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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: OK, one more time with feeling...the "ole sleeping pad debate".....

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  • Larry Beck
    Plus 1 on the Neoair XLite! I used to also fall into that category below.  where I wanted a pad that I could lie around camp with and put into one of those
    Message 1 of 27 , May 27 7:40 AM
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      Plus 1 on the Neoair XLite!

      I used to also fall into that category below.  where I wanted a pad that I could lie around camp with and put into one of those chair things but when it comes down to it, the NeoAir XLIte is really the most comfortable pad I've ever slept on in a backpacking scenario. I used a 24 oz Thermarest Prolite Plus for several years. I even took it on the JMT back in 2011. My friend Bill (also on this forum) took the Neoair and he did not have a single problem with it during our 18 day trek.

      It convinced me! On the next dividend sale at REI I purchased the Neoair XLite. It weighs 12 oz plus the stuff sack is 1 oz. I'm 1/2 inch under 6' so the regular works for me.

      I think there are some basic common sense rules in dealing with one of these.

      1. I never take it out of the stuff sack outside of my tent.
      2. I always use the durable stuff sack it came with. You can get lighter bags but the manufacturer's stuff sack is very durable and it only weighs an ounce.
      3. Set up your tent in a reasonable place with no rocks or sticks sticking up under the bottom of the tent. 
      4. Make sure there are no rocks or sticks (or any other sharp objects) on your tent floor.

      Even though I've never taken the Xlite on the JMT I did take out over 35 nights in 2012. Not a single problem! Some people will complain about the crinkling noise it makes but that's kind of adjustable depending how you inflate it.
       
      Larry

      From: ravi_jmt2013 <ravi@...>
      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 7:09 AM
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: OK, one more time with feeling...the "ole sleeping pad debate".....

       
      I feel like the Thermarest Prolite is a good compromise between the indestructible nature of the closed cell pads and the more fragile air pads. My Prolite measures 20x72 (although it is tapered at the feet) and weighs under 17 ounces without the stuff sack. I use it folded in fifths against the padding of the backpack to provide additional padding for the bear canister.

      I am normally a stomach/side sleeper but I make an effort to sleep on my side or preferably on my back when I camp (not a problem if I'm tired enough). The Prolite has been fine when I stay on my back or side overnight. One night I somehow flipped over to my stomach and my knees hurt a little bit the next morning from contact with the ground through the thin pad.

      The R value is not very high for the Prolite which is my only concern with my JMT hike extending into mid September. But I know that others have used this pad into the mid/upper 20s. I'm not a particularly cold sleeper if my feet are warm and I have the Goosefeet Gear down socks now which I think solves the cold feet problem.

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "nawlunz" <will_cef_1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Really, I am curious as to what others do for pads. I love the NeoAir, but honestly, I remain concerned over a multiple week trip the reliability. I have a repair kit, but still, that's a hassle.
      >
      > I really want to keep my pad weight to a pound or less...so, that limits the options.
      >
      > Also, for those of you using a closed cell or other matt (Ridgerest, etc), how really comfortable are those over the trip. I would love the piece of mind, but trying to balance comfort, weight and reliability.
      >
      > So, just want thoughts on what others do.
      >



    • Viraj Ward
      I m another one who votes for an inflatable pad. I have the Exped Synmat 7, but have also you the Nemo Air. There is just no comparison to the comfort you get
      Message 2 of 27 , May 27 8:22 AM
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        I'm another one who votes for an inflatable pad. I have the Exped Synmat 7, but have also you the Nemo Air. There is just no comparison to the comfort you get on these pads. I too have a nice colorful ThermoRest collection in my garage, 3/4 and full length styles, women's, lite weight versions and one that convert into a chair! But I'll never go back to using them on the trail. I keep them around for friends who are new to backpacking and want to borrow a sleeping pad, but don't want to buy one.
        I should say that I fit into one the "older hiker" categories at 55, I'm 5'1'' and yes, I am a side sleeper.
        Viraj Ward
        El Cajon, CA

        From: Robert <rnperky@...>
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2013 8:54 PM
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: OK, one more time with feeling...the "ole sleeping pad debate".....
         
        Another Exped Synmat UL7 user here! I too had the Neo Air, and returned it. It felt more narrow and I rolled off it easier due to its baffle design. It had a muffled crinkly sound when tossing and turning on and an annoying crinkly sound with no sleeping bag on it. The larger, side vertical baffles of the UL7 help keep you on the bag.

