(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Glacier's Edge Self Inflating Camp Sleeping Pad & Pillow

Update 6/10/15: The sleeping pad began losing air after 2 or 3 nights usage. Too bad I bought it so long ago, there is no returning it now.

I stopped by Fred Meyer today to pick up a 14 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck plastic tote ($9+tax) and nothing else really, I decided to wander down the camping isle since it was nearby. (Well, that's sort of a lie since I went near across the store after finding the tote in the Xmas area on the side of the store I entered).

I walked out having spent just under $44 for my 14 gallon tote, an 18 gallon tote plus some new tent camping gear that was on sale for 40% off, a Glacier's Edge Self Inflating Sleep Pad ($18 on sale) and the Glacier's Edge Self Inflating Pillow ($6 on sale).

As they come from the store:

I had my doubts since I once tried out a $40 Coleman one back in 2009 and I found it to be unusable it was so lacking in padding and was very lumpy. A cheap pool mat is more comfortable to me. I returned it within a few days having only tested it at home. But I figured hey, the way these are packaged, they aren't sealed up with anything other than the storage sacks. I figured I'd bring them out and test them out for comfort since I can always return them... the same way I did the lumpy, lousy Coleman one (which came in a box, no bag with it.)

Sleeping pad first removed from the bag. It has built-in straps in addition to the bag.

I am pleasantly surprised by the camping pad. It self inflates most of the way easily.

Partly inflated, without help from me.

It's not a bad idea to help it out by closing the valve and rolling it up from the valve end to push the air to the opposite end then opening the valve again. Do this a 1-2 more times and it will be very well inflated.

The fully inflated size (according to the bag) is: 72" L x 20" W x 1.5" D

It is quite comfortable for me, but I'm only about 155lbs, so I don't know how well it will perform for huskier people. Initially I was trying it on the carpet padded floor but then I tried it out on the hard kitchen floor. I had to give it just a light puff of air beyond the "fully self inflated" state to make it more comfortable for side sleeping on the hard floor since I could just barely feel the floor that way. Perhaps I wouldn't if I was in a sleeping bag since it would have an extra layer of padding. I usually fall asleep on my back and wake up on my side, so side sleeping comfort is important to me.

 The valve seems to be well made, sturdy and seals well:

The package says it's 1.5" thick and I guess it is, just barely, by my measurement. The material feels of good quality.

Now... the pillow? Well... it's good for what it is. You can easily adjust the firmness by letting out extra air. It's probably great for budget backpacking or very light car camping but I wouldn't want to use it more than I had to. It self inflates most of the way very quickly. I suggest putting a pillowcase or a t-shirt to put over it. It's a rather noisy/annoying being polyester/plastic, at least for me. It's acceptable for short term use, which is all it's intended for anyway.

The pillow comes with a velcro loop in addition to the bag:

Self-inflated after a minute or so without any help:

 After a couple of minutes, with help.

I don't know how well the pad and pillow will hold up long term or if they are worth buying at FULL PRICE, but for $18 and $6, I think I made a wise purchase.