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04/06/2022 07:31PM  
We usually go the week before Memorial Day every year. Seems like most of the time we have some pretty cool temps at night, mid twenties on several occasions. I had a couple Big Agnes 15 degree bags but I recently sold them because they are just too restrictive for me. But I wasn't toasty warm in them anyways, I could sleep but not really warm. Last year I used a LL Bean 20 degree down bag that I hoped would do the trick but same thing, I could sleep but not really comfy on those really cold nights.

I decided that this year I am going to try to be more prepared for those temps if they happen in hopes of sleeping more comfortably so I bought a synthetic 10 degree bag from Sea to Summit. Just got it the other day and it seems pretty solid, my hopes are high.

Sea to Summit Basecamp 10

It is heavy compared to my other bags, and also considerably bulkier. So I have convinced myself that I will lighten the load in other areas to make up for the additional weight/bulk, which I was going to try and do this year anyways. I am pretty committed to this idea.

I also do a lot of shoulder season car camping with similar temps so this bag can serve multiple purposes for me. It is called Basecamp and is recommended for car camping but in the BWCA that is what we do for the most part - basecamp.

I guess I will find out in May if I made a good decision. If I sleep toasty warm and comfortable on those chilly nights I will feel that the additional weight and bulk was worth it...that's the plan:)
 
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04/06/2022 09:32PM  
Looking at the specs, the comfort rating is 24 degrees if you sleep colder. I hope it works out for you.
 
YetiJedi
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04/06/2022 10:58PM  
Nice addition, LindyLair! Hopefully it works great for you. Share a review when you return and have a great trip!

I hope to head out for the first trip on 5/13...if the ice melts in time!
 
04/07/2022 01:23PM  
BTW, what's r-value of your sleep pad?
 
04/07/2022 06:32PM  
For the BA bags I had a Q Core insulated pad which comes in between 4 and 5 so I think that is fine. The pad I used last year was around a 2 so that could have been part of the problem. But the bag I used last year did have insulation on the bottom of the bag, unlike BA bags. I am also in the market for a new pad before the trip and ideally looking for an R value of 3.5 to 4.5, does that sound sufficient?

Looking for a 72x25 moderate weight pad with a good R Value that packs down reasonably well. Any ideas that jump out to anyone that are tried and true?
 
Kermit
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04/07/2022 06:38PM  
boonie: "BTW, what's r-value of your sleep pad?"


This was my first thought also. Sounds more like a sleeping pad issue.
 
04/07/2022 07:03PM  
Hey Lindy, you mentioned your bag being restrictive and I wonder if that contributed to heat loss. Air pockets are an important part of heat retention and a little more room inside the bag can create warmth.

I notice this most when I’m in a tree stand. If my socks and boots are too tight, my feet get cold. If I layer and can still wiggle my toes freely I can stay warm much longer. Just a thought.
 
YetiJedi
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04/07/2022 07:34PM  
lindylair: "For the BA bags I had a Q Core insulated pad which comes in between 4 and 5 so I think that is fine. The pad I used last year was around a 2 so that could have been part of the problem. But the bag I used last year did have insulation on the bottom of the bag, unlike BA bags. I am also in the market for a new pad before the trip and ideally looking for an R value of 3.5 to 4.5, does that sound sufficient?


Looking for a 72x25 moderate weight pad with a good R Value that packs down reasonably well. Any ideas that jump out to anyone that are tried and true?"


I have the Klymite Static V extra wide 30x76 - I'm 6'2" and prefer my pillow on the pad, if possible. :) R-value 4.4 and weighs a hair over 2 lbs. I'm a side sleeper and the extra width is helpful. Packs decently small, much smaller than the self-inflating options, I think. I use this one the most and have been happy with it for several years. Always holds air all night and is easy enough to inflate for the extra size I get.

I also use a Thermarest basecamp when I'm, well, basecamping. It's 30x77, doesn't roll up small at all, r value 6, and weighs 4 lbs. Super comfortable but I pay for it in weight and volume. Fishing opener it's my preferred option.
 
04/07/2022 07:59PM  
It has always been my feeling that sleeping bag ratings have been optimistic, usually 10-15 degrees off. Thus when I slept in my 15 degree bag at 26 degrees I was able to sleep but not comfy warm. I think that rating systems have changed over the last few years to somewhat of a different standard - if someone knows more about this please fill me in.

