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Switching to a foam pad?
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Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
Switching to a foam pad? on 08/15/2013 00:15:50 MDT Print View

I have this...

It's super small and comfy if you're a back sleeper, but I'm a side sleeper, and my hip always ends up sore and I sleep horribly on it, tossing and turning all night, waking up every hour. I am considering switching to a Ridgerest SoLite. I think foam may be more comfortable and I don't have to worry about punctures. Thoughts? Am I wrong? I really am not liking this air pad, even though it has great reviews.

Edited by StevenDavisPhoto on 08/15/2013 00:16:21 MDT.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
ccf on 08/15/2013 00:36:05 MDT Print View

I'm a side sleeper. I hate inflatables. They bounce around and slide a bunch. No thanks.

I use a short Thermarest Ridgerest (like the SoLite). I will never go back to an air mattress. You will probably still wake up with sore hips, I do sometimes. Site selection is important, of course. I also like the fact I can throw it anywhere as a sit pad. No puncture worries is great.

Try it out. Maybe you like it, maybe you don't.

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: ccf on 08/15/2013 00:39:16 MDT Print View

thanks. yeah, i bounce and slide around too much. the foam pads are cheap enough to test out.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Switching to a foam pad? on 08/15/2013 00:52:20 MDT Print View

I'm a side sleeping inflatable user. I have a ridgerest I'll be stuck with one on my next trip - giving the wife the inflatable for her first trip. I have a 1/8" CCF I was thinking of bringing along and folding under the ridgrest where my hips would be resting. Any ideas if this would help with the sore hips problem? Bad idea?

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Switching to a foam pad? on 08/15/2013 00:57:24 MDT Print View

i'm sure it would help. just the extra weight/bulk you gotta consider. up to u if it's worth it.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 08/15/2013 01:40:02 MDT Print View

I actually like the Solite a lot. It's like a fancy piece of foam. The ridges make it softer. It's nice to have something that is durable and can be abused and sat on. I sleep better on neoairs, but sometimes get tired of blowing them up.

My small weighs 9 oz. The reflective coating is a plus.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Switching to a foam pad? on 08/15/2013 04:51:06 MDT Print View

Hmmm, I use a NeoAir precisly because I don't get sore hips with it. I blow it up enough to support my hips. I guess it depends on the person... Anyway, the thickness can be a problem by making the pad seem narrower, due to the height (2-1/2".) They can also seemingly deflate overnight. This is caused by temperature changes, soo, I often have to give them a couple breaths of air just before I go to bed.

For shorter trips, I have an old NightLite 3/4 length pad. One has been in use for about 8 years. (The new NightLites are NOT the same...the one I have weighs about 7.75oz, ~60" long, about 3/4" thick at a R2.5.) It doubles as my pack frame, good to about 30pounds.) Gossamer Gear had a hard time shipping the older ones, very bulkey, so I do not believe they offer these anymore. I believe than Nunatak still offers a full length version at 78" long (look on the bottom of their "sleep systems" list.) Using an electric knife, they can be cut down to suit.

Anyway, I use them both. There is a lot more you can do with a CCF pad than a neoair. Neoairs are much more comfortable on hard surfaces. CCF pads are fine on forest duff and the like. About the same as the older Thermorest self inflatable.
Anyway, carefull nesting of the bumps, allows them to be cut into ~10-10.12" wide pieces. Taping them back together with buct tape works OK for about 5 years. It makes a stiffer frame, takes up less voluume, and, lets you use it as a wind break around your stove. Scraps, depending on how you cut it, are usefull for pot cozies, UL sandals, etc. It IS a CCF pad, after all. But it is only 3/4" thick. On hard surfaces, roots, etc. you will get very sore if you side sleep, as I do.

GG and others have pad pockets in their packs. Most internal framed or frameless packs can be modified to take a pad. Less than an ounce of mesh is needed for the 2 sleeves. Better would be to fold the edges, from an engineering standpoint. 2 - 5-6" flaps around your pack extending out from the 10" body can be added with little trouble (tent-pole elastic cord attachments). This will add about 8-10 pounds to the maximum load of the pack, without collapse.

I use a 5 layer pad. When nested, it is about 2-1/2" thick making a beefy frame for a frameless pack. Every frameless pack has a problem with pack collapse, this is one way to correct it and still use the pad for sleeping. Air pads do NOT work nearly as well for this. Even the GG/Klymit AirBeam pad does not supply the same pack support.
However, after the tape, it weighs about 10oz. It is easily removed for sitting on. and leaned against a tree or rock it makes a great chair. I have been known to slip it under my jacket for some extra insulation on cold mornings. And, it fulfills the requirement for dual use gear...pack frame and sleeping pad. Coupled with the Murmur, it weighs less than 20oz for a 25-30pound pack load, increased from 15-20 pounds. If I bring the NeoAir, I use another CCF NightLite pad cut into two layers. Not as effective as the five layer, but still good for 20pounds, maybe a bit more, when coupled with the Murmur. This is also taped together with nested "bumps."

The Z-Rest and SOL versions are not amenable to cutting down like this. A 1/2" pad works but is not as effective for sleeping.

