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Foam pad(s) for side sleeper?
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Terry Hoover
(thoover1968) - M

Locale: Texas
Foam pad(s) for side sleeper? on 01/29/2013 08:07:33 MST Print View

I am a plus sized (6'3" 225lbs) side sleeper. Have been looking at the different inflatables as I don't sleep well at all unless I have decent cushioning. That said, I was wondering if any of you side sleepers that need/prefer a good bit of cushioning have used two (or more) lightweight foam pads comfortably in lieu of an inflatable. Perhaps a full length pad paired with a torso length pad (i.e. Ridgerest or Z lite + Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso-length)? I'm leaning toward getting the GG Mariposa Plus so the Nightlight would fit nicely into that pack.

Any advice appreciated before I splurge on the inflatable.


Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Foam pad(s) for side sleeper? on 01/29/2013 08:18:59 MST Print View

Hi Terry - As a side sleeper you probably want the partial pad to cover the shoulder and hip pressure points. You may want to measure yourself to see the minimal length you will need. I sometimes use the GG Torso Nightlight and it's fairly short.

Terry Hoover
(thoover1968) - M

Locale: Texas
Torso Length Plus Sit Pad perhaps on 01/29/2013 08:33:17 MST Print View

If I need more length, I might be able to add the GG Sitpad to the GG Torso Length pad to get an extra 10 inches of length, or about 40 inches total, all for around 7.5 oz. Then add in a thin full length pad. Didn't pay much attention to the 30 inch length of the torso pad so definitely need to measure my length from shoulder to hip...thanks for the tip.


Nelson Sherry

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Foam pad(s) for side sleeper? on 01/29/2013 09:35:09 MST Print View

I'm surprised at how well my thermorest z pad works when I fold the ends back under so it is double thickness under the hips and shoulders of my 6'4" body. You should go try this in the store. This pad has definitely become my favorite single piece of gear for all kinds of things, mostly sitting and sleeping.

Terry Hoover
(thoover1968) - M

Locale: Texas
Other Pad Combinations? on 01/29/2013 10:38:18 MST Print View

Thanks Nelson. Didn't think about folding the z pad.

Any other side sleepers using combinations of foam pads instead of inflatables?


USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Foam pad(s) for side sleeper? on 01/29/2013 11:19:50 MST Print View

Man, I can see why you don't sleep well on these, they are hard. You need a inflatable. I'm 160-165 and for my shoulders, I need an inflatable of some sort. A couple years ago before a week long trip, for fun I tried the GG Nightlite to see if I could use it instead of my inflatable mattress to save some weight as the Nightlite was the support in my SMD Starlight pack. Too hard for me, so I still have to use an inflatable mattress.

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
RE:Foam pad(s) for side sleeper on 01/29/2013 11:46:31 MST Print View

I am a side sleeper also and I use a ridgerest which I find comfortable enough, but I am also content to sleep on harder surfaces than most. In my observation most people find that in order to reach the necessary amount of padding to be comfortable side sleeping the weight/bulk may be more considerable than going with a neoair or similar pad.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
foam pad on 01/29/2013 17:50:40 MST Print View

If I have soft forest floor duff or tall meadow grass to sleep on, then a foam pad worlds for me. On hard ground, I sleep much better on a big agnes inflatable - which weighs less than a full length + half length foam pad.

Using 2 pieces of foam as a pack frame works pretty good too. The plastic corrugated yard sign material is even more supportive as a frame, but not as comfy as foam since its too straight.

Terry Hoover
(thoover1968) - M

Locale: Texas
Great insight on 01/29/2013 21:28:01 MST Print View

Thanks for the comments guys. Was initially leaning toward an REI stratus at 25 oz for the long/wide. Then shifted mindset to the regular size at 20 oz. Then finally decided to explore non-inflatables due to the fear of the inflatables going flat and spending a couple of miserable nights on the hard ground.

Will probably try a Z lite pad along with a GG torso length pad to see how that works. Should still come in around 20 oz, though with pretty high volume. If I don't like it, I can always pass it down to one of my four kiddos and go with the inflatable.

Still interested in hearing combinations that work for other side sleepers that use foam pads...


Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
side sleeper on 01/29/2013 21:46:59 MST Print View

I damaged my rib cage and so I need both a pad and an inflatable. I cut a xlite small and resealed it, it weighs 4oz and I half inflate it and use it under my shoulders for cushioning and I have a Ridgerest that I cut down to save weight under my torso and butt.

Joe S
20 oz on 01/30/2013 11:12:57 MST Print View

If your proposed closed cell option is at 20 oz., I suggest that you at least try an Exped UL7 LW or L before you commit. Amazingly comfortable.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
This might sound crazy, but... on 01/31/2013 16:53:40 MST Print View

It might be your knees causing you discomfort, not your hips; the weight of your top leg causes your tors to twist, and that might be (part of) the problem. Try this on your living room floor:lay on your side with no padding at all under you, and stick a small couch pillow between your knees. Does that relieve the pressure on your lower hip? If so, you might be onto something: just stuff some duff or your rain jacket or something into a stuff bag, and there you go. Works for me. By the way, I'm 56, 6'4", and 225.