I have found some seemingly good pads between $150-$200 that have R values between 3.2 and 4.3 made by Exped, Nemo, Thermarest and Sea to Summit. Will probably pull the trigger on one of those sometime soon. the differences aren't that great, a few features, thickness, weight and packability. I am not that picky, just want the best combination of all those things:) Haven't really looked at Klymit, may have to do that.

Since i splurged on a bag in terms of $, weight and bulk I might as well get a pad that will do a good job, be very comfortable and warm as well. Be worth it if the mid twenties nights are toasty warm.

I will start working on all the things I need to cut out to make up the difference in weight and bulk. Clothes and fishing equipment are top of the list, food a close second. Not that it matters that much because we plan to go in half a day and set up a base camp,...but it is the principle of the thing.

 
04/07/2022 08:16PM  
lindylair: "For the BA bags I had a Q Core insulated pad which comes in between 4 and 5 so I think that is fine. The pad I used last year was around a 2 so that could have been part of the problem. But the bag I used last year did have insulation on the bottom of the bag, unlike BA bags. I am also in the market for a new pad before the trip and ideally looking for an R value of 3.5 to 4.5, does that sound sufficient?


Looking for a 72x25 moderate weight pad with a good R Value that packs down reasonably well. Any ideas that jump out to anyone that are tried and true?"


Here's a 2022 comparison of pads with updated r-values under the new industry standard test adopted in 2020. It's a pretty comprehensive list of pads and will be helpful in buying a new pad. It also lists weight, thickness, and type. There's also a table listing suggested minimum r-values needed at different temperatures. It indicates that 2 was probably low but 3.5 - 4.5 should be fine. I've been happy with my Thermarest Neo-Air X-Therm which is plenty warm, quite light, and packs down very small. I think there are probably quite a few good pads out there that will meet your needs.
R-value comparison

 
LilyPond
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04/07/2022 08:35PM  
Just one suggestion: Have you tried washing and drying your LL Bean 20 degree down bag and making sure the down is distributed properly? I have that bag rectangular) and noticed that it wasn't as warm as previously. It didn't need washing but I put it in the dryer to fluff it up and redistributed the down and that did help. With a semi-rectangular Bean down bag I washed and dried it and the warmth improved quite a lot. Also, a fleece liner bag (which you probably don't want to carry) would add a lot of warmth.

I found that the rating of my Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 was off by 15 degrees.

My all-time favorite mattress is the Exped synmat 3D-7, which has lasted for years of daily use. I've stopped following Exped's lineup now because they just sell too many different mattresses and they keep changing the names. Very confusing. Anybody know if there's an equivalent of the 3D-7 now?
 
YetiJedi
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04/07/2022 08:52PM  
lindylair: "It has always been my feeling that sleeping bag ratings have been optimistic, usually 10-15 degrees off. Thus when I slept in my 15 degree bag at 26 degrees I was able to sleep but not comfy warm. I think that rating systems have changed over the last few years to somewhat of a different standard - if someone knows more about this please fill me in."


Agreed. The published temperature ratings are always optimistic - as in they say a lower temperature than is actually comfortable. I think your plan for a sleeping pad with an r-value around 3 or 4 is solid.

Outdoor Gear Lab is a source I find trustworthy and insightful. Here is one perspective on sleeping bag ratings:

"EN Testing: Why We Don't Rely On It
The European Norm 13537 is a standardized test created to measure warmth. A copper mannequin dressed in long underwear and socks and equipped with 20 temperature-sensitive sensors lays atop a closed cell sleeping pad inside the bag being tested. The bag is elevated on a 12mm thick wooden platform. Inside a temperature-controlled room, the sensors and algorithmic models calculate the warmth of a given sleeping bag. The results are parsed into three categories:

Comfort Range: based on a standard woman having a comfortable night of sleep. We feel this is the most important number in the EN rating system since it actually reflects the temperatures the sleeping bag is designed for.

Transition Range: The standard person is curled up in their bag and fighting to stay warm, but probably not shivering. The limit of your sleeping bag is likely somewhere in this range.

Risk Range: Here the EN rating states that a strong sensation of cold is to be expected. Hypothermia is possible, and the bag should only be used in an emergency. Do not purchase your sleeping bag based on this number.

