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Foam pad question
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joe tittiger
(tittiger) - F

Locale: on the road
Foam pad question on 04/03/2007 11:31:54 MDT Print View

This looked like the best place to post a question but please excuse me and direct me to the proper place if there is a better place to post general questions in this forum.

I just wanted some input on the relative comfort levels and warmth of say a 3/8" REI blue foanm pad at 7 oz verses a Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite - Short at 3/4" and 11 oz.

It has been 20 years since I have used closed cell foam pads and have been spoiled of late by heavy self inflating pads.

Thanks for your input.


Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Re: Foam pad question on 04/03/2007 12:27:54 MDT Print View

Initially the Z-rest will be more comfortable, but the bumps flatten out over time. The ridge rest seems to keep it's "loft" longer, but doesn't fold up as compact as your two choices. The z-rest is nice in that it doesn't try to roll up on you. Neither of your choices will give you the back support that a self inflater will, but will be more useful at breaks as a sit pad, and are not subject to puncture damage. I would guess both are about as warm. I like to add a small piece of soft open cell eggcrate packing foam to fill in the small of my back (or waist when I side sleep). It's not as comfortable as a self inflator, but for me it helps get to a reasonable comfort level, particularly the first night.

joe tittiger
(tittiger) - F

Locale: on the road
Thanks on 04/03/2007 14:36:53 MDT Print View

Thanks for the quick reply Neil.

Given my druthers I would order the 10 oz self inflator sold on this site but unfortunatley it is not available for another month or 2.


Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Foam pad question on 04/03/2007 17:37:09 MDT Print View

I recently posted some comments on another thread about sleeping pads, about the Gossamer Gear 1/8" ThinLight with GG NightLight and/or BMW TorsoLite. But since the discussion was about insulation, not comfort, I didn't say anything about that aspect. Truth is, I don't get a good night's sleep on thin pads any more, even with Excedrin PM and Aleve. I found my Z-Rest to be slightly less comfortable than the GG NightLight because I squashed it flat. But even the BMW TorsoLite wasn't comfortable on hard-packed dirt. I recently picked up an OR/Exped DownMat 7 Short, a thick down-filled inflatable mat. I haven't used it yet so I can't comment on how well it works, but I'm hoping it makes it possible to sleep through the night again.

I prefer my hammock. That's always comfortable.

Edited by Otter on 04/03/2007 17:38:09 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Foam pad question on 04/04/2007 10:15:33 MDT Print View

When it comes to foam pads, I would strongly recommend going with a pad made from Evazote foam such as the gossamer gear nightlight. It will provide more warmth / weight than any other foam pad and will be more durable. Personally, I think there isn't a significant different in comfort given equiv thickness of foam pads.

Of course, I haven't met a foam pad comfortable enjoy to give me a good night sleep. I strongly recommend insulated air mattresses such as the BA Insulated Air Core. Warmth/weight is almost as good as an evazote pad, packs much more compactly, and significantly more comfortable to sleep on. A few more thought on my Recommended Sleep Systems [Pads] page.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Joe, torsolite substitute on 04/04/2007 11:04:40 MDT Print View

Joe, For 3 season comfort on rocky terrain, I use the MontBell 180cm inflatable mattress; for softer ground, the MB UL mattress and pillow. The 120cm version is lighter, wider, longer, and cheaper than the torsolite you considered waiting for. Just a thought.
Pair it with a GossamerGear Thinlight for the lightest inflatable/solid mattress pairing.

Or consider their 180 Camp, at 1.5 inches thick.

I was not aware of the POE Uberlight, at 10 ounces(!). Certainly lighter, and also smaller at about 630 square inches compared to 700 square inches for the 90cm MB pad. The concept with the MB pads is to toggle the pad to your pillow and sit pad to make a full length pad. If you don't want/need that, the Uberlight looks amazing.

Edited by Brett1234 on 04/04/2007 20:28:50 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Joe, torsolite substitute on 04/04/2007 11:29:55 MDT Print View

POE uberlite is under 10 oz...still lighter than either the Montbell or BPL pads.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Re: Re: Joe, torsolite substitute on 04/05/2007 17:19:34 MDT Print View

Nunatak Luna Pad

Very light at 7.5oz according to Nunatak (No reason to doubt them).

More comfortable than my Ridgerest pad. Only negative is that it is rather bulky, it usually ends up underneath the top flap of my pack.

Nunatak Luna Pad

Great sites you have MarkV, I have pulled great info from them for years. I remember as a teen drooling over the Cloudwalker gear and not being able to afford it.

Edited by FatTexan on 04/05/2007 17:23:05 MDT.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Nunatak Luna Pad=Gossamer Gear 3/4 length Nightlight Sleeping Pad on 04/05/2007 17:42:08 MDT Print View

Hi Christopher,

I believe that the Nunatak Luna Pad is the same as the Gossamer Gear 3/4 length Nightlight Sleeping Pad. They differ slightly in the reported weights of 7.5oz vs. 7.8 to 8.2oz. But I believe they are the same though more expensive through Nunatak at $30 and $27 for the Gossamer Gear. My Nightlight weighs 7.8oz. This is the Gossamer Gear link:


Edited by naturephoto1 on 04/05/2007 17:44:16 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Pad on 04/15/2007 22:43:17 MDT Print View

If it's been 20 years since you've used a foam pad, you won't be happy going back to one. Get an inflatable, it's worth the extra weight. I'm thrilled with my Insulmat Max Thermo.