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Closed Cell Foam Pads for Alpinism

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Closed Cell Foam Pads for Alpinism

Postby Snowy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:01 pm

I've used many versions of the basic design incl. Z-res, Ridge Rest, and a number of cheap alternatives.
I dislike how snow/water gets caught in the crevices of both Thermarest designs, so anything with a lot of creases and folded surface area is out.
It has to be dense; most "smooth-faced" pads are not dense enough to effectively insulate.
I am aware of the MEC and Gossamer Gear Thinlite pads in Evazote, and am considering giving either try.

I don't want a comfort pad, I want a pad for alpinism that suits my requirements. Suggestions (particularly those born of personal experience) with such products are much appreciated.

Thanks! Snowy
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Postby JHH60 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:08 pm

I probably still have a 25 yr old flat-faced thinsulate pad in my parent's attic that you'd be welcome to have. You're right about the ridges in Ridgerest pads catching snow, but they also seem to improve the insulating value of the pad without increasing the weight, by increasing the effective thickness of the pad somewhat. If you don't like that feature, why not use an inflatable pad (other than that they can be punctured)?
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:24 pm

The Evazote pads available in three thickness from Mountain Equipment Coop have worked very well for me.
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Postby Snowy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:04 pm

JHH60 wrote:If you don't like that feature, why not use an inflatable pad (other than that they can be punctured)?


I agree with you re: the thermal efficiency of the ridgerest etc., its a classic and still a good pad.

I've had a number of inflatables, and I still use a BA insul. air core for general use and more casual overnight mountaineering trips. The lightest decent inflatable I'm aware of is the Neo Air, which I've used, but it still comes in a good bit heavier than a chopped down foamy and can be punctured/torn. One of the main reasons I ended up with the BA pad is the relatively high denier fabric that it offers (particularly compared to the Neo Air) for an inflatable.

The fact that you don't have to be concerned about a closed cell pad failure is one of the biggest reason I choose them for alpine climbing. The others being weight and the ability to hack them up into all kinds of foldable shapes (in conjunction w/ duct tape). A 3/4 GG thinlite, trimmed into a slim mummy shape would be LIGHT.
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Postby JHH60 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:45 pm

I've used a Ridgerest for many years because it's idiot proof and one less thing to worry about, but last year broke down and bought a short ProLite Thermarest. I was seduced by the fact that it crushes down really small and fits easily in my pack.
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Postby Snowy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:27 pm

It is nice to be able to easily put it in the pack.
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