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#30209 - 03/10/13 07:38 PM Gear: weight vs comfort?
NoUglyOneYet Offline


Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego, California
We're hoping for a permit for August, and having never backpacked before, are starting to stockpile gear. Husband saw a sleeping pad at Costco today that's 3 inches thick & self-inflating (brand: LightningSpeed), and only $35! Seems like it'd be comfy for a side-sleeper like me, but these babies weigh in at 5lbs! Is the comfort worth it, or should I start training myself to sleep on my back, and get a thinner (lighter!) pad?

Thanks!

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#30210 - 03/10/13 07:55 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
There is a fine balance between that comfort/wt issue. If you have never backpacked before, you definitely don't want to go overboard with $$$$$ gear, however, you don't want to make the trip so miserable -- over-weighted/poor quality gear -- that you get the false impression about what BPing is all about. My favourite solution is to borrow as much as you can, if you can (my first season was ALL borrowed/second hand gear -- most of it which I still use and love.) If you have read up & know which gear choices you desire, eBay has been a fantastic source for my gear (all purchases guaranteed) Careful not to skimp where it matters: sleep. Use less pots & acessories before you start cutting back on sleep gear. Check out some of the packing lists provided on the left side of the board (Feature Topics)
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The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#30212 - 03/10/13 09:10 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: Bee]
NoUglyOneYet Offline


Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego, California
Thank you for your quick reply! I think we'll keep the pads & try them out on one of our training hikes on one of the SoCal giants. Even if we ultimately decide to not use them on our Whitney overnight, they'll probably come in handy when car camping!

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#30213 - 03/10/13 09:18 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Training hikes are great; they will give you a chance to weed out what does not work & it will also give you a chance to practice adjusting your packs (just reading an article about that topic)I normally use both the inflatable and the foam pads. On the rare occasion that I skimp on padding, I have regretted it (spent overnight on Whitney with just the foam pad & woke up sore)
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The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#30214 - 03/10/13 11:51 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
To give you an idea of the best pads, look at the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite pads. Here's an REI link. They are quite expensive, but truly lightweight.

I use the short pad, which supports shoulders and hips. I just put a layer of clothing under my feet, and that seems to be ok.

I still don't sleep as well as at home, but for me, it is a good tradeoff between weight and comfort.

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#30221 - 03/11/13 09:48 AM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: Bee]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
Another option is to rent. REI & Sport Chalet rent gear. Although I'm not 100% sure about sleeping pads. Might be worth checking.
Last year Sport Chalet had a deal if you rented any camping/BP gear and then decided to buy the gear, the rental fee would be applied to the purchase.

And I'm in agreement with Bee, sleeping gear should not be an area to skimp. I'm a slide sleeper and use a Big Agnes insulated air mattress and blue closed cell foam pad.

Another good site to check is Steep & Cheep.

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#30225 - 03/11/13 10:44 AM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: wazzu]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
Since you are from San Diego, another great resource is Adventure 16. It's a great store with lots of friendly and helpful staff. They sometimes have gear clinics, and if you don't have boots already, highly recommend A16 for boot fitting/shopping.

It's not a blow cost store, but they have rentals and sometimes sell the used rental gear at great price.

Here's the store web site;

http://www.adventure16.com/

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#30259 - 03/12/13 07:21 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
A 5 pound pad is the first thing you'll leave in the dumpster after a day of hiking.

A light foam pad like the Terma-Rest RidgeRest comes in at half a pound, get two and it's a pound, yet a rather bulky package to strap to a pack.

So how about a hybrid - one foam pad and a thinner inflatable on top?

Any average inflatable from Pacific Outdoor or other second tier brands will be 1.5 pounds and cost less than $80 if you shop around. Add to that a foam pad and you are still 3 pounds ahead, while you have double the protection and still foam under you even should you puncture the inflatable, which is less likely having that layer of foam below.




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#30268 - 03/12/13 09:57 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: Fishmonger]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Those pads will be great for car camping or a level easy backpacking trail. You really need to consider weight more carefully for backpacking up a steep trail like Whitney. You really shouldn't need two pads either unless you're camping on snow and need the extra insulation. I have every pad mentioned in this thread and a few others as well. Like Steve, my favorite is the NeoAir, but I like the regular length. You might look on Craigs list or Ebay or a closeout sale on a basic 1 inch thick Thermarest (or similar brand) self inflating pad, about 1 to 1.5 lbs.

Here's one I found on sale in 20 seconds online for $60 weighing 1.25 lbs. I just noticed the NeoAir short is onsale at campmor for $80, great deal and super light if you're okay with the shorter length.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___40217

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#30271 - 03/12/13 11:05 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: SierraNevada]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I borrowed a Neo Air for a 5 day trip, and it was the best sleep I ever had for a backpacking trip. I currently settle for a short ThermaRest over a Zrest foam pad (because they were free...)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#30277 - 03/13/13 10:43 AM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: Bee]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
ok, the best sleep I ever had on any pad in 34 years of backpacking was on my Exped UL7 LW down insulated inflatable pad. Hard to find on sale, but worth searching for if you need a cold weather pad.


