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summer sleep pad for hotter regions
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Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
summer sleep pad for hotter regions on 07/02/2013 11:39:29 MDT Print View

Hey folks; Mid-Atlantic region here and am wondering which sleep pad is better for the regions that stay warm at night. I use a Hexamid tarp, Borah bivy(if serious rain or insects present), light summer bag(40F), silk liner, BPL Lawson's Eva foam pad 3/8", sometimes a prolite4 if the ground is really hard.
Well this set up is too hot so I ditch the sleep bag, still to hot. I also ditch the bivy except when lots of bugs are hanging 'round(like this weekend). Obviously a total bug net tent is needed and save the bivy for serious rain and cold. On a recent bike tour I realized there was a lot heat emanating from my pads. I think Prolite 4 is causing serious increase in temperature. I like the combo of both pads for comfort sake but am ready to ramp up to something cooler.
Neo-Air gets rave reviews but it too is insulated as well as many Big Agnes models.

So, what do you suggest for warm weather nights on nasty hard grounds. Usually I stay away from buggy areas and hot nights but bike touring seems to get me into these areas often.

Thanks, Charlie

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: summer sleep pad for hotter regions on 07/02/2013 12:13:23 MDT Print View

Cots/hammocks are great for the summer. Obviously a cot is going to be unwieldy to pack but for the same 1.5 lbs your Prolite 4 weighs you could bring a simple gathered end hammock. You can even get them with bug netting. If you're bike touring another plus would be the ability to roll your bike under the tarp if it rains (if the tarp is large enough). I've only hammocked a few times but if I camped much during the summer that's probably the route I'd go. There's a reason hammocks are popular in the tropics I suppose.


Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: summer sleep pad for hotter regions on 07/02/2013 12:13:29 MDT Print View

I think your off base. The r-value of your sleeping pad is miniscule compared to your mattress at home (those things are like a foot thick!), and people sleep on those through hot muggy summers. It is possibly a breath-ability issue. A klymit might help with that. Other than that most backpacking pads are pretty non-porous. You should look into increasing circulation. Possibly a net tent and tarp or hammock.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Hammock'll set you right. on 07/02/2013 12:15:36 MDT Print View

I grew up in MD, and have sweated rather than slept through many a night like that.

I think your best option is a hammock. Since it sounds like you're open to the prices of a NeoAir (if not the function) I think you could assemble a basic hammock setup in that price range since your express purpose is less insulation and won't need to buy an underquilt or other insulation.

Hammock not only has zero insulation, it also allows any breeze to wrap all the way around you. Most of the time, this is a challenge to be overcome, but in your particular use case I think you'd view this as a feature. Comfy too. Be sure to get a full-enclosure net like the Dream Hammock Bug Sock to keep the skeeters off--they'll bite you right through the nylon of most hammocks.

Short of that, I think something like a Gossamer Gear Thinlight would be your next best option. Light and cheap, but certainly not comfortable. The thinner the pad is, the more gaps with the ground your body will have, allowing drafts to cool you off.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/02/2013 12:18:17 MDT.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: summer sleep pad for hotter regions on 07/02/2013 18:36:43 MDT Print View

non-insulated air pad will probably be the coolest option on the ground; a hammock, if breathable fabric, ought to be a little cooler.

Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
decisions, decisions on 07/02/2013 20:05:29 MDT Print View

You might be right, may be more of a factor of a non breathable surface against me than the R value of my pad. This may rule out most pads. Mattresses have a much more breathable surface than plastic pads. I'll look at the klymits, very strange looking though.
Hammocks, good idea. I guess the price might not be so bad since I am looking at the neo-air but the gear closet is getting rather full. I'll have to try one out first. They never looked that comfortable, I am side sleeper.
The non-insulated one(klymit as well as others) might be the simplest solution. But will it be the right choice since most of them are have a non breathable surface.

Better idea: Just camp out west:)

Thanks folks