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Pad when weight and bulk are a non-issue?

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  • Pad when weight and bulk are a non-issue?

    I've been thinking about another winter rig the last couple days.
    A few years ago I bought a Coachman Clipper Express 9.0 trailer.
    I foolishly thought I could lure the lady of the house into summer camping............. I could not.
    So I think I'll convert it into a quick overnighter hunting camp trailer.
    It's basically a double bed with an axle.
    I want to tear out the double bed and build a cot width platform with draws under it for storage.
    That'll give me room to keep it loaded and ready to go, and room to set a stool to sit and eat or relax.
    I'm to lazy to setup my hot tent for one night, so I think this will get me out more.
    But I'm not sure what to do for the mattress?
    All my gear is hammock gear, I don't even own a pad. And I can't see spending 200 buck for a pad for this.
    If I put down a piece of 2" Dow foam and a chunk of memory foam, you think that'll get me to -30F, or will the memory foam lose to much heat?
    I have top quilts to get me there, I just need to sort out the bottom side.

    I'm open for ideas and suggestions.

    Here is what I'm working on.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	1CB34282-6C47-4D5C-B828-5603514CCB9B.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	97.9 KB ID:	2884
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Justin P.; 10-31-2021, 05:41 PM.

  • #2
    This rig will certainly keep you dry. I'm assuming that it does not have a built-in source of heat so whatever pad(s) you use with the cot-sized platform will have to have enough R-value for the temps you will experience but I don't know how to calculate that - except the hard way. Also - what are the temp ratings for your top quilt(s)?


    • Justin P.
      Justin P. commented
      Editing a comment
      No built in heat source, I do have a Mister Heater Buddy with a hose and a 20Lb. cylinder outside that I will use as my lounging/ drying heater. There just isn't enough room for a woodstove, even though I want one bad.
      I won't use the heater when I'm sleeping, but it is an option if I get the wrong pad combo going.......LOL

      I have 3 quilts, the coldest rating of one is -20F, so I can combine quilts if needed.
      I never plan to be out at -30F but I know it's still a possibility, and I'm a cold sleeper and a little bit whiney so I like to have a margin of error for comfort.

      I think I might have to just go for it and try it and see what works.

  • #3
    I recently used a 2" memory foam pad in my Roof top tent at the WInter Camping Symposium where temps got to the upper 20's. I froze on that pad. It was pretty stiff, and it took a lot of my body heat to warm it up. I will certainly not be using memory foam in temps less than 40*f. Memory foam would have to be pre-warmed I think.


    • Justin P.
      Justin P. commented
      Editing a comment
      That's good to hear, I mean not that you froze your rear end off, but good to hear some first hand feedback.
      I would've thought for sure it would be fine in the 20s

      So what are you planning on doing on you roof top?
      Just stick with a standard Mondo or Xtherm or other "normal" type winter pad?

  • #4
    I think the best solution would be to use my Exped, although I will use my hot tent until Spring. You may try to find a sale on anExped MegaMat- if my RTT was wide enough, I think that would be the route I would take. So yeah, i think the Mondo is a Therma-rest? Yup as log as the inflation process is easy.


    • Justin P.
      Justin P. commented
      Editing a comment
      That trifecta of comfort, warm, and cheap is still tough to achieve. I was hoping by kicking weight and bulk out of the mix I would be able to sneak by without spending much.
      I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and just buy a good pad after all.
      Thanks for the help man!

  • #5
    Thinking about this I think the following four considerations are important.
    • Insulation
    • Comfort
    • Ease of Use
    • Cost
    Given all that my mind is drawn to the idea of a two layer system. The bottom is closed celled foam from the building supply store as a base to establish a lot of insulation in a small space for not much cost. 1" thick give you R5 which beats most things and it looked to be doable for under $30CAD.
    On top of that I would use a conventional sleeping pad. Foam or self inflating can be had for well under $100(I saw one for $50 when I looked right now).

    The nice thing about this are
    1. Safety. If the top pad is inflatable and pops the bottom pad still has plenty to keep you safe.
    2. Cost, I think I could do this for less than $100CAD.
    3. You end up with a sleeping pad which is handy to have (car camping, using as a bed if a bunch of people are staying over, yoga, etc).
    4. The bottom "ridged" foam layer will have a small amount of give so the top pad does not need to be as plush.
    5. If you are up for it you can make your whole cot out of foam and glue. It sounds crazy but this is how they make shower benches now. "Schluter" is a company pushing this but I suspect you can look at their designs and adapt to less expensive materials.


    • Justin P.
      Justin P. commented
      Editing a comment
      I was thinking long the same lines today.
      I think the two layer system is the ticket for me.
      I'm so used to trying to make everything light and packable all the time, but this could even be permanent in there.
      I do think I'll have to give up some comfort no matter what, It's pretty tough to beat my hammock, but I think it could be reasonably comfortable.
      I thought about using 2" Dow ridged foam, that's R-10 then just open cell topper. I'm not sure how much loss I'd have through the open cell foam, but I'm not going to freeze to death. I have a heater, I just don't plan on running it at night, but I could if I needed to. It may take some experimenting.

      I predict what will happen is, I'll buy about $300 bucks worth of different foams trying to make a cheap mattress.
      Then I'll get mad and buy a good $300 dollar mattress.
      So for $600 bucks I can have a good nights sleep.
      Seems like a pretty good deal.............LOL

  • #6
    Well I decided to have a custom mattress made.
    The Foam Factory, you can choose your foam thickness and firmness, I opted to have a custom made mattress cover too.
    I ordered a 28"X74"X2" medium firm LuxFoam and it came to $112 bucks, I considered going to 3" but decided if I need to I can throw a closed cell foam pad that I have under it.
    There were cheaper foam options, but I prefer a firm mattress, I suppose I could've skipped the cover and saved a bunch. But I figured in the long run I'd be glad to have it.