camping cot insulation?

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camping cot insulation?

Postby SteveF » January 22nd, 2013, 10:40 am

Going to be doing some car camping this coming summer and I'd like to get up off the ground. But I've read that you lose about 15-degrees of your bag's temp rating when there's air between it and the ground and trying an un-insulated air-mattress on a night in the 40's a couple of summers ago demonstrated that very effectively!

If I use my insulated pad on a cot would that make a difference? Any suggestions?
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby rvd » January 22nd, 2013, 11:08 am

Air cools off quicker than the soil during the night, which is why sleeping without insulation below your bag would be colder off the ground than on it. If you have an insulating pad, you should notice this less.
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby balexander87 » January 22nd, 2013, 11:32 am

You might look into some hammock camping gear. Something like an underquilt might work. If you're interested, there's lots of good info at HammockForums.net.
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby SteveF » January 22nd, 2013, 3:42 pm

Thanks, we have a couple of old comforters around I could probably use as an "underquilt." Man, there's a forum for everything, eh? :lol:
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby balexander87 » January 22nd, 2013, 7:44 pm

SteveF wrote:Thanks, we have a couple of old comforters around I could probably use as an "underquilt." Man, there's a forum for everything, eh? :lol:


Ha. Yeah. That sounds like it should be some kind of "rule of the internet": if you can think of something, there is a forum for it. Came across that one while investigating superlight camping setups for a (hopefully) future bikepacking adventure. Lots of cool stuff.
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby ReidRules18 » January 22nd, 2013, 8:00 pm

Check out the comfy cot by REI. It's amazing. Folds into a lounger when not in use.
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby SteveF » January 30th, 2013, 1:43 pm

ReidRules18 wrote:Check out the comfy cot by REI. It's amazing. Folds into a lounger when not in use.


Looks nice but more suited to a back sleeper. I'm a side sleeper so I'm looking for something more rectangular. I ordered one of these (had a coupon):

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63572?mo ... eat=WEB-od


Over 100 reviews, a 4.7 out of 5 star rating, and 97% would recommend. How did we ever shop before the interwebz?

I hope that by putting my insulated sleeping pad on it I'll be able to sleep reasonably comfortably...
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby bsgerig » April 4th, 2013, 3:25 pm

I have done a lot of river trips in the southwest and we generally use either light weight backpacking pads (by Big Agnes) or heavier paco pads (by Jack's Plastic). For the money I don't think the big agnes bag can be beat!
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby bh357 » April 5th, 2013, 10:13 am

balexander87 wrote:Ha. Yeah. That sounds like it should be some kind of "rule of the internet": if you can think of something, there is a forum for it.


Sounds like a version of Rule 34 :wink: :lol:
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby Dave L » April 29th, 2013, 11:21 pm

I have been backpacking for years using a hammock. For insulation I use a cheap wallmart blue foam camping pad. Its $15, light and works like a charm. If it works in a hammock, it will work on a cot.
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby bleve » April 30th, 2013, 4:58 pm

To combat this issue when car camping (and to avoid the leaky mattress syndrome from camping with dogs) last time I was at Ikea I picked up a memory foam topper from the clearance section. 3-4" of dense foam is lots of insulation and more comfortable than the air mattress that throws you around when your spouse (or dog) moves. Only issue is it's kinda bulky to pack. If you're just getting a single or you're willing to cut it down you it probably wouldn't be too bad.
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby SteveF » May 2nd, 2013, 6:51 am

All good suggestions, thanks! I was concerned that an insulating pad/layer on a cot would be ineffective given that air would still circulate under the cot. (the problem with uninsulated air mattresses) but it doesn't sound as though that is the case. I have a couple of closed cell foam pads I used to use backpacking, and an insulated, self inflating pad--some combo of those should be the ticket...
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby SteveF » June 26th, 2013, 8:04 pm

This setup worked out real well--temps in the upper 40s at night and I was quite comfortable. All the comforts of home:

Image

Image

Image
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby balexander87 » June 26th, 2013, 9:16 pm

Looks like a sweet trip :-)
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Re: camping cot insulation?

Postby scat silvurz » June 26th, 2013, 10:47 pm

Wasting your time on an insulated pad for your cot. The largest percentage of heat loss occurs from the top part of your sleeping bag. You'd fare far better putting a pad on top of your sleeping bag. It's pure physics....heat rises - capture that, and you'll double your warmth. Same things in homes - most of the heat loss occurs thru the roof of a home - heat loss thru walls, basement foundation walls, etc, pales in comparison to heat loss thru the roof - insulate the attic massively, and you will be toasty forever. It all goes out the top.
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