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  1. #1
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thermarest self inflating pads

    I did a quick search and didn't see a thread on this so I'll just have to ask. I have been using an air mattress for camping. It is good and sturdy and folds small and light enough to be practical for touring. However, I'd rather not have to blow it up every night if I go touring. I have been concerned that even a 2-inch self-inflating pad might not provide enough support so I have been hesitant to put out the bucks for one. I am a largish guy, a little over 200 lbs, but falling. Does anyone have any comments on the comfort of Thermarests vs an air mattress? Does the 2-inch pad provide enough comfort/support to be worth the extra weight and price vs a 1 or 1.5 inch pad? What about the 3/4 length version? Obviously I would like to minimize weight and size but not at the expense of a good night's sleep. Since it will hopefully be a long term investment I have no problem spending the extra money for the thicker full-size pad if that is the best idea. I am more concerned about comfort/weight/size, pretty much in that order.
    Thanks,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  2. #2
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    Rainmanp:
    I love the thermarest. The first tour i did I opted for just a light weight foam pad It worked well for about a month then it started to compress and i felt every little twig or pebble under the tent. and also was getting cold at night.

    everyone i met touring had these thermarest pads. one day i was in a town and looking arround in a outdoor shop. I decided to buy one. Let me tell you they are a bit pricy BUT i have never had such a goodnights sleep they are comfortable and insulate from the damp cold ground. they self inflate in a matter of minutes. they compress and roll up small and dont forget the stuff bag for it.

    You can get along with out one of these gems but I think they are great also are light weight. i bought the full length one since i couldnt decide which part of my body i didnt want to insulate.the extra weight is mimimal i met others with the 3/4 version that you could fold in half and fit it in a panieer they were happy.
    catfish

    Last edited by catfish; 04-01-02 at 11:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks, Catfish! What thickness did you get?
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  4. #4
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    all I can tell you it is the performance series looks to be about a good inch thick maybe 2 inches idunno. If i remeber right it was around 75 bucks at an outdoor shop probeley cheeper on line someplace but i am real happy with it even at that price sometimes i am willing to pay for comfort when i live outside for 3-4 month at a time. now that i think about it it must be the2 inch because it was a little heavier than the other ones thay had.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Raymond, Thermarest mattresses are very nice. You don't need an inflatable air-mattress if you have a Thermarest.

    The thick 2-incher is used mostly for winter camping where you need more insulation from the ground.

    If you aren't camping in winter, I don't think you need the extra weight and bulk. the standard thinner mattresses work well.

    HOWEVER, if weight and bulk are not an issue (you will transport by automobile), then the thick 2" mattresses ARE more comfortable than the thin mattresses.
    Mike

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    Honorable Member beowoulfe's Avatar
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    OMG I love my Thermorest!! It's the thinner but longer one. I've used it for years now. Used to use the insolite (?), Thermorest is far superior. The real key to a good nights sleep is a REAL pillow. Well.....plus the Thermorest.
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

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    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    I use the GuideLite, full length and love it. Lighter, faster, less bulky and simpler than an air mattress. More comfy than a foam pad. Worth every penny. I got mne as a second and saved a few dollars. I don't think you will regret purchasing a Thermarest.
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    I have been very happy with my thermarest for 13 years - not the thickest. I did have some trouble with slipping off it while I slept. I bought a sort of rubber net that ties around it - problem solved. Mine is full length, but I think head to hip length would be sufficient as there arent any pressure points on you legs where weight is concentrated.

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by AndrewP
    I have been very happy with my thermarest for 13 years - not the thickest. I did have some trouble with slipping off it while I slept. I bought a sort of rubber net that ties around it - problem solved. Mine is full length, but I think head to hip length would be sufficient as there arent any pressure points on you legs where weight is concentrated.
    Yes! Slipping off the Thermarest is a problem, but it is for most other pads as well. I think the nylon cover of the Thermarest against the nylon sleeping bag just makes for an especially slippery combination.

