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OR - Kooka Bay GoosePad - Ray Estrella

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  • Ray
    Okie Dokey then, Here is another long over due OR of a great sleeping pad. The HTML may be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3k7po59 Text below, Ray Kooka Bay
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 17, 2011
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      Okie Dokey then,

      Here is another long over due OR of a great sleeping pad.

      The HTML may be found here:

      http://tinyurl.com/3k7po59

      Text below,

      Ray

      Kooka Bay GoosePad Winter Mat
      By Raymond Estrella
      OWNER REVIEW

      August 17, 2011

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Raymond Estrella
      EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
      AGE: 50
      LOCATION: North Western Minnesota, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      WEIGHT: 215 lb (97.50 kg)
      I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, plus many western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly UL, I try to be as near to it as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or my twin children.

      The Product

      Manufacturer: Kooka Bay
      Web site: www.kookabay.com
      Product: GoosePad Winter Mat
      Year manufactured: 2010
      MSRP: Varies by order
      Weight listed: Varies by order, my pad 27 oz (765 g)
      Size listed: Varies by order, my pad 24 x 75 in (61 x 191 cm)
      Thickness: 3.5 in (9 cm)
      Insulation type: 750 fill-power goose down
      R-value quoted: 6.0
      Fill weight: 8 oz (227 g)

      Product Description

      The Kooka Bay GoosePad Winter Mat (hereafter referred to as the GoosePad or the pad) is a down filled air mattress. As the name implies it is intended for cold weather use. While the company does have standard (if I can call their innovative offerings standard) pads ready to purchase the down pads are a custom order-to-build item, much like my down quilts. (See reviews)

      The GoosePad's 70 denier nylon fabric is very dark blue (almost black) in color and I see no difference between the top and the bottom of the pad.. There are seven air chambers running lengthwise through the pad.

      The chambers are roughly 3.5 in (8.8 cm) wide. The pad is built with vertical baffles in what Kooka Bay refers to as "box construction".

      The chambers contain 8 oz (227 g) of 750 fill power goose down. The company now offers 800+ and 900 fill power down too, which was not available when I ordered mine.

      While their normal air pads have a standard valve the GoosePad has a large-diameter nylon valve with a screw-on cap, as seen above. Inside the valve a screen keeps the down from being able to flee its nylon-walled confines. Because the valve does not fit any of the pump options available for backpackers Kooka Bay sends a PVC adaptor piece that slides inside the valve. Once in place any of my pumps work fine. (Note: at the time of this writing they told me they have a new valve system.)

      The GoosePad does not come with a stuff sack. I just roll mine and secure it with a rubber band. As may be seen below it makes a pretty small package, especially when compared to my other winter pads.

      Field Conditions

      Since March of 2010 I have used this pad on all but a few winter-condition backpacking and camping trips. Here are some of them

      I first used my new GoosePad on a three-day trip to climb Mt San Gorgonio. It got down to 15 F (-9 C) in my Vapor Light 2 tent where I was using the pad with a Nunatak Arc Expedition quilt.

      I took the first cold trip in Minnesota (MN) on the North Country Trail with the GoosePad in a Big Sky Evolution five days after our first snowstorm of the year. While the snow had melted the ground was frozen and it was 19 F (-7 C) at 7:30 am the next morning when I got out to check the thermometer. I slept on top of the pad with a Nunatak Arc Alpinist quilt for this trip.

      The pad was used with the same tent on about a foot (30 cm) of snow at McCarty Lake, MN off the Halverson Trail. This time I used a half-bag and my Marmot Plasma Parka to sleep on it with. Here is a picture of it before the fly went on to hide my mini sleeping bag. ;-)


      I used it with a Bibler Fitzroy on the North Country Trail at Anaway Lake where it got down around 5 F (-15 C). I was sleeping right on the pad with the Arc Expedition quilt again

      I used it with a Hubba Hubba HP, seen below, at Buffalo River State Park in Minnesota (MN). It had been well below 0 F (-18 C) the week before I was there and while it had warmed up to 9 F (-13 C) the ground was frozen hard. I used a Moonstone Cassin Ridge -20 F (-29 C) bag on that trip. I camped at this park a couple more times during the early part of the winter hitting a low of around 5 F (-15 C) for the coldest night.

