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Old 01-03-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,375
For starters, have you used the 0 degree bag in winter before? IMO, a 0 degree bag is going to be chancy in the Adirondacks in winter. It really depends on the weather and how cold it gets during the night- on some nights, you'll be quite comfortable, but on others, you'll be uncomfortable or even dangerously cold. Personally, I wouldn't attempt a winter overnight without a -10 or -20.

What kind of pad to get really depends on what you want to do with it. Are you just looking for something for 1 or 2 night trips? Or do you want to be able to do longer trips that are 3+ nights and involve moving camp every day?

For winter camping, the best bang for the buck is going to be a foam pad. They are cheap and efficient. The only category they lack in, of course, is the weight and volume- they are big and bulky. However, they keep their insulation properties on long multi-night trips.

The issue with inflatable pads in winter is that when you use your breath to blow them up, water vapor gets inside the pad where it turns to ice, and it doesn't come back out when you deflate the pad. After a few nights of you repeatedly blowing the pad up, this can begin to lower its insulation properties. Typically not an issue on a 1 or 2 night weekend trip, but something worth considering if you're interested in doing some longer expedition style winter trips.

One thing you can do to limit this effect is get a self-inflating pad- a pad that is capable of inflating most of the way on it's own. You just set the pad out, and let it do it's thing for 20 minutes or so. If it's sunny out, setting it in the sun will help too. Usually these pads take a couple of puffs of air to finish the process, but the moisture content inside the pad is significantly reduced.

Personally, for a 1 or 2 night trip in winter, I use a thermorest prolite 4 season full length pad. It's light enough that I wouldn't have any qualms with using it in the summer, although I also have a thermarest prolite 3 season 3/4 length pad for warmer months. In general, thermarest makes great quality sleeping pads. You can check out their website here:

Last edited by DSettahr; 01-03-2012 at 12:55 PM..
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