking, a Conduit.

Then, try it, see if you like it. And if you want to step up to some luxury at the cost of approximately 6.5 ounces, buy a Torsolite as soon as they become available.

Edited by milesbarger on 11/29/2006 06:37:42 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame on 11/29/2006 08:40:24 MST Print View

Robin, I have been using the GG Nightlight torso for over a year in my Golite Dawn and like it as a back pad in the pack. I put my pad in first against the back, then put my liner in with gear inside the liner and some outside the liner.

Robin McKay
(rlmckay) - M

Locale: Auckland NZ
Re: TorsoLite on 11/30/2006 23:43:06 MST Print View

Duane - I contacted them and Customer Service were unsure and advised me if I wanted something before Xmas to look at alternatives

John S and PJ - thanks for your ideas - John, I liked the tip of dropping in the pad first then the linner. I have contact Brian F at ULA to check fit - I have measured the pack and the purpose built sleeve seems big enough

Thanks Miles - bucks are not a big deal if its the the right way to go, BUT it cost $US30 to get it here!! Twice the cost of the item to ship sort of rubs against to grain - but agree, your idea makes sense - get this and get Torso later!

Edited by rlmckay on 11/30/2006 23:56:38 MST.

Robin McKay
(rlmckay) - M

Locale: Auckland NZ
Re: GG Nightlight and BMW Torsolite on 11/30/2006 23:50:43 MST Print View

see above

Edited by rlmckay on 11/30/2006 23:59:17 MST.

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: Re: GG Nightlight and BMW Torsolite on 12/01/2006 10:35:45 MST Print View

For what its worth, I contacted BPL a month or two ago and was told the Torsolite would not be available to ship until April 07.

Robin McKay
(rlmckay) - M

Locale: Auckland NZ
Re: Re: Re: GG Nightlight and BMW Torsolite on 12/01/2006 21:12:57 MST Print View

Jez - Talk about lost sales - I find many of these lightweight products are always out of stock. I understand it's a risk/expense business balancing inventory, but surely Backpackinglight can see the demand early and re-order from their manufactures quickly to increase sales??

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame on 12/01/2006 22:38:52 MST Print View

I happen to really like the GG pad, and other pads they sell.

I don't use it as a frame but I did try just about all of their packs to see if one would work with my aged and sometimes painful back (they didn't and they were so polite and cooperative in taking them back). So I did experience the egg shell jobby as a frame. It worked for me, but for the problem of not really being able to carry a totally frameless pack that puts the weight down low.

So I would highly recommend buying and trying the GG stuff because it is not expensive, compared to other equivalents, is really light weight, and I find thoroughly comfortable to the point that I carry it on my semi-framed REI UL 45 or Atmos 50.

Final, suggestion, also buy the 1/8 inch longer pad, I think it is called ThinLite or something like that. The two work perfect together for padding and insulation ... I am still trying to figure out how to velcro or glue them together.

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
BMW TorsoLite in stock on 12/09/2006 21:21:43 MST Print View

Just in case you go straight to the forums and don't check the main page daily--that's my general method--TorsoLite's are now in stock in the BPL shop, so your dreams can come true.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: BMW TorsoLite in stock on 12/09/2006 23:16:35 MST Print View

Every TorsoLite batch to date has been late, hence the reason we didn't promise anything to anybody for Christmas.

This lot was early, which frankly, is weird, but good!

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
TorsoLite improvements on 12/10/2006 21:58:09 MST Print View

I do not own the TorsoLite, but I do want to see BMW, and BPL reach a larger market, so I offer these suggestions to make the TorsoLite even better.
1. Go to a square shape, not tapered; better for female users, and wider male users (less likely to roll off).
2. Increase the length to 90cm and the width to at least 50cm to accomodate taller occupants and prevent cold elbow syndrome.
3. Use non die-cut, solid foam of 2.5cm thickness; this is warmer. If air was a good insulator, mats wouldn't use foam.
4. Decrease the compressed(packed) volume to about 1.5 liters so it's more packable in UL packs.
5. Reduce the weight further to about 290gm.
6. Incorporate a short strap at one end so the user can just 'roll it and clip it'; no bands or stuff sack necessary.(but include a free stuff sack and patch kit anyway)
7. Incorporate toggles and holes at each corner; these have several uses such as attaching pillows, extention pads, doubling up pads on top of each other, attaching a leash on windy bivouacs, folding pad in half as a seat, and many more..

