I'm fairly new to hammocking & backpacking. I have gathered that I don't have the experience or budget to purchase an underquilt. I am however, budgeting for a down bag and a pad. I have seen much about open/close celled foam but not much about air pads. It seems they are thicker, easily compressed, and can vary the pressure within to manage comfort. My question is, how well do air pads work in a hammock?
They work fine, but can be really difficult to get under you nicely if you are in a single layer hammock. Make sure to practice many many times before you go out. Also try putting your bag around you AND the hammock, I find this works great and is super easy to do.
I sleep in a HH Explorer Deluxe on a NeoAir with a down sleeping bag without any problem adjusting it beneath me. As far as how well they work? I've not had a problem in temps in the mid 40's. Nice and toasty.
Any kind of pads work best in a double layer hammock. Obviously that can work for some in a single layer, but one turn during the night and the pad is gone. (BTW, don't use open cell foam, it doesn't insulate sell when compressed).
Go for a wide pad of at least 24" if not wider. There are several members here that regularly use an air pad in their hammock.
Since you mentioned that you're saving for a down bag, would you rather have a top quilt? Quilts work much better for hammocks. Of course, you may be using this for ground dwelling also. But even then, I used a quilt in my ground dwelling days, but a wider one than I use in my hammock.
My thermarest air pad works wonderfully in a single layer hammock. Trick is: only inflate it about 3/4 full. It may be just me, but I don't have a lot of trouble with it moving out from under me. I just have to be conscious of how I'm shifting around in the hammock.
My experience with pads is a whole lot different from the people above. For me, air pads don't work very well in a hammock because they have very little insulation. The neo-air should work better since they have three layers of material instead of just two, but haven't tried one of those. With most air pads, the first breeze that comes along steals all the heat away. Closed cell pads work very well because they don't compress and have very high insulation qualities. But, a closed cell pad is bulky to carry.
neo air all season
I have the neo air all season, and using it in the BMBH sleeve. It has an r value of 4.9 vs 2.5 of the regular neo air. It packs small and is pretty light. I have only used it into the low 40's and was plenty warm, but will see this fall how low I can go. I got the large version on sale for around $100. I think new they around $180, so at that point your are pretty close to getting a underquilt for the price. I chose this route because I wanted to be able to also use it in a tent when camping with my family, and keep me warm in a hammock.
Is condensation a problem when using a self inflating pad under a down bag?
I use a Hyalite Equipment Peak Oyl Lite 2/3rd. I find the fact the top corners are on an angle helps my asym lie.
I chose it for a few reasons: It's made of recycled materials, the insulation is plant-based, it compresses to the size of a Nalgene bottle and it's designed in my old hometown of Bozeman, MT.
I do sleep hot, so I got the 3-season pad, not their 4-season. It's not too slippery so it stays under me pretty well with the valve open.
This setup leaves me to just worry about keeping my calves and feet warm since the pad doesn't reach there, but if it did, it'd mess with my active sleeping and asym lay.
+1 on the NeoAir All Season. I used mine last week, temps in the low 30's with a 40 degree sleeping bag. No condensation. Feet got a little chilly (due to the sleeping bag more than the pad I think) but otherwise I was fine. I also have the large 25" x 72" version.
Originally Posted by chewbacca