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  1. #11
    IrishSitter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbolt View Post
    It truly is a personal choice. Shrewd helped me a great deal as I finalized prep for my 18 thru hike. I would have shipped a Neo Air with my one resupply to Fontana Dam, if I knew then what I know now. Instead, I had two horrible nights in shelters before I bought a Neo Air at the NOC in G-Burg. I carried that 13 oz pad the rest of the trip and would do it again for the added benefit of increasing options. Shrewd felt he carried it to long. Personal choice you make because you’re the only one carrying the pack and Hiking your hike. PS, I bought a Z-Lite pad (very common on the AT) that I originally was going to ship if needed, but it weighs an ounce more than the Neo Air and doesn’t carry in the bottom of the pack. It is still brand new in the wrapper. It also doesn’t risk leaking though. Again, personal choice.
    Out of curiosity, were you carrying a full length underquilt? I have been kicking around the idea of using 3/4 length UQ with a short NeoAir pad for under the legs, as a sit pad, and a go-to-ground option. My initial thought was half a z-lite pad (36" / 7oz), but the NeoAir short is 48" and only 8oz.

  2. #12
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trambo View Post
    Great discussion here guys. I was going to start another thread asking a similar question, but I'll just piggyback onto this thread.

    I'm currently getting gear together for a thru-hike, I know that it's super late in the season already (there's just a couple of pieces of gear that I need to make). I have been planning to make both a Top quilt and an Under quilt. My question is how much can a pad replace an underquilt. I have a Cosmo Lite Insulated 20r pad that is a super comfortable pad for me. It weighs a pound.

    My question is if I can deal without an underquilt for a good portion of the season. Right now, I've been planning on taking a TQ, an UQ, and the pad. I figured this gave me good ground lay possibility with my tarp and ground cloth, but I've been wondering if this is just overkill. Right now, I'm planning on starting near the beginning of April, so that I can attend Trail Days. Would having both an UQ and a pad be overkill?

    ETA: I've been thinking about this thread, and looking at the cost of costco down throws. I'm now thinking that 2 of the costco down throws along with the pad would be suitable. If it gets exceedingly cold underneath, then I can use one of the down throws as an UQ. With my pad being rated to 15 to 25 degrees, I need to try and decide if this insulation is enough for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by IrishSitter View Post
    Out of curiosity, were you carrying a full length underquilt? I have been kicking around the idea of using 3/4 length UQ with a short NeoAir pad for under the legs, as a sit pad, and a go-to-ground option. My initial thought was half a z-lite pad (36" / 7oz), but the NeoAir short is 48" and only 8oz.
    Funny how that worked! I'm scrolling through thinking I will bring up short UQs, and IrishSitter beat me to it!

    But,still, Trambo, have you considered a torso length UQ? A Greylock 3 weighs 17 oz, the even smaller 20F Yeti weighs 12.5 oz( of course, you may not be planning on spending that kind of $, or any $ at all? ) A short pad could insulate your legs to any temp likely to be encountered, and could serve dual purpose for sit pad, stove wind break, and of course ground or shelters. As well as emergency use to augment the UQ if record temps are encountered, then use your pack's pad or stuffed with whatever for your feet.

    With that last, you might ask: why not just use the pack for your feet, and leave the pad behind? People certainly do such, but that might not help as much if you have to go to a shelter. As always, pros ad cons. But any of it will work, just hard to say what is right for any individual.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
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    Yes, an underquilt is a piece of gear that I am looking to carry. I was thinking that I could get away with not having an Underquilt until it got very cold. I've also got a super luxurious pillowtop for my pad that weighs in at just about a pound, so it's very unikely to go with me. Currently, I'm kicking around the idea of a 3/4ths length underquilt. Looking at the differential cut UQ calculator, it looks like I can make a decent UQ with 6 or 7 ounces of fill. I'm feeling that having an UQ and a pad is a better situation for me in the long run, but you're right .... maybe I don't need the pad. I'm just afraid that I would be uncomfortable if I had to shelter or ground for some reason.

