What lightweight sleeping pad do you use during rifle season?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by Andy Backus, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    I'm looking for your personal opinion on sleeping pads that have worked well for you and kept you warm while backpack hunting during rifle season.

    I'm also interested in any that you had a bad experience with.
     
  2. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Andy, interesting topic. I've had about all of them and there seem to be pros and cons of all.
    I have found out that anything that can leak, will.
    I like closed cell foams for durability---not the most comfort of them all.
    That all being said, I am looking at the Big Agnes QL SL. New for this year---just over a pound and 3.5 inches thick. I am trying to come up with something light (tyvek maybe) underneath to prevent punctures from rocks which is mostly what I end up sleeping on. Imagine that, rocks in Idaho...........
    I also like closed cell foam for quickness----you can get up and out in the morning fast.

    Randy
     

  3. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    Randy,

    It sounds like you don't like to carry a closed cell pad plus your inflatable? Just too much bulk and/or weight?
     
  4. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Well, I would do that if i was winter camping and I am thinking of doing it early season with a really thin ensolite pad for the ground---I think they are about 8 ounces which is worth it for me. I am actually going to go spike camping for a wolf here in the next week or so I plan on trying out some new gear.

    Randy
     
  5. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Andy and others,
    This is a pretty good site for some gear and their closed cell pads are really good. I use one that I cut up for a sit pad.

    ProLite Gear EvoPad 1/4

    Randy
     
  6. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    Showing my age ...paid $69 for largest thermarest back in the mid 1990s and used it in CO every year for 6-7 years with no problem at 10,000'. It stands-full blown- behind the door in the den @ 72 degrees. Last used 2002.

    Hope the 4 Y.O. G.D. grows up quick so we can all go after ELK one time before I pass it all to her.:D


    Added: Randy, got that type from Army-Navy store here and have not needed it yet, but it is in the trailer, along with another 1,000 lb of junk.:rolleyes:
    Will take it for that Emergency Over Night Stay @11,000" when I go that direction or under the T-rest pad if we ever camp again.
     
  7. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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  8. Tim in Washington

    Tim in Washington Well-Known Member

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    neo air size reg. never been cold on it but have considered getting one of the new x otherms they come with a stuff sack/ inflating devise .Not blowing it up by mouth is pretty appealing
    Tim
     
  9. chad44

    chad44 Well-Known Member

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    I've had the big Agnes insulated air core now for 4-5 years and love it. Never had to patch it and its warm and comfy. Plus it packs down small.
     
  10. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI---"Backpacking" magazine just came out with their gear issue. Some info on pads, tents, bags, etc. I hate it because I am, yes, I freely admit it---a gear whore.
    Big Sky has an interesting tent out---solo at 1 pound 11 ounces. And the new Garmin GPS watch. So much gear, not enough money.............

    Randy
     
  11. Biggs300

    Biggs300 Well-Known Member

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    A good night's sleep after a hard day of hunting is important to me as I'm an old guy. I use a bivy sack with Big Agnes Air Core inside along with a therma ridge rest pad. I don't mind sacrificing the extra space for the thermal ridge pad for the added comfort it provides.
     
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Just picked up a Thermarest NeoAir X-Lite. At 12 luxurious ounces for the regular size, this takes another nearly 1/2 lb. off my kit while maintaining top notch comfort. This will be used for end of summer/early fall high country mule deer and black bear hunts. Still stick with the 19 oz. (regular size) Thermarest NeoAir All Season for later season elk hunting--very warm and comfortable.

    Most folks should be quite comfortable in a wide range of conditions with these two pads to choose from:

    NeoAir XLite

    NeoAir™ All Season
     
  13. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Have you slept on that one yet jmden??
    I've been looking at that one along with the x therm. I was wondering about the durability on the bottom about how it would hold up on rocky terrain.

    Randy
     
  14. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Hi Randy,

    The material is definitely not as thick as in the Neo Air Trekker or Neo Air All Season that I have as well and so would likely be more likely to puncture, it would seem. That said, I have owned many Thermarests over the years, many of which had the 200d or higher nylon, one of which punctured when I sat on it on some rocks that I thought wouldn't be an issue. Since then, I treat my pads with the utmost caution and have had zero trouble. Just like I don't let down get wet and take careful precautions to that end, I don't let my pads get in a situation where they could puncture.

    However, I do think this material is puncture proof enough for my use. All my tents have floors, if not an additional 'floor saver' underneath and I spend some time making sure that nothing under the tent will damage the floor. Your situation may vary...:) Sounds like you end up on the rocks, in which case this pad may not be for you. I suppose if we were real men, we'd cut some pine boughs and make a bed out of those, huh? :D:rolleyes:

    This is lighter than any of the Big Agnes pads and I wonder if it's not more durable that BA's lightest pad as I've heard of issues with that pad, but I'm sure there's issues with this pad and any other if not treated carefully. Only thing was that with the older style foam filled Thermarests, I found them most often most comfortable with the valves open--a firmness like a puncture would produce. These new pads without any foam inside--they ain't gonna to work so well without air in 'em. But they sure are light and small. This pad will be smaller than a 1L water bottle packed in the Thermarest Fast and Light stuffsack (3.75" x 9.5" size), which I'm very partial to for all three of the above mentioned Thermarest pads, but this XLite will be swimming in it.