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bigbore442001
02-11-2003, 05:50 PM
I would like to solicit the advice of all the people who post here for some advice.

I currently use a Z rest sleep pad for my tent camping and I really don't think that it is up to the task of winter use.

I would like some recommendations for a good sleeping pad for winter camping. I was wondering if using the Z rest with another pad would suffice in insulating myself against the cold, cold ground?

Thanks.

shu
02-12-2003, 09:04 AM
Bigbore--

I finally cut up my Z-rest into a sit pad and a "shortie" for my kids. It does not provide as much insulation as many other pads and I never did find it as comfortable as advertised.

The foam pad plus 3/4 Thermarest is a popular system for winter camping but I would recommend something besides the Z-rest for this set-up. I like the Ridgerest DLX, but the standard 'blue pad' works about as well and weighs a 1/2# less.

If you don't want to spend $100- for new sleep pads, adding a 'blue pad' to the Z-rest will double the insulation, add extra cushion, and only weighs another 10 oz.

shu

ScottAdams
02-12-2003, 10:10 AM
Big Bore, I use the Thermarest Ultralite backpack model on top of the "blue pad". It works very well but here in Arizona I haven't had the opportunity to use it in really cold weather.

Scott

bigbore442001
02-12-2003, 04:46 PM
I really appreciate the advice.Thanks

bigbore442001
02-12-2003, 04:47 PM
I really appreciate the advice.Thanks

02-12-2003, 09:25 PM
something I recently read about on a hammock camping board. Try using your dense foam pad in conjunction with a roll-up reflector screen for use on your vehicle dash. you know the things wal-mart sells to protect your auto's dash from the sun damage. the shiny mylar covering acts as a reflector much like an emergency blanket but with a little more substance. I happened to have one laying around and when I rolled it out and laid on it, the warm feeling was almost instantaneous. just an idea, but I'm going to try it next time out in cold weather. hope it works for you.

Sgathak
02-12-2003, 10:42 PM
You can do a similar thing as the car heat sheild by buying one of those quilted space banket things (green on one side, mylar on the other)

Cut it to size, and use a sewing machine, or even some duct tape, on the cut edges... it will help keep it solid.

For ultra light camping I sometimes use a peice of plain ol' space blanket glued onto a 2ft by 6 ft peice of 1000 denier nylon.

Not very cushony, but its an effective vapor barrier and is reflective. Plus, being backed to the nylon, it is quiet and sturdy.

fos
02-13-2003, 11:04 AM
Try the Thermarest Ultralite, full length, on top of the foam pad of your choice, but test the combination on snow. The smaller the melt/refreeze signature under your pad imprint in the morning will give you an idea how much heat you are losing to the ground. The thinner foam pads will let more heat through, but are lighter. The full length Ultralite only weighs a few ounces (3, I think) more than the 3/4, packs to about the same size is more comfortable, keeps your feet warmer, and for some reason the surface of the Thermarest seems to eliminate the condensation that you would otherwise find on the closed cell foam if your bag were directly in contact with it. Good luck.

alpine_ingenuity
02-13-2003, 09:20 PM
I am in Special Forces on Ft Carson, and we do a lot of back country camping at below zero. We found that Thermarests are excellent above freezing, but freeze easily if they get any water vapor at all in them. This usually occurs after the thermarest gets old. We now use Ridge Rests exclusively, and I have had good success (with a good sleeping bag of course) down to 15 degrees below zero. Bill

fos
02-14-2003, 08:02 AM
This is a question for Bill from Colorado Springs. I had heard about needing to be careful about breath inflation of the Thermarests in below freezing weather, but your point is interesting. Do they freeze up even without breath inflation, and if so, how many nights before you start to notice? I usually go for just a night or two at a time in winter, so haven't noticed the problem you found - yet. But the Ridge Rest alone just kills my back by morning. Any secrets for staying comfortable on just the RR?

Thanks.

02-14-2003, 04:55 PM
Mountain hardware trailhead 77 is a really nice pad. I have not even considered using my thermarest since I puchased it.

alpine_ingenuity
02-20-2003, 10:32 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by fos:
This is a question for Bill from Colorado Springs. I had heard about needing to be careful about breath inflation of the Thermarests in below freezing weather, but your point is interesting. Do they freeze up even without breath inflation, and if so, how many nights before you start to notice? I usually go for just a night or two at a time in winter, so haven't noticed the problem you found - yet. But the Ridge Rest alone just kills my back by morning. Any secrets for staying comfortable on just the RR?

Thanks.</div></div>You are very correct about not using breath inflation, because that is by far the quickest way to ruin a thermarest. I have found through about 7 years using the thermarest that they seem to have a lifespan of a couple of years if you baby it, store it inflated, and don't inflate with breath. The thermarest is definitely very comfortable, but aside from the freezing issue the main fault is being prone to puncture. Care in selecting your bedding area can prevent that in civilian applications. During military use, with night movement and pre-dawn set-up being the norm, it's pretty easy to bed down on a cactus or thorn bush, and your thermarest will need a patch. As far as the thermarest freezing under normal use, it USUALLY is not a problem, because in freezing weather the humidity is low. However, freezing weather causes the thermarest to air up very slow, which in turn can tempt one to air that thing up and get it over with. Or, if it is used in humid weather, the humidity can get in there on a warm day and freeze later. So, it's a great 35 degree plus ground pad, but not optimal for cold weather. As far as getting comfortable on the ridge rest, your best bet is to bed down on soft ground cover if possible. Not much of an answer, I know and apologize. A partial solution I recommend is to place your boots between your sleeping bag and goretex bivvy bag under your knees as you lay on your back. This works well - it keeps my boots from freezing and dries them out overnight, and takes the pressure off my lower back. Hope this helped a little. Bill

fos
02-26-2003, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the info, Bill. I'll try the boot trick.