    I mean I do have a klymit static V ultralight full length uninsulated that weighs about 11 ounces. I could do the 3/4 cut and seal to it (that's so scary to even think about) and knock off some weight .... which would make it a significant weight savings over the insulated pad that weighs about a pound and a half. At this point, I'm not laying on the pad nightly, but having it more of a backup gear, but the pad and UQ might end up being lighter in the end. No, that's not true. It definitely would end up being lighter at the end. Even the stock uncut static v weighs 11, and the UQ that I am calculating will weight about 11 (without suspension), and the pad they are replacing is around 23 ounces.

    Thanks, I'll definitely think of a pad as something that I will not have to use much. I also imagine that in extreme cold, the pad would be additional under insulation.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    You may not be planning on spending that kind of $, or any $ at all? )
    The theme of this year is definitely ultralight on a budget. I'm making or modifying most of my gear. When I initially responded here, I was thinking that since my pad was insulated, that I wouldn't need the TQ. And yes, I can see how that could work .... but then, I started thinking more into the weight savings. Shrewd also brought up the comfort factor. I can do pads. I use them all of the time in the hammock, but at low inflation rate. Once I started using pads, I really never stopped using pads, so the thing that I need to test out is if I'm more comfortable without the pad. Maybe I sleep quieter. Maybe I fidget less. Who knows, but that is what I need to figure out. If I switch to the lighter system, then I also get the benefit of modularity along with the ability to sleep without a pad. If I kept with the insulated pad, it would definitely limit my options.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishSitter View Post
    Out of curiosity, were you carrying a full length underquilt? I have been kicking around the idea of using 3/4 length UQ with a short NeoAir pad for under the legs, as a sit pad, and a go-to-ground option. My initial thought was half a z-lite pad (36" / 7oz), but the NeoAir short is 48" and only 8oz.
    No to the full length UQ. 3/4 is great for a Thru Hike! Mine was the WBBB 20* Yeti. (Although I could be swayed by their newer Wookies, ��). I was hoping for a Women’s/Short Neo Air but got the last Neo Air at the GBurg NOC, which was a Regular. I used a Z - Seat as my foot pad and also as a sit pad that I didn’t have to stress over. I was to concerned about pinhole punctures in the air mattress. You are already 4 oz lighter if you get the Short so I wouldn’t sweat the Z Seat. If you decided not to carry it, easy sale on the trail for a slight decrease in price. IMHO, your thinking makes sense.
    "gbolt" on the Trail
    We are here to help one another along life's journey. Keep the Faith!
    YouTubeChannel. [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik...NPHW7vu3vhRBGA]

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Since I decided to go both 3/4 UQ and pad just in case, I had no regret and little fear when I took the scissors to my static v ultralight pad. The guy cut the pad down to 7.3 ounces by cutting it at 48 inches or so. After my personal modifications, I cut my pad's weight by 8 ounces. So, I must be honest and say that I'm using a kitchen scale with a manual dial for tare .... so, there's no way that it gives me grams. My digital scale failed to start, and then had corrosion all over the battery compartment. I'mg going to need to clean it out, put new batteries and try again.

    The pad came out just under 4 ounces, with 8 ounces being cut off the pad. I decided to design a really minimal pad, since I didn't expect to use it often. A pad that was good for side sleepers was in my mind, and I think that it came out perfectly. I've beveled everything much more, to help it bend and move in the hammock.

  7. #17
    Senior Member u.willie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popps View Post
    Shrewd wrote up a great post trip report on his thru-hike saying he suffered on hard surfaces about 5 times. Chop added he uses half of a Z-rest pad for such occasions. I am debating is it worth the extra 9-10 oz and funky yellow/silver strap-on (sorry, that sounds totally wrong!) to carry a folding pad for those few times. Another report by a soon-to-be repeat hiker said he wants to engage more socially by staying in hostels, huts and the like which would increase the odds of a hard floor or 2x4 bunk.

    So AT veterans, what say you? Be lighter and slimmer yet lose sleep a few times, OR have a bread box hanging off your pack and endure hard surfaces more easily? I really do not plan to stay in many shelters to avoid mice, snores, and waking up at least two people when I have to water a tree in the middle of the night.

    Thanks in advance!

    Popps
    Great question, and great answers!

    So for me - NO - I would definitely not carry that extra weight/bulk of a z-rest, or blow-up pad. I have hiked the entire AT from the Approach Trail, stone arch, (AFSP), to the wooden sign on top of Katahdin and then back to Abol Bridge Campground/Store. I did carry and sleep in my hammock the vast majority of the nights.
    Were there times when I'd opt for a shelter over my hammock - YES -
    Were there times when I "had" to sleep in a shelter instead of my hammock - YES - (GSMNP)
    For the times when I stayed in a hostel or hotel/motel, there was always a mattress, or some semblance of.

