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Old 08-08-2011   #11
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Originally Posted by Ture View Post
I just got back from a Grand Canyon trip. My new Paco Pad is the only thing that I brought that I didn't use. Well, I didn't use my snakebite kit either.

I think a Paco Pad is overkill. They are huge too. Even if they were some awesome creation that I wanted to use I'd say no just because they are so large. Mine was an impulse buy when I was at AAA rigging up for the GC. I don't know what I was thinking.

I slept on my cot without a pad for 16 days and was comfortable. My wife slept on the Paco Pad the first night and didn't use it again. It was difficult to deal with a piece of gear that big. My biggest pieces of gear were (in order): 14 ft. raft, 155 qt cooler, full-sized dry box, Paco Pad, ...

That pad was strapped to the outside of my gear net for the entire trip (didn't fit under the gear net and was too big to unfold and strap across the front compartment for a passenger seat). It is like carrying a twin-sized bed mattress around with you. I'll be selling mine or maybe use it as a deluxe dog bed at home.
Dang, that's some hard core whining about a luxo piece of camping equipment. Why not just get some rocks, arrange them in the sand, and sleep right on top of those? Rocks are small.

Go for the 4". We have two, and love them. Really, they do roll up to a reasonable size, even though we use them as front deck pads and a rear gear pile pad for the dogs (under the net, fold the ends under). Maybe Ture didn't realize they roll up?

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 08-08-2011   #12
rwhyman's Avatar
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 961
Silverback Pad is 4” x 26” x 76” I'm not sure how that is too big.
I put one over my front deck area to sit on and the other over my cooler to keep the sun off. They never get rolled and makes for a nice place for my wife to sit. For sleeping, throw it on a roll-a-cot and life is good. Better than my bed at home, but I think sleeping by a river has something to do with it.

Karma is like this: If we set causes in motion the effects come back to us.
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Old 08-08-2011   #13
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
So here is my rig with two pacos 2 and 4" strapped atop the cooler. On either side of the cooler i have a pelican 1460 case, which gives me a nice flat platform that is about 6' long

I can seat three across in the front. Although you really need to also sit atop a crazy creek to avoid swampass

I'm not sure how this could be too big for a grand trip unless you are running a kayak. Btw i also use a rollacot under the pad but then again a bad nights sleep is underrated
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Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 08-08-2011   #14
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 297
We have both a 2" and a 4". Get the thicker / softer foam. You will not regret it. Paco pads are the best - do not buy a fake. Paco pads are worth their weight in gold!
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Old 08-08-2011   #15
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Woody Creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Jun 2005
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4 inch! It is like sleeping on a cloud!
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Old 08-08-2011   #16
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Join Date: May 2006
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Go with the thickest you can afford. They aren’t cheap. This late in the year unless you need it right now I would wait for the sales. NRS has had them 20% off already a couple times this year and many places do in the spring like DRE.

Something to mention….I’m not sure what everyone is talking about “new” or this or that, but the Maravia Sliverback linked to before and the Paco Silverback are different pads. The Paco Silverback has been around forever. I guess Maravia changed their foam this year but new reviews have been scarce. There’s a long story behind how they both got called the same thing. So just pay attention to what you are getting if you want one or the other since they are different.

That said I also have the Paco Silverback and it is awesome! Pure comfort. I can see how on the Grand sleeping on a cot without it would be cooler with ventilation below as well but I took mine through last month and wouldn’t have been without it. But then again I didn’t have a cot. I can actually see how it could be too big for a 14’er but it was perfect on our 18’s laid across the front. It does take a bit of work to get them rolled up tight and well. I roll it up and put it on the side of my cooler in my 14 just because it does get a bit unwieldy on there. Boat setups are different. Ture if you are thinking about selling it let me know cause now my wife wants mine instead of her Landing Pad.
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Old 08-08-2011   #17
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Denver,, exhaustion
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 578
if you're looking at a paco pad, you are not counting grams.... go with the 4"
"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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Old 08-08-2011   #18
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Not sure if this is common elsewhere but the Paco Pad owners around here do what is known as a "double roll".

First roll the pad with both valves open and take your time. Roll out most of the air and close the valves. Make your roll semi tight but your main goal is to get most of the easy air out.

Keeping the valves closed, unroll the pad and start the final roll (or go for a really small triple roll). The pad will be wrinkled up but not air free. I use both hands to get a nice tight roll and press down on the rolled part of the pad with both knees. About 2 / 3 of the way down you will start getting some trapped air on the valve end. As needed, open one valve to let excess air out while keeping the pressure on the roll with your knees. Roll a bit more and drain more air. Keep repeating till you get to the end. Work out your own best way but you will be amazed at how small you can get any Paco pad even the 4 inch model rolls up pretty small. As mentioned in this thread, if you can just strap the paco pad open across your raft you have a very comfortable ride for some one. Hope this helps or at least gets you the idea and you can experiment on your own.
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Old 08-08-2011   #19
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
Please don't hate on me folks.....but I've never cared for Paco pads of any size or brand (yes, I have owned several). I tried very hard to love them, but I just couldn't. Too bulky and hot for me. I didn't like laying on PVC, and I never found them to be all that comfy. I've been using a roll-a-cot and a 2.5 inch thermarest for the past 6 years and like it much better. I don't need a pad for my boat, so that aspect of the Paco didn't work for me either. I know many folks use them & love them....just didn't work for me.

+1 for okieboater's double roll description. It works for any sleeping pad, Paco or Thermarest. Best way to get your pad down as small as possible. Just takes a few extra minutes.

One new thing I've been trying for river sleeping is a hammock. Easy to set up and very comfy. No bending over or crawling around on the ground. Just sit down, swing in your feet, get diagonal, and off to dream land you go. No pressure points at all and you are gently rocked to sleep. It's awesome, but only works if you have the right trees.

Sweet river dreams.......KJ
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Old 08-08-2011   #20
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
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Speaking of hammocks, something interesting popped up on Kickstarter. I'm still on the fence:


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