If you are really obsessive with gear you already know where I'm going with this.. items 1-7 have all been accomplished already with the MontBell UL Pad in 90cm.(wider, longer, warmer?, and lighter) If they can do it, BMW can too!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: TorsoLite improvements on 12/10/2006 22:09:42 MST Print View

Speaking of MontBell, I've been wanting to try their inflatable pillow. From what I hear, it's a terrific UL inflatable pillow. Unfortunately, it's always sold out! :(

Edited by ben2world on 12/10/2006 23:31:09 MST.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Benjamin: re: MB pillow on 12/10/2006 22:27:41 MST Print View

Benjamin, I own the pillow and it is great because it attaches to the mat, and has a recessed area in the middle so my head does not roll left or right, even on sloping ground. Flipping the pillow vertically gives an alternate fit.

I use the 150cm pad, 30cm sitpad extension, and UL pillow; weighs less than a Thermarest 3 and since it is three pieces, it is more versitile.

I waitied 6 months for new stock, then rushed down to the pillow. I think they are still in stock here in Japan; I'll mail you one for my actual costs (and a buck for a beer?), but be advised shipping would be expensive (about $14?).

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Benjamin: re: MB pillow on 12/10/2006 23:27:10 MST Print View

Hi Brett:

I have an inflatable pillow that I am very happy with in terms of comfort and price ($3), but alas, not in terms of weight. The thing weighs 6-7 ounces -- which is why the MB pillow catches my attention.

I appreciate your offer, but I'll wait for MB America to get its next batch. If (or when) you come to LA or vicinity, be sure to let me know beforehand. Beer is on me. :)

Lastly - pray, tell, where does one get beer for a buck in Japan???

Edited by ben2world on 12/10/2006 23:43:38 MST.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
TorsoLite improvements on 12/10/2006 23:58:43 MST Print View

I'd second Brett's comments.

I find the TorsoLite to be just too small, while the MontBell mats are fine. The MontBell 90 is the same weight as a TorsoLite, but I don't think that it has such a high R rating (subjective comment, as I can't find R values for MontBell). A slightly bigger, non-tapered TorsoLite would be better.

The toggles on the MontBell mats are superb - like most good things, extremely simple but very effective. I've been converted to the pillow too - I must be getting soft with age!

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Neil, Ben,re:Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame and R values on 12/11/2006 00:37:59 MST Print View

Neil, I do not have any hard data on foam R values, but The Mountaineering Handbook, ISBN0071430105, gives a rule of thumb which works out to 0.46R/mm for closed cell foam, 0.09055R/cm for waffle cut open cell foam, and 0.13125 for uncut open cell foam. I doubt a waffle foam matress would be warmer than solid foam of the same thickness, but I never compared em side by side (back to back?)

Benjamin, a smart UltraLight shopper in Japan knows how to live (and drink) like the natives. A 135ml can of Asahi is Y100 (about 90cents) at a grocery store. On group hikes I carry one for each person and bust em out at lunch time. A real homerun.
Thanks for the offer; I go to LA about once a year for job interviews. (always keep a plan 'B'!)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Neil, Ben,re:Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame and R values on 12/11/2006 00:49:35 MST Print View

"I go to LA about once a year for job interviews... always keep a Plan B."

I assume your boss doesn't loitter around backpacking forums... :)

135ml -- that's 4.5 ounces -- essentially one third of a can!!!

Yeah, definitely let me know the next time you come. Maybe you can bring a pillow with you??? I'd rather spend money on a couple of beer with friends than forking it over to the Japanese post office...

Edited by ben2world on 12/11/2006 00:55:43 MST.

Paul Howlett
(paulh) - F
Re: Sleeping Pad as Backpac frame on 12/11/2006 02:49:04 MST Print View

Regarding other sleeping pad suggestions...If I may...consider a good old fashion Ridge-Rest (or even Ensolite). Roll it up, place it inside, and let it do its' thing (unroll). It's cheep and it's more resilient and durable than other closed-cell pads I can think of (can't speak to the Toro Light). Ridge-Rests measure 20" wide by 5/8" thick.

For what it's worth, I've cut mine down to 36" length (6.5 oz.) and use it with a P-1 (w/o the the 3/4 frame sheet). It provides just enough cushioning without being too stiff. Additionally, it adds a degree of rigidity to entire packbag. I think this has helped in controlling the load more, allowing me to keep the weight (of the contents) higher up and closer to my back without the need for complicated packing order or proceedure. As a bonus, the pack sits upright by-itself, wheather full or empty.

Good luck