        --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "casey" <casey.cox@...> wrote:
        >
        > I began using a Neo Air when they first came out, they were very noisy. Switched to an Exped Synmat UL 7 and thought it to be quite an improvement. A couple of ounces heavier I belive, much quieter, and a little higher r-value. The one I've been using has worked just fine for over 100 nights. Will certainly replace it before doing the JMT. Big Agnes Dual Core is also a good inflatable, a couple of ounces heavier, higher r-value. a lot less expensive.
        >
        > My hiking partner had a well used Exped fail on a trip. The seams began to detach until it turned into a balloon. Impossible to repair. To repair a pinhole leak is very easy and takes a few minutes. He now uses a half length closed cell pad though.
        >
        > --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "Joe MacLeish" <jmacleish@> wrote:
        > >
        > > John:
        > >
        > > I have the original Neo Air (2-3 years ago?). Is the Exped Downmat a step
        > > up. My Neo weighs 1 lb 3 oz (actual) with the bag and patch kit. Can you
        > > tell the difference in insulation. I don't notice any cold coming through
        > > from the Neo mattress (except for the 20 minutes I tried to tough it out
        > > when I cut it and it collapsed.) Does the down do anything(insulate) if it
        > > breaks? Does it weight more or less? We can do this on a side bar if you
        > > want. I think there was a pretty extensive air mattress discussion a while
        > > back which I can't find. Don't want to bore anybody with a repeat.
        > >
        > > thanks
        > >
        > > Joe
        > >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >

      • darrendrk
        I too have the exped synmat UL 7. To me it is by far the best comprimise between weight, comfort, and warmth. You will be plenty warm unless you are camping on
        Message 3 of 27 , May 27 9:55 AM
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          I too have the exped synmat UL 7. To me it is by far the best comprimise between weight, comfort, and warmth. You will be plenty warm unless you are camping on snow, and even then if you have a warm bag you should be fine. The large verticle baffles on the side keep you from rolling of the pad. It is one of the most comfortable pads even for side sleepers. Pair it with the ul drysack pump and it makes inflating a breeze. Just three to four scoops of air from the drysack and it is inflated. It is made ultralight material so you do have to be careful with it, but you don't have to baby it. Plus exped has a two year warranty on all the UL products and great customer service. If you do get a leak the repiar kit simple and effective to use. Its only downside is the price. But look for them at rei garage sales or used gear sites and you could get a steal.

          Also REI just came out with the Flash insulated air pad. Haven't tried it out, but it has almost the same specs as the exped but with a much cheaper price tag. Plus its made by rei so its probably a bit more durable

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "nawlunz" <will_cef_1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Really, I am curious as to what others do for pads. I love the NeoAir, but honestly, I remain concerned over a multiple week trip the reliability. I have a repair kit, but still, that's a hassle.
          >
          > I really want to keep my pad weight to a pound or less...so, that limits the options.
          >
          > Also, for those of you using a closed cell or other matt (Ridgerest, etc), how really comfortable are those over the trip. I would love the piece of mind, but trying to balance comfort, weight and reliability.
          >
          > So, just want thoughts on what others do.
          >
        • zoey_leb
          I used the NeoAir, but I ve had two failures. I ve switched to Klymit s Inertia X-Frame (9.1 oz). The video of the developers jumping on it sold me. I ve used
          Message 4 of 27 , May 27 11:55 AM
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            I used the NeoAir, but I've had two failures. I've switched to Klymit's Inertia X-Frame (9.1 oz). The video of the developers jumping on it sold me. I've used it a couple of years (30-40 nights) with no problem. It took a night, maybe two, for me to learn to keep my hips on the section where they belong, and after that I've been extremely comfortable. I cheat a little by putting it on top of Gossamer Gear's 1/8" pad (less than 3 ounces) that I also use for sitting around camp, afternoon naps in the sun and padding the Kindle in my pack.
          • sanfran_rwood
            When folks here are talking about the NeoAir, it isn t always clear to mean which model they re referring to. I got the NeoAir XTherm, which I m very pleased
            Message 5 of 27 , May 27 1:52 PM
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              When folks here are talking about the NeoAir, it isn't always clear to mean which model they're referring to.

              I got the NeoAir XTherm, which I'm very pleased with. I used it on the JMT last September as well as a few other Sierra trips. I tend to sleep cold, but between that an an REI Igneo 20-degree down bag, I was plenty toasty.

              The 72" size weighs only 15oz, and at 2.5 inches thick is very comfy. But what I really got it for was the r-value of 5.7, which was far higher than most (the NeoAir XLite is 12oz with an r-value of 3.2 in the same length).

              Almost all of Exped's Downmats can beat that r-value, but at a cost in weight and complexity. For comparison, the Downmat-UL7 has a similar r-value at 5.9, but weighs about 22oz.