      The highlight of my winter was a backpacking trip to Voyageurs National Park, MN where it got down to -31 F (-35 C) the first night. I had a -40 bag over the GoosePad for that trip.


      Observations

      I have been doing winter-condition backpacking and mountaineering trips since 2003, spend more nights on snow each year. The first thing I discovered was that a good sleeping pad is as important as a good sleeping bag. Maybe more so as I can always put extra clothes or my parka to add warmth to my body if needed. But the ground in winter is a giant heat-sink just waiting to suck the warmth from my tired body at night.

      I have used a lot of different pads for winter and many styles do the job quite well. But as I have progressed in my winter hiking I found that I wanted to adapt the weight and volume cutting that I was doing with my 3-season gear when I was in the cold stuff too. My first down-filled pad was a huge step in that direction. When I first heard of Kooka Bay on a gear forum I contacted the owner to talk about his custom made down pads.

      What attracted me at first was the weight of his pads, but when I realized that I could get a pad made in just about any size I wanted knew I had to get one. This is because I had made the move to quilts as they fit my side-sleeping style so well. But I was finding that a normal 20 in (51 cm) pad was not that good in cold weather as I found myself hanging off the pad where cold seeped in. A wider pad would help me stay insulated. I ordered a 24 in (61 cm) wide model and waited for it to come. (Like my custom quilts, handmade gear tends to take a while to get.)

      When it showed up it was love at first nightÂ… I slept on it that evening. (My daughter called dibs the next night, my son the night after that. Emma wants one.) It should be noted that in sub-freezing temperatures moisture from my breath will collect and freeze inside my sleeping pads. Over time it will add weight to the pad and degrade the insulating ability of the pads. Because of this mechanical means of inflation must be used.

      One thing I found was that it takes a lot more air to fill it than my 20 in (51 cm) pads. At home I used an electric pump but I tried the pump-sack that I take backpacking too. It took a long time. Before the first trip I decided to mod a plastic pump from one of my kids' old slumber party mattress/bag combos. You can see it sitting at the back of the tent in this picture.





      But it still took quite a while to inflate the GoosePad. During the summer I came across a device called the Instaflator (watch for review). It worked well with my 3-season pads so I tried it as soon as the temps dropped in Minnesota. It works better than anything I have ever used and fit the GoosePad perfectly without needing the adapter. Here is a shot inflating the Kooka Bay pad on a picnic table off the North Country Trail.


      Inflation figured out I went forth to use the heck out of the GoosePad. I spent about 14 nights on it last winter. Many nights were spent under a quilt, so I was lying directly on the pad. The nylon is comfortable although I always had a long base layer on too, so no skin-on-pad like I do in warmer temps sometimes. On these quilt-use trips the GoosePad was my sole bottom insulation. I am happy to report that I was never cold from/through the pad. Here is a shot of a quilt on it at Anaway Lake off the North Country Trail.


      So far durability has been great. While it has only been on bare ground once there is always the threat of pine needles even on snow. No leaks to date and I have never needed to put extra air in the pad during the night. (It does have to be topped off before bed just to deal with temperature related contraction.) While this pad works fine I very well might get one of the newer models in 900-fill down to go even warmer and lighter weight on future trips. I know my son would love to have this one as he just did his first night on snow last spring. He was on my old down pad while I was on the GoosePad in this picture here. (Yeah I know that the pad can't be seen, but Raymond really wants to be in the review;-)


      Ray Estrella
      I measure happiness with an altimeter.
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 19, 2011
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.

        Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR while it's in the edit queue, the entire Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on either Thursdays or Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Editors Team Director
      • Michael
        Ray, Another great review. My little guy loves his Kooka Bay and I have been thinking about getting one for myself and ditch the Exped. Same as before; some
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 22, 2011
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          Ray,

          Another great review. My little guy loves his Kooka Bay and I have been thinking about getting one for myself and ditch the Exped. Same as before; some small edits and load away (after you create your own folder).

          Thanks,

          Mike

          >> Tester Bio

          Comment / Edit: Again, this is showing 105 words from the counter and 104 from manually counting.


