Thermarest alternatives?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AlanCT, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. AlanCT

    AlanCT The Byronic Man

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    I have an older style Thermarest pad, which has been adequate for tent sleeping. I wouldnt mind something slightly better than "adequate" and that packs more compactly. What other pads do you all use - particularly for colder weather?
    #1
  2. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Been here awhile

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    http://www.backcountry.com/exped-downmat-sleeping-pad

    It will change your (camping) life! :thumb
    #2
  3. PachmanP

    PachmanP Long timer

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    I've got a big Agnes pad that I'm liking so far. For cold weather you could go for the version with the most insulation. They pack down small but you gotta blow them up...
    #3
  4. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Been here awhile

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    Same Church, different pew

    Exped Synmat 9 Punp DLX = 3 1/2"T x 78"L x 26"W of decadence! :clap

    The ThermaRests were 'ok' when I was a back sleeper, but became intolerable when I migrated to being a side sleeper.

    I used to use a Pacific Outdoor Equipment pad while backpacking, but the extra cush and size of the Exped has now relegated that pad to the seldom seen pile. :deal It takes me about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes to inflate this pad with the built-in hand pump.

    Here's a few shots of the both of them, for comparison.



    Dusty
    #4
  5. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    I just bought an Exped Synmat 7.5 basic. I was looking for a good pad on a budget. This seemed like the most bang for the buck. I've recently purchased it and only took a nap on it, so I can't say too much about it... But from the research I did before buying it, this seemed hard to beat for the price. It packs down pretty small too.
    #5
  6. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, since 05

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    exped best of the best...

    wifey uses downmat7
    I use synmat.

    Both deliver warmth and comfort to -30f

    http://www.rei.com/product/780362/exped-downmat-7-air-pad-with-pump


    With a lightweight design and integrated pump, this down-insulated Exped air mattress is warm and compact for excellent year-round comfort.

    • Unlike the air mattress you had as a kid, this one has 700-fill-power? goose down inside to insulate you from the cold ground; baffle chambers prevent cold spots
    • Ingenious hand pump is built into pad chamber; welded, dual valves allow maximum airflow
    • Inflating the pad with the pump, rather than by mouth, keeps the goose down dry for optimal performance
    • UV- and abrasion-resistant polyester fabric is airtight and has a nonslip finish, which helps prevent your sleeping bag from sliding off the pad
    • Includes stuff sack for protection during transportation; includes repair kit with adhesive and fabric patches
    <SIZINGCHART><?xml:namespace prefix = rei ns = "http://www.rei.com/ns/rei" /><rei:LongDescription><rei:whytobuy></rei:whytobuy></rei:LongDescription></SIZINGCHART>
    Please note: Exped products can only be shipped to U.S. addresses
    #6
  7. Happycamper

    Happycamper Have bikes, will travel

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  8. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    You're going to have to strike a balance between how completely it packs, and how warm it is. I'm young(ish) so I'm still happy on a 1" thick new Therm-a-rest, but I also do a fair amount of multi-night back-country camping trips, so size and weight are very important to me. Maybe not as much for you?
    #8
  9. Snowbound

    Snowbound Been here awhile

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    I got the new Thermorest style . Stuff sack turns into a pump . It's the large cold weather . It is comfortable for me .
    #9
  10. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

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    I've gotten a lot of use out of my large neo-air it's 25x77 and 2 1/2 inches thick, packs very small weighs 19 ounces. I use it regularly to 40 degrees and lower but if your planning regular use below 40 or so I would look for something insulated.

    Thermarest also now has a version called the trekker that is the same size, a bit heavier and quite a bit less money.

    I own a few thermarests, an exped,big agnes and a montbell pad, I really think for what it is the neo air is comfortable. I usually shop for the best online price but for something like a light weight inflatable sleeping pad I usually buy from REI.

    The satisfaction guarantee and return policy are worth paying a little extra for some items.
    #10
  11. Walterxr650l

    Walterxr650l Long timer

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    Not that much of a balance.

    Downmat UL 7, 72" x 20" x 2.8", 20.5 oz, packed size 9 x 4.3", R value 5.9

    Thermarest Prolite, 72" x 20" x 1", 16 oz, packed size 4.1 x 11", R value 2.2

    So the thermarest has 37% as much insulation, and 36% as much thickness/comfort, but does weigh 4.5 ounces less.

    Walter
    #11
  12. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    Now that does look comfy, but spendy. I guess "Cost" is the third part of the equation. :)

    For motorcycle camping, 4oz isn't a noticeable difference. But when you're backpacking it can, those little weights add up. For what it's worth, I'm not actually on a name-brand Therm-a-rest, I'm on an REI Lite-Core 1.5. Not sure what it's exact specs are because they don't seem to sell it anymore, but it's very light and packs smaller than a 2-liter soda bottle.
    #12
  13. Walterxr650l

    Walterxr650l Long timer

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    Yea they are on the expensive side. But when I realized how close they were in weight to the thin thermarests, I gulped a little at the price and bought one. At my age, even backpacking I'm willing to carry the few extra ounces to have the extra padding. I wasn't willing to carry the extra pounds it took to get a thermarest that thick.

    Walter
    #13
  14. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    For cold weather and comfort, Exped 9 DLX is where it's at.
    :1drink
    #14
  15. kdennan

    kdennan Been here awhile

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    +1 on the Big Agnes.
    I had thermarests and never slept well. Got the BA and sleep like log. packs up tiny. Iove it for backpacking too.
    yes, it does take a few to blow it up but imop it's well worth it.
    #15
  16. ktrout01

    ktrout01 Been here awhile

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    I took my thermarest pad to the Cromag rally and it's now in the surplus pile. It served me well for many years but with my advanced age I don't sleep as well as I used to. Santa brought me a Big Agnes insulated and while I haven't had it out camping yet, I'm looking forward to Rick's Rendezvous this Spring to give a good try.
    #16
  17. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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  18. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    I used a Thermarest foam pad for years tho recently had a chance to sleep on an air pad- huge difference. I ran right out and bought one, an Exped Synmat Basic 7.5 w/ an external Pillow-Pump. The mattress is much more comfortable (deeper), is lighter, & packs smaller than the Thermarest and the pillow pump is way better that the fleece bag stuffed with clothes I use to use for a pillow. Highly recommended.


    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=GGIi7Of2ZFU&desktop_uri=/watch?v=GGIi7Of2ZFU
    #18
  19. Claytonroy

    Claytonroy Been here awhile

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    Last year I bought both a Thermarest "30th Anniversary" mattress and the new Neoair.

    After comparing the two, I'd have to say I'm a Neoair convert. It packs down tiny and only weighs 1lb. To give you an idea of the difference, the Neoair does not contain open celled foam like a regular Thermarest, which is why it packs super small and weighs less.

    The downfall of the old "air only" pads are they weren't very warm. The Neoair has a heat reflective material built in. You can actually feel the heat gain as you first settle into the mattress.

    My setup is the Neoair and the Thermarest cotton sheet that slips onto the mattress. Their "Alpine Down Blanket" then snaps to the sheet so you don't roll off the mattress in the middle of the night. This setup is rated down to 35F and is very roomy too - not like a typical mummy bag. All 3 items (mattress, sheet, blanket) pack down smaller than most modern sleeping bags.
    #19
  20. fbj913

    fbj913 On the Beemer Kool-Aid

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    big agnes bag and pad! the absolute only way to go!
    #20