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Torso vs. full length pad
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David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Torso vs. full length pad on 06/19/2014 14:54:53 MDT Print View

OK, so I'm looking for creative ways to cut weight (literally!). At this point, I've got everything down as about light as I can except for my pad. I was wondering whether my feet would be significantly colder by going with a torso length pad or cutting down an Xlite?

My NeoAir Xtherm, size regular (72") weighs in at 15.45 oz including Tenacious tape added to secure my pillow to my pad. I was wondering what a LARGE Xlite would weigh at around 50-55" in length (cut down). I just laid down on my Xtherm and put my feet on my pack and it didn't seem too bad...As a matter of fact, having my feet on my pack helped them from wobbling off the pad which often seems to be the case with my mummy-shaped Xtherm. But then again I'm in my living room and the temp outside right now is 90+ degrees F. I'm curious how I would feel at 11,000' and 30-40 F. Would my lower legs feel cold?

My thought was this: Have a torso-length pad (or cut down an Xlite) for the summertime when you want to go UL / SUL, and then have a full-length Xtherm for fall/spring/winter when temps drop below 32 F.

I'm leaning towards cutting down a LARGE Xlite (if I go this crazy route) rather than a regular width pad so I can get more room in my shoulder area. My primary complaint with my XTherm is that it's just too narrow and my arms tend to roll off the pad...and I'm not a big guy at 5'7" and 140 lbs.

Thoughts? Anyone have a LARGE Xlite they'd like to donate or sell at a reasonable price?

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Torso vs. full length pad on 06/19/2014 15:07:21 MDT Print View

I use a torso length pad for three season backpacking but it's a Prolite. I've never found that my feet get cold and I rarely put anything under them other than a ground sheet. I have on occasion just slept on the ground without a pad and it hasn't bothered me thermoregulation-wise so take it fwiw ymmv etc.

My only concern with using a thicker pad like yours is the drop off from the hips to the knees and ankles. I've read many complaints here where that's been uncomfortable for some people.

(JRinGeorgia) - F
Re: Torso vs. full length pad on 06/19/2014 15:43:39 MDT Print View

That "drop" is why I've hesitated to cut down my L-sized XLite. Considering that the pad tapers to the feet, you would be cutting off less width per inch of length, so the weight savings isn't quite as much as it would seem by chopping 30% of the length. My estimate is you might save about 3 oz.

Do you carry a sitpad? That combined with your pack under your legs could give you adequate insulation and reduce the "drop" further.

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Considered the exact same thing on 06/19/2014 16:14:20 MDT Print View

I've been considering the exact same thing, but then just realized the weight savings on a torso length large X-Lite wouldn't be worth it after considering the drop off and loss of comfort since I'm a stomach sleeper. I imagine the top of my feet would get stretched on the ground or on my pack...but I digress, since this isn't about my situation. I only mention that to say why I'm not going through with trimming down my large XLite.

Nothing else that I can find seems lighter than a large (un-cut) XLite that also offers the same level of comfort.

Have you thought about CCF to save weight? I have a strong feeling that I can't do it since I sleep on my stomach. If I slept on my back, I bet some creative campsite selection would make CCF bearable.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Cutting down a Large Xlite? on 06/19/2014 16:53:09 MDT Print View

No, I haven't considered CCF, and I value my comfort too much to do so. I see what you guys are saying about the "drop" off an air pad from the torso to the legs. Hmm...maybe stuffing your pack with something to raise it?

As far as cutting down the Xlite goes, if the LARGE is 78", I could still cut off a significant amount and have enough room, since I'm only 5'7" tall. If I could save 3+ oz I would say it's worth it for me, since I've gone to great lengths to cut off fractions of an oz elsewhere. The main reason to cut down an Xlite would be to make a standard length Xlite with a wide shoulder--which I wish ThermaRest would make to begin with. I just don't understand how people bigger than me can be comfortable on a 19"-20" wide pad, esp. with the NeoAir baffle design.

Now someone just needs to invent an inflatable PACK! It could serve as a multi-use item:

1. a flotation device for crossing deep and swiftly moving rivers
2. to go underneath your legs, allowing you to carry a torso-length pad
3. to give the impression that your pack is full so that you can pass gear off to your hiking companions
4. ?

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Cutting down a Large Xlite? on 06/19/2014 17:05:43 MDT Print View

You may want to look at the small Prolite (regular). I find that it's pretty comfortable on anything but concrete and it'll save you the 3oz.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Pad strategy on 06/19/2014 17:15:36 MDT Print View

"My thought was this: Have a torso-length pad (or cut down an Xlite) for the summertime when you want to go UL / SUL, and then have a full-length Xtherm for fall/spring/winter when temps drop below 32 F."

I went exactly this route. I have a short xlite for warmer weather and a full length xtherm for cooler weather. My motivation wasn't to cut weight in the summer as much as why put wear and tear on a very expensive pad when it's not needed. The other benefits of the xlite in the summer is that it is faster to blow up than the full length pad, a task I abhor.

You could argue that I have excess gear but I hike enough that I will likely replace both pads before my hiking career ends. It is certainly not the cheapest approach but likely the lowest long term cost.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Cutting down a Large Xlite? on 06/20/2014 01:11:17 MDT Print View

I say why take the risk and lose the LIFETIME warranty and destroy the resale value when you have OEM alternatives, like new improved Thermarest Trekker Torso length (pistachio color) and the Klymit Inertia X Wave.

