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Shaving weight

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Shaving weight

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:12 pm

I recently spent untold hours reviewing all the lightweight equipment that I could find online and have decided that the biggest single drop in weight I could achieve and still meet my requirements was to change my sleeping pad. I currently use an Exped Downmat 7 deluxe and was planning on buying the new version with built in pump and new valves just for the convenience. However I just discovered the Stephenson Warmlite down filled mattress is now available for purchase without having to buy the whole sleeping bag system. The size 64 has the same max width as the downmat 7 delux but is shaped like a coffin so it tapers to the head and toward the feet from the wide point. This pad then is a full pound lighter than the exped but with basically the same system for blowing up as the Original Expeds. My feeling is that losing a pound is worth the inconvenience of having to roll up the stuff sack to put air in the pad. Or I could toss the stuff sack get a cuben stuff sack and buy a separate inflator (2 oz.) that is available that is essentially a long tube that you roll up to force air into the pad but you only have to do it once because the tube is so big. The downside is that it would probably be hard to do this from inside a backpacking tent if forced to dive in in front of a fast moving thunderstorm.

So my question is has anybody used one of the Warmlight downfilled air mattress and if so were there significant reliability issues or problems with the pad being unstable? The stability of the wide Exped is really important to me as I really thrash around in my sleep and the taper of the warmlight is a potential source of instability. By the way the Warmlight is 1.5 lbs or less, cost is on par with the extra large neoair, has 3x r factor of the Neoair. One more thing--this pad has been available as part of the sleeping bag system for about 37 years!

Mike
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:19 pm

Since you like the comfort, and want to cut weight check out these guys, they
just won "Editors Choice Award" in Backpacking Magazine:
http://www.nemoequipment.com/pads_pillows20111
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:51 pm

Maverick

The closest nemo comes in comparable comfort to the Warmlite is still a half pound heavier.

Mike
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:15 pm

Did you look at KookaBay and if so, did you rule it our for some reason ? I understand they will do custom work.
http://kookabay.com/
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:54 pm

Those are nice and light, I just wished they had listed there "R" factor on the site.
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Tom

I did come across those in my review but too narrow for me. I used a big agnes insulated aircore for 2 seasons and had two problems: insufficient insulation and everytime I rolled over the pad tipped. So I really like the wide pads that exped makes--both warm and stable but at about 40 oz they are the one piece of equipment that I use that has reversed my trend toward lighter. The Warmlight takes a pound off my load. So I'd like to hear reports about it or anything I've missed that is at least 2.5 inches thick or more, at least 24 inches by 72 inches, well insulated, and 2 lbs or less. The Warmlite does all that at 1.5 lbs.

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Re: Shaving weight

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:43 pm

Ok after a little more research on backpackinglite I have discovered that you can have a completely custom made downmat by kookabay which is a real cottage operation. By extrapolating the figures I saw to what I want I'd expect the kookabay product to be about the same as the Warmlight--about 1.5 lbs.

By the way back in 68 or 69 I got my first sleeping pad-- about 1/2 thick ensolite pad--I thought I died and went to heaven first time I used it, then I moved to 3/4 length 2 inch thick open cell, then full length one inch thick thermarest, then full length 1.5 inch prolite 4, then Big Agnes full length mummy insulated aircore, last two years used the Exped downmat 7 deluxe. Completely satisfied with the comfort if not the weight. I guess I'm not as tough as I used to be.

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Re: Shaving weight

Postby gary c. » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:09 pm

OR, if you still have the BA mat have you thought about getting one of there sleeping bags to go with it. I have a friend that went with there complete system and he loves it. There have been some very good deals on BA bags lately. Here is one I ran across today.

Big Agnes 5 degree down bag $168
http://store.mpgear.com/bigagnesstormki ... 5_d17a4ab5
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:23 am

Since I am a side-sleeper who curls up a lot, I shaved weight simply by going to a shorter pad. I aways take a 2-oz - 2-foot square of thin blue foam for sitting on outside so I am never tempted to sit on my therm-a-rest outside. I put this at the foot of the x-short pad (8 oz) and use my pack as a pillow. This works well for me. I think that if you are talking under 6 oz. difference, deleting one ounce from six other items would be a better approach. On the other hand, a full pound lighter at the same comfort is probably worth a new pad.

Food is where I really save weight. Anyone who regularly comes back with food remaining can cut back at least a pound. I sometimes have no food the last day out, but that is very tolerable, paricularly since I am usually hoofing it downhill quickly. Another is carrying water. I have come to a philosopy where I do not panic when my water bottle goes empty. You may be a bit miserable, but I do not see where a pint or less water is going to "save" you.
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby oldranger » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:00 am

Gary,

I flop around so much that the way the big Agnes combos are designed I would be continually opening moving the walls of the bag away from my body creating more space to warm. High quality down bags drape close to your body and keep you warmer. If you sleep in one position the big Agnes bags probably work fine but a lot of my "search" is focused on resolving issues related to getting older and my own peculiarities. So in addition to the Big Agnes system not working for me their mattresses are too narrow to be stable for my flopping around in my sleep and even the insulated air core is not warm enough for me to sleep comfortably when temps drop below freezing. Not until I used an exped downmat have I felt comfortable sleeping in recent years. In my old horse packing days as a bc ranger I used to put a closed cell pad under a 25" wide Camprest Thermarest. And slept with 2 bags zipped together so they draped to the sides and didn't turn with me--now that was comfort!

WD

So you can see from above that I am really sold on the benefits of a wide downfilled airmat for me. I have gotten pretty good at estimating food needs over the years so the only time I have extra is when I come out early. I would never use my pack as a pillow as I'm sure it must have lingering food odors. I never even put my pack in the tent vestibule. I know that the odds of a bear going after your empty pack in your tent is low but the odds of a bear entering your tent with you in it and your pack outside is still lower. So I use a full length pad and wrap my Western Moutaineering vest around my old ragwool sweater and stuff inside my fleece lined clothes stuff sack for a comfy pillow. Eliminating the bearikade when not required is nice too, then I take silnylon stuff sacks and pc to counterbalance and that saves even more weight. The other place where I found I can save weight is to eliminate carrying rigid Nalgene bottles and the Dip n Sip filter bottle I have been carrying. I'm going to get an inline filter that can work either as a gravity filter or used as a straw. Having known two BC rangers that got giardiasis I am pretty particular about where I drink unfiltered water (but at the right place and time I will). So doing without a filter is not an option for me.

These things work for me and I am certainly glad that we all have different ways of coping with problems we confront in the bc. If we were all the same life would be booooooring!

Mike
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby frediver » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:24 pm

Why not try a uninsulated air pad with a z-rest over or under (depending on ground puncture probability) ? This combination is lighter than most other popular options and offers the ultimate backup protection.
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Re: Shaving weight

Postby oldranger » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:58 pm

frediver

Great suggestion and I thought about doing that last year. But that means 2 things instead of 1 for an old man to keep track of and I really love the comfort of the downmat. The reliability of the downmat has not been an issue with me. I have gotten punctures but they have deflated so slowly and they were so easy to fix that I'm not too worried.

Mike
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