Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Necessity of Sleeping Pads?


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Ian Nystrom
(IanNystrom) - F
Necessity of Sleeping Pads? on 08/10/2011 08:52:07 MDT Print View

After the second backpacking trip of mine, where I was lugging around 70+ pounds of crap, (A lot of that was water, I'm not that crazy...) I've decided to get a smaller pack and attempt to cover more distance instead of bringing a ton of food and stuff. Like mark Jenkins! but really, I've just bought REI's new Pinnacle 50 pack, their first geared towards climbing. I'll be reviewing it once I get back from Australia and New Zealand. I did a little simulation pack when I got home and after giving up some luxury extra clothes and what not, found that it seems to fit everything I'd want to bring, including climbing gear!

But I still had rig the sleeping pad on the outside. That's where I am now.

I hat walking around with sleeping pads rigged to the outside of my pack. It's fokin annoying. I've tried it without a sleeping pad before, and it was definitely not as comfortable, but I think I'm willing to give one up for the sake of, feeling more one with the trail... Maybe it's just because mine's to big or something, but I'm asking YOU guys. Do you ever leave the pad at home?

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Necessity of Sleeping Pads? on 08/10/2011 08:58:14 MDT Print View

That might be doable in milder conditions, especially with a good layer of duff, moss, or even pine needles, but you'd likely freeze in Winter.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Heat Loss and Pads on 08/10/2011 08:59:13 MDT Print View

How cold might some of your nights be? One of the critical uses of a sleeping pad (apart from comfort and quality of sleep) is keeping your body from losing heat from beneath you. I would argue this is a factor even when the night time low is in the 50s Fahrenheit but it only gets more important the lower then temperature is.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Re: Necessity of Sleeping Pads? on 08/10/2011 09:05:33 MDT Print View

I did no pad many times when younger, sometimes in winter. I froze.

You might be able to fit the pad inside if it's the first thing which goes in. Let it unroll, then fill the "burrito" with your gear. Or, fold it up against your back panel and stuff your gear in.

Consider a new piece of gear. :) I just use an inflatable air mattress which is the size of a 1 liter Nalgene bottle when rolled. I never have problems packing it.

Edited by AndyF on 08/10/2011 09:06:25 MDT.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Leave the pad at home? on 08/10/2011 09:46:05 MDT Print View

Never.
Used to use an older model z-rest which folded up into a rectangle but got tired of trying to find a spot for it on the outside of my ULA CDT pack. Went with a Neo Air which rolls up about the size of a 32 oz nalgene and will easily fit anywhere in or on my pack. Nice and warm and soft, too!

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Leave the pad at home? on 08/10/2011 09:53:47 MDT Print View

In the far past I used a .5 inch heavy foam pad. Now I use a Neoair or Kookabay plus a thin GG pad. Comfort and insulation, small and light. Or make a natural bed with materials at hand but leaving a trace.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
hanging up the pad on 08/10/2011 19:42:15 MDT Print View

If you hammock, you can leave the pad at home and use an underquilt instead. ;)

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
use the pack on 08/10/2011 21:29:08 MDT Print View

If you really hate carrying a sleeping mat, just empty out your backpack and use the Pinnacle 50's frame to keep your torso off the ground. Problem solved.

Steve Martell
(Steve) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Washington
Re: Necessity of Sleeping Pads? on 08/10/2011 22:15:02 MDT Print View

too warm?






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Edited by Steve on 04/13/2014 16:57:07 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Necessity of Sleeping Pads? on 08/11/2011 11:52:05 MDT Print View

I always have pad.

I use a small Prolite in conjunction with a Z-seat sit pad for my feet. The Prolite takes up very little space and is just enough padding and warmth. I typically load it completely uninflated and folded and placed against my back. My pack liner goes in next, so the pad is nicely tucked in for the trip. It can be rolled to near Nalgene size and tucked into a cranny. Folded in quarters it is 12"x20"x5/8" and that can be varied to your pack size. If your pack is loose, you can load it with the valve up and add a little air stiffen it all up a bit. You can do the "round column" loading trick too and inflate to suit. 11oz on my scale.

The Z-seat has been so handy for sitting, a clean foot pad to change socks and clothing, a cozy for bagged dinners, kitchen table, and extending my sleeping pad. It rides in the outer pocket of my pack, folded in half and ready to deploy at a rest stop. It is 1.9oz that I can afford.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: hanging up the pad on 08/11/2011 11:54:22 MDT Print View

Spelt quipped, "If you hammock, you can leave the pad at home and use an underquilt instead...."

He's already space challenged so the hammock and accessories would send him over the edge. A comfortable edge, but still :)

Justin Reigle
(jreigle) - F - M

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: Necessity of Sleeping Pads? on 08/11/2011 18:02:13 MDT Print View

I'd probably sleep better on a pad with just a light jacket than I would without a pad and in an appropriately rated sleeping bag. Makes a large difference.

A. B.
(tomswifty)
Padless on 08/11/2011 18:48:47 MDT Print View

I often forgot my pad in Scouts; I was often uncomfortable and cold on Scout trips.