+TotemLake Posted June 25, 2007 Share Posted June 25, 2007 I kept this description generic so other brand sleeping pads can be reviewed here too. My review is going to be on the REI Camp Bed 3.5 Self-Inflating Pad vs. Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 Sleeping Pad of which I bought both. In consideration of my purchase, I looked at and decided not to go to the heavyweight champion 8 lbs Therm-a-Rest DreamTime Sleeping Pad. My first purchase was the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 because of its profound light weight (2 lbs. 1 oz. for the large) and alleged comfort. If you weigh 250 lbs like me, you quickly discover the 1/2" memory foam is quickly mashed to 1/8" and the air to help support it doesn't exactly keep you from bottoming out. Lumbar support has to be an additional cushion which doesn't always stay put or have the same consistency if you're using your extra clothing or jacket to help support you. Ultimately, the two times I used it, I woke up with a stiff back that needed the kinks worked out and I could honestly say it was not a comfortable night's sleep. The R value at 3.2 wasn't too bad, but I would end up tossing a handwarmer into the sleeping bag. REI's Camp Bed 3.5 Self-Inflating Pad is more than twice the weight at 5 lbs. 2 oz. It self-inflated to 3.5" and I sealed it up with no additional air for support. R value is 6.4 which made for a very comfortable insulating pad during several hours of rain storms on the beach. It's easier to say I had about 4 hours of no rain from 3:30PM to 7AM, so I had a real chance to really work this pad in various positions of sitting and reclining positions while making notes in my pocket PC (playing games). The lumbar support that I brought with me became the entry knee pad. I woke up in the middle of the night only because the racoons forced that event upon me. Beyond that, it made for a very comfortable night of sleep with very few kinks to work out. I didn't bottom out when turning over and I was hard pressed to bottom out when sitting on it. Kneeling on it was a little different, but it certainly cushioned me from the little rocks under the tent. You know the kind, the ones that find the very nerve to send waves of pain through the knee. Is it heavy? Without a doubt. It's even heavier than my tent. Will I trade it back for my Therm-a-Rest? No. In fact, I gave the Prolite to my daughter. She can sleep on anythng with no problem. Comfort through the night is critical to me. I can just about stand anything else so long as I can have that and this pad provided the right level of cushioning to make it happen. Quote Link to comment
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