    You can actually buy sleeping bags with a sleeve to insert the Thermarest.
    Mike

  10. #10
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses. I guess now I just have to decide which one - full or 3/4, narrow or wide, heavy duty or lightweight. I'm leaning toward full, wide, lightweight if there is such a combination.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  11. #11
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    My husband opted for the full length pad because he found the uneven support under his legs to be interferring with his sleep. I fully agreed, since anything that interferrs with his rest tends to make him snore! Being short, I settled for the 3/4 pad that is for me a full pad.

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    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    I have the short version, and I find it perfectly comfortable--long enough to cushion the shoulder and pelvis. Will you be taking a sleeping bag or blanket as well? If not, you probably want to consider whether you'll be comfortable with your legs/feet resting on ground that might be cold/clammy/stickery/rocky.

  13. #13
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    Rainman,

    I can tell you storys about collegue travellers who didn`t sleep so well, but it takes to long

    I use for about 4 years a thermarest matras, 6 cm thick (sorry about metric) they don`t make this surfboard anymore, but i`m sure the following in line is good enough and probably lighter

    I`m always keen about good sleeping, so i take rather this heavy matras (1 kg) with me than more clothes.

    Avantages:
    - sleeps very very good
    - light (if you have the good one)
    - can be used as chair
    - very good isolation

    Disadvantages:
    - Expensive
    - takes me twice to roll up good
    - i have to blow in air myself to get the right hardness

    Nevermind the disadvantages, this is such a product that you will purchase immediatly if the old one is broken!
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

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    Hi Raymond,

    Thermarest are great mattresses. They're a bit pricey, but I've never regretted coughing up the cash.

    They're more comfortable and warmer than foam pads, though they don't roll up as small.

    I got the full length because I hate my feet getting cold. I have the regular thickness, regular width.

    I don't think carrying a full-length mattress as opposed to the three-quarters' is any big deal on a bicycle. Backpacking is where you might think more carefully about the difference. Even when I hike, though, I prefer the full-length.

  15. #15
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    I Have had the 3/4 length 6cm thick (about 1/2 inch ?) for a few years - great - the cold feet issue is not a problem as that is what you use your empty panniers for, your feet don't mind not having a matress to sleep on.

  16. #16
    Mur
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    I think the Thremarest mattress is the greatest invention since the sleeping bag. I got the short version and love it. I had my wife make a cover kinda like a pillow slip out of sheet material. That way when it is real hot you can sleep directly on the mattress and not stick. If it gets a bit cold just use your sleeping bag for a quilt. Works for me.

    Mur

  17. #17
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    I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd post in response to some comments about thermarests.

    I love my thermarest! I've never done any bicycle touring but I use mine for backpacking, canoe camping, and sea kayaking.

    Some people have mentioned a problem with sliding off the Thermarest. That's less of a problem with the newer models because they have a less slippery surface (statek I think they call it). My wife's has it and mine doesn't and I can definitely see a difference. I've also heard of people applying tiny dots of SeamGrip all over the surface of the mattress to address this problem. SeamGrip, by the way, is the best tent seam sealer I've ever found and it also works well for repairing holes in Thermarests. Also, I find the slipping off to be less of a problem if I squeeze a little air out of it after it is fully inflated. I'm not a big guy though, if you are that might cause other problems for you.

    Regarding the length, I chose the 3/4 length and put my crazy creek chair under my feet. That way I can more easily justify the added weight and bulk of the chair.

  18. #18
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    I am a pretty serious backpacker, and I have found that pound for pound, the thermarest just isn't worth it. Some of my friends will swear by it, but I think that they are just too heavy. The only ones that aren't that heavy are the Ultra-top of the line ones with the foam with holes cut in it. The prob with this is that you end up blowing them up anyway, because the foam doesn't expand with enough "oomph" to expand the mattress.

    The sleeping pad i like the best is a mountain hardware model called the backcountry 60. Its $60, which may seem expensive, but its under 2lbs, and its plenty cushy without being self-inflating. It is 60 inches, hence the 60 part of the name, meaning that its about a 3/4 length mattress. You only really need a full length if you are really into, um, heel cushioning while sleeping? With all seriousness, the full lengh is also sold as the backcountry 72, and its good if you are in wet conditions where your sleeping bag might get wet while touching the ground

    Heres the site:http://www.mountainhardware.com/ go into sleeping systems

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