RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad Upgrade?

I’m looking to improve my quality of sleep by upgrading to an air mattress on RAGBRAI.

I have not used a blow up mattress since boy scouts in the 70’s that always went flat and did not improve my comfort at all.


8 Replies

Ian Thomson, July 1, 2018 at 10:21 am

I’ve used a Big Agnus for several years now. Comfortable, thicker folds into a small bag and as a bonus made from 100% rcycked mayerials


pmac, July 1, 2018 at 12:44 pm

I used a klymit pad for a couple weeks last summer and again for a shorter trip this spring. It was very comfortable and never leaked, but I needed something in addition to my lungs to blow it completely up without passing out. I bought a “Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mini Pump” which worked surprisingly well. while not exactly cheap, it pumped up the mattress to about 90% in a few minutes and a couple of additional puffs firmed it up. There are alot of really nice inflatables on the market. Some are really easy to inflate and some need a bit of help.


Randall Murphy, July 1, 2018 at 3:45 pm

I’ve used the best Ozark Trail air mattress that you can get at Walmart for ten bucks for years but you do need an air pump so as not to pass out. A couple of years ago I upgraded to a Thermarest Basecamp AF in the large size. At 2 inches thick I was sheptical but it’s awesome for comfort and I get to leave the pump at home. I think I got it on sale for maybe $79 if I remember correctly. It rolls up pretty small too. Just my two cents…


KenH, July 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I used a Thermarest Basecamp the one year I tent camped. I found it quite comfortable just like Randall above says. Now I had tried sleeping on it on a very hard laminate floor at home one night previously so I was not surprised how comfortable it was during RAGBRAI but I was certainly surprised that night! I was unexpectedly tent camping with a charter that year when the rest of my team had to pull out of the ride for family reasons. As I a result I had to buy a tent and all other other tent camping essentials since all my former gear had died decades ago. Buying all new stuff on my budget meant that I tired to save money when I could and I bought the 2 inch Basecamp instead of the 3 inch model Thermarest. If I were doing it now I would go for the 3 inch just because it would be a little nicer but the 2 inch is perfectly fine really.


trek2300, July 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Go Kot and a small self inflating pad like a Thermarest. You can spend less on a cot but, in this case, you get what you pay for.


bugs11, July 2, 2018 at 8:36 am

FWIW I picked up Lightspeed self inflating pad at the local Costco this past weekend for a very reasonable price. Dimensions are 75.2″ x 25.4″ x 2″. Instructions said to let the pad self-inflate for 24 hours as the thing looked to be vacuumed packed. I was skeptical at first – based on the price, but after 24 hours and few puffs to firm it up the thing was surprisingly comfortable to stretch out on. I needed a new pad, my Big Agnes air mattress gave up the ghost this year.


John Bilsky, July 2, 2018 at 11:05 am

Big Agnes.


Dizzy, July 2, 2018 at 6:36 pm

I’m on the 6th year w/a Thermorest NeoAir Xlite.
A little expensive initially but on a cost per year basis, it’s getting less expensive.
Inflates quickly, holds all the air all night (actually holds solid for 2 nights).
Packs smaller than an 8-ounce coffee cup; weighs next to nothing.


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