Anyway, I am surprised you have trouble with the neoair. I suspect you will have worse problems with your hips with the CCF pads, though. They are really prefered for forest duff, but I find they are NOT comfortable on hard ground or lean-too's.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Foam Pad on 08/15/2013 06:50:51 MDT Print View

In general, an inflatable pad seems a lot more comfortable for a side sleepers hips than a foam pad. That's certainly my experience. IMO, using a foam pad is a skill in that you need to pay more attention to site selection. Look for natural curvature that works for your body, rather than the flattest bit of ground. When solo I find a foam pad to be a viable option, but when camping with two (and thus using a larger tent) it's harder to be as picky with site selection so I use an inflatable (Exped SynMat UL7).

With your inflatable, try different levels of inflation. On my side I prefer it soft so I get maximum sinking in, but on my back I prefer it stiffer because otherwise it bulges up into my lumbar area and I get sore there.

Edited by dandydan on 08/15/2013 06:51:50 MDT.

Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
Klymit on 08/15/2013 07:11:52 MDT Print View

I just bought the Klymit X Wave 3/4 and am impressed. I am a side sleeper and did not 'bottom' out. It is relatively cheap, comes with an inflator bulb(small and lite) and only takes seconds to inflate. I even slept in the back of my truck one night and did not feel the ridges in the truck bed. PLUS it is wider than most so rolling off of it was not a problem which happens on every other pad I have used.
FWIW: I bought this used from another BPL side sleeping member. They stated that they bottomed out and did not like this pad. Thus your results may vary. I am 6ft, 180lbs.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Switching to a foam pad? on 08/15/2013 07:20:47 MDT Print View

I used to get sore on a Neoair and it went away after switching to an Exped Ul.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Re: CCF pads on 08/15/2013 07:47:51 MDT Print View

One (of many) handy things about the CCF pads (love my Ridgerest SOLite) is the ability to slap it down and test-drive the sleeping spot before you pitch anything. Whenever possible, I'll first find my 'bed' this way, and then make camp over it.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
CCF for sore hips? on 08/15/2013 08:19:56 MDT Print View

I went away from CCF to a Neoair precisely because of this. I find it hard to believe that moving to a CCF will be an improvement for sore hips but try it out. I personally would be looking at inflation levels. Never had the problem that you are describing.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Switching to a foam pad?" on 08/15/2013 10:39:35 MDT Print View

Side sleeper here. I had the POE Peak Elite AC inflatable and was not comfortable. This year I opted to take the weight penalty and got the Big Agnes Q Core SL Wide/Long. I didn't need the long part, being only 5'5", but I wanted the 25" width. And this pad is thick enough that it's comfortable for side sleeping. Quite comfortable, actually. I'll never go back to foam pad, the last time I slept on one of those, it was bad and I had two z-rests doubled up. It still didn't offer enough padding. My 40 year old body isn't as forgiving as my 20 year old body was.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
exped on 08/15/2013 11:46:06 MDT Print View

I just got back from a 2-nighter in the Sierra. I'm a toss-and-turner, but usually end up on my side. I found my Exped UL 7 to be quite comfortable. I brought a piece of half-inch blue CCF for my dog. She also preferred the Exped.

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: exped on 08/15/2013 12:12:26 MDT Print View

yeah maybe the exped would be better since the ribbing goes vertically, so might work better for side sleepers. i think i'll see if i can test both the ridgerest and the exped at REI and see what i like.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
z-lite on 08/15/2013 12:13:10 MDT Print View

If you use a full length Therm-a-rest Z-lite (the accordion looking one), you can double up the folded portions at your hips (and shoulders) to give you the extra cushioning in those areas. Obviously the pad will now be shorter so you'll probably want to throw your pack or piece of extra clothing under your feet.

Edited by FeetFirst on 08/15/2013 12:59:17 MDT.

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: z-lite on 08/15/2013 12:27:25 MDT Print View

yeah, i was thinking i could fold up a foam pad in those areas. need to go to REI and experiment. they foam ones are cheap enough where u can just buy a big one and cut it up.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
foam pads on 08/15/2013 12:55:01 MDT Print View

"i could fold up a foam pad in those areas"

It's a bit counter-intuitive, but as a side-sleeper myself, you might find it more comfortable to have the thicker areas above and below your hips, so that they settle into a dip. For me, it isn't so much the padding as the angle of the hip that can cause trouble. This is why I choose a site by lying on it; I'm looking for that natural dip to put my hip in.

If I made a pad for side-sleepers, it would have a wave-form cross-section, with the trough of the wave at the hip.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Foam pad + pillow on 08/16/2013 16:05:47 MDT Print View

Also side sleeper, also get sore hips. Use a Ridgerest foam pad, mostly b/c I don't have to baby it. Seems like someone pops an inflatable on almost every trip I'm on. I can sit on it, use it as a windscreen, take a post-meal nap up on rocky ground, whatever. What made a big difference for me was getting and Exped pillow. Aligns my body better, seems to help w/ the hips...

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 08/16/2013 17:27:03 MDT Print View

Air pads are by far more comfortable than CCF... there seems to be some doubt in this thread. Just clearing that up.