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Christopher Gutwein
(syntax) - MLife
Most Durable Inflatable Air Pad on 12/04/2011 16:32:28 MST Print View

I'll be putting an inflatable air pad on my Christmas list this year and I was wondering about durability. I'm a big guy (6'3", 250) and have had 2 Big Agnes air core insulated go flat on me with relatively light use. Both burst at the seams, bad luck or poor quality?? Last time it happened was a couple weeks ago in Michigan and sleeping on the COLD ground made a 2 night trip seem like 2 weeks, didn't sleep a wink.

Before I take the plunge again I've got to find out if any products out there are going to last for more than one season. Any comments/opinions on your own personal gear? Some I've heard talked about a bit are Thermarest Neoair, Thermarest Neoair Trekker, Nemo Astro, Big Agnes Air Core, and Exped Synmat UL 7 but other than the Air Core I have no experience with any. I went with the Air Core due to price, but now after 2 failures...

Edited by syntax on 12/04/2011 16:32:59 MST.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Most Durable Inflatable Air Pad on 12/04/2011 16:45:01 MST Print View

Several people here have had issues with the POE Elite AC, but I was 225 and 5'9" and have put many nights on my pad without a problem. I've used it partially inflated to as tight as I could blow it up to.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: durable air pad on 12/04/2011 16:46:36 MST Print View

The humble Prolite has an excellent reputation for toughness. I use my XS directly on the ground most of the time, and under my packraft seat.

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
re:"Most Durable Inflatable Air Pad" on 12/04/2011 16:48:53 MST Print View

This discussion might interest you. I'm holding off on buying anything til they come out.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=51637

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Most Durable Inflatable Air Pad on 12/04/2011 16:59:03 MST Print View

Christopher, I am kinda close to your size--6'3 230..I have used a NeoAir(Large) for the past three season with no problems at all..Its well the worth price to have a good nights sleep. Most important tip: Always Preen the area you sleep on. I also just picked up NeoAir "All Season" recently that has a higher RF factor for Winter trips.

Good-luck

Edited by Creachen on 12/04/2011 18:05:22 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: re: durable air pad on 12/04/2011 17:43:50 MST Print View

"The humble Prolite has an excellent reputation for toughness."

And well deserved, IME. Another good option is the Montbell U.L. Comfort System series of pads. They're a bit lighter than Thermarests, and equally durable, IME.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
neo-air durability on 12/04/2011 18:28:55 MST Print View

I used a Neo-air on the AT last year, with no problem, but it developed a leak shortly after. Still, not bad getting 2000+ miles out of a light inflatable. I patched it, but didn't trust it enough to start the CDT with it this year. I certainly will use it for trips where mileage is measured in up to the low hundreds rather than thousands of miles.

Anyway, as a result I started this year with my wife's (new) Neo-Air, and for whatever reason it developed a very slow leak along the way, and I literally just got a third one to do the latter half (?) of the trail. No problem with that one, it's in good shape. Testing literally today I can't find the slow leak on my wife's neo-air, and I was pretty careful. In contrast, the leak in my Montbell pillow was easy to find today (that developed only after perhaps 4000 miles of trail use); it's right in a designed crease, so I'm not sure how well a patch will serve there (TBD).

Okay, sorry to ramble but my very tentative conclusion is that despite being a lot of mattress for not a lot of weight, a Neo-air will hold up very well for more limited (sane) use, so long as reasonable care is taken.

These comments certainly don't fit with the "most durable inflatable air pad" title of this thread. However, I personally wouldn't be interested in the "most durable", as I imagine it would be heavier than I would care for.

Christopher Gutwein
(syntax) - MLife
Thanks all on 01/01/2012 08:55:46 MST Print View

Thanks for all the input, I got a Prolite Plus for Christmas. Feels solid to the touch, not much getting through that fabric. It's not the lightest but I'm a big guy so I can carry a few extra oz for my pad.