              The XTherm makes a bit more noise than my old self-inflating thermarest, but most of that is while it's being inflated or deflated; I find that while I'm resting on it that the noise isn't significant. Like any air mattress, there is the possibility of a leak -- my 20-year-old self-inflating thermarest had five or six patches by the time it was retired. That comes with the territory, but they seem to be making these things out of pretty tough fabric.

              My biggest gripe is in inflating it. Takes a lot of heavy breathing or the use of the mildly clumsy pumpbag it comes with.

              Here's the full line-up of the therm-a-rest line—
              http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattress-selection-guide

              Of course, if you buy from REI and don't like the thing, just exchange it. Remember that today — Memorial Day — is the last day of their Anniversary sale! That's a $38.06 savings. :-)
              --
              Richard


              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "nawlunz" <will_cef_1@...> wrote:
              >
              > Really, I am curious as to what others do for pads.
            • sanfran_rwood
              ... To clarify — I apologize for any confusion — the savings would be the last day that REI *Members* can use their 20% one-full-priced-product discount.
              Message 6 of 27 , May 27 2:13 PM
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                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "sanfran_rwood" <MrRedwood@...> wrote:
                > Of course, if you buy from REI and don't like the thing,
                > just exchange it. Remember that today — Memorial Day —
                > is the last day of their Anniversary sale! That's a
                > $38.06 savings. :-)

                To clarify — I apologize for any confusion — the savings would be the last day that REI *Members* can use their 20% one-full-priced-product discount. The XTherm itself isn't discounted, and full price for the 72" size is $190. (http://www.rei.com/product/829850)
              • Barbara Karagosian
                I also have the XTherm - I tried it out this weekend for the first time - granted it was probably only down tot he 40s at night, but I slept very well - maybe
                Message 7 of 27 , May 27 2:37 PM
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                  I also have the XTherm - I tried it out this weekend for the first time - granted it was probably only down tot he 40s at night, but I slept very well - maybe the best ever!  You can feel how warm it is when you first lie on it.  I use an "Instaflator" to blow it up so I don't need to exhaust my lungs at altitude getting it inflated, plus don't get moist breath in it (the Instaflator weighs about an ounce and looks like a gigantic condom…).  The XTherm wasn't anything like as noisy as my original NeoAir (that I since returned) but it is a little slippery.  I used to use a Women's Prolite (the Women's have a higher r value than the mens) but it was getting to be not quite padded enough for me (side sleeper).  I'd say the only advantage it has over the Neoairs of any type is that I could kneel on it when packing up inside my tent and it wouldn't bottom out.  And I guess there's marginal insulation if it does spring a leak.


                  On May 27, 2013, at 2:13 PM, "sanfran_rwood" <MrRedwood@...> wrote:

                   


                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "sanfran_rwood" <MrRedwood@...> wrote:
                  > Of course, if you buy from REI and don't like the thing,
                  > just exchange it. Remember that today — Memorial Day —
                  > is the last day of their Anniversary sale! That's a
                  > $38.06 savings. :-)

                  To clarify — I apologize for any confusion — the savings would be the last day that REI *Members* can use their 20% one-full-priced-product discount. The XTherm itself isn't discounted, and full price for the 72" size is $190. (http://www.rei.com/product/829850)


                • Joe MacLeish
                  So today I read all the emails on the site on Air Mattresses and decided for me the next step is the Neo Air X-Lite (I had the Neo Air). I bought my first Neo
                  Message 8 of 27 , May 27 4:34 PM
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                    So today I read all the emails on the site on Air Mattresses and decided for me the next step is the Neo Air X-Lite (I had the Neo Air).  I bought my first Neo for my 2011 JMT.  I cut it on the trip and repaired it easily and got a new replacement in Sept of 2011.  I didn't go to the mountains last year  and it never came out of the packaging.  Today I took it in to REI, told the story and asked to trade it at whatever fair discount for the new Neo X Lite.  Today is the 20% - 30& sale so I got the discount on the new one and full price back on the old one (2+ years old).  I had to burn the extra money so I bought a bicycle riding jacket.  Those guys are amazing.  Still a couple of hours left on the sale.

                    Joe

                  • Gail
                    Yes, they are amazing. Ten years ago I returned a $400+ Arc teryx backpack to REI after two seasons of use. I had belatedly realized that the pack was too
                    Message 9 of 27 , May 27 5:22 PM
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                      Yes, they are amazing. Ten years ago I returned a $400+ Arc'teryx backpack to REI after two seasons of use. I had belatedly realized that the pack was too big for me. I explained this and that I had used it for two summers. I was hoping for some credit but never dreamed they would refund the full amount, which they did. They even gave me a choice of cash or store credit (I took the credit because I wanted to buy another backpack the same day).

