**$$# thermarest!! - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default **$$# thermarest!!

I was convinced my thermarest had a hole in it. For the last two years, I've started off the night with my thermarest nice and inflated and cushy, and when I wake up it seems kind of squished/deflated/not that comfortable. Every time I go on a trip, I think, "Oh yeah, right, I've gotta locate the hole and patch it up before my next trip." Then I always forget. So just now I finally got around to submerging it in the bath. I searched high and low for a stream of little bubbles indicating where the hole is. Nothing.

So...maybe it's normal behaviour for a thermarest to deflate during the night (and yes, I close the valve). Anyone else have this problem?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 04:03 PM
Dru
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Do you inflate it with breath or let it self-inflate? Cause if you blow it up with warm air from your lungs and then put it on cold ground or snow, it can lose up to 50% of its inflated volume as the air cools.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Ah hah! I think you nailed it. I hadn't thought of that.

I let it mostly self-inflate, and then I blow a little extra air into it to make it cushier. Somebody showed me that trick and I've been doing it ever since. But I think it was around the time I started doing that, that I started to notice it wasn't as soft in the morning.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by wilderness_seeker

I let it mostly self-inflate, and then I blow a little extra air into it to make it cushier.
This is what I do as well, but I blow air into it twice. I let it self inflate, then blow it up... Then before bed, I blow a bit more air into it. The extra few puffs of air seem to really help, comfort-wise.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 04:45 PM
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Just to clarify - the 50% statistic is made up. I have no idea how much volume a Thermarest loses when cooled but it is notable.

One solution for winter is to bring a thin blue foamie and put that between your thermarest and the ground which both adds some cushiness, and insulates the thermarest from the ground. Really dedicated gear freaks will glue velcro strips onto blue foam and thermarest so that the one doesn't slip off the other in the night.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 04:52 PM
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Yeah I have the same theory as Dru - my big agnes loses a LOT of its volume overnight, especially when on snow. The blue foamy insulates against cold, but it aint so comfy to sleep on [B)]

I guess I should cool my air before laying down [8)]
I think I might write to Big Agnes, since Im not the only one with this problem.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:06 PM
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I've tried finding the leak in my Big Agnes twice now and no luck. I know there is one in it somewhere, but I think I'm going to have to fill the tub and climb right in with it, to put enough pressure on it to find the leak. It's just a teensy, tiny one but it's enough that I have to reinflate my pad at least twice during the night.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru

Just to clarify - the 50% statistic is made up. I have no idea how much volume a Thermarest loses when cooled but it is notable.
LOL...so you're one of those people who knowledgably spews out statistics pulled out of nowhere, with such confidence that people believe you!!

Nevertheless, the basic concept remains the same...

This is starting to sound like another physics problem to ponder over the course of 20 pages, like the plane vs conveyor belt thread! Let's see, PV = nRT.....

I think I'll try Spirit's, self-inflate, blow, rest, last-minute blow again method. And for sleeping on snow, the addition of a blue foamie. Like the velcro idea too.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:43 PM
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I've got the same problem with mine. It's quite old and doesn't inflate well on it own so I make sure that the first thing I do in camp is inflate the mat and then let it sit and inflate it again before bed. This helps but I still need to blow it up at least once in the night, as long as I can remember to put the nozzle by my head and not at my feet.

The best way to find a hole in a thermarest is to put soap on it. The air leaks blow bubbles so the hole becomes very obvious. This eliminates the difficulty in trying to submerge the thing and it gives it a good cleaning.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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If you let it self inflate and only do a few last breaths yourself, I wouldn't have thought the temperature difference would be enough to have it deflate like you say. So like Marc's, maybe there still a small hole there somewhere. Mine doesn't seem to deflate that much overnight when I do the last few breaths technique.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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OK....next time I have a bath, I will get right in with it, get it good and submerged and (using soap) find the culprit.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 10:16 PM
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Are you checking the valve too?

Good luck. Waking up closer to the ground than you were when you fell asleep sucks.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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hey... 85% of statistics are made up on the spot!

to prevent that cold-air/deflation problem, i use a small MEC lightweight dry bag as my sleeping bag's stuff sack. since the sack is waterproof and airtight, i wrap the opening of it around the valve of the thermarest, hold it tight, and squeeze it to pump air into the thermarest. then, it's a balancing act of continuing to squeeze (cuz it's not a perfect fit) and using the other hand to hold on to the seal and turn the valve at the same time. it takes some practice at home first, but it works for me.

i used to blow into my mattress too, but eventually the mattress foam/fabric delaminated, i'm guessing due to mildew buildup inside from the moisture in my breath. now, i avoid blowing into the mattress whenever possible.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting thought...the buildup of your own breath (moisture)inside the thermarest has gotta be damaging after a while.

As for the mattress deflating as it cools, wouldn't the warmth from your body counteract the cold from the ground?
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 12:15 AM
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basically, no. unless you're really hot!
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