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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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  #1  
Old 03-20-2011, 01:02 AM
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Default Camping Question: What do you sleep on?

After a brief camping outing this weekend with my wife and son, she has asked that I upgrade some of our camping gear with baby number 2 on the way. So, our current 3 person tent is about to be replaced by a 5 person dome tent, and our 8-yr old leaky Coleman air mattress is out the door. My question is what do you frequent campers out there sleep on? Like I said we had an old double air mattress, and I have a brand new folding military style cot. However, I find myself continuously intrigued by the camping pads I see in the stores, and beginning to lean that way. My primary reason for this is that I would rather have each of us with our own pad because of never knowing how many may be going. This way I can just pitch in a pad for whoever is going, but it could also be used for the infrequent backpacking trip also. However, my secondary reason is because I always hated being that other person on the air mattress who doesn't get any sleep because somebody else on the thing is tossing and turning. Every movement the other person makes is translated over to your side. Thirdly, I could combine a pad and my cot when car camping without the family for a very comfortable nights sleep. So, any thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: I am not talking about sleeping bags or sheets/blankets, but what you place your bag on when you camp.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:23 AM
narcodog narcodog is offline
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Look at the Thermarest pads. I have had one for thirty years. No blowing it up just open the valve and it inflates it's self and has very good insulating property's. I also have a cot that I will put the pad on.

For real comfort I also have a truck camper. I'm old.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:30 PM
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ahighlan ahighlan is offline
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I use a Thermarest Ridgerest. Keeps me warm, it is lightweight, and won't get a hole in it. I am considering one of the Thermarest NeoAir pads, but they are pretty spendy at $150. Then again, how much is a good night of sleep worth sometimes... Ridgerests run about $25-30. One of the Big Agnes pads is pretty popular as well. Can't think of the model name, Air Core maybe?

Good call on using pad + cot, more for insulation than comfort.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:21 PM
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I didn't vote because I still occassionally use all of the above depending on the situation. Thermarests are great for backpacking where weight and bulk are a consideration. For front country camping air mattresses work well in smaller tents. If your tent is big enough though my overwhelming choice is the deluxe cot and mattress set from Cabelas. Bulky yes but very comfortable. Also doubles as an extra cot when needed for motel stays.

Lee
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:44 PM
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I sleep on a Thermarest Prolite 4 when solo. My wife bought a piece of 2.5" foam from the foam factory outlet that is cut to fit the floor of our tent when we car camp. We cover it with a bedspread, sheets, & a down comforter....its hard to tell I'm not in my bed.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:52 PM
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my thermarest has been to Africa and Haiti with me and will go to Africa again this June for a whole month. We do Island ministry for islands on Lake Victoria and have to live for 2-3 weeks out of a back pack so the lite and stowable self-inflating thermarest is just the ticket as far as i'm concerned. If compact is not an issue, Gander Mntn has some very comfy mats that are more cushiony....Abby and I love our thermarest mats and they have served us all over the world......
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:47 PM
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Default Got the wife taken care of, now my turn...

I have to say that the overwhelming support of sleeping pads is surprising to me. I am curious if the majority of the pad supporters are base campers, backcountry campers, or both.

Like I said earlier I have a folding military cot that I use for car camping and I am looking for something for the wife to sleep on. So, I am trying to find something for multipurpose use; as in on top of the cot for base camping and then also backpacker friendly. So, I made the short trip over to Blue Ridge Mountain Sports on Sunday and laid on all the Thermarests, Big Agnes, and Exped pads that they had. I am leaning toward either the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core or the Exped SynMat 7.5 with built in hand pump. They had a Thermarest Women's Prolite Plus on clearance, so I picked it up for the wife. I took it to her to try out, and she just laughed at me. She was used to the air mattress, so I got the hint and went to Target to pick up another Coleman mattress. I tried it out when I got home to check for leaks, and within about 4 hours found it about 50% deflated and flat on the floor. So, I returned it and picked up another. This one too lost air within about 6 hours during the night. Once again, I made the return trip to Target, while rapidly losing faith in Coleman products. I gave them one more try, and so far have slept on this one at home two nights without having to refill it. Looks like I finally found her a keeper.

Now I am trying to make up my mind on my pad. The inflatable Big Agnes and Exped pads packed up smaller, weighed the same, and offer better R-values than the similar priced Thermarests. However, the thermarests are very reliable and I have yet to hear of any leaking issues from any of their products. I have concerns with the 2.5" inflatable pads and potential leak issues. I had it put to me this way by another camping buddy of mine who also flyfishes. He said you can read all the reports you want about leaky pads, busted valves, etc., but it is all in how each person cares for their equipment. He asked, "how many rods or DSLR's have you broken lately?". I said I have never broken one of either thankfully. He said, "my point exactly. The person who breaks their gear multiple times is most likely due to poor care and not being cautious with their equipment. No amount of product quality or price can remedy that." Makes sense to me.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:15 PM
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I have used air mattress for car camping (it helps convince the wife to get out there) and sleeping pads (the 1/2" foam ones from walmart are cheap and work pretty good) when backpacking although over the winter I got two hammocks and some othe rnew backpacking gear.... can't wait to break it out!
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:16 PM
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For backpacking camping I use a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad. I really like it. If I'm car camping I'll use a big Aero Bed air mattress.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrouseMan77 View Post
For backpacking camping I use a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad. I really like it. If I'm car camping I'll use a big Aero Bed air mattress.
Jason,
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.
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