The EN Rating is just a comparative guide. Like all standardized tests, it often struggles to capture real-world conditions. For example, most of us are back sleepers so the test measure sleeping bag performance for that. But if you're a side sleeper and the bag is better designed to retain heat in a side sleeping position, the test will miss that.

Another factor to consider is the warmth of your sleeping pad. Most pads today are much warmer than the EN sleeping pad used in testing. The pad employed in the EN testing is a thin, closed cell pad. These typically have an R-value of 1. Today's pads are inflatable and relatively lightweight. A warmer sleeping pad means the less insulation you need from a sleeping bag.

Several sleeping bags reviewed here have no EN test rating. Having such tests done increases expenses while the value of the data gained from testing is debatable. Furthermore, some bag designs might not be compatible with this standardized test. Quilts and non-traditional models often lack hoods or bottom insulation. The EN rating doesn't account for these designs.

Other real-world factors lead us at OutdoorGearLab to take the EN rating with a large grain of salt. Sleeping positions, clothing worn, type of tent or shelter, and the food and drinks you consume before hitting the hay. Perhaps most importantly, the fit of the bag plays a pivotal roll in warmth. We prefer to rely on our testers' warmth assessments."
 
04/07/2022 08:54PM  
Thanks Lily for your comments. My LL Bean bag is fairly new and hasn't been used much but your idea is still worth a shot.


I agree with your assessment of the BA Lost ranger and I found the same to be true of the synthetic 15 Encampment. Still good bags, just not 15 degree bags.

Boonie, thanks for the chart, I will use it to make my decision. Great info.
 
amhacker22
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04/08/2022 05:50AM  
I don’t have much to add here, but that I’ve never regretted having an overly warm bag. It can be bulky, and a PITA to pack, but I’ll take a good nights sleep over just about anything. I generally run pretty hot and like it cool when I sleep, but once a chill creeps into my bag, it’s over for me. I’ll take my 5 degree even in the middle of summer. An extra few minutes of packing and few extra square inches of pack space are nothing compared to the value of eight hours of deep sleep.
 
04/08/2022 06:16AM  
amhacker, that is exactly my line of thinking when it comes to our May trips. I am willing to have some extra weight and bulk to deal with for some truly warm and comfy nights' sleep. I did a lot of research and think(hope) I picked a bag that will work. Now with my luck the weather will be unseasonably warm with temps in the 40s and 50s at night:)
 
LilyPond
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04/08/2022 12:46PM  
lindylair: "I agree with your assessment of the BA Lost ranger and I found the same to be true of the synthetic 15 Encampment. Still good bags, just not 15 degree bags. "


The reason this bugs me is that there's a *considerable price difference* between a 15F bag and a 30F bag. I resent paying a 15F price for a 30F bag. I've found LL Bean down bags to have fairly accurate and honest ratings. They can often be found at considerable discounts at the outlet stores. I paid $100 for a 35F Bean down bag and $150 for the 20F at the outlet store. I've used the 35F down to 25 degrees wearing extra clothes (fleece jackets, mittens, hat). I now find that the 20F bag works for almost all situations except hot summer nights, when I take no sleeping bag, just a small, light cotton quilt.
 
LilyPond
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04/08/2022 12:56PM  
YetiJedi: "Outdoor Gear Lab is a source I find trustworthy and insightful. . . "We prefer to rely on our testers' warmth assessments.""


I've never been that impressed with Outdoor Gear Lab's reviews. They seem to be sort of generalists. In the article you link they show how EN ratings are standardized, but they end with "We prefer to rely on our testers' warmth assessments." But that's a subjective perception and there's no guarantee that their testers sleep the way you or I do. I agree that real-world testing is necessary, but there's a role for standardized testing too.

One way or another, many manufacturers find a way to overestimate the warmth of their sleeping bags, which is a disservice to users and a matter not just of comfort, but of safety. It's just not honest, and when a company does that, it doesn't inspire my confidence in them for their other products. I haven't bought anything at all from Big Agnes since getting rid of my underperforming Lost Ranger. Before buying that sleeping bag I talked at length with their customer service rep about it and was misled by him about the warmth. When you publish false information about the temperature range, your CS reps can't really tell people, "Uh, I don't think you're gonna be warm at 15 degrees in that bag."

