Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sleeping Pad Rant

I split my camping between tent camping and hammock camping. That being said, I am in the market for a new sleeping pad. Over the years I have used a number of pads. The first pad I used was an surplus military closed cell foam pad, the pad was cheap and kept me warm but provided little to no comfort. I then picked up a surplus therm-a-rest inflatable pad for $12. The pad was slightly more comfortable and kept me warm enough for 3 season trips (I still use foam for winter). Then I moved on to the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core. I purchased this pad on a whim for a two week backpacking trip. I like the thickness of the pad. I can fully inflate the pad and let air out until the pad is at just the right level for my comfort. I like that it has some insulation. What I would change about the pad would be the width and the length. When I purchased the pad I was worried about weight, bulk, and comfort I chose to get the regular sized mummy pad. This pad was not wide enough and I found myself sliding off of it in the night. I also noticed that my feet were off the pad more then they were on it. The insulation in the pad is starting to come loose and bunch in the baffles. This leads me to researching a new pad option.

Looking at the current pad market I would love to go with something like the NeoAir Xlite. I think the combination of the pads weight and R-value make it a good contender. What I don't like about the NeoAir is the price, and the point of this post... it's width. Why can't manufactures make a short wide sleeping pad. Cascade designs already makes a 20" and a 25" version of the NeoAir. The 20" version comes in two lengths and the 25" version only comes in extra long. I want a short WIDE pad. If you already make a 25" pad and already make a short pad, how hard would it be to cut the wide pad short? Something to think about.