“Rest well tonight Adventure tomorrow”
Down Time with Sleeping Pads
Testing stuff before you buy is sweet, but as we all know, finding the time can be hard.
What follows is a time-saving, test comparison of two inflatable tent sleeping pads. One is an ALUFT ultralight sleeping pad from Trekology, and the other is a surprising, chartreuse green alternative from Gold Armour.
Before I start lying down all over the place, here’s a quick note about tent pad comparison and selection. Tent and sleeping pads differ. The former goes on the ground as a layer of protection for your tent. Sleeping pads fit nicely on your tent floor, in your hammock, sleeping bag, or the bed of your road-tripping car.
Ask yourself where and how you intend to use your sleeping pad. Will you be car-camping, is your thing back or bike-packing with friends, or will you be thru-hiking thousands of kilometers into the unknown?
These are useful considerations when it comes to choosing a sleeping skiff for happy dreams. I’ll be measuring sleeping pad quality in terms of comfort, insulation, and portability.
Apologies if the title is somewhat misleading. As far as I can tell, no down was used in either pad.
Trekology Aluft Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Here’s why I’d car, tent-camp, or backpack, with a Trekology pad into any one of Utah’s five amazing national parks.
Weighing 19.4 ounces (550g) makes it backpackably lightweight. I had no trouble throwing it from one side of my yard to the other. Out of respect, I didn’t do this repeatedly, but I can tell you it survived more than one fieldtrip quite durably.
It packs into an 8 in. (20.3 cm) by 4 in. (10.2 cm) bag, and scanning the QC-code on the instruction tag from my iPhone took me directly to the Trekology homepage, which was convenient for exploring related products, and warranty information. R value insulation of 1.3 to 1.5 makes it a good 3-season camping choice.
Cinched in its carry–bag, I had no trouble finding room for the packed Trekology pad in my 45L pack. The bag also has a useful handgrip sewn into the side.
I lounged on my back, stomach, and side lofted off the ground from its insulated, 75D ripstop nylon, which was perfect, because I’m one of those people who sleeps all over the place. It slept great in a Subaru Outback, hammock, and tent.
Gold Armour Surprise
Gold Armour’s sleeping pad provided highly packable sleep comfort, great insulation, and off the ground support.
3.9 in. by 10.9 in. packed in its drawstring bag, and 22 in by 74.8 in. inflated and sleep worthy, this pad did everything its Trekology counterpart did.
Constructed of highly durable and slip resistant 75D polyester, this pad is fit for any trek. Inflatable in about 9 to 10 breaths, it weighs 18 ounces, which is lighter than Trekology. Both bags fit comfortably inside my sleeping bag.
The Gold Armour sleeping pad also worked great in the Subaru Outback, swinging in my hammock, and in the tent. Both sleeping pads were equally slip resistant, and silent.
But this is 2.3 inches of sleep-inducing loft from the uneven surfaces in nature. At 2.5, its R value is also higher than Trekology’s version. Other than the familiar Trekology name, it would be difficult to choose between them.
Although both sleeping pads felt slightly narrow in the beam for my taste, in terms of comfort, insulation, and portability, I’d say, the summit in this cushiony comparison goes to Gold Armour. Enjoy!
“In terms of comfort, insulation, and portability, I’d say, the summit in this cushiony comparison goes to Gold Armour. Enjoy!”Abraham Tinklepaugh
*FYI: R-value = To counteract loss of body heat from the ground, most air and self-inflating pads are made with an inner layer of synthetic insulation. A sleeping pad’s R-value measures its capacity to ‘resist’ heat flow, which explains the R. The higher anR-value, the better you can expect it to insulate you from cold surfaces. (rei.com)
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