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View Poll Results: What do you sleep on when camping?
Camping pad (inflatable, foam, reflective, etc.) 16 57.14%
Air mattress 4 14.29%
Cot 4 14.29%
Hammock 4 14.29%
Ground 3 10.71%
Other 2 7.14%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-30-2011, 08:35 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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I have a roll-up air/fiber core mattress with a valve that releases the air pressure to roll up. It works ok if I do any remote camping. However; my body does not like sleeping on the ground much any more. I usually take one of those inflatable mattresses from WallyWorld if camping with friends.

When I was a kid; my mom always bought us those $.99 cent floats from the dollar store for camping. Of-course; you would wake up flat on the ground as all the air eventually leaked out. Those were some good times when camping and life was simple.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:49 AM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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I didn't participate in the poll as we have a certain situation. My wife has back trouble so we don't use the self-inflating matresses anymore. We have gone to the inflatable matresses about 4 inches thick. We don't backpack so weight isn't an issue with us. The answers given seem to be good advice from experienced camper. Should I say happy campers?
John Torchick
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:25 AM
Streamhound Streamhound is offline
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after our stay at the Four Season Jackson Hole my wife thinks a Hampton Inn is camping

Back when I backpacked with scouts we had thin pads but space and weight were issues.

If it was a fixed site and a week or longer we used the folding army type cots
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:26 PM
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mattblick mattblick is offline
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I recently changed from a Therm-A-Rest self inflating 1" thick pad to a 2.5" thick Big Agnes Sand Mountain Insulated mat. (It has the exact specs of the Air Core, but is sold at REI Outlet and Sierra Trading post at a reduced price.) The extra thickness, warmth, and reduced weight make the 20 breaths to inflate totally worth it in the back country. The great thing about Big Agnes Mats is they include the stuff sack and repair kit - you have to pay another $20 for those with Therm-A-Rest. To be fair my Therm-A-Rest mat is over 15 years old and has never needed repair, and has been passed onto my 8 year old son. Therm-A-Rest has a super light manual inflation mat, the Neo-Air. It has a lower R value, and is quite pricey at $170; again stuff sack and repair kit are not included. Also worth noting is that the Neo Air is noisy like a compostable Sun Chips bag. I cannot speak on the longevity of the Big Anges pad; due to the substantially greater comfort on my last 2 trips however I doubt I will ever go back to self inflating.

When car camping I use an Aerobed with a battery powered pump.


Last edited by mattblick; 03-30-2011 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:06 PM
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GrouseMan77 GrouseMan77 is offline
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Originally Posted by ChemEAngler View Post
Currently the Insulated Air Core is leading the way as my choice. Do you use it with a Big Agnes sleeping bag as well? I really like that sleep system that they have. I have found that there are some pretty decent deals out there on last years models.
Travis, I dont have a BA bag yet. I've done a lot of looking but no buying. They have a camp chair that utilizes the sleeping pad. It weighs a couples ounces and is very comfortable. I've had the sleeping pad for around four years and have had no problems.

jasonkelkins at yahoo dot com

Last edited by GrouseMan77; 03-30-2011 at 05:08 PM.. Reason: Additional info
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:44 PM
Mundele Mundele is offline
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I've got a BA AirCore pad that I like, when I'm not using my hammock. Pretty comfy and takes up very little space in a backpack (think nalgene-bottle size). Also you really can roll it back up to that size very easily. I got the uninsulated one first and that was a mistake. I really missed the insulation. I sold it and replaced it with the insulated one and am glad I did. I have the rectangular one (not the mummy-shaped one) and it's as versatile as any thermarest. I really like it.

I have little ones so I usually sleep on the ground when they're camping with me. When car camping I bring both a ridgerest/zrest and the aircore pad. I put the ridgerest down first, and put the aircore on top and then deflate it partially to make it softer. Works pretty great.

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:47 AM
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ChemEAngler ChemEAngler is offline
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I made the trek to all the local outfitters checking out everything that they had and taking down the information. I even checked to see if REI had something competitive. I came home and plugged the information into my handy dandy gantt chart program that I use for critical decision making processes like this. And the winner was.............

The Thermarest Trail Lite pad. Primarily because I found it on sale at a local store for 20% off ($47.99). Otherwise it was a toss up between the Exped Synmat 7 and the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core. So, I went and picked it up yesterday.

Also just bought the little guy a Big Agnes Little Red sleeping bag for future trips. His birthday is coming up, so it is pretty good timing. Really anxious to see this thing when it comes, I think he will love it.

For those out there with an entirely too analytical mindset like myself, you may get a kick out of my Gantt Chart that I used for this purchase. I used this method for camera and lens purchases, and I currently have one for sleeping bags and one for tents that I plan to use in the near future. I am way too analytical, but very rarely do I regret any decision I make afterward.


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