Q:

Who makes the widest sleeping pads?

I sleep curled up and cannot find a sleeping pad that's wide enough. Some part of my body ends up hanging off normal pads, and I can feel the heat being sucked away. Two pads don't stay in place overnight. Does anyone make pads that are wide? Eve Nashville, Tennessee

Jan 6, 2006
Outside
Outside Magazine

DreamTime

A: If you're not planning on carrying it, a wide sleeping pad is pretty easy to find. The Therm-a-Rest DreamTime pad ($175; www.thermarest.com) is about as wide and cushy as it gets—25 inches wide, with a thick foam cushion and plush fleece pillow-style top. Trouble is, this monster weighs nearly seven pounds. So it's strictly for car camping, or perhaps boating, where weight and bulk aren't a big issue.

It gets trickier when the pad goes into a pack. The widest trail-model pad that Cascade Designs makes in its Therm-a-Rest line is the Trail Comfort pad ($70), which at 20 inches is fairly wide. Ditto for the Big Agnes REM pad ($75; www.bigagnes.com), which is a very nice, comfortable pad. Big Agnes also offers a 25-inch version of its super-comfortable Insulated Air Core Pads (available from the beginning of next month), which are not self-inflating but are filled with synthetic insulation. You blow them up, and have the benefit of a very soft, and warm, pad. The 25-inch-wide model is $100, and at two pounds of weight doesn't extract too much of a luggage penalty.

Otherwise, solutions are a bit tricky to come by, as 20 inches is the standard width for nearly all pads on the market. And I agree that using two isn't a good option—in addition to the weight, you'll always be sleeping on a gap, so no comfort there! What you might consider is having some Ensolite insulation (the blue stuff) custom-cut to, say, 28 inches in width. Put that under your regular sleeping pad. Then, when a stray limb or hip inches off the main pad, it'll still find some insulation, rather than the cold, cold ground...

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