Sleep In The Dirt

Pad Pro Series: pad hacks for your best night in the dirt

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Everyone has a unique way to setup their sleep kit, even if you learned from a pro, you’ve probably worked in some personal touches that make your setup uniquely yours. However your system works, there are a few hacks in our 2020 product line that will upgrade your sleeping kit to a new level of pro – even for us!  

Whether you’re using a Big Agnes System Bag or rolling with a Traditional Mummy Bag, you’re gonna want the right pad to help you stay comfortable sleeping in the dirt. If you’re wondering which pad is right for your adventure, take a look at our blog on “How to Pick a Pad”.

Now that that’s sorted out, you’ll want to utilize the included upcycled inflation sack, new for 2020. An inflation sack will help with a couple of things, like saving time with a faster inflation rate, saving your breath for more rewarding exertion, and saving your pad from internal moisture accumulation. Despite its antimicrobial properties, over time moisture can lead to deterioration of insulating properties and adhesive performance, so an inflation sack is key.  

Photo by: Devon Balet

As mentioned, the included upcycled pad inflation sack is new for 2020, and for all of the reasons above, we believe every pad user will benefit from the addition. The sack is made from 100% post-industrial materials which is the waste generated from the original manufacturing process, used again in the same material. It feels good to be able to re-purpose these scrap materials for something we know will be an upgrade to your kit.  

For example, to keep the Insulated AXL Air Pad as lightweight as possible, the included inflation sack is consciously made with the same lightweight materials as the actual pad – where you’ll find a combination of post-industrial pad materials construct all other included inflation sacks. The inflation sack is worth its weight adding only 3oz / 85g to your Insulated AXL Air Pad setup and 4oz / 113g for all other pads. 

If you’re serious about gram counting, our Pumphouse Series of pad inflation pumps are the game changers you’ve been looking for. The Pumphouse Ultra adds only 2.9oz / 82g to your kit and the Pumphouse Platinum weighs in at 1.3oz / 36g. There’s nothing like getting to camp after a long day on the trail and not having to waste another breath. A Pumphouse will add immeasurable value to your overall experience and when your trail name evolves to “Pumphouse Party King (or Queen)” you can’t say we didn’t warn you.  

Photo by: Noah Wetzel

An easy cold weather Pad Pro Hack is to pair your air chamber pad with our Third Degree Pad, boosting warmth and insulation for your overall sleep setup. The minimal additional weight (8oz / 227g – 12oz / 340g) pays off because the closed-cell foam pad provides a firm, insulated barrier if you’re sleeping on hard, frozen ground or snow. Some hikers use this pad alone, but depending on the season you’re camping in and the comfort level you’re looking for, we consider this a bonus pad. When not in use for additional insulating value, you’ll want the Third Degree Pad for kneeling, sitting, and rolling out more easily at rest stops and between your full sleep setup at camp. 

With seasonal camping in mind, make sure to pick your pad like a pro too. To determine the best sleeping pad for your adventure, you have to consider the season in which you’ll be camping. This will help you determine the minimum R-Value you need, the higher the number, the warmer the pad. Need a break down on R-Values? Check out our blog, “Intro to R-Values”.

Photo by: Max Seigal

Our last Pad Pro Hack is to add a few small breaths of air into your pad just before going to sleep. When the pad is inflated during the day and the temps warm up in the tent, the pad pressure will change as the sun goes down and the temps and air pressure will change as well. So a few extra breaths will get the pad back to it’s state prior to the temp shift and you’ll be a happier camper through the night.  

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s the little things like the inflation sack options and the Third Degree Pad hack that will upgrade your standard sleep kit to pro status overnight. If you’re looking for a great gift for your favorite camper, a closed-cell foam pad and a Pumphouse will go a long way in kudos. We love to hear your pad hacks, if you’re willing to share – let us know in the comments.  

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