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For those of you who love short pads...
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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
For those of you who love short pads... on 03/04/2013 06:48:02 MST Print View

So my exped synmat UL7 exploded. Sent it to exped for repairs, but I'm doubtful. It was a big explosion.

So that means I'm probably in the market for a new pad. I move around too much to deal with the crinkly thermarests, I'm terribly disappointed in the new BA reports of being too skinny, so I'm thinking of the exped downmat for the additional warmth (if I have to spend that kind of money, might as well just up it a notch, right?)

If I'm going for extra R value, does it make sense to get a short one? So many of you like the shorter pads, but I can't imagine that a 2.5 inch drop off would be easy to deal with using my pack or whatever else I can find. The sit pad of my pack would help, but is it enough??

Anyway, what's the general consensus about short inflatables?

I'm - ahem - in my 40s (a bit creaky in the am), use a quilt, and my dog is worthless for added warmth in the tent.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Exped X plosion on 03/04/2013 06:54:37 MST Print View

First How did you Xplode the pad that way??? Wow
I have several Exped products and have never Failed one like that.

I actually have no valuable advice on short/long pad since I use longs and disregard the the extra weight for comfort.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Short Pad on 03/04/2013 07:00:10 MST Print View

If you use a quilt, I'd probably go with a longer pad....less draft potential IMO. But it seems to be a matter of personal style and preference. I have found as I approach age 50 and get creakier as well, I prefer a full-length 25" wide pad. It's the thing I allow the most luxury weight for.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Short and wide... on 03/04/2013 07:13:01 MST Print View

There's a joke there.........

Yeah, I'd love a 25" wide one, but I certainly don't need it so long; I loathe not so much the weight but the volume. I can probably go with the S 64" long pad, but I am concerned about the drafts and whatnot - if I'm spending cash and weight and volume on a higher R value pad, am I erasing all that if I went with the really short one (the XS)

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Explosion on 03/04/2013 07:18:51 MST Print View

I was working on my first DIY project of a quilt attachment system and went to show it off to a friend...

It was on carpet, nothing around, and the clips are those flat buckles. I clipped in, went to roll over on the fully inflated pad, when my dog decided he was going to go after the cat on the other side of the pad. He jumped and landed with his front paws on my chest...and boom! The nylon is NOT ripstop, so there you go. $150 down the drain.

It's a good thing dogs are cute.Chuck smiling

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Explosion on 03/04/2013 08:14:30 MST Print View

"It's a good thing dogs are cute."

Indeed! He's a doll. How old?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: For those of you who love short pads... on 03/04/2013 08:17:49 MST Print View

"Anyway, what's the general consensus about short inflatables?"

C'mon, you've been on this site long enough. There is no general consensus about much of anything!

I like my Synmat UL 7 regular (got the downmat UL as well). I've always preferred the longer pads. I only wish they made the regular length with the 25" width! But, for me, the Synmats 'feel' wider than the Thermarests.

Go with regular length, you'll be happier.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Consensus on 03/04/2013 08:23:39 MST Print View

Well, the general consensus between me, myself, and I is that we prefer a full length pad. While Myself liked the idea of a shorter pad to save weight, Me liked less bulk, and I liked less inflation effort, we all agree that the comfort of a full length is worth it.


Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Consensus on 03/04/2013 09:37:59 MST Print View

Personally, I don't find the drop off a problem, if it is below my waist. I use the smallest neoair, and just pit my pack and any extra gear under my feet.
It might just be me, but as long as my torso is all level, I don't care if my legs are hanging off a cliff or floating in the air.
If you're concerned, try it at home first, or buy from REI.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Short pads on 03/04/2013 09:41:48 MST Print View

I've been playing around with short pads and to me it kinda matters how you sleep,side or back,how hard you like your pad and where the pad comes on your legs. You can experiment with a full length pad by varying the pressure and sliding down on the pad and trying whatever under your legs. I am a side sleeper. My latest combo is a three foot cut down synmat my head hangs over the end onto my stuff sack pillow which lays on the ground not the mat. Then I use a 3'× 22"×1/2" CCF pad that laps one foot under the syn mat and extends two feet out. I like the synmat just hard enough to keep the lowest part of me(my hip) off the ground. So my legs don't have a big drop off and I have two mats under my hip and thigh for warmth. I am totally on a pad or pillow. So now I have two baby synmats and it works for me. I really like having the CCF pad for a all around use sit pad, wind screen,fishing pole case etc and carried it even when I had one full length syn mat anyway. Also I use a bag not a quilt but think this would work OK for me with a quilt. If my inflatable ever goes flat I can use the CCF under my torso and pack under my legs. YMMV.

Edited by mtmnmark on 03/04/2013 10:07:19 MST.

