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Old 11-21-2011   #21
st2eelpot's Avatar
Professional Transient, See above.
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 310
I've used my paco down to -10 F I think (may've been slightly colder?) with a -20 F sleeping bag. Toasty warm. I remember being a little concerned when I rolled it back up in the morning. It was super stiff and wouldn't deflate/roll very well. I recall hearing that that some pvc rafts aren't that pliable below 20 F (no idea if that is true or not) and didn't want to crack the paco. No problems.

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Old 11-21-2011   #22
Carbondale, CO
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 132
As a couple people have mentioned... Closed-cell insulation is the key if you are looking for the best cold weather insulation. Above, people mention putting the Reflectix or other closed-cell pads under the Paco, but I like to put a Ridge-Rest, or similar, on top. That way the best insulation is right under my body and I still have the cushion of the Paco.

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Old 11-21-2011   #23
Kayenta, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95
Paco Pads+ Sleep System

So my Fiancee' and I camped out over the got to right around freezing...not bad I know, but we were very comfortable and slept well. Here is our tried and true sleep system which we have dialed in over the years. It tends to work really well for us, and has kept us warm down to zero degrees. Take my opinion for that alone, hopefully it adds some insight for your warmth issues.

-Sierra Design 4 Season convertable tent (with footprint underneath)
-Mexican Blanket or other comp. down on the floor of the tent.
-2 inch paco pads.
-Over the pads, we use a fitted twin sheet as an added thin does a nice job reducing the cold or annoying aspects of summer a cotton fitted sheet works, for colder seasons try a flannel or fleece sheet...also, a twin fitted sheet keeps the pads together nicely.
-Brand-Name zero degree synthetic bags...I know many of you love down, and I recognize its superior warmth to weight ratios, but I can't get over the idea of it getting wet and essentially being useless.
-Inside the bags I like to use a 4x4 fleece know, one of those cheapie $9.99 things, but it adds a layer of comfort and is great to use by itself when a zero degree is too warm. (also, a silk liner adds some nice comfort without really any space or weight)
-Finally, when it is REALLY cold, I pack another mexican blanket or older fleece blanket to go over the bags...toasty.

Again, just my two cents, but it really works for us, and other than it taking up some is worth it for the comfort factor...I beleive you can sleep warm with a Paco Pad down to the coldest nights with the right additional gear.

Stay warm out there...

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Old 11-21-2011   #24
Austin, Texas
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 136
Paco pads are one of the best pads for warmer temps on river trips. I have 3 of them, and have over 500 nights of sleep on them. But, they suck in the winter. The PVC retains too much cold. You'll be fine till you move or roll over! I use a pad by Therm-a-rest called the "Dream Time". I wish they made it a bit wider. Mine is 3"x30"x78". I sold both name brands for many years and they both are good. Only complaint w/ the Dream Time on the river is it needs to be kept in a dry bag. All warm sleeping bags compress to nothing under your weight, so could sweat and freeze all at the same time w/ a sub zero bag in sub zero temps. Good luck.
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Old 11-23-2011   #25
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
I tuck a fleece planket around mine (like a sheet) before laying my sleeping bag on top. Super toasty in freezing temps.
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Old 11-24-2011   #26
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Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
I have solved my problems with a wet and dirty paco pad in the winter. Cleaning and drying them out sucked, esp when its raining. I had the same cold spot issues as well as skin sticking to the PVC. After the light in my head came on, I tried throwing the wet and dirty pacos down on the ground and put the tent on top of them. I've never had an issue since and the time I used to spend on the paco is now spent doing what I want to be doing.
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Old 11-24-2011   #27
malloypc's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Second the paco under the tent setup.
We place ours between the tent floor and footprint.
No plastic-on-skin, no lost items under pacos, etc.
A great improvement and a lot easier than fitted sheets, etc.
- Jerry
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Old 11-25-2011   #28
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
A friend who runs a trapping line and basically camps all winter turned me on to a great way to stay warm in the winter - paco on a cot and a tipi. Easy to carry in the BC on a snowmachine.

Simple system to set up lightweight and with the stove they are super warm even down to -30+. After a night or two in one you will wonder why you ever had a tent. The 8 or 12 man work best.

The light weight stoves are easy to carry only down side is that you have to stoke the stove every couple of hrs at night. Hot coffee/bfast is not a bad thing either!

Ck em out..


Also take your boot warmers - drop a heat pack in each one put them on your boots and wake up to dry/warm boots no matter how cold it gets outside.


"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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