Thermarest (or similar)

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Jay, Mar 20, 2003.

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  1. Jay

    Jay Guest

    I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone have advice or preferences for
    the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?
     
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  2. "Jay" skrev...
    > I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone have advice or preferences for
    > the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?

    Consider a Karrimat from Karrimor. Or some other closed cell mat. Its simple, lightweight, durable,
    waterproof and insulates great. I've only ever bought one. Has served me well for over 20 years and
    will probably continue to do so the next 20.

    Regards Mikael
     
  3. Jay,

    The full length pad is good if you sleep on your side, or get cold feet. Thermarest makes a "light"
    1" pad that is good if you are forgiving (no princess and the pea), or a LE 2" pad if you need TLC.

    My recommendation is to check out your local outfitter (same advice as going to a local bike shop -
    keep 'em in business) and try out both. The benefits/costs of each pad: the cushier, the bigger and
    heavier. I use a Light Full length and am happy 80% of the time - the only time I'm not is when I'm
    backpacking and my back is sore.

    My pick: the LE Long. It's worth the extra weight, and your back will thank you the next morning.

    Chris Champion Vision R40 SWB OSS Vision R85 USS

    Jay <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<BA9FB281.63C4%[email protected]>...
    > I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone have advice or preferences for
    > the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?
     
  4. Jay <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<BA9FB281.63C4%[email protected]>...
    > Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?

    I bought the "Classic" full length Thermarest for my 1200 mile tour in California last
    October-November, during which I encountered temps in the low 20s F. Tried the short one first, but
    got cold feet, so took it back to REI for an exchange. I'm happy with the long one.

    Trying them out at REI, I liked the extra width and thickness of the luxury version, but it was too
    wide to fit in my bike trailer.

    Pamela BikeE RX
     
  5. David Bogie

    David Bogie Guest

    This is much better advice than you might think. Self-inflating mattresses look great and the idea
    is sound in practice the things are no better at the job they are designed to do than any closed
    cell foam pad: Insulate. The idea that they provide more "comfort" is marketing nonsense and most of
    us have fallen for it. I own four Thermarest pads, two are almost thirty years old, the originals in
    green and orange. I speak from years of experience of backpacking with 45 pound loads. I finally
    went ultralight, 15 pounds. ONe of the things I thought I could not sleep without was my Thermarest.
    I was wrong.

    The physics are all in favor of closed cell pads. They insulate far better because there is no
    conduction or convection. They are more comfortable by the time morning comes becaue they do not
    compress past a certain limit and they retain all insulation properties even when compressed. An air
    mattress is made of open cell foam. It compresses to almost nothing during the night, simply as a
    result of your weight, especially where there are pressure points at hips and shoulders. Open cell
    foam loses almost all of its insulation value when compressed.

    A luxury Thermarest weighs more than 5 pounds, the 3/4 lightweights are two and a half pounds. A
    closed cell 3/4 pad weighs about 12 ounces, the full length pads are less than a pound. You can take
    two. Price is negligible compared to self-inflators, too, $30-50 compared to $80-200..

    One of the better closed cell pads is made by Cascade Designs, the Thermarest people. It's called
    the Z-rest.

    www.cascadedesigns.com

    david boise ID

    "Mikael Seierup" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Jay" skrev...
    > > I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone have advice or preferences
    > > for the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?
    >
    > Consider a Karrimat from Karrimor. Or some other closed cell mat. Its simple, lightweight,
    > durable, waterproof and insulates great. I've only ever bought one. Has served me well for over 20
    > years and will probably continue to do so the next 20.
    >
    > Regards Mikael
     
  6. Jay

    Jay Guest

    > "Jay" skrev...
    >> I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone have advice or preferences
    >> for the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?

    >Mikael Seierup at [email protected] wrote: Consider a Karrimat from Karrimor. Or some other
    >closed cell mat. Its simple, lightweight, durable, waterproof and insulates great. I've only ever
    >bought one. Has served me well for over 20 years and will probably continue to do so the next 20.
    >
    > Regards Mikael

    Information saved. Thanks.
     
  7. Jay

    Jay Guest

    >> Jay <[email protected]> wrote: I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone
    >> have advice or preferences for the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full
    >> length and extra thick pad?

    >Chris Champion at [email protected] wrote: The full length pad is good if you sleep on your
    >side, or get cold feet. Thermarest makes a "light" 1" pad that is good if you are forgiving (no
    >princess and the pea), or a LE 2" pad if you need TLC.
    >
    > My recommendation is to check out your local outfitter (same advice as going to a local bike shop
    > - keep 'em in business) and try out both. The benefits/costs of each pad: the cushier, the bigger
    > and heavier. I use a Light Full length and am happy 80% of the time - the only time I'm not is
    > when I'm backpacking and my back is sore.
    >
    > My pick: the LE Long. It's worth the extra weight, and your back will thank you the next morning.
    >
    > Chris Champion Vision R40 SWB OSS Vision R85 USS

    Thanks. I have saved your advice and will be consulting a few places. BTW I am on 5ft 2in so maybe
    the 3/4 mattress will be a full size for me. I will have to compare at the store for thickness.
    Maybe I will have a demo nap in a backroom (just kidding)
     
  8. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Guest

    Jay,

    I have the basic weight, full length thermarest. I did not want the
    3/4 length as it would likely have not provided cushioning for my legs. After a day of riding, I
    figured that my legs deserved to be pampered.