Rob P
(rpjr) - M
custom length? on 03/04/2013 09:55:29 MST Print View

I've heard of people altering the length of inflatable pads by cutting them and resealing the end with a hot iron. I've never done it before, it's just something I remember reading about a while ago. So conceivably you could alter one to make your own custom length downmat 25X64 pad. Maybe someone else knows if this kind of thing can work?

Edited by rpjr on 03/04/2013 09:59:23 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: custom length? on 03/04/2013 10:10:37 MST Print View

Cutting a pad down is a risky effort. I've tried the exercise on use pads with damage to the lower section, so there was little to lose. Cutting a new one makes me wince.

I think a wide short pad makes sense, but evidently the marketing folk don't agree. I think the hammock crowd would be all over a wide short pad. Of course, CCF pads are easy and the leftovers are useful.

I use a short pad and carry a sit pad which I use together for sleep. Packs can work for lower legs and feet too.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Knees on pads on 03/04/2013 10:27:28 MST Print View

I am comfortable with my feet sticking off a pad for about 6" or so. Any more than that and I am uncomfortable. I find that if my knees are off the pad I get a torque placed on my hips that is uncomfortable. And I find I need to have 6" below the knee on the pad or I get a torque placed on my knees. So I need to have most of my body on the pad.

So being over 6 feet tall the 72" pads work for me lenth wise with my head on the pad but I really like the width of a 25" pad so in the end I go with a neo air xlite large and just eat the extra ounces. For reference I am a side sleeping 6'3" 200lbs.

For your pad it might be fixable. since the nylon is heat sealable you might be able to get a pacth made out of heat sealable nylon at put both an inside and outside layer on. The big issue would be trying to isolate the layer and not seal the bottom to the top of the pad. There are some posts here about shortening wide neo airs that would be applicable. So if Exped says its a write off and you didnt buy it at back country or REI then it might be a fun fix it project.

Edited by GregF on 03/04/2013 10:28:26 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
So the long wide it is!!! on 03/04/2013 13:47:41 MST Print View

Since I didn't get a whole lot of love for short pads, and since so many people commit the grave sin of actually - gasp - going a bit heavier for the wider pads, perhaps I should just spring for the LW downmat if the synmat is toast.

By the way, CharlieDog is 5 ish...a rescue. He's the best trail dog....I'm going to miss hiking with him on the jmt!!

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
short pads on 03/04/2013 13:58:39 MST Print View

I love my short inflatable xtherm. Incredible winter insulation at under 11 oz. I prop my feet on my backpack to keep them off the snow. This has provided adequate insulation down to -11F with a thinlight 1/8" foam pad. I hadn't commented originally because this is the sort of thing you'd have to try for yourself to see if it works for you. I'd second the recommendation of walking into a sporting goods store and testing it out. I did prefer the square shape of the old neoair over the tapered mummy shape as it made it easier to stay on the pad, but I make it work for me by tucking the "foot" end of the pad into the mouth of my backpad to keep them together.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Short pad. on 03/04/2013 14:42:41 MST Print View

I'm 5'8" and have used short, 48", pads for years. My current pad is a short older neoair pad (48") and it's fine for me. Generally I use clothes, pack, etc., as a pillow with perhaps just my feet hanging over the bottom end. For winter I'd want a longer pad, or more likely, a full length foam pad underneath the air mattress.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Short pad. on 03/04/2013 14:50:30 MST Print View

+1 walter

Neo short and pack under legs works for me. Only problem is when your pack is soaked from rain.
(foam on TOP of pad in winter for me though. Its never cold to the touch since no air is in it)

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Shortish Pads... on 03/04/2013 14:59:07 MST Print View

There's also the Medium All Season or the Xlite Women's at 66". I find the Neo Air All Season less crinkly then the XLite (I have both in LW).

-Mark in St. Louis

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Pad length on 03/04/2013 15:30:28 MST Print View

For years I've used a short pad, primarily for less bulk, not less weight. Then last summer and fall I tested the BA Q Core, then available only in regular length. It spoiled me, really keeping me much warmer. So I'm no help on your question. I do have a handsome rescue dog, however.Babar

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
More confused than ever then on 03/04/2013 16:47:14 MST Print View

Wow do I hate decisions.

So it's either a small 64" long version that will save quite a few ounces and a bit of bulk, or the LW and just live in the lap of luxury, but for about an 8 oz penalty.

My guess is that I'd probably be quite happy with the 64" (which is cheaper anyway...). I'm 67" tall, so should be just fine, right?? I'm seriously going to ask exped why they don't make a 64" wide. Now THAT would be an awesome pad. I really want the extra width, but just so don't need the extra length.

And in that note: Dave, BG, Doug...the rest of you chaffers, you know who you are...keep it clean. :)

Nice puppy!!!!