Three companies I respect for good products, accurate information, and great customer service are Exped, Mountainsmith, and Alps Mountaineering. I bet many of us have had the experience of spending lots of money on one sleeping bag, tent, mattress, etc. after another because either the product, the published specs, or customer service was not what it should have been. We learn by expensive experimentation.

 
LilyPond
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04/08/2022 01:20PM  
lindylair: "Now with my luck the weather will be unseasonably warm with temps in the 40s and 50s at night:)"


If it's 50 degrees you will be much better off with a 10F bag than a 50F bag. I really like the shape and size of your Sea to Summit Basecamp bag. Too bad they don't make it in a 20F down bag---or maybe they do.
 
04/08/2022 01:27PM  
Lily, they do make it in a 20 degree bag but not down, same synthetic insulation as the 10 degree. it is also somewhat lighter and packs down smaller. I considered that but wanted the extra 10 degrees for a margin of error.
 
04/08/2022 01:46PM  
Consider adding an Exped Downmat9 to your sleeping system. I have insulated pads from Big Agnes, Thermarest, REI (a giant car camping pad), Nemo and Klymit; none of them are close to the level of warmth of the Exped. Night and day.

Do yourself a favor and get the 25" wide one.
 
MikeinMpls
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04/08/2022 01:59PM  
Lindy- have you considered the addition of a poncho liner?



They are insanely light for the additional warmth that they add. They also compact very well. I keep one with my sleeping bag in the original sleeping bag sack, so that's how little room it takes up.

If you feel chilled, you can either wrap yourself in the poncho liner inside your sleeping bag or cover yourself with it and tuck the edges underneath your sleeping pad. That's how my wife uses it. It traps body heat and adds significant warming value to your sleeping bag. In the summer, I don't even bother with the sleeping bag and just bring a poncho liner and a light blanket.

Mike
 
RunningFox
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04/09/2022 07:46AM  
I have a kelty cosmic down 20 degree sleeping bag.

I keep it unrolled to prevent the down from compressing until I use it. If there is a chance of temps hitting below the mid 30s, I’ll take my lite weight Eddie Bauer down jacket with a hood and sleep in that.

Seems to work, and I bought the cost at Costco for under $40.
 
RunningFox
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04/09/2022 07:54AM  
RunningFox: "I have a kelty cosmic down 20 degree sleeping bag.


I keep it unrolled to prevent the down from compressing until I use it. If there is a chance of temps hitting below the mid 30s, I’ll take my lite weight Eddie Bauer down jacket with a hood and sleep in that.


Seems to work, and I bought the coat at Costco for under $40."
 
bombinbrian
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04/09/2022 10:13AM  
I find this post one of the most informative that I've seen in a while. I too am struggling a bit with this situation. We hit the water Memorial Day weekend every year.

I have several of the Army Extreme Cold Weather Bags, mine are black. The only issue I have with them is they are big, even compressed down and take up a ton of room. I'm not one to care about the weight as much as keeping the significant other as comfortable as possible.

We took them on a trip in mid-May of 2019 and froze our butts off in them. We didn't have good pads. We had the 1" self inflating garbage pads, my mistake. The ground sucked every ounce of heat from our body. I knew I had to do something different.

The next year I purchased a slightly better pad and it helped but wasn't great yet. The SO doesn't like to spend money on our gear for our two trips a year, about 10 days, so we've just sucked it up and made do.

This winter I was at REI and found a used Sea to Summit Comfort Plus something pad and a Nemo Insulated pad. I bought them but the S2S pad had 5 leak spots. I contacted them and they replaced it. It has an R value of 4 something, so I'm excited to try it. We also got her a Helinox Cot for her birthday.

I'm struggling with what to do for myself. Although I sleep fine in my big black bag and the newer pads, I'm trying to cut down some of the bulkiness since I am trying to make her as comfortable as possible. I keep wanting to take my 30* Army Patrol Bag and a liner, but am nervous that I'll be cold and it'll be a miserable trip for me. I get cranky without my 5 hours of sleep a night. I've thought about a cot for me with the S2S pad that leaks with my Patrol bag and the liner... May end up lugging the big bag after all.

I am going to take all of this information into account though.
 
04/10/2022 01:50PM  
"Since i splurged on a bag in terms of $, weight and bulk I might as well get a pad that will do a good job, be very comfortable and warm as well."