    Even at that I am trying to decide camping vs credit card tour this spring. After much camping as a
    kid and a career in the army, I am not sure that I need any more practice at sleeping uncomfortably.

    Gary McCarty, Salt Lake City

    Jay <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<BA9FB281.63C4%[email protected]>...
    > I am about to purchase my first Thermarest (or similar) Does anyone have advice or preferences for
    > the length or thickness of the pad? Is it worth carrying a full length and extra thick pad?
     
  9. Jay

    Jay Guest

    >David Bogie at [email protected] wrote:

    > This is much better advice than you might think. Self-inflating mattresses look great and the idea
    > is sound in practice the things are no better at the job they are designed to do than any closed
    > cell foam pad: Insulate. The idea that they provide more "comfort" is marketing nonsense and most
    > of us have fallen for it.<snip details>
    >

    Thanks for taking the time to write such detailed advice.
     
  10. "Jay" skrev...
    > I have saved your advice and will be consulting a few places. BTW I am on 5ft 2in so maybe the 3/4
    > mattress will be a full size for me. I will have to compare at the store for thickness. Maybe I
    > will have a demo nap in a backroom (just kidding)

    :)
    You should try a pad like the Karrimat on grass. No, no... the green stuff. Ehm I mean the green
    stuff thats nonsmokable. On a hard floor one of these pads will feel uncomfortable.

    Mikael
     
  11. Lb

    Lb Guest

    [email protected] (David Bogie) wrote in message
    news:<5e63edec.0303[email protected]>...
    > This is much better advice than you might think. Self-inflating mattresses look great and the idea
    > is sound in practice the things are no better at the job they are designed to do than any closed
    > cell foam pad: Insulate. The idea that they provide more "comfort" is marketing nonsense and most
    > of us have fallen for it. Open cell foam loses almost all of its insulation value when compressed.

    I respectfully disagree with the comment that the open cell foam compresses during use. These pads
    are inflated and you are sleeping on a bed of air, not compressed foam. When I was much younger I
    slept on a cheap($5) closed-cell pad. I now use a full-length LE Thermarest(2" thick) at 2-1/2
    pounds and it is almost like sleeping on a bed at home. John Carnahan [email protected]
     
  12. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    On 20 Mar 2003 18:52:15 -0800, [email protected] (David Bogie) wrote:

    >[...] Self-inflating mattresses look great and the idea is sound in practice the things are no
    >better at the job they are designed to do than any closed cell foam pad: Insulate

    Some Thermarest models do have at least one objective advantage over closed-cell foam pads,-- their
    packed size is probably 50% smaller. Models such as the 'ultra-light' can be folded in half
    length-wise and tightly rolled. I can pack my 20x72x1 Thermarest inside by panniers. Try doing that
    with an closed-cell pad.

    Closed-cell pads do have many advantages. Formost, perhaps, is durability. If due care is taken,
    Thermarests are pretty tough, but you can treat a closed cell foam pad with much less care. When
    hiking, I carry a 24x15" piece of cheap closed cell foam in addtion to my Thermarest for a sitting
    pad. It could also be used as an extra padding/insulation layer in conjunction with the
    self-inflating pad.

    Jon Meinecke net.subtle-apteryx
     
  13. Carol Hague

    Carol Hague Guest

    David Bogie <[email protected]> wrote:

    > This is much better advice than you might think. Self-inflating mattresses look great and the idea
    > is sound in practice the things are no better at the job they are designed to do than any closed
    > cell foam pad:

    I must respectfully disagree with you on this point.

    We used Karrimats for a number of years. I never enjoyed camping because I never got a decent amount
    of sleep. I'd doze, but not sleep properly.

    A couple of years ago we bought a pair of Thermarests and I can now actually sleep in the tent. The
    Thermarest is, for me, both warmer and more comfortable and makes a great deal of difference. I
    wouldn't voluntarily go back to the Karrimat.

    --
    Carol Hague Westcountry Recumbents http://www.trikescdrom.com Feet first on three wheels.
     
  14. Jay

    Jay Guest

    > "Jay" skrev...
    >> I have saved your advice and will be consulting a few places. BTW I am on 5ft 2in so maybe the
    >> 3/4 mattress will be a full size for me. I will have to compare at the store for thickness. Maybe
    >> I will have a demo nap in a backroom (just kidding)

    >Mikael Seierup at [email protected] wrote:
    > :)
    > You should try a pad like the Karrimat on grass. No, no... the green stuff. Ehm I mean the green
    > stuff thats nonsmokable. On a hard floor one of these pads will feel uncomfortable.

