View Full Version : Sleeping pad with wings?

SGT Rock
2003-01-27, 20:58
I know I saw it somewhere. But I cannot find it anywhere I have looked. Who was it putting wings onto the side of their sleeping pad?

See, I was thinking today that my pad neds to be wider at the shoulders, and about those wings. I was also thinking my pad is sometimes not thick enough under my shoulders and butt, so I use two pads. But the two pads are a waste much of the time because I don't reall need all that under my feet. I also thought about using a 1/2 pad that was only under my butt and shoulders, but that is hard to keep in place under or over another pad.

Then it hit me, an idea to combine these ideas.

Get a 24" wide pad and cut off a 33" wide piece. Glue that to the back of the pad so that the 30" wide will have a 6" wing on each side of the pad.

Anyone out there thinking along these lines besides me?

SGT Rock
2003-01-27, 21:19
I found it: Sharon's Hammock pad (http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?threadid=104&highlight=hammock+wings)

So hopefully Sharon reads this and gives me some feedback. Looks like a ridgerest is only 20" wide so total pad width is 32" at the widest point. How has this worked for you, and how wide are our shoulders? I hope those questions aren't too forward for a woman, my Grandmother always told me ther are certain things you don't ask a lady. Unfortunately she didn't tell me what those were LOL:p

Wander Yonder
2003-01-28, 04:21
Sgt. Rock, even though I am chubby I have narrow shoulders, so the "wings" are only 3" wide each, giving me a total width at the shoulders of 26". That's enough to wrap around my shoulders so they don't contact the cold "cradle" of the hammock.

I discovered that the duct tape was coming apart at one corner after being rolled, so I got a yarn needle and sewed the wings to the main pad with round elastic. The elastic stretches when you fold the wings in, so it doesn't cut into the foam. The duct tape on the back provides additional support for the stitching.

Here's a picture.


The Ridge Rest deluxe is 3/4" thick, so should do well in cooler weather. For REALLY cold weather, I am adding the 25" wide "REI generic blue" pad. (They say it is 24" wide, but mine actually measures 25".) I plan to cut it off so it just goes under my shoulders and hips, so that will be around 6 ounces. It fits very nicely into the mesh pocket on the back of my pack.

I still haven't gotten around to testing it in extreme cold. Will wait till we have another night in the low teens (which is as cold as it gets here), then will give you a report.

[edited to add--the low teens is usually as cold as it gets. It got down to 5 the other night and I wimped out on testing it then! :D ]

Wander Yonder
2003-01-28, 04:29
P.S. I had also thought of doing the wings the way you describe, but remember how cold my shoulders get, so would want the extra width under the wings, too. Maybe you could glue an extra strip on the wings part to give you double width there.

How would you store that wide a pad in your pack? If it is glued, it probably wouldn't roll well.

Maybe you could velcro the two pads together so you could take the pieces apart for storage?

Oh yeah, I'm mellowing with age. I answer a lot of questions that I wouldn't when I was younger! :D

SGT Rock
2003-01-28, 07:31
I like the way you combined the two pads. That works better than what I had considered which is contact cement. I think with the elastic bands or something similar I could remove the bottom pad when not in use.

As for packing, with my Gearskin I would simply make the part with wings the part against my back when setting it up, then roll the wings around the sides. I don't see that as a problem.

I'm thinking I would need a pad about 4" extra on each side from the 24", so 32" wide total, and about the same amount high. this means a 32" square. I could simply cut two strips 32"x16" and make a joint under the main pad in the center.

Wander Yonder
2003-01-28, 07:47
I like your idea of cutting the bottom pad into two sections. I could get those two pieces flat into my pack instead of having to roll them as mine would be a bit narrower.

After reading your site about the Gearskin, I wrote about ordering one. What kept me from going for it was that I would have to send them a tracing of my chubby body and my pride wouldn't allow that!

I am REALLY happy with the modular Kelty Satori 4500, though. Weight varies from right at two pounds up to 5 lbs. 2 oz. depending on how many of the elements you use.

SGT Rock
2003-01-28, 10:39
I'm thinking my attachment system would be very simple. Masically four holes, one in each "corner" for each wing pad. I would then simlpy lace some cored into itand tie a quick release knot. that way I could remove the wings easily. Here is a pic of what I mean (BTW, the pad is 24" wide and this is to scale):

SGT Rock
2003-01-28, 10:46
Try again

Wander Yonder
2003-01-28, 11:26
Looks like a nice KISS solution. The small pads could double as sit pads too.

I do like the idea of velcro, though. Fast, no tying and no holes. The loop sides are fuzzy enough I don't think they'd hurt the hammock fabric if you used the pad without the wings. They might, though.