                      I joined REI in 1979 and feel a fair amount of customer loyalty, but an equally important reason that I sometimes buy there even if there's a cheaper price online is that I know I can return something if it truly doesn't work for me. With all the online competition now REI's incredible return policy takes on increasing importance for them.

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Joe MacLeish" <jmacleish@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > So today I read all the emails on the site on Air Mattresses and decided for
                      > me the next step is the Neo Air X-Lite (I had the Neo Air). I bought my
                      > first Neo for my 2011 JMT. I cut it on the trip and repaired it easily and
                      > got a new replacement in Sept of 2011. I didn't go to the mountains last
                      > year and it never came out of the packaging. Today I took it in to REI,
                      > told the story and asked to trade it at whatever fair discount for the new
                      > Neo X Lite. Today is the 20% - 30& sale so I got the discount on the new
                      > one and full price back on the old one (2+ years old). I had to burn the
                      > extra money so I bought a bicycle riding jacket. Those guys are amazing.
                      > Still a couple of hours left on the sale.
                      >
                      > Joe
                      >
                    • Steve Ashe
                      I had almost the complete opposite experience a couple years ago when I tried to return and get a credit for a pair of Brunt on binoculars I purchased from
                      Message 10 of 27 , May 28 7:47 AM
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                        I had almost the complete opposite experience a couple years ago when I tried to return and get a credit for a pair of Brunt on binoculars I purchased from REI. Honestly they never saw daylight and had everything from the original purchase. The manager looked into their computer system, and then commented that that particular model was no longer offered, then just looked at me, like 'you're kidding, right? These are way too old'. I was really looking for some partial credit sine they were $250. But this manager was a B, so I evoked the %100 guarantee statement all the sales peeps say when you're buying your thinking of buying the next 'must have' you and got a full credit back.

                        Don't get me wrong, l love REI, but the 100% guarantee is no longer a sure thing. I just tossed a pair of Zamberlands after three trips because they were a bit too small and never really fit well. My bad for keeping them after the first trip.

                        Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:

                         

                        So today I read all the emails on the site on Air Mattresses and decided for me the next step is the Neo Air X-Lite (I had the Neo Air).  I bought my first Neo for my 2011 JMT.  I cut it on the trip and repaired it easily and got a new replacement in Sept of 2011.  I didn't go to the mountains last year  and it never came out of the packaging.  Today I took it in to REI, told the story and asked to trade it at whatever fair discount for the new Neo X Lite.  Today is the 20% - 30& sale so I got the discount on the new one and full price back on the old one (2+ years old).  I had to burn the extra money so I bought a bicycle riding jacket.  Those guys are amazing.  Still a couple of hours left on the sale.

                        Joe

                      • John Ladd
                        I once bent one section of a trekking pole just enough so that they would no longer collapse. I went back to the store to see if they could straighten it (it
                        Message 11 of 27 , May 28 8:13 AM
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                          I once bent one section of a trekking pole just enough so that they would no longer collapse. I went back to the store to see if they could straighten it (it wasn't crimped, just bent). They refunded my full purchase price. I had used them for many miles and they were obviously all beaten up. 

                          John
                          L
                        • Bronco
                          I gave my NeoAir away. The heavy Big Agnes Air Core is in the closet. I take my Exped Syn Mat. I fashioned a bellows out of a Hefty trash bag and a
                          Message 12 of 27 , May 28 10:11 AM
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                            I gave my NeoAir away. The heavy Big Agnes Air Core is in the closet. I take my Exped Syn Mat. I fashioned a bellows out of a Hefty trash bag and a whittled-down plastic funnel using duct tape. With the bellows and Exped's huge blow hole, inflation takes a minute.The whole kit weighs a tad over a pound.

                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "nawlunz" <will_cef_1@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Really, I am curious as to what others do for pads. I love the NeoAir, but honestly, I remain concerned over a multiple week trip the reliability. I have a repair kit, but still, that's a hassle.
                            >
                            > I really want to keep my pad weight to a pound or less...so, that limits the options.
                            >
                            > Also, for those of you using a closed cell or other matt (Ridgerest, etc), how really comfortable are those over the trip. I would love the piece of mind, but trying to balance comfort, weight and reliability.
                            >
                            > So, just want thoughts on what others do.
                            >
                          • Byron Nevins
                            I used the NeoAir for a 2 week thru hike last year. No problems at all. Very comfortable. The 12 ounces replaced my previous 24 oz. Big Agnes, which
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jun 1, 2013
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                              I used the NeoAir for a 2 week thru hike last year. No problems at
                              all. Very comfortable. The 12 ounces replaced my previous 24 oz. Big
                              Agnes, which replaced my 2.5 pound Thermarest. Progress marches on. I
                              highly recommend it.
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