          >> The GoosePad's 70 denier nylon fabric is very dark blue (almost black) in color
          and I see no difference between the top and the bottom of the pad..

          EDIT: I see an extra period at the end of the sentence.



          >>What attracted me at first was the weight of his pads, but when I realized that I could get a pad made in just about any size I wanted knew I had to get one.

          EDIT: Looks like you are missing an "I" in the sentence. I knew "I" wantedÂ…
        • Ray
          ... That is what I went from too. Actually I need to get an even warmer pad for this winter so will probably sell this one and get a R9 monster as I am
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 23, 2011
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            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <mlebwill@...> wrote:

            > Another great review. My little guy loves his Kooka Bay and I have been thinking about getting one for myself and ditch the Exped.

            That is what I went from too. Actually I need to get an even warmer pad for this winter so will probably sell this one and get a R9 monster as I am planning on seeing near -40 (I hope). I will email you first.

            Thanks for the edits. All made and uploaded.

            Ray
          • Jerry Goller
            C or F?..... ;o) Jerry http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews on the planet. ... From:
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 23, 2011
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              C or F?..... ;o)

              Jerry

              http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
              reviews on the planet.


              -----Original Message-----
              From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray
              Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 13:07
              To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: EDIT / APPROVAL: OR - Kooka Bay GoosePad -
              Ray Estrella


              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <mlebwill@...> wrote:

              > Another great review. My little guy loves his Kooka Bay and I have been
              thinking about getting one for myself and ditch the Exped.

              That is what I went from too. Actually I need to get an even warmer pad for
              this winter so will probably sell this one and get a R9 monster as I am
              planning on seeing near -40 (I hope). I will email you first.

              Thanks for the edits. All made and uploaded.

              Ray



              ------------------------------------

              To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/Yahoo!
              Groups Links
            • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
              -40 is C and F. It s the only conversion I have memorized... Jet Jerry Goller Sent by:
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 24, 2011
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                -40 is C and F. It's the only conversion I have memorized...

                Jet





                "Jerry Goller" <ChiefModerator@...>
                Sent by: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                08/23/2011 05:27 PM
                Please respond to
                BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com


                To
                <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
                cc

                Subject
                RE: [BackpackGearTest] Re: EDIT / APPROVAL: OR - Kooka Bay GoosePad - Ray
                Estrella






                C or F?..... ;o)

                Jerry

                http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
                reviews on the planet.


                -----Original Message-----
                From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray
                Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 13:07
                To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: EDIT / APPROVAL: OR - Kooka Bay GoosePad -
                Ray Estrella


                --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <mlebwill@...> wrote:

                > Another great review. My little guy loves his Kooka Bay and I have been
                thinking about getting one for myself and ditch the Exped.

                That is what I went from too. Actually I need to get an even warmer pad
                for
                this winter so will probably sell this one and get a R9 monster as I am
                planning on seeing near -40 (I hope). I will email you first.

                Thanks for the edits. All made and uploaded.

                Ray



                ------------------------------------

                To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/Yahoo!
                Groups Links





                ------------------------------------

                To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/Yahoo!
                Groups Links






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ray
                Ha, I am sorry. Down to -40 (233.15 Kelvin)... Ray
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 24, 2011
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                  Ha,

                  I am sorry. "Down to -40 (233.15 Kelvin)..."

                  Ray

                  --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry Goller" <ChiefModerator@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > C or F?..... ;o)
                  >
                  > Jerry
                  >
                  > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
                  > reviews on the planet.
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                  > [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray
                  > Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 13:07
                  > To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: EDIT / APPROVAL: OR - Kooka Bay GoosePad -
                  > Ray Estrella
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <mlebwill@> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Another great review. My little guy loves his Kooka Bay and I have been
                  > thinking about getting one for myself and ditch the Exped.
                  >
                  > That is what I went from too. Actually I need to get an even warmer pad for
                  > this winter so will probably sell this one and get a R9 monster as I am
                  > planning on seeing near -40 (I hope). I will email you first.
                  >
                  > Thanks for the edits. All made and uploaded.
                  >
                  > Ray
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/Yahoo!
                  > Groups Links
                  >
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