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#30283 - 03/13/13 12:49 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: Fishmonger]
NoUglyOneYet Offline


Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego, California
These forums are great - thank you all so much!

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#30285 - 03/13/13 01:24 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: NoUglyOneYet
We're hoping for a permit for August, and having never backpacked before, are starting to stockpile gear. Husband saw a sleeping pad at Costco today that's 3 inches thick & self-inflating (brand: LightningSpeed), and only $35! Seems like it'd be comfy for a side-sleeper like me, but these babies weigh in at 5lbs! Is the comfort worth it, or should I start training myself to sleep on my back, and get a thinner (lighter!) pad?

Thanks!


Or you can opt for a one-day hike and forget all of this logistical planning... grin

Just so you know, Steve C is King Lightweight. All of his input is from his personal experiences.
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Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#30304 - 03/13/13 11:21 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: + @ti2d]
NoUglyOneYet Offline


Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego, California
Originally Posted By: + @ti2d
Originally Posted By: NoUglyOneYet
We're hoping for a permit for August, and having never backpacked before, are starting to stockpile gear. Husband saw a sleeping pad at Costco today that's 3 inches thick & self-inflating (brand: LightningSpeed), and only $35! Seems like it'd be comfy for a side-sleeper like me, but these babies weigh in at 5lbs! Is the comfort worth it, or should I start training myself to sleep on my back, and get a thinner (lighter!) pad?

Thanks!


Or you can opt for a one-day hike and forget all of this logistical planning... grin

Just so you know, Steve C is King Lightweight. All of his input is from his personal experiences.


laugh Good joke.

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#30307 - 03/14/13 07:48 AM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: NoUglyOneYet
Originally Posted By: + @ti2d
Originally Posted By: NoUglyOneYet
We're hoping for a permit for August, and having never backpacked before, are starting to stockpile gear. Husband saw a sleeping pad at Costco today that's 3 inches thick & self-inflating (brand: LightningSpeed), and only $35! Seems like it'd be comfy for a side-sleeper like me, but these babies weigh in at 5lbs! Is the comfort worth it, or should I start training myself to sleep on my back, and get a thinner (lighter!) pad?

Thanks!


Or you can opt for a one-day hike and forget all of this logistical planning... grin

Just so you know, Steve C is King Lightweight. All of his input is from his personal experiences.


laugh Good joke.



At least for an after day-hike, a Portal Burger and Fries does taste really good!

Well, at least you are going about it the right way...now instead of the day of...prior proper planning prevents p*ss poor performance...

You will find out what works and what does not...I recommend renting the gear if you can to save you some money...a lot of this stuff ain't cheap...if you rent something you like and then buy it...you will have something for future outings...

There will be others offering their input...and rest assured...when they say something works, I take it under advisement.

Have fun...
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#30311 - 03/14/13 09:40 AM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: + @ti2d]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Who's calling me a lightweight???!!! mad

just kidding wink

NoUgly... The Mt Whitney trail is sure a tough place to make your first backpack trip! There is SO much elevation gain, and the high altitude can hit you like a punch to the gut. (...or head, or both!)

Taking a practice trip would be a good idea.

And learning about AMS (Altitude Sickness) is highly important. Be aware that carrying a heavy load and climbing can double the effects of the altitude.

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#32166 - 07/11/13 05:09 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: Steve C]
NoUglyOneYet Offline


Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C

NoUgly... The Mt Whitney trail is sure a tough place to make your first backpack trip! There is SO much elevation gain, and the high altitude can hit you like a punch to the gut. (...or head, or both!)

Taking a practice trip would be a good idea.

And learning about AMS (Altitude Sickness) is highly important. Be aware that carrying a heavy load and climbing can double the effects of the altitude.


You're right - it was! We made it, though. My husband & I were each carrying about 35 lbs, which was entirely doable. On the way down, he took some of my load, as my knees were crying foul. We've got the backpacking bug now, and while at this point we have no desire to do Whitney again, we are prioritizing our gear shopping list, starting with a good, lightweight tent (we borrowed one from a Boy Scout, and while it was light, it was NOT designed for 2 people!).

Thanks to everyone for the help!

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#32833 - 08/21/13 09:42 PM Re: Gear: weight vs comfort? [Re: NoUglyOneYet]
rerorunner Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Tucson,AZ
don't know if this will help or hurt people but my boys(ages 14,15) and I day hiked on 8/18/13 with each of our packs weighing 11 pounds and we were first timers.Fast and light works well with us 6:44 up to the summit . Many thanks to the whitney forums as we went up and down with no trouble and made it back to the hamburgers just as the rains came crashing down.our packs went down to 8 pounds on the return.


Edited by rerorunner (08/21/13 09:47 PM)

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