I have been very satisfied with the Exped's Ultralight pads, including the SynMat and DownMat series, now known as the Dura 3R, Ultra 7R & Dura 8R pads. My experience is that using a great bag with a pad that does insulate me from the cold ground, is much like paddling a great canoe without a floor. You will not regret matching your investment in a great bag, with an investment in a great pad.
 
04/10/2022 05:28PM  
It’s all about the pad in the spring…and winter, of course.
 
04/11/2022 09:44AM  
Great thread... just cost me a new sleeping pad!
 
04/11/2022 12:04PM  
bobbernumber3: "Great thread... just cost me a new sleeping pad!"
What did you get?
 
04/16/2022 04:35PM  
Banksiana: "Consider adding an Exped Downmat9 to your sleeping system. I have insulated pads from Big Agnes, Thermarest, REI (a giant car camping pad), Nemo and Klymit; none of them are close to the level of warmth of the Exped. Night and day.

Do yourself a favor and get the 25" wide one."


+1
 
nooneuno
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04/16/2022 05:22PM  
I am curious as to what you guys are wearing to sleep in with these better quality bags and still being cold?
 
YetiJedi
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04/16/2022 07:13PM  
nooneuno: "I am curious as to what you guys are wearing to sleep in with these better quality bags and still being cold?"


An important part of the formula, no doubt. I wear wool socks, merino wool long underwear - slightly loose fit, and a merino wool hat. Down quilt rated for 20 degrees on a Klymat V luxe wide pad...I'm as warm as a bug in a rug! In July/August it is easy enough to adjust by removing the wool except for the truly hot and humid nights when nothing works to cool off.

In addition to what I wear, I also seem to be a lot more comfortable when I sleep if I'm clean. A BWCA shower/bath with some warm water is part of my evening routine.
 
04/16/2022 08:02PM  
Typically wear Merino Wool socks , my feet never get cold. Usually one layer like a poly long underwear and a tshirt with a warmer shirt - sometimes a light pullover sweatshirt with a hood, sometimes a warm medium layer with a stocking cap. Always something on my head.

I am convinced that most sleeping bag ratings are very optimistic to the tune of 10-15 degrees for average to cold sleepers. My metabolism isn't what it used to be, probably would have had different results 20 years ago. I guess it's fine as long as you know the way things work. If you are expecting cool temps bring a bag rated 10-15 degrees lower than the possible extremes. Or a down blanket which is lightweight , compact and can add that same 10-15 degrees back into the equation.

Hope my 10 degree bag does the trick this year if we have those cold temps. But I will have the down blanket along just in case. Love that thing.
 
nooneuno
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04/17/2022 09:41AM  
YetiJedi: "
lindylair: "For the BA bags I had a Q Core insulated pad which comes in between 4 and 5 so I think that is fine. The pad I used last year was around a 2 so that could have been part of the problem. But the bag I used last year did have insulation on the bottom of the bag, unlike BA bags. I am also in the market for a new pad before the trip and ideally looking for an R value of 3.5 to 4.5, does that sound sufficient?



Looking for a 72x25 moderate weight pad with a good R Value that packs down reasonably well. Any ideas that jump out to anyone that are tried and true?"



I have the Klymite Static V extra wide 30x76 - I'm 6'2" and prefer my pillow on the pad, if possible. :) R-value 4.4 and weighs a hair over 2 lbs. I'm a side sleeper and the extra width is helpful. Packs decently small, much smaller than the self-inflating options, I think. I use this one the most and have been happy with it for several years. Always holds air all night and is easy enough to inflate for the extra size I get.


I also use a Thermarest basecamp when I'm, well, basecamping. It's 30x77, doesn't roll up small at all, r value 6, and weighs 4 lbs. Super comfortable but I pay for it in weight and volume. Fishing opener it's my preferred option."

The specs on the static v lists an r value of 1.3 unless they have more than 1 model?
 
YetiJedi
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04/17/2022 12:29PM  
nooneuno: "
YetiJedi: "
lindylair: "For the BA bags I had a Q Core insulated pad which comes in between 4 and 5 so I think that is fine. The pad I used last year was around a 2 so that could have been part of the problem. But the bag I used last year did have insulation on the bottom of the bag, unlike BA bags. I am also in the market for a new pad before the trip and ideally looking for an R value of 3.5 to 4.5, does that sound sufficient?



