17 Comments

  1. Brian R
    Brian R October 15, 2013 at 6:03 am

    My Exped SynMat 7 LW (long wide) was very comfortable and lightweight (21 oz) this summer on the JMT. However, it a was also a bit noisy, a little too long (77.5 inches) for my tent and a little too slippery against the floor of the tent on anything other than perfectly flat tent sites. Despite the negatives, it’s a keeper. The 2 oz. companion hand pump was a nice luxury item at the end the day.

  2. Nancy
    Nancy October 15, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I’m with you on adding a little extra weight for a good night’s sleep. I carry a 3/4 length BA Air Core and use my emptied pack under my legs at night. It might not be pleasant for someone who is very tall but it works great for my 5.5-ft frame.

  3. Steven Shaplin
    Steven Shaplin October 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Hey Ray, I chimed in last week on sleeping bag choices, mine is the Feathered Friends 20 degree bag at 1lb15oz. My sleeping pad is the Exped SynMat 7 Reg at 15oz. It’s 72inches long and seeing how I’m 5’4 it’s awsome I sleep like a baby. I also carry a piece of Tyvec for my ground sheet to protect the air pad from being punctured. I’ve never had a problem with leaks. The Tyvec weighs next to nothing.

  4. Jill
    Jill October 16, 2013 at 2:56 am

    I’ve recently picked up the Klymit Static V sleeping pad. Super comfy – especially for something that packs that small – though I don’t know yet how durable it will be. As I mentioned on the sleeping bag discussion, I plan to stretch a space blanket under it (since I usually carry one as part of my emergency kit anyway) so hopefully that may help with not only heat dispersal but also punctures…though Steven’s idea of Tyvec is inspired.

  5. Debra
    Debra October 16, 2013 at 3:57 am

    My husband and I used last year’s model of the Big Agnes Q-Core this year on the JMT. I loved this sleeping pad. It was very very comfortable. My husband had two complaints. The biggest complaint is how noisy it is, when you have more than one person turning over in the tent at night. I kept waking him up when I turned over. It was a bit noisy, but it didn’t bother me. The comfort outweighed this issue for me.

  6. Gail
    Gail October 16, 2013 at 5:16 am

    I don’t know, Ray. I thought I was set with the Exped Synmat UL 7 (Regular, 16.2 oz) which I bought a little over a year ago, took on several trips, and loved. But then on my last overnight before the JMT this July – about 10 days before my JMT start – the Exped developed a leak and went flat. (I still haven’t found the leak, and I’m not even sure if it’s a leak or something to do with the baffles.) When that happened I lost all my trust in air pads and quickly bought a foam pad (the RidgeRest Solite Regular, 14 oz.) and augmented that with a 1/8″ Gossamer Gear Thinlight Insulation Pad (2,4-2.8 oz.) So the weight of those two pads together was about equivalent to the weight of the Exped (and they were durable enough to use outside the tent as well as for sleeping).

    I’m 70. I was out only 8 days, but my sleeping pad was not the reason I bailed. It was tough sleeping on it the first night after being used to the cushioning of the air pad, but from the second night on I didn’t have a problem – maybe I was just exhausted enough not to care. I did really appreciate not having to worry about leaks and not having to do anything to set up my pad except unroll it and lay it out.

  7. Larry Beck
    Larry Beck October 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Ray, I too am 58 and comfort is a priority! I finally broke down and purchased a Thermarest NeoAir XLite back in 2012 and it has not failed me for two seasons totally around 40 nights in the bag. My rule is that I never take it out of the stuff sack outside of my tent. It is somewhat noisy though. Although it never bothers me, people do complain if my tent is right next to them but they also complain about snoring in that scenario too! This pad weighs 13 oz including the stuff sack and it’s the most comfortable pad I’ve ever used.

    1. Byron Nevins
      Byron Nevins October 19, 2013 at 10:42 am

      I have also had no problems with leaks with my NeoAir with about 35 nights on it. I’m very happy with it. How did you manage to get holes in yours Ray?

  8. dana
    dana October 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    hi Ray! Another nearly 60, need-my-sleeping-comfort person here! I used to use the NeoAir and never had problems, but this year I “graduated” to a NeoAir Trekker. It is made from slightly thicker fabric and is supposed to be more durable than the original yellow-green models. The thing I REALLY love is that mine is 25″ wide (I got the “large torso” size, 25″ x 47″). I don’t need a full-length pad, there is generally something like my pack or a jacket to put my feet on. Even though I’m not a large torso person, I LOVE the extra width. With a 20″ pad, I always feel perched, like I might fall off the side when I turn over. This is never a problem with those extra 5″ – I found it simply luxurious! Weighs in at 16 oz. I gave myself an A+ on this item!

  9. […] during my recent John Muir Trail thru-hike. Thus far I’ve scored a “D” for my sleeping bag, a “B” for my sleeping pad, and an “A” for my stove. Next item: my […]

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