Initial Report Pacific Outdoor Equipment Max-Thermo Sleeping Pad
Name: George Griffin
Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
City: London U.K
Date: 29 February 2004
I have been backpacking since 1986. Mainly in the Peak District, Lake
District, Wales and Southern England. I am also the London liaison
member for the Backpackers Club. In the early days I backpacked solo
but in recent years I have backpacked with two friends. Most of my
trips are from September through to May, I normally get four 4+ day
trips in that time, plus the occasional weekend.
Terrain and elevation on these trips can be anything from coastal paths
to mountains, sea level to 3,000-ft (914 m). Temperatures ranges from -5
C to 23 C (23 F to 75 F).
Manufacturer: Insul Mat
Year of manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer`s Weight: 23 oz (650 g)
Measured Weight: 24.6 oz (700 g)
Colour: Red (top)/Black (bottom)
From the swing tag
"The Max-Thermo has a stout 70D nylon bottom, and a light 50D diamond ripstop top. What sets it apart is the dose of synthetic fill insulation we have inserted into the tubes, giving it true 3-season insulation."
The day before the pad was delivered, UPS phoned to say that the package would be arriving the following day. They gave an a.m. delivery time but the package didn't actually arrive until 4 p.m. (I`ve included this as it is unusual for a courier company to phone and let you know when they are delivering).
The pad arrived in a long box; I expected it to take up the whole box but upon opening the pad was in its stuff sack and took up less than half the box. Apart from a small amount of packing the pad was the only thing inside the box, (the invoices were attached to the outside of the box).
Swing tag attached to the drawstring on the stuff sack
The swing tag is actually a 12 page booklet in four different languages (English, German, Italian, & French) with instructions on how to inflate/deflate the pad. It also contains the lifetime warranty.
The stuff sack
The stuff sack is a nylon bag with a drawstring and a plastic cordlock toggle, it also has a pocket in the bottom which contains the repair kit.
The repair kit consists of two pieces of material, one for the top and one for the bottom of the pad. These are about 4 in square (10 cm), a tube of Mat-Fix A glue and the instructions on how to repair the pad; this is all contained in a little plastic ziplock bag.
After looking at the website; I was expecting a sleeping pad that was much bigger that it actual was. I knew it would look like a lilo but I was surprised how tough it looked; I was excepting something more flimsy and not constructed as well as it is.
I was surprised at how small this was packed, I did expect it to be a much bulkier item. The pad was folded and rolled inside the stuff sack on arrival and measured 10 in x 5 1/2 in (25 cm x 14 cm). I removed the pad from the stuff sack and unfolded it, my first concern was would I be able to fold it back up small enough to fit back in the sack (more on this later).
A check of the valve and seams showed no sign of defect and the pad was in good order.
I unrolled the pad and was greeted with a mummy shaped pad; red on the top and black underneath with a plastic valve in one of the top corners, on closer inspection the valve is actually brass with a plastic cover.
The pad measures 72 x 20 x 2 1/2 in (183 x 51 x 6.3 cm) when inflated; the first two dimensions are the same when the pad is deflated but the last one is roughly 1/8 in (3 mm). This is a manually inflated pad which means `you blow it up`, I did think that it would take some time to inflate but it inflates quite quickly in about 2-3 minutes, 20-30 normal breaths.
The pad is made from two different weights of nylon 70D for the bottom and a lighter 50D ripstop for the top. The pad is made up of six interlinked tubes; only four run the full length of the pad, the other two give the width at the shoulders.
The synthetic fill feels like it is attached to the top of the pad and also has a sponge-like feel to it and this helps to give it warmth.
"It is most comfortable and you slip less when the mat is not filled to trampoline like firmness"
When air is blown into the valve it gradually circulates to all of the tubes and inflates the pad.
The air inside the tubes can move around as you shift your body weight, different parts of your body get pushed up so when you lean on an elbow the air gets pushed down to your feet and you find them being raised.
Weight distribution plays a part in deciding if the pad is correctly inflated. When laying on the pad the weight is spread evenly and the air inside the tubes support you but if you sit on the pad the weight is all in one area and this forces the air into the areas where there is no weight and you can find yourself sitting on the floor.
Getting the pad inflated correctly is a bit hit and miss at present; too much and you are sitting on top, not enough and you are sitting on the floor. This is something that needs to be looked at more closely.
As yet, I haven't found the optimum pressure, it has either been too hard or too soft but I will look to see if this can be easily accomplished.
Deflating the pad is simple, undo the valve and roll the pad up to expel the air. The instructions say you may need to do this twice but I find that once gets enough air out to be able to fold it up and get it back into the stuff sack with ease.
I will be taking this pad with me next week on a three day backpacking trip on the South Downs. I will also be using it on a six/seven day backpacking trip in May as yet destination undecided but somewhere in Southern England plus the odd weekend camping.
Things I will be looking for
How easy it will be to get the correct pressure in the mat for sleeping on a constant basis.
How warm it keeps you in cold temperatures.
The durability of the pad over an extended period.
The comfort level, will I find myself slipping off the pad? Will I find my feet continually slipping off the thinner end of the pad?
Is it possible to use the pad as support in a G4?
The G4 is a lightweight rucsack designed by Glen Van Peski; which needs a sleeping pad sloted in the back to give the pack support.
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