This is fun. I'm going to end up with a lot better system than I could have come up with alone!

SGT Rock
2003-01-28, 11:34
I've already been down the route of velcro and pads. I tried using diferent adhesives, but it wouldn't stay.

Wander Yonder
2003-01-28, 11:56
That will save me some time and frustration! Thanks for the warning! Looks like the tie system is the way to go.

SGT Rock
2003-01-28, 22:58
The pad came out like I planed with a couple of minor changes. I layed down on the pad and figured the mesurements better, then re-worked the attachment piece. I also measured the pads more accurately instead or relying on a catolouge for them. Total weight now is 28.1 ounces.

I want to note that I like the Army sleeping pad despite it not being as thick as some pads because it works well. I think it is because it is also one of the densest pads out there. Dense means heat transfers slower. It also means on the ground the pad isn't as comfortable as some others out there, but when has comfort ever been important to the Army? :D

After putting the pad together and laying it out with the sunscreen to match them up, I also brainstormed the next project that Dixicritter is going to help me with. I'm going to take Tyvek I have left over and make a pocket at the head end of the sunscreen, and a strip at the foot end, so the sunscreen stays in place and becomes a pad piece. otal sunscreen weight will be about 5.7 ounces.

Here are some diagrams. Pictures will follow.

SGT Rock
2003-01-28, 22:59

2003-01-28, 23:15
Originally posted by SGT Rock

... I also brainstormed the next project that Dixicritter is going to help me with. <snip>

See I knew this morning I'd end up having to sew something. ;) :D

I'll let you know just how it works sewing on a sunscreen. :)

Wander Yonder
2003-01-29, 05:04
The tyvek pocket idea is brilliant!

Do you have condensation problems with the sunscreen?

The REI blue pad is also very dense foam. It must be similar to the military version. I am using it as my second pad instead of the truck screen.

Dixiecritter, does Sarge know how lucky he is to have you to do the sewing for him???? :D

SGT Rock
2003-01-29, 07:26
I don't have condensation problems.

I do know how lucky I am :D

SGT Rock
2003-01-29, 14:50
Another update. Dixicritter finished my sunscreen mod, it came in at 5.2 ounces. I'll take some pictures and post them.

SGT Rock
2003-01-29, 22:09
Here are some pictures and the logic behind it. Wing Pad (http://hikinghq.net/hammock/wing_pad.html)

2003-01-29, 23:43
Originally posted by SGT Rock
Dense means heat transfers slower.

hey sarge, i believe you'll find that denser means quicker heat transfer. right? as in, when you lie on a foam pad it compresses and loses some of it's thermal efficiency. when you make it denser (and thinner) you give up some of that efficiency. of course this assumes the dense pad is made of the same material as one less dense and thicker.

SGT Rock
2003-01-30, 01:25
Well my experiences say the opposite. I have a 1/2" thick pad that I get colder on than when I use this 3/8" pad. I figure it is like the loft of my quilt in a way. See, I have a quilt that lofts up to about 2.5"-3" bueno thick. But when I lay on top of it, the +800 down compresses to about 1/16" thick, and I freeze my butt off (literally in a hammock). But in my Army sleeping bag, which only lofts up about 1", it is very dense crap in there that doesn't compress well at all. In my hammock with this bag I actually find I need less pad. Why, probably because it only compresses down to about 1/2" thick when I lay on it.

So thick is relative until you lay on it. My Army sleeping pad hardly compresses at all. I read somewhere that they were designed to keep you warm, not comfortable :D

Wander Yonder
2003-01-30, 08:31
Sarge, I tried to reply to your site creation post on the pad but couldn't. GREAT photos and illustrations and a valuable resource for cold weather hammock hangers!

And WOW!!! Three stripes!!!!!!!! And I didn't even have to take a test!!! Thanks! :)

About the comparison between dense (closed cell foam) and non-dense (open cell foam) pads, here's a snip from an article at http://friends.backcountry.net/m_factor/pad.html.

Insulative qualities of open-cell vs. closed cell pads...
Closed cell foam pads will hold a lot more of your body heat closer to your body than open cell foam pads. As you are sleeping on a closed cell foam pad, your body heats the air inside the cells near your body. When you move, the trapped air stays where it is so your body does not have to reheat those cells each time you move.

With open cell foam pads, your body heats the cells near you body, but when you move, the air in the pad moves around and the warmer air may be pushed out of the area where your body is warming the pad allowing cold air to move in again. You then have to use precious calories to reheat the pad.

