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Sleeping Pads

Sorry if this has previously been discussed but I was wondering what you all recommend for self inflating sleeping pads? Last time we only camped 2 nights and just had small foam pads, not comfortable and this time we are camping all week. Any suggestions appreciated.

6 Replies

brewmeister.us, June 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Bought one last year on the recommendation of my father in law, who’s a long distance hiker (AT, PCT, CDT…) and an all around gear guru.

I bought a ThermaRest NeoAir Xlite. I purchased the large size and at the time paid about $140 on ebay, though smaller sizes are cheaper.

I used it for 8 days last RAGBRAI and was extremely pleased. Folds down very small, very light, and still very supportive and comfortable. It’s not self inflating, but it inflates in about 1-2 minutes manually. Would definitely recommend.

The ThermaRest along with my cheapie battery fans and my small folding pillow helped make last year a bit more comfortable (with minimal space) In fact, all three are getting used again this year.

Hope this helps!


aredgar, June 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm

I’ll second brewmeister.us. Though my current pad is the REI Co-op Stratus. Half the weight of self-inflating and packs half the size. Takes a few puffs to fill so no pump required.


jwsknk, June 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Going self contained used a 3/4 thermaerst 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick when inflated. On RAGBRAI use a twin? air mattress more like 4/5 inches. inflator used 4 “d” batteries and takes a couple of minutes. Takes up a little more room in one of my bags but the truck can handle it.


Mike Murphy, June 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

I switched to a REI self inflating pad two years ago. It is great, very small but very comfortable.


SFC JKL 2, June 22, 2017 at 10:47 pm

Depends on how you are traveling. If you have room for plenty of stuff, the skies the limit. Self contained I have a thermarest and a two man tent. On our bus for Rabgrai, I have a four man tent and an air mattress. I’ll take the comfort any day. If you are using an air mattress, test is out ahead of time to make sure it doesn’t leak. Nothing worse than waking up that first morning lying on the ground.


nhhillrider, June 23, 2017 at 8:35 am

I’m a beg believer in portable cots … if you dont have to lug it yourself.
Gets you off the ground. Never have to worry about uneven surface or stuff getting wet. Firm and supportive. Works for me.
I have a Big Grizzly … got it on Amazon


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