Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Packable foam pad
Display Avatars Sort By:
Thai Wood
(Fenrir) - F
Packable foam pad on 05/13/2007 15:42:34 MDT Print View

I'm trying to put together some gear so I can go motorcycle camping, but I can't seem to find a good foam sleeping pad. Bulk (or lack there of) is more important than weight on these sort of trips and I can't find a pad that will fit in my saddle bags easily, they are all too wide, so too long when rolled. Does anyone know of a foam pad that I could perhaps fold in half then roll without too much trouble? I've tried doing that to mine, but its too stiff and won't stay. Any ideas would be apprecated. Thanks!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Packable foam pad on 05/13/2007 15:52:37 MDT Print View

It doesn't look that way at first, but it's actually easy to fold flat a blue foam pad -- just fold it to your desired configuration, then put weights on it for two days (encyclopedias are great for this). After that, the foam will 'remember' this configuration, making future foldings a breeze.

I have used a full-length (72" x 20") pad in the past. I fold it in half length wise (72" x 10"), then in thirds (24" x 10"). After weighing it down as above, it's super easy to fold and slide the pad into my backpack -- flat against the back -- and using it as a 'frame'.

Edited by ben2world on 05/13/2007 15:56:59 MDT.

Michael Bachman
(rivrfox) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
hmm on 05/13/2007 17:13:27 MDT Print View

If weight is less of an issue then bulk: try an inflatable mattress. You can find some decent ones that roll up relatively small and have a higher R rating than foam pads.

Edited by rivrfox on 05/13/2007 17:14:12 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: hmm on 05/14/2007 05:14:39 MDT Print View

I would second the inflatable option. An inflatable will easily fold in half when deflated... just fold and roll. It will also be much more comfortable.

If you prefer foam for it's failure-proof quality... I guess you could always score it in the middle to allow it to fold... and maybe duct tape on the opposite side... behind the fold. Or try the weights idea suggested above.

Lapsley Hope
(Laps) - M
Re: Packable foam pad on 05/14/2007 07:42:45 MDT Print View

As I do a lot of motorcycle camping I would suggest looking at the ThermaRest ProLite 4. I bought it for backpacking and when I received I thought it would be ideal also for taking on the motorcycle. It folds in half length wise and rolls up nice and small. Easily fits into a saddlebag.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: hmm on 05/14/2007 08:17:43 MDT Print View

I would look hard at the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pads. When some friends were putting together a long motorcycle trip across Japan, they picked these up and loved them. The biggest bonus is that they pack so small (exactly what they were looking for) and are very comfortable. I've used 2 of these for years now and have never had a leak...but I take good care of them too.

There's no escaping the bulk of foam. That is, unless you carry a Gossamer Gear Nightlight or Thinlight torso length pad. I use these all the time when going on SUL backpacks but they aren't the most comfortable for extended trips.

Doug

Thai Wood
(Fenrir) - F
Thanks on 05/18/2007 16:55:00 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll probably try the weights idea first and then score it if that doesn't work. I understand why inflatables were suggested, but not only are they way more than I'm willing to spend, I prefer the durability and less worry of foam. If anyone thanks of anything else keep them coming!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Thanks on 05/18/2007 17:03:59 MDT Print View

Good choice! Remember, after two days of being weighted down, the blue foam will 'remember' its folded position -- so take extra time and care to fold them really straight and exactly the way you want it. You will be pleasantly surprised how something that's a massive roll right now will become so easily foldable. :)

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Re: Re: Packable foam pad on 05/23/2007 21:50:00 MDT Print View

"It doesn't look that way at first, but it's actually easy to fold flat a blue foam pad -- just fold it to your desired configuration, then put weights on it for two days (encyclopedias are great for this). After that, the foam will 'remember' this configuration, making future foldings a breeze."

Encyclopedias? Those Cd/DVD disks don't seem heavy enough to weight anything down.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Packable foam pad on 05/23/2007 22:17:39 MDT Print View

Ha ha... :)

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Packable foam pad on 05/23/2007 22:18:50 MDT Print View

National Geographics! At least you will find a use for them after they've been collecting dust for so long...

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Packable foam pad on 05/23/2007 23:22:54 MDT Print View

Fenrir, You want small deflated volume, high inflated comfort, and low cost.. there is really only one choice, inflatables. So I agree with the previous posters. Montbell's version has 6 individual chambers, so if one bursts you can sleep through the night and fix it later.. I own one and it is very comfortable. If you are sleeping in an tent, how could it ever get punctured?
Pressurize it so you just barely do not touch the ground, that is maximum cushiness.(sorry to get technical)

470 gram Inflatable:
http://en.montbell.jp/products/goods/list.php?category=229000

Light weight is not so important on a bike, but the lightest 180cm combo in the world is the Montbell 120cm pad, 20cm extension, and 30cm pillow..
Choose the components from that same page link...

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: re:Packable foam pad on 05/23/2007 23:27:16 MDT Print View

National Geographic

People actually buy them? When they can browse for free in all the bookstores? :)

Separately, blue foam pads are pretty uncomfortable -- but for the younger set with strong skeletal and muscular systems, they are just about the lightest weight option around:

- cheap as heck
- light as heck
- decent insulation
- fairly compact and makes for great "virtual frames" when folded flat
- practically indestructible
- OK comfort for the young and strong

Edited by ben2world on 05/23/2007 23:31:02 MDT.