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Best sleeping pad for old geezers?

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As the title says...


For the sake of this discussion let's assume i don't want a cot.


I've tried a few different foam varieties but it still takes a few hours in the morning for the boys to stop asking me, "are you ok?"

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I love my Exped SynMat 7.

I had been using the Mil issue thermal pad and graduated to a 1inch 3/4 length Thermarest with my feet on my pack. At some point there just wasn't enough comfort there to allow decent sleep and I bought the SynMat. It is amazing, I compare it to my Sleep Number bed. If I'm not sleeping it isn't because of the pad.

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Because I do a lot of backpacking, I use a 3/4 standard theramarest, with a ridgerest pad underneath it. However, I found out what works best for me, is the sleeping pills that my doctor gave me, just for camping!

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I can't explain it and I'm hardly a geezer but I my case I could sleep on a ships steel deck plate (and have), in foxholes (and have) and never really had any issues, then almost like flipping a switch right at about 38 (more than several years ago) nothing was working - no major injuries that weren't five or more years old, just a distinct inability to sleep without some kind of padding.


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How is the thermarest on durability? I have not had good luck with air mattresses in the past.


Regarding ground sleeping...it's not my back, it's my hips...it stinks getting old, but it's better than the alternative...

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Here's what I thought about trying:


At Sam's club, next to the matresses, they sell those foam pads. We bought one for my sons bead. It's used to make a regular matress a pillowtop matress.


This pad is 4" thick memory foam. Top side is flat, bottom is that egg crate design.


This is not that cheap 1 1/2" foam rubber egg crate padding, but the real deal memory foam. His twin bed size pad cost $159.00 . Luckily my king size bed was already a pillow top or else I'd have to take out a mortgage on my house to get one that size! :)



It comes with a white silky protective zip off cover.


You could lay this thing over a pile of bricks and sleep like a baby.


Problem is this: The silky cover for the pad is based on this thing being on top of your bed. It's not a "go outside in the big wild world" protective pad.


If this thing got wet, I'm sure it wouyld act like a $150.00 sponge!


It is washable, but I have no idea what the drying time would be.


Of course, if it gets wet, you sleeping bag is probably wet too.


I'd like to try it to see how nice it would be.

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I've had a couple of the REI brand 3.5" thick "thermarest-type" pads for many years, and love 'em. They've held up really well and are very comfortable. Normally almost $100, but they go on sale fairly often. Great for car camping, summer camp, etc., but too heavy for backpacking.

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Gunny & Kudu,


THis is why I am planning on buying a hammock. Been dragging my fet, but I am planning on getting one.


Whenever we go camping, my back will be kinda sore after the first night, and really sore after the second night. This si using a air matress too.


Part of it is the getting in and out of the tent, part is prcatically laying down on the grouind, ten getting back up and out again.


Think about it:


You go to your tent, squat down or hunch over to get in. At that point, you practically crwl on your hands and knees and spend all your tent time hunched over at a not so normal angle.


Getting dressed ain't no walk in the park either. Have to hunch over to put on a shirt. Then you stick your legs straight up to slip on your pants...but you can only pull them up to mid thighs. Then you put your feet down, and arch your middle body up and supported by your feet and shoulders while yanking your pants on the rest of the way. Then you get on your knees to tuck your shirt in and button your pants.




SHoes/boots? Wether you hunch over in the tent or go outside depsnds on wether you have a rug or mat outside and if the dew will cause any and everything on the ground to stick to your socks.


No wonder I am sore after camping...I just spent each evening and morning becoming a contortionist!

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At last, something I do really well. One of my wife's recent outbursts: "He'd be happy sleeping in a ditch!"

And she's right. I can sleep anytime, anyplace. So with my apologies, just about anything that keeps me from sinking into the ground is good enough.

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The Thermarest's have outlasted any air mattresses we've owned. We have a variety because for a while my wife was having a hard time finding something that would suit her.


I'm a sleep-anywhere kind of guy, but I still wake up sore if a rock or root finds me. A pad does take the edge off of sore hips.

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Ok - you asked for the "Best". There's only one answer to that question:


Thermarest Dreamtime. It combines a 3" isotonic memory foam pad with a removable .5" self-inflating pad (what most of us think of as a Thermarest) in a soft microfiber cover.


This is for car camping only - it's heavy - the large size is 6 lbs 10 oz, the XL (talk about luxury!) is 7 lbs 15 oz. It's also expensive - from Cascade Designs (makers of Thermarest) the Lg is $189.98 and the XL is $209.95.


Now I'm a pretty large guy - most of the time I use a Thermarest Basecamp size Large - it's a 2" self-inflating pad - and I've found it to be very comfortable. Compared to the Dreamtime, it's quite reasonable in price - $69.95 for regular, $79.95 for large and $99.95 for XL.


As for how they hold up? I still occasionally use my full length Thermarest I bought in 1981 (when I started geezerhood at age 19 because I could never get comfortable on the ground) and my 3/4 length folding Thermarest (folds lengthwise down the center before rolling to make a smaller little package) I bought in 1985. Sometimes, if I'm feeling particularly geezerlike - I'll put my original Thermarest on top of my Basecamp - for that extra thickness.


Oh, and dollars to donuts Brew and Qwazse sleep on their sides not their backs - would be the most likely sleeping position for their hips to hurt (I'm a side sleeper myself, my back never hurts after sleeping, but I sure can feel the ground through my hips sometimes - usually means I've gone too many days without reinflating my mattress).

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The best rest in the woods is hanging between two trees. Hammocks rule. the best part is my entire hammock sleep system weighs less than 4 pounds total...in the winter it jumps to 6.....


If you gotta sleep on the ground then my recommendation is to go try the sleeping pads out. Any decent outfitter will let you try them out.


You cannot take anyone elses recommendations for gear......If you do you will spend lots of money for bad results.


Thermarest is a respected brand.


Big Agnes is high dollar for what you get, I really don't like their sleeping bag/pad system. great concept poor execution.


Alps Mountaineering quality gear reasonable price, especially when bought off Steep and Cheap 60-80% off retail.


I would drive to an outfitter and try it out for yourself.....or REI has an excellent return program....Lay on it and try it for yourself. But it is a lot of messing around shipping and such.



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