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REPOST-OR- Insul Mat Max Compact- Greyson Howard

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  • greyhounducd
    Here is my 2nd owner review with edits, but I did not post on the bpgt.org website because there is no folder for the Insul Mat Max Compact. Owner Review:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2006
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      Here is my 2nd owner review with edits, but I did not post on the
      bpgt.org website because there is no folder for the Insul Mat Max

      Owner Review: Insul Mat Max Compact Sleeping Pad

      May 29, 2006

      Tester Information

      Name: Greyson Howard
      Age: 23
      Height: 6¡¯3¡± (191 cm)
      Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
      Email Address: greyson.howard at gmail dot com
      City: Nevada City
      State: California
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background

      I have been backpacking since about the age of 10, mostly in
      California along the Coast and in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I am
      also a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) graduate. I have
      had experiences from tarp camping in the snow to sunny weeks of
      camping on the coast, and recent experiences with overly heavy group
      rental gear have made me interested in integrating some ultra-light
      and lightweight gear into my pack list. I started with weekend pack
      weights of about 35 lbs (16 kg), and have been working my way down
      into the 20-25 lbs range (9-11 kg).

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: Insul Mat
      Product: Max Compact
      Web Site: www.pacoutdoor.com
      Size: Long
      Year manufactured: 2005
      MSRP: $38 (US)
      Weight Listed: 18 oz (510 g)
      Actual Weight: 18.7 oz (530 g) pad, 1.13 oz (32 g) stuff sack +
      repair kit
      Listed Dimensions: 20 x 78 x 2.5 in (51 x 198 x 6.3 cm)
      Actual Dimensions: 19.75 x 78 x 2.5 in (50 x 198 x 6.3 cm) inflated
      Listed Packed Dimensions: 4.5 x 10 in (11.4 x 25.4 cm)
      Actual Packed Dimensions: 4.25 x 10.5 in (10.8 x 26.7 cm)
      Warranty: Lifetime warranty against defects in material and

      Product description

      The Insul Mat Max-Compact is a mummy-shaped full length un-insulated
      inflatable sleeping pad made from a black 70D nylon bottom and a
      grey 50D diamond ripstop nylon top with 6 air tubes running length-
      wise, with connections between the tubes for air movement at the top
      and bottom ends of the pad. It uses a hard anodized aluminum valve
      for inflation. The pad has no insulation, and is considered
      a ¡°summer¡± or ¡°one season¡± pad by the manufacturer. The pad comes
      with a nylon stuff sack and a puncture repair kit.
      This sleeping pad is a manual inflator, requiring the user to blow
      it up through the valve, but this is relatively quick and easy.

      Field conditions

      I have used this sleeping pad for a total of five nights of camping,
      as well as over 30 nights of travel use indoors on the floor.
      Camping locations have ranged from high Sierra (Tahoe National
      Forest: camping elevations 5,000-7,000 feet, 1520-2130 m),
      California Coast (Point Reyes National Sea Shore: camping elevations
      50-1,400 feet 15-430 m), and Southern California desert (Lake
      Morena: Camping elevation 3,500 feet, 1067 m) in temperatures from
      35¢ª F (2¢ª C) to 65¢ª F (18 ¢ª C) in conditions from dry to humid/
      raining and wind.

      Field Experience

      I purchased this sleeping pad because after growing up on closed
      cell foam pads I wanted something more comfortable for side and
      stomach sleeping that would still be light weight. All my previous
      experience had been with different closed cell foam pads, and I
      haven¡¯t owned a self-inflator for comparison. After a spell of
      unusually warm trips, I decided to try the non-insulated pad,
      knowing that I could combine it with a closed cell foam pad in
      colder weather.

      The Max Compact has been extremely comfortable in terms of cushion
      and support; I have found that having a little less air than fully
      inflated is ideal. I inflate the pad fully, and then lay on my side
      on the pad, letting air out until I feel like my hip is getting
      close to the ground. This pad has been more comfortable than the
      beds I had going through college in dorm rooms and apartments! I
      have used it a lot staying with friends as I travel around, and now
      I don¡¯t leave home for more than a day without it. The mummy shape,
      initially a concern, has not been a problem and I do not feel
      cramped on the pad.

      In backpacking conditions, the pad is equally as comfortable in
      cushioning despite rougher ground, but temperature becomes a much
      more significant factor. While my first trip with the pad was very
      warm at night at 65 F (18 C), subsequent trips tested the limits of
      the un-insulated pad. One recent winter trip in March to Point Reyes
      National Sea Shore saw night time lows of 35 F (2 C). The sleeping
      pad was cold, but adding long underwear and a synthetic fill
      insulated top allowed me to sleep in relative comfort. The low
      temperatures were by no means dangerous with the un-insulated pad,
      but it was uncomfortable.

      My next experience with this pad was at the Annual Day Zero Pacific
      Crest Trail Kick Off in Lake Morena. Night time lows reached 39 F (4
      C), and I purchased a 1/8 in (.32 cm) thick Gossamer Gear ThinLight
      Insulation Pad that weighed 2 oz (57 g) from the guys at Gossamer
      Gear. The first night I placed the ThinLight pad under the Insul Mat
      Max Compact, and was still mildly cooled. The second night I put the
      ThinLight on top of the Max Compact and had no problems with
      cooling, leading me to believe this will be my solution from now on.

      It is worth noting that the combination of the Max Compact with the
      ThinLight is lighter than the Insul Mat Max Thermo advertised
      weight, and if I get an unfixable puncture I will still have the
      insulation of the ThinLight, unlike the compressed insulation of a
      punctured insulated manual or self inflating mat. The trade off is
      of course that this combination takes up more room, not packing down
      as small.

      I have had no punctures to date and no need to repair the pad, and
      so far the materials all seem very robust. I store the pad loosely
      with the valve open, but I am not as worried about moisture as I
      would be with a pad that has insulation inside.


      I have found this to be an extremely comfortable pad, and now that I
      have solutions for different temperatures, it is also very
      versatile. For both backpacking and travel this has proven an
      excellent piece of gear, and unless I am going as light as possible
      in cool conditions, I will include this in my pack.


      Packing size


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