I went with the X Wave after trying to sleep half on my Neoair. The 3" drop off put uncomfortable pressure on my lower back. Glad I did as the Klymit high pressure baffles are very comfy and super fast to inflate/deflate. Works well with the 1/4 section of large/wide Ridgerest Solar CCF I use as my sit pad too if I need the extra padding.

Edited by rmjapan on 06/20/2014 01:12:11 MDT.

(JRinGeorgia) - F
re: Cutting down a Large Xlite on 06/20/2014 05:02:35 MDT Print View

David, you've said:

>>"I was wondering what a LARGE Xlite would weigh at around 50-55" in length (cut down)."

>>"The main reason to cut down an Xlite would be to make a standard length Xlite with a wide shoulder"

Which are you looking to end up with, 50-55" torso length or standard length (which would be 72")? My estimate of saving 3oz was based on trimming to 50-55", you won't save nearly that much trimming to 72" (reducing length by only 5"), my estimate on that would be less than 1oz saved, IMO not worth voiding the warranty.

Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F

Locale: SE US
Re: Torso vs. full length pad on 06/20/2014 10:35:47 MDT Print View

"My thought was this: Have a torso-length pad (or cut down an Xlite) for the summertime when you want to go UL / SUL, and then have a full-length Xtherm for fall/spring/winter when temps drop below 32 F."
Nothing wrong with that. I use a Klymit Inertia X-Lite Recon for the hottest weeks, and have gone to a Prolite Small for most of summer, spring and fall. Exped Downmat UL 7 for winter, though.
I used a Thermarest Guidelite 3/4 with my feet on my pack year round for a long time, and used to take an extra pair of heavy socks in winter because my feet would be the only thing that got cold(would even wrap them in a fleece vest sometimes). Hasn't happened since I started using full length insulated inflatables.

Dean L
(Adroit) - M

Locale: Northeast US
Shorter pads on 06/20/2014 12:20:20 MDT Print View

. --Now someone just needs to invent an inflatable PACK! It could serve as a multi-use item:--


MLD offers that as an option as an inflatable back pad for your pack.

Also, Gossamer Gear sells a torso pad that is tapered in 2 directions, less drop off for your legs.

Either of those might work for you.

I use a large X-Therm in the winter, and a reg X-Lite in the summer.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Re: Torso vs. full length pad on 06/20/2014 14:03:43 MDT Print View

Like others I've moved the other way - for the comfort/sleep factor - the over-arching thing being better sleep.

Used a TAR short for a few seasons (incl. some quite long trails - CT).

Using a pack under feet is OK - but the big pain for me was making a pillow high the pillow was off the mat.

With a full-length mat those problems go away at a 60g (oz and a half? penalty); come on - there's no contest...

I'm happier, wriggle less, sleep way better, don't need to muck about with arranging poor mat/pillow alternates that 'creep' in the night and make me restless.

Best thing I've chosen to do in years regarding weigh/benefit.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Works on 06/20/2014 19:35:44 MDT Print View

Torso pads plus backpack has worked for me just fine all winter out here in the Northeast, but my pack has a built-in foam back that is pretty substantial (it's a Boreas Buttermilk). I find that my legs and feet don't rest as firmly on a pad as my torso does, on account for things like heels and knees, so I lose a lot less heat in my lower body. I wouldn't hesitate to use a torso/pack system at any temperature above -20ºF.

I used it last night, in fact. Slept like a baby.

Kyle Robson
(kylerr) - MLife

Locale: Northern Virginia
Have you considered the Women's XLite on 06/21/2014 19:29:39 MDT Print View

I am 5'7" and only my feet stick off. It is 11 oz but you don't get any extra width. I would like to have a wider pad for the same reason you mentioned but I find that this pad works well.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
As mentioned several times on 06/22/2014 00:12:45 MDT Print View

I tried the torso pad and found it very uncomfortable to the point where my next day was effected by lower back pains from having that 'drop' of legs off the edge off the torso pad. Please have a good go at it before you do decide to go down the torso road. In my case I knew after the first night and NEVER had any luck with it thereafter.

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
I'm with Ed. on 06/22/2014 05:56:34 MDT Print View

Full length all the way. Life is too short for a crappy night t's rest in the outdoors. I used a 3/4 neo ex lite for years. The full sized pad, though, there is no comparison.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Torso vs. full length pad on 06/22/2014 07:27:28 MDT Print View

Not mentioned is that a shorter pad (wether "3/4" or torsosize) with your legs and feet on a pack, may allow your legs and feet to lie higher (depending on the pack of course) and recuperate during the night. Having been doing that for ever and sleep good.

Edited by Woubeir on 06/22/2014 10:50:29 MDT.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Went away on 06/22/2014 10:43:41 MDT Print View

After my feet being the coldest part of my body on my pack, no matter what bag I was using, I decided to ditch the torso length pad for a full length pad. Feet are warmer. I was also tired of having to empty my pack to use under my feet. Now I have storage in my pack for odds and ends right next to my head.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Went away on 06/22/2014 11:03:08 MDT Print View

same here - tried torso length, full length warmer and more comfortable feet.

It's narrower at foot end so doesn't add that much weight.

But torso length works too

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Re: Went away on 06/22/2014 12:36:38 MDT Print View

so actually, one should add the "3/4" pad (actually 2/3) to complete the comparison. Being able to choose only between torso and full length, my choice would be the full length either. But if a "3/4" would also be one of the possible choices, it would make a choice more difficult since, at least for me, I always slep5 nice and I was never cold (not even my feet)on such a pad.