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  1. #1
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Can I make a down mat?

    OK heres the deal. I am testing a new type of air mattress from Big Agnes on my hike. So far it has been great on the many nights that I was unable to hang. Unfortunately it is getting too cool for an uninsulated airmat. The valve is made of aluminum and I accidentally unscrewed the top completely off the mat. I thought HMMM, I wonder if I could insert some down into the the valve and make a lightweight DAM. Actually I first thought that I had ruined the mat, it was after I was able to get the cap back on the valve I thought of the down. Anyway, the opening is only about 3/8" in diameter. I know some of you are experienced in working with down and I was wondering if I could use comperssed air (of mabe even my breath) to inject some down into the mat. If I can get this to work I can have a DAM for about a pound. Any thoughts, anyone, anyone, Bueller?
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-BACK View Post
    anyone, anyone, Bueller?
    S'cuse me, that's my line.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  3. #3
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    Assuming your BA uninsulated is like my BA insulated - the little channels that let the air circulate between the tubes would be too small for you to be able to force the down into any of the tubes except the on with the valve.

  4. #4
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Mine seem wide enough. If a small diameter tubing can be used, I can put the down into each tube directly.
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    You'd need a way to keep the down from coming back out the tube when you deflate and roll it up. Might be tough to do w/o removing the whole valve assembly and putting mesh or something on the inside.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Yea you may be right. I was thinking that the cap itself would stop the down but under the pressure of deflating, it might not. Maybe a small piece of open cell foam might work for that.
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  7. #7
    Senior Member turk's Avatar
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    To stop the down from coming back out, use an injector screen from a water softener. (available at any plumbing supply shop, that sells parts/whole water softeners)

    You will get a very fine mesh screen, that is already designed to fit inside a valve body, and stay put. Just need to match the right diameter. Should keep
    the down in no prob.

  8. #8
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-BACK View Post
    Yea you may be right. I was thinking that the cap itself would stop the down but under the pressure of deflating, it might not. Maybe a small piece of open cell foam might work for that.
    that's a thought... open cell foam. it could be forced into the valve after getting all the down inside.
    of course you may need to find a way to keep it in place so it doesn't just fall into the mat.
    maybe a couple drops of a flexible cement like barge.
    or maybe when you screw the cap back onto the valve, the foam could be over lapping so it's caught by the threads???
    could be a little hit & miss but maybe worth a try.
    maybe glue bug net over the valve?

    if you could find a small, stiff, thin walled tube that would fit into the valve, then attach it to progressively larger tubes that would be used to collect & transfer the down.
    instead of using your breath, maybe use the forced air coming out of a vac.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  9. #9
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone but my bubble has burst. Warmlite sells a down mat already that weighs less than the one I planned to make. It's not worth the hassle to reinvent the mat.
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  10. #10
    Senior Member kohburn's Avatar
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    i've been thinking of using the valve from one of those to make an inflating underquilt. it would guarantee that you wouldn't squish any of the down but still give you the comfort of sleeping right on the hammock. it would even mean that the down would be protected from water and wind completely making much more thermally efficient (like a DAM)

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