Looking for a 72x25 moderate weight pad with a good R Value that packs down reasonably well. Any ideas that jump out to anyone that are tried and true?"




I have the Klymite Static V extra wide 30x76 - I'm 6'2" and prefer my pillow on the pad, if possible. :) R-value 4.4 and weighs a hair over 2 lbs. I'm a side sleeper and the extra width is helpful. Packs decently small, much smaller than the self-inflating options, I think. I use this one the most and have been happy with it for several years. Always holds air all night and is easy enough to inflate for the extra size I get.



I also use a Thermarest basecamp when I'm, well, basecamping. It's 30x77, doesn't roll up small at all, r value 6, and weighs 4 lbs. Super comfortable but I pay for it in weight and volume. Fishing opener it's my preferred option."

The specs on the static v lists an r value of 1.3 unless they have more than 1 model?"


Good catch, Nooneuno. It made me go check which model I have and it's actually the Static V Luxe version. On amazon it now says it is r-value 4.4. My model says r value of 5.0 on the carry bag. Might be just as generous as the sleeping bag temperature ratings!


 
MReid
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04/17/2022 12:58PM  
INSULATED Static V Luxe.
 
YetiJedi
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04/17/2022 01:57PM  
MReid: "INSULATED Static V Luxe. "


Correct.
 
04/17/2022 03:39PM  
I believe Klymit was the last to adopt the industry standard r-value test. See my link above to see how they all compare.
 
MReid
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04/17/2022 04:17PM  
boonie: "I believe Klymit was the last to adopt the industry standard r-value test. See my link above to see how they all compare. "

What a great resource! I missed it earlier. I'm satisfied with my (cheapo) Klymit insulated down to freezing , but it's barely better than a non-insulated (industry R=1.9, advertised R=4.4). It's held up well, too.
 
04/17/2022 08:04PM  
boonie: "
bobbernumber3: "Great thread... just cost me a new sleeping pad!"
What did you get?
"

NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad. Got the long wide version. My exped downmat was too slow deflating when breaking camp.
 
04/17/2022 09:18PM  
MReid: "
boonie: "I believe Klymit was the last to adopt the industry standard r-value test. See my link above to see how they all compare. "

What a great resource! I missed it earlier. I'm satisfied with my (cheapo) Klymit insulated down to freezing , but it's barely better than a non-insulated (industry R=1.9, advertised R=4.4). It's held up well, too. "


I bought one a long time ago but have never used it in colder conditions. IIRC, Klymit used to claim that the bag insulation that was usually compressed would fill in the gaps between the air chambers and provide some additional insulation. How much that might be worth who knows . . .
 
04/17/2022 09:22PM  
bobbernumber3: "
boonie: "
bobbernumber3: "Great thread... just cost me a new sleeping pad!"
What did you get?
"

NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad. Got the long wide version. My exped downmat was too slow deflating when breaking camp."


I hope it works out well for you and would like to hear what you think . . . but do sleep on it before you answer ;)
 
MReid
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04/18/2022 06:49AM  
boonie: "
I bought one a long time ago but have never used it in colder conditions. IIRC, Klymit used to claim that the bag insulation that was usually compressed would fill in the gaps between the air chambers and provide some additional insulation. How much that might be worth who knows . . . "

Probably with any non-flat (i.e. with dimples, etc.) pad, testing is more problematic, especially with a compliant overlayer. It works for me, it's paid for, so I'll use it until I need something else. I have other pads for winter.
 
04/18/2022 08:24AM  
bobbernumber3: "
boonie: "
bobbernumber3: "Great thread... just cost me a new sleeping pad!"
What did you get?
"

NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad. Got the long wide version. My exped downmat was too slow deflating when breaking camp."


Agree that deflating the Downmat is a slow pain. The Nemo you pop the plug and it just gushes to empty.
 
04/18/2022 09:19AM  
boonie: "
bobbernumber3: "
boonie: "
bobbernumber3: "Great thread... just cost me a new sleeping pad!"
What did you get?
"

NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad. Got the long wide version. My exped downmat was too slow deflating when breaking camp."



I hope it works out well for you and would like to hear what you think . . . but do sleep on it before you answer ;)
"

I won't sleep on it till May but will report back then. In side-by-side test in the living room with the Exped they were very similar size (almost identical) and thickness. Comfort was comparable and neither was noisy/crinkly.
 