Doing this over and over again during the course of the night can mean a lot of calories and a cold night's sleep.

Practical results...
When winter camping on snow, it can be interesting to see the difference in the snow under your tent after you've had two people on different systems sleeping there. A couple of foam pads, and there's likely to still be snow under the area with the pads. Under an open cell pad like a Therm-a-Rest, you are more likely to find ice where the snow melted and refroze. Brr!

Or, you can camp with one of each... a closed cell for thermal efficiency and a Therm-a-Rest for comfort. :-)

2004-04-08, 21:19
Firstly, I'd like to thank Sgt. Rock for providing a avenue for information sharing.

I've been tossing around the idea of getting a Hennessy Hammock for a bit of time now but haven't yet taken the plunge.

Comfort, convience, weight and cost are all important factors.

Therefore, I've been giving the pad issue some thought and had an idea I was curious to see some thoughts on.

Instead of using a bag liner inside the sleeping bag, how about inserting a basic pad such as the REI blue pad (24# wide) inside a sleeping bag liner, for example a Design Salt 100% CoolMax® MummyLiner which is only 9 ozs ( http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=112288&memberId=12500226 ) which is also 24# wide and fix the pad in place either by afixing snaps or velcro so the pad stays in place? One could add grommets at each end of the liner so it stays in place inside the hammock and the pad would therefore stay in place as well.

Additionally, when the liner is used inside the bag one is only getting the benefit of bottom half of the liner as far as insulation on the underside, but if it's outside of the bag then both the top and bottom of the liner is under the sleeper. Most of us have bags that are warm enough to keep us warm from the top down, so it seems the real issue is building up additional barrier from the bottom up.

Also, if something like snaps are used, the actual REI pad could be removed, and the liner could still function in it's normal capacity if one wishes to camp on the ground.

It's quite possible someone has already gone through this sort of idea, but as I haven't seen it discussed I thought I'd toss it out.

Best Regards,

2004-04-12, 10:31
Love the website! Great forum!

Thought about the sewing with shock cord and the webbing idea but I know me. I would lose the extra pieces. Intrigued by the velcro idea but warned by Sgt. Rocks disappointment with adheasives. I decided to conduct some tests, using adhesives around the house, to stick nylon (velcro) to polyolifin (sleeping pad.)

Went to Wall-mart got a six dollar sleeping pad. Cut it into test strips 1" x 5" and glued 3/4" velcro to them 1" from the end with the following results:

Roofing gutter sealant: Flexible and sticks to both but takes a week to fully cure. In that week it is very fragile. Stong but a pain to work with. Tube says its good from -40 to 120 deg F.

Superglue: Quick but dries hard. Sticks to nylon but not to pad. Freaked me out - I thought cyano-acrelate glue would stick to anything.

PVC Cement: Sticks to nylon - doesn't stick to pad. although it does remain flexible.

Silicone adhesive: Sticks to Nylon - doesn't stick to pad.

Hot glue: Sticks to pad but not to nylon! Kind of melts into the pad and forms a strong bond but weakens the pad material. Won't stick to nylon at all.

Liquid Electric Tape: Dries in about 10 min. Sticks to Nylon - doesn't stick to the pad.

Liquid nails: Sticks to both but not to the pad very well. Takes 24 hours to dry. Remains flexible over from -40 to 120 deg F.

Contact cement: Right again, Sgt Rock. The winner! Dries in about 15 mins, Sticks to both. Flexible when dry and from -40 to 140. "Deactivates" after 2 hours. Strong bond, doesn't degrade the material.

Temp ranges were from the packages.

Tips on using Contact Cement:
1) Clean the surface of the pad w/alcohol before applying the cement.

2) Coat a larger area on the pad than needed for the velcro and make sure to coat the velcro all the way to the edge. Its like super rubber cement and actually lays an extra layer of rubber on the surface. When the cement deactivates the extra area reinforces the pad surface and spreads the stress. I used a 1/4 in border and it works great. I attached and removed the test strips about a hundred times with no tearing or separating. The last twenty or so were separated by shearing rather normal. Amazing stuff.

3) Be real careful when you go to place the velcro on the pad. I use a sharpie to "dot" each corner of the strip on the pad. Stuff dries kind of clear so you can still see where to place the velcro on the prepared surface. Once they touch its forever.

Following the "Wingpad" design, I used a Thermarest Linkrest pad (23.5" x 70" x 0.45") and the remainder of the blue pad. Tapered the foot to 16" and cut all outside corners to a 4" radius. Used 2" strips of 3/4" velcro in a triangle pattern for each wing applyed 2" from the edges. Triangles point to center line of main pad. Main pad applyed strips vertical and wing strips applyed horizontal.

