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  1. #1
    Member Cogbill's Avatar
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    Inflatable pad or Foam?

    I recently got a double layer Blackbird and I'm looking for some under insulation. I'm gonna be going to Academy to get myself a pad but I don't know what is better, an insulated pad or a foam pad. I need something to stuff between my layers. It's gonna be around 50 degrees when I'll be using it. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Labrador's Avatar
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    I personally like the Exped Downmat UL inflatable. It is light, warm and packs down small.

  3. #3
    Member Cogbill's Avatar
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    Is that something I'd have to order online or can I pick it up at Academy or Walmart?

  4. #4
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    A lot of people have had good luck with the blue W mart pad. I have used one and it was okay for me. I have a thermarest prolite 3 and 4 that are leftover from "on the ground" camping that I partially blow up and have had real good success using. they are some what light weight for me, pack down well. A lot of people order the gossamer gear foam pad cause of its high density and light weight. Good luck on your choice.

  5. #5
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogbill View Post
    Is that something I'd have to order online or can I pick it up at Academy or Walmart?
    Not familiar with Academy but you definitely won't find the pricey Exped Downmat at Walmart. They are available at REI.

    Many use the basic blue closed cell foam mat from Walmart. I use Under quilts but if I did use a foam pad I'd try scoring the underside of the pad like a cut mango to help it flex.
    Knotty
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  6. #6
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Depends on what you need out of the pad.

    If you're just looking for insulative value, hands down just a blue pad. Inexpensive, light, bombproof (insulative value depends on the thickness of the pad).

    Inflatables work pretty much the same, and if you already have one, by all means use it. Personally I wouldn't buy one for hammock use unless I planned on actually using it on the ground (I have several and still chose CCF when I used pads in a hammock). Heavier, more expensive and can leak.

    Just keep in mind that most pads are far too narrow at 20" to provide full coverage to your sides. you will need to add "wings" (see SPE) or add more foam/reflectix (cut another pad to lay crosswise under your torso) to have full coverage. The WM waffle pad and some inflatables are wider at 25-26" but still not quite wide enough for full comfort, IMO.
    Experience is the worst teacher - it presents the exam first and the lesson later. - Unknown

  7. #7
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    You will need to experiment to see what works most effectively for you. The Expead mat may be marvellous, but good grief it is really expensive. Start of with two Walmart blue foam pads at $6 each and play. Here is a really good explaination of types and styles of insulation
    http://www.tothewoods.net/HammockCampingWarm.html#Pads

    One of Shug emery's vids covers insulation.

  8. #8

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    Walmart no longer lists the pads on their web site, or they did not this morning. It's catch as catch can. Gossamer gear has wide foam. If you can find a local flooring or packaging company that uses Volara foam it's the same stuff and comes in a 60 in roll.

  9. #9
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    Every one has pretty well covered it. If you can be sure you won't have to go to ground, remember that you do not need a pad for cushioning in a hammock, all you need is insulation. Sense in a hammock, you don't have to worry about the hard ground or rocks or roots. A CCF almost always has more insulation for the weight, if weight is important to you. Plus it can be cut to length or to shape. It can be used in various thickness according to the temps you will expect(you won't need much for 50F). And it is much cheaper. I recently paid $6 for a 20" wide WM blue pad. You will need and extra piece of foam for your shoulders if you use a 20" pad, or some fleece clothing to tuck in the cold spot.

    But the inflatable will probably pack up smaller and provide more cushion if you are forced to sleep on the ground.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  10. #10

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    Blue ccf foam. Light but bulky, cheap, and easily modified. If you don't like it you're only out a couple bucks. From what I understand, inflatable pads need to be somewhat deflated to be used in a hammock.

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