04/18/2022 02:01PM  
I have a Downmat 9 and a Nemo insulated pad. I think the Downmat is more comfortable to sleep on, though its close enough that it's probably likely personal preference (Downmat feels less like a balloon). Downmat definitely offers more insulation. However in all other respects- ease of inflation, packing, ease of deflation, ease of rolling, weight and volume the Nemo out performs the Downmat. If night temps are above 40 I take the Nemo.
 
04/18/2022 03:15PM  
Banksiana: "I have a Downmat 9 and a Nemo insulated pad. I think the Downmat is more comfortable to sleep on, though its close enough that it's probably likely personal preference (Downmat feels less like a balloon). Downmat definitely offers more insulation. However in all other respects- ease of inflation, packing, ease of deflation, ease of rolling, weight and volume the Nemo out performs the Downmat. If night temps are above 40 I take the Nemo."


Great to hear... sounds like I got the right mat for an Exped alternate.
 
04/18/2022 08:34PM  
So as the OP I figured I should report back...I got a new pad, a Thermarest Topo Luxe regular wide. 4 inches thick with an R Value of 3.7 which is more than twice the R value of the pad I went up with last year. If anyone has any experience with this pad either way I would love to hear it.

Based my decision, after a lot of research on a combination of features, thickness, R Value, weight/bulk, reviews and price/good deal. I think i found a good balance, we shall see. Looked at Nemo and Exped too but just couldn't find a better balance than what I bought. With my new 10 degree bag which is much more substantial than bags of the past(feels warmer) and my new pad I have good confidence in my comfort level. Of course I will report bag after the trip with hopefully evidence supportive of my theories:)

Nothing scientific about this but I feel like a ratio of 60/40 bag to pad in terms of importance to comfort is about right.

I will say that last year I bought a lightweight down blanket and brought it with to the BWCA. On the coldest night (25-26 degrees) I wrapped myself in that blanket inside my bag and it made the difference between cool fitful sleep and moderate comfort. if the pad was the whole problem I don't think that would have made as big of a difference. Probably bring it along this year too, nice to wrap around yourself on a cool night around the fire in any case. Not sure if that makes sense or not. Worked for me.

 
wanderingfromkansas
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
  
04/19/2022 02:53PM  
Kermit: "
boonie: "BTW, what's r-value of your sleep pad?"



This was my first thought also. Sounds more like a sleeping pad issue."


When I read the original post, I immediately thought, "but what about the sleeping pad?" If you've got a real 4-5 r-value you should be doing well. Not so much at 2.
 
04/19/2022 03:51PM  
lindylair: "... last year I bought a lightweight down blanket...
"


Details please. I always need new gear!
 
LilyPond
distinguished member (400)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/19/2022 05:33PM  
lindylair: "I got a new pad, a Thermarest Topo Luxe regular wide. 4 inches thick with an R Value of 3.7 which is more than twice the R value of the pad I went up with last year. "


Looks like you made a very good choice. The thickness is impressive for the light weight. I compared the specs to my favorite, the Exped Synmat 3-D 7, and the Topo Luxe looks better in most categories except that the Exped might be about 15 degrees warmer. Still, the Topo should be good down to about 10 degrees F, so that should work fine for you. A well-reasoned and researched choice!
 
04/19/2022 07:00PM  
Kansas, I admit that my pad last year was not up to the task at an r value of around 2. But in prior years with a 15 degree bag and the BA Q Core insulated pads with an r value of 3-4 I was still not toasty warm. Hoping that this year with an R value pad of 3.7 and a warmer bag I will hit that comfort zone.

Bobber, this is what I bought and I love it. So many uses around the house but more importantly around the campfire. Have used it a few times for extra warmth when sleeping too and it has definitely made the difference for me. Has snaps so you can wear it as a parka on a cool evening watching the fire. Draped over the sleeping bag for insurance, or wrapped around you inside the sleeping bag if the temps exceed your expectations. One of the better purchases I have made.

Down blanket

Sad to say it was considerably cheaper when I bought it, sign of the times I guess. There are a lot of different options/brands but after my research I settled on this one and it seems to be a good choice. Still a nice addition to the kit that you might just find many uses for.
 
04/20/2022 08:28AM  
lindylair: ",,,Bobber, this is what I bought and I love it.

Down blanket

"


I'll check that out and consider. Thanks!
 
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