Tried it out in the backyard using the Hennesy and it worked for the couple of hours I tossed and turned trying to separate the wings. Pad weights 11 oz, with wings 21 oz.


SGT Rock
2004-04-12, 14:59
Can you post a picture?

2004-04-13, 09:10
I took some pictures last night but as I was messing with the pad, one of the velcro strips peeled off the blue pad wing. :( I started pulling on the others to see how the6y were doing and another one peeled off clean. No damage to the pad - everything left on the velcro. I am going to try roughing up the pad with a little 120 grit.

I got the test strip and pulled the velcro off it. Glue held and ripped approx and 1/8" off the pad. I also re-weighed the pad and wings and got 11 oz for the pad and 7 oz for the wings. This makes more sense because the package says the pad weighed 13 oz before I cut it down. Scale is a cheapee kitchen (spring) type so it could be off. Regardless, finding an adhesive that sticks to the polyolifin could reduce pad weight significantly.

Anyway, here's the pic you asked for. I have four total. This one shows the placement.

2004-04-13, 09:11
this one shows closeup of the blue pad velcro.

2004-04-13, 09:13
This is wings attached and right side up

2004-04-13, 09:14
Packed on my GVP Pack.

2004-04-19, 08:53
Roughed up the surface of the pad with 150 grit sandpaper and re-glued the velcro last week. Been about 6 days and seems to have done the trick. Holding nicely, but won't really trust it until I've spent a few nights on it.

SGT Rock
2004-04-19, 10:44
I used an Army pad trimmed into a mummy shape with a second pad like the wing design under it this last winter in my Hennessy. The temperatures never got colder than in the low 30's, but the system worked.

Then I tried making the poncko liner underquilt which worked pretty well. Combining a 28" wide pad with the 3/4" underquilt was actually warmer, but I still like the wing pad idea. What I have done is order two pads from www.owareusa.com and cut them into the correct shape. It is 28" wide at the top, 28" wide down for the wings, then it narrows down to 18" wide at the feet. The pad's overall length is 61.5" long and 1/2" thick. The pads are glued together with spray adhesive that actually seems to be holding together very wekk - probably due to the VERY large surface area, I will have to see how well it holds up in colder weather since this is the same stuff that had a couple of failures on the original wing pad.

Since the pad isn't full length, what I have found works is to use a clothing bag under my head as insulation and a pillow while my torso and the rest of my body down to my feet are on the pad.

Oh, overall weight for this pad is 9.6 ounces. I have enough rmeanants that I could glue another layer on the bottom and have a 3/4" pad for probably about 14.4 onces total, or maybe just a third layer under the wings for about 12.0 ounces total which is more likely the way I will go if I do add a third layer.

2004-04-19, 11:24
I don't know if I would want to fold or roll a 1.5" three layer laminate to fit it into or on a pack. I like the low weight though.

My ultimate goal is to winter camp in the Rockies. Depending on where you are, temperatures of -20 F are not uncommon. If it gets anywhere near that cold and I know I'll be sleeping on the ground. I am currently building a -5 F bag based on the backcountry blanket but synthetic (Polargard 3D). I figure it will weight 2.25 lbs. Got one seam left to do. Will post pics when I finish it.

2005-06-07, 08:44
I want to construct a wing pad and was wondering if using a stout sewing needle and monofiliment would work. I wonder if it would degrade the heat retention properties by compressing the material. I still thing the velcro idea is good just thinking about sewing the velcro. Has anyone tried this?


2005-06-08, 00:34
@reverie. I was always taught that any time you compress an insulator you rob its R-factor. Wether that was house insulation or down bags... so I would say Yes.

how much of a cold spot that would make I'm not sure. I know in sub-zero temps ground sleeping gear it could make a huge difference. That I've experienced from patching up a few bags.

I've glued velcro to my tent, raingear, and pack with McNetts glue. Aside from that I'm not much help.

Just Jeff
2005-06-08, 07:38
I want to construct a wing pad and was wondering if using a stout sewing needle and monofiliment would work.

I don't think it would compress a CCF pad or degrade the heat qualities much, but using strong thin line might cause the pad to rip once you put pressure on it. Like using fishing line to cut cheese.

Just a guess as I haven't made a wing pad.

Hog On Ice
2005-06-08, 07:43
What I did for construction of a winged pad was to duct tape the wings on - worked fine - butt the two pieces together in the open position and lay down a strip of tape covering the seam then carefully fold the wing in to the pack position and tape the edges together - effectively this is making a hinge at the front surface of the pad so that the pad is smooth when open.