    Here's what I found worked for me: A small piece of reflectix. Big enough to be a sit pad and/or pack frame sheet.

    When I went thru the Smokies I did carry a yellow/silver, strapped on z-rest, and sleep in the shelters - I would not carry a z-rest if I did it again - not a whole one any way.

    So "way back", originally the reflectix was an envelope that I made for re-hydrating meals. I stopped carrying or using a stove quite a while ago now, but I'd learned that reflectix also makes a great sit pad. Then I used it on hard wood surfaces when I slept - yep - worked good there too. Then I got a little one season frameless pack (22L), and.... yep, I can carry/use my sit pad, hip pad, as a kind of frame sheet too. Many uses.

    I found the only part of me that was uncomfortable when sleeping on the hard wooden floors/seats/bunks of a shelter was my hip, when I'd sleep on my side. That small piece of reflectix was all that I needed to make that comfortable enough.

    I carry a contractor bag when I hike - when it's dumping rain, my pack goes in it when I'm in the hammock, under the tarp -

    For shelters I'd lay the contractor bag down, then my little piece of reflectix where my hip/butt was gonna be, then my underquilt, then my topquilt. Pillow would be either clothes, or tarp (if it was dry) - but not shoes, you're going to go through a lot of poison ivy - so shoes perhaps not a great idea, lol.

    I was in my hammock the vast majority of the time, but there were those times..... When I'd get to a shelter before a huge all night rain, and none of my stuff was wet... Yes, I'll keep my silny tarp dry for sure if I can, and Not have to carry that weight and dry it out later.. I really do need to get a cuben tarp, lol.

    So across some 2,200-ish miles of the AT, that's what I found worked for me. That's not to say it would work for anyone else though, of course. You can also use reflectix in your hammock like a pad for your lower legs and feet - I've never done it, but I have seen many who have/do. You can buy it at home improvement stores in a role and cut it to whatever size you require.

    There's a guy named Evan (2018 AT thru hiker) who used reflectix as his sleep pad. He's not a hammock guy, but used a tarp and slept on the ground. Unfortunately I've never met him. I only watched his videos on YT (thoroughly enjoyed his videos). But, reflectix sleep pad, on the ground, his whole hike.

    Enjoy your hike!

    u.w. - willin' -
    Last edited by u.willie; 01-13-2019 at 12:47. Reason: typos

  8. #18
    Senior Member
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    How much do you estimate your piece of reflectix weighed? That is some very helpful information. I'm working with a little pack that could use a bit of framing from a pad.

  9. #19
    Senior Member u.willie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trambo View Post
    How much do you estimate your piece of reflectix weighed? That is some very helpful information. I'm working with a little pack that could use a bit of framing from a pad.
    I just went and weighed both the "original" reflectix envelope I started out with, and the single (but larger than the folded up envelope) "frame sheet" piece I used all of 2018.

    The envelope weighs: 23grams
    Size I cut mine to: 16 1/2" x 9 1/4" - then folded twice to make the 'envelope', and taped on the sides with packing tape on the outside and duct tape on the inside - which has held perfectly for years now...

    The single layer piece weighs: 20 grams
    Size I cut mine to: 14 3/4" x 8 1/2"

    Even - IF - a single layer were not enough... You could add enough to fold it, and add another layer for a bit more padding and/or coverage both on the ground and structure in the pack for all of ~40 grams total weight, or 1.41 ounces... Not bad.
    I've just been folding my single layer in half when I want more padding on any hard surface. I haven't found a single layer to be an issue in the pack.... but if it was, double layer for ~40 grams, lol, ok... I'll do that.

    u.w. - willin' -
    Last edited by u.willie; 01-13-2019 at 13:22. Reason: got info mixed up

  10. #20
    New Member
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    u.willie,
    Yeah, interesting idea using reflectix. I just bought a roll to insulate the metal tubs my wife uses for growing vegetables. The tubs heat up in the sun and can burn the roots so I line the inside before adding soil. I will lay that out on the tile floor and see how it feels.
    Thanks!
    Popps

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