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  1. #1
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    Insulated pad choices for BMBH

    Question for those that do or have used blow-up (not SI) pads as only under insulation in a bridge; what & why is your preferred choice?

    My needs; 24"-26"W by at least 70"L & 2"-3"thick. I would like to be able to handle below freezing if possible but do not know how temp ratings or R-value's equate in the real world with air under it instead of ground. I am value, comfort orientated & relatively warm to hot sleeper until I get cold .

    My search has me looking at these but I'm clueless.
    http://www.backcountry.com/big-agnes...ad-rectangular
    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27343
    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___91288
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  2. #2
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    BMBH pads

    I use a Neoair large for 3 season use & it's quite comfortable. Lately, I've been leaving the mattress in the sleeve and rolling it up with the hammock.

    For winter, I use a Exped Downmat. Coldest use so far is 6 below, though I added a thin foam mat as backup.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingblade View Post
    Question for those that do or have used blow-up (not SI) pads as only under insulation in a bridge; what & why is your preferred choice?

    My needs; 24"-26"W by at least 70"L & 2"-3"thick. I would like to be able to handle below freezing if possible but do not know how temp ratings or R-value's equate in the real world with air under it instead of ground. I am value, comfort orientated & relatively warm to hot sleeper until I get cold .

    My search has me looking at these but I'm clueless.
    http://www.backcountry.com/big-agnes...ad-rectangular
    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27343
    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___91288
    My first question for you is why you want a blow up mattress? In my opinion it's just one extra step when it comes to setting up. I have used self-inflating, blow up, and hard blue pads in my BMBH. The blow up/self-inflating give you a bit wider feel to the hammock but don't add any comfort over a blue pad...which is what I usually take when it's not cold enough for an underquilt.
    "The only rule to survivialin is NEVER GIVE UP"
    Swinginranger

  4. #4
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    RoadTorque - My first question for you is why you want a blow up mattress?
    I'm new to the BMBH (have about 4 partial & 3 full nights now) so I'm sure there is much I don't know.

    1. Indoors - virgin hammock w/no insulation. Did not like shoulder roll (wide shoulders) & lower leg pressure (bow legged & despise feet pressured together). Bottom line, gravity feed to center of hammock & resulting confinement not comfortable but I did stay in it most of night.

    2. Outdoors. Walmart 26"Wx70"Lx1/2"H waffled blue CCP - Plenty warm. Shoulder roll & leg pressure improved slightly but not enough & pad felt like a 1/4" piece of plywood on lower legs (I don't sleep in my bag - use it as an OQ). Actually created pressure points in calves & heels. After a few hrs I'm heading for my bed.

    3. Outdoors. Alps 20"Wx80"L self inflating borrowed from Son in Law. Plenty warm. Not perfect but much softer than blue pad. Not laterally stiff enough or wide enough & shoulder roll/feet pressure again. 2:30am nature call & I heading back up to my bed.

    4. Outdoors. Pulled out an old Field & stream 26"Wx75"x4" blow up ended up with it half inflated. Now we're talking. No shoulder roll or gravity feed to center anywhere. I'm in heaven. 2:30am nature call, back is cold enough to send me up to my bed. Low temp's have been about 50degF.

    Last couple nights have been heavenly using blow-up with self-inflating on top in sleeve. Soooo long story to answer you're question why I think an insulated blow up pad is what I want, but I'm wide open to suggestions.

    Look forward to meeting you next month at Secret Canyon
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    I know your looking for blow-up but I've had great success with this self-inflating mattress when car camping or weight is not an issue. http://www.rei.com/product/778152/re...-inflating-pad You can only partially inflate it or the hammock gets very very wide...and tipsy!

    I think you need a stiff mattress to get what your looking for which makes me think the extra rigidity of a self-inflating might be the ticket. Other than that a wide (25 or 26 inch) and thick (2-3 inches) blow-up is what I would get.

    I'm really busy through next weekend but I do have two 25"x3" blow-up that I'll play with when I get time, next weekend? One is a big agnes aircore (non-insulated) the other is a mummy bag insulated aircore. I've used the aircore in the blackbird and it made for a poor night...but pads seem to work better in the BMBH than any others I've tried.

    One thing that helps me a lot when sleeping with an underquilt (to prevent the squeeze) is to slide left or right in the hammock so I'm laying on my back (more or less) but more up the side of the hammock wall. I find it comfortable and it pretty much eliminates the squeeze.
    "The only rule to survivialin is NEVER GIVE UP"
    Swinginranger

  6. #6
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    why not a $6 wally world blue pad ?
    cheap and will work nice with the BMBH
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  7. #7
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    RoadTorque - I think you need a stiff mattress to get what your looking for which makes me think the extra rigidity of a self-inflating might be the ticket.
    I must be missing something here & need a little enlightening, I have no experience with SI pads. When I used Son in Laws SI pad as described in my above post item #3. it didn't give me enough lateral stiffness. For one it was only 20"W but even though I left it to fully inflate for about 5 minutes it only went from being 1/2" thick to maybe 1" & that's being generous. Definitely not rigid so when I laid on it it pretty much conformed to the hammock giving that barrel - gravity feed to the center. I'm getting the feeling from what you're saying I did not air up the SI pad to it's potential thickness ... what am I doing wrong?

    While the R value (dang you outta be able to get that well below 0) & price of the pad you suggest is outstanding it also doubles the weight & pack size of the BU's I'm looking at. I'd rather huff & puff a few minutes at camp.

    G.L.P. - why not a $6 wally world blue pad ?
    See item #2. in my above post.
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    Yeah, that rei pad is great but not one for backpacking. I wonder if your issues with the self-inflating pad were due to it's narrow width or lack of thickness? Or possibly the pad was stored rolled up preventing it from self-inflating.

    Here is why I was thinking a self-inflating would be better. I believe the difference between a self-inflating and a blow-up pad is the self-inflating has a foam mat in it which allows it to expand on it's own. If this is true would think the self-inflating pad would be slightly more ridged than a blow-up...but I could be wrong.

    I know it's a pain to wait, but if your able to I will test the following pads http://www.rei.com/product/763914/bi...core-mummy-pad http://www.rei.com/product/778152/re...-inflating-pad http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Det...learviewAirPad in my BMBH next weekend and let you know what I think. In the mean time others might join the thread to help out. Billybob58 has a lot of BMBH experience. I know he has talked about pads from time to time so you might do a search for those.

    I'm happy to help but am super busy for the next several days.
    "The only rule to survivialin is NEVER GIVE UP"
    Swinginranger

  9. #9
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    Roadtorque that would be great, I'll wait. I believe a lot of the forum members that might have some insight are out on the trail this weekend anyways.

    Or possibly the pad was stored rolled up preventing it from self-inflating.
    That it was. I'm gathering a SI pad is much like a sleeping bag - only compress when necessary?

    I'm also going to try the walmart blue mat out again & see if I can get used to the gravity feed to center. If so maybe I can come up with a solution to soften the surface at my lower legs & feet that's light & packs small. I don't know though that pack size of 26"x7" might outweigh it's incredibly low price.
    That said if I can get used to the barrel effect that brings me to an UQ.
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    The self-inflating pad I have said to store it fully inflated with the vavles open. I've always done this and they fully self inflate quickly. My brother has the same REI pad I do and he stores his rolled up...after a few months his would no longer self-inflate and he has to blow it up. I dont know if this is true for all self-inflating pads or just the ones we have.
    "The only rule to survivialin is NEVER GIVE UP"
    Swinginranger

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