    <Jay pictures herself hauling a demo mat outside the store- searching for grass and not finding any
    for 2 kilometres.
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >Jay,
    >
    >I have the basic weight, full length thermarest. I did not want the
    >3/4 length as it would likely have not provided cushioning for my legs. After a day of riding, I
    > figured that my legs deserved to be pampered.
    >
    >Even at that I am trying to decide camping vs credit card tour this spring. After much camping as a
    >kid and a career in the army, I am not sure that I need any more practice at sleeping
    >uncomfortably.
    >
    >Gary McCarty, Salt Lake City

    I hear that. Spent every summer of my childhood in a pup tent at all the national parks. Which was
    great - then. After I got married I introduced my wife to camping at Yellowstone one year, and she
    hated it. (Being 18 degrees F in the tent might have had something to do with that.) She pointed out
    that there was a lodge a mile down the road, and would I care to join her? Since then I don't camp
    if there is a motel anywhere around. After riding a hundred miles I want to pamper myself with a
    good bed, AC, and no bugs.

    Steve Christensen Midland, MI
     
  16. Morgan Jones

    Morgan Jones Guest

    [email protected] (David Bogie) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > The physics are all in favor of closed cell pads.
    >
    > One of the better closed cell pads is made by Cascade Designs, the Thermarest people. It's called
    > the Z-rest.

    I have a Z-rest and a Thermarest Ultralight 3/4. I find the z-rest to be little better than sleeping
    on the bare ground, either in terms of comfort or warmth, but I find the T-rest to be warm and
    comfortable. The trick is to always store your t-rest fully inflated (valve open) and blow a little
    extra air into in before use.

    The z-rest does work well underneath the t-rest to add warmth and to have something under your feet.

    A good test to see what works for you is to throw your keys on the ground, put the pad over it, then
    lay on the pad with your hips where the keys are. Buy the thinnest pad that allows you to be
    comfortable laying on your keys.

    Morgan.
     
  17. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Guest

    Steve,

    I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and much of my camping was in the upper half of the lower
    peninsula and in the U.P. We might have slept on the same hard piece of ground at different times. I
    still get back to MI each year. I camped in a pop-up for a couple years. That was a big step up from
    a tents (pup tent and "cottage" tent).

    I keep promising myself a credit card tour along Lake Huron and perhaps again into the Leelanau
    Peninsula. The dealer that I bought my trike from (Rick Steele of Gold Country Cyclery in
    California) was raised in Alpena and then Detroit. We have swapped dreams about going back to
    Michigan to tour.

    As is, I plan to make a short tour to southern Utah this spring, probably staying in Motels.

    Gary McCarty, Greeenspeed GTO, Salt Lake City

    Steve Christensen <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I hear that. Spent every summer of my childhood in a pup tent at all the national parks. Which was
    > great - then. After I got married I introduced my wife to camping at Yellowstone one year, and she
    > hated it. (Being 18 degrees F in the tent might have had something to do with that.) She pointed
    > out that there was a lodge a mile down the road, and would I care to join her? Since then I don't
    > camp if there is a motel anywhere around. After riding a hundred miles I want to pamper myself
    > with a good bed, AC, and no bugs.
    >
    > Steve Christensen Midland, MI
     
  18. Jay

    Jay Guest

    > [email protected] (David Bogie) wrote in message
    >> The physics are all in favor of closed cell pads. One of the better closed cell pads is made by
    >> Cascade Designs, the Thermarest people. It's called the Z-rest.

    >Morgan Jones at [email protected] wrote on 3/21/03 10:55 AM: I have a Z-rest and a
    >Thermarest Ultralight 3/4. I find the z-rest to be little better than sleeping on the bare
    >ground, either in terms of comfort or warmth, but I find the T-rest to be warm and comfortable.
    >The trick is to always store your t-rest fully inflated (valve open) and blow a little extra
    >air into in before use.
    >
    > The z-rest does work well underneath the t-rest to add warmth and to have something under
    > your feet.
    >
    > A good test to see what works for you is to throw your keys on the ground, put the pad over it,
    > then lay on the pad with your hips where the keys are. Buy the thinnest pad that allows you to be
    > comfortable laying on your keys.

    Thanks. These are the two options I am most considering. Heat transfer is also a concern- not just
    "Princess and the Keys"
     
  19. Skip

    Skip Guest

    I also use the Z-rest with an Ultralight 3/4 Thermarest and find it to be my best combo for comfort
    and light weight.

    skip
     
  20. Jay

    Jay Guest

    >skip at [email protected] wrote on 3/21/03 11:08 PM: I also use the Z-rest with an Ultralight 3/4
    >Thermarest and find it to be my best combo for comfort and light weight.

    I am considering a similar combination. How tall are you and how do you deal with feet or head that
    doesn't fit on the mat(s)?
     
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