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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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Old 14 Apr 2007
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Inflatable sleeping mats

what should i be looking at getting? It's for one person and want it to be as cheap as possible
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Old 14 Apr 2007
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I use a Thermarest. Packs small, light and really tough. Theyçre expensive at over 100 dollars, but you get what you pay for. Highly recomended.
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Old 14 Apr 2007
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I'm a wuss and much prefer an inflateable over the the camping pads. The only downside I've experienced is that they aren't good in cold weather.
My suggestion is to buy a cheapie at Wally World (or similar) with a patch kit and learn whether it suits you.
Also, there are now insulated fancy inflating camping pads available.

Last edited by Lone Rider; 15 Apr 2007 at 12:37.
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Old 15 Apr 2007
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I think there are 3 main types but there could be more. I 've used all of those 3 over the years:

1. "foam" mats which are light, cheap but relatively hard when on the ground and they don't fold/roll up very small at all. IMO you will not get a full night's sleep with one of these.

2. Airbeds that blow up - these are avail for single size and they provide better comfort, fold up smaller and are usually more expensive; also light for packing on the bike.

3. "Therm a rest" type of sleeping mat which is a bit like the two above combined but a bit cleverer - when opened out these self inflate but you can add more air by blowing it up as well. Most expensive usually.

However, none of these are expensive when you bear in mind that you will spend, say, 7-8 hours stretched out on the ground each and every day. I would say don't skimp on your comfort in this area or you will be tired!

Take a look on ebay or any good camping shop.
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Old 15 Apr 2007
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Therma Rest...its where you'll be spending your resting hours. A good nights sleep makes the next day's ride a lot more enjoyable...you won't regret it...
Get a toasty sleeping bag as well...
If you're heading to the US, buy there..its a heckuva lot cheaper...
Try places like Campmor.com or backcountry.com You'll get last years model at half the price.
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Old 15 Apr 2007
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I have 2 of the self inflating mats. 1 is a 3/4 length therma-rest which I use with the seat kit. This means you can comfortably sit up in your tent which is wonderful. It folds up to nothing. It's comfortable to sleep on too but it's only 52 cm wide. My main sleeping mat is 63 cm wide and 190 cm long, that makes a lot of difference if you like to spread out when you sleep. It's made by Metzler but there are lots on the market. Aldi / Lidl also sell them for £10 when they have their camping gear in which should be anytime now.
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Old 16 Apr 2007
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The Exped Downmats are inflatable air mattresses with down insulation in the tubes. They use the stuff sack as a pump and only take a dozen or so pump strokes (i.e. sacks full of air) to inflate. The insulation makes them warm and comfortable. They are warmer, more comfortable and pack smaller and lighter than Thermarest. They do cost more, but as another poster mentioned, you get what you pay for.
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Old 16 Apr 2007
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Thermarest. Recommended by me, Chris Scott and Ray Mears. They do actually vary greatly in price and I think I got mine from Cotswold Outdoors for around £35.
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Old 1 May 2007
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We just received the REI anniversary catalogue in the mail yesterday. Their anniversary sale starts this Friday, May 4th and the Thermarest Prolite 4 sleeping pads are on sale for $64.99 (regular $94.99). Not sure if the 3 is going to be on sale also, I hope so!
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Old 1 May 2007
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Thermarest are the original and some say the best. Mine's been going strong for years now.

A cheaper option might be Alpkit (see Alpkit.com) which sell for half the price. Alpkit do sometimes have quality control issues as I found out (my 'Slim Airic mat has a leak) but they are very cheap and have excellent customer service, so any problems are quickly sorted.



*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 1 May 2007
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Another vote for the Thermarest. Shop around on the net for the best prices.
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Old 1 May 2007
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Watch out for zip pulls!!

I have both a Artiach self inflating 3/4 pad and a Gelert 'Reed Airbed'. On it's own the self inflating pad is not sufficient to pad the 'bony' bits of shoulder, hip and knee, but the airbed gets cold. So I put my pad on my airbed

The Gelert is the smallest packing airbed I've seen, about the size of a 1" thick house brick. Cost about £10, whereas the Artiach cost over £50 and doesn't pack much smaller. Having an electric air pump helps

One thing also to check, and thats the zip pulls on your sleeping bag. My Aztec zips have square corners, and I am a restless sleeper. I'm pretty sure that is what has put a leak into the Artiach pad. I shall sleeve the zip pulls with a bit of neoprene tubing to stop it happening again.
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Old 3 May 2007
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Alpkit outdoor gear for alpine activities including climbing, mountaineering and trekking

Copy thermarest for half the price. Read the various reviews going about. Alpkit can't do alot wrong at the moment.Check them out!
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Old 5 May 2007
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im with lone rider,
i sleep on my side so a mat just doesnt do anything for me. i use a cheap blow up from the local chainstore, one of those box construction rubberised canvas things, you know what i mean. came with a patch kit and spare bungs etc, but in several biggish trips and many small weekenders its never let me down (no pun intended sorry)

cold has never bothered me but if it did i would get one of those silver foil emergency blankets to lay on, cheap and virtually weightless
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Old 6 May 2007
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I've tried every thing, I've found Big Agnes inflatable pad to work well 2 1/2" thick and fold up to about 1/4 the size of Thermarest.
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