SLEEPING PADS ? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-28-2017   #1
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 216

In the market for a sleeping pad for the river and car camping. I saw some older threads (8 years) ago, however I'd like to get some newer feedback incase anything has changed since then. From what I've read, Paco and AIRE seem to be great options. I'm 6'5 so I need a rather taller pad. I found Jacks Plastic Silver Back Pad for sale (290.00) At 4" and 78" tall, it seems ideal. On the other Hand, AIRE makes a similar pad with the same dimensions for literally half the price. Anyone favor one over the other?

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Old 05-28-2017   #2
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 148
It seems like Paco pads have been the standard for many years. Mine has served me well for something like 15 years and those are all I've seen on commercial rigs (although I have not looked all that carefully. But a stack of 2 paco pads stands out a bit.)
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Old 05-28-2017   #3
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Steamboat, Colorado
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Silver back is the bomb, looking to replace mine with the same again.
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Old 05-28-2017   #4
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 216
It's only 90 more then the Ultra Landing Pad. I don't mind shelling out the extra cash if it will be worth it. Looks like I'll order it through the Link I posted above. $290.00 with free shipping seems like a pretty good deal..
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Old 05-28-2017   #5
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
I bought one of the Aire pads and I wasn't happy with it at all. The foam inside was way too light so it was not much better than sleeping on the ground. I ended up getting a Super Paco from Jack's and it's awesome. Some of Jack's pads have light foam and some have more dense, supportive foam (like the Super Paco). Keep that in mind. I think the 4" thick ones have the light foam, but I'm not positive.
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Old 05-28-2017   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,734
If you got the space, Jacks Plastic Silverback is the only way to go if you want a foam pad that will last decades if not more. Since they last for decades, the Silverback type will be the cheapest long range over the copies.

Jack uses USA foam and it will last but costs quite a bit more than the foam made in China.
The others making look alike paco type pads (the last time I checked) used the el cheapo Chinese stuff and you are lucky to get a couple years out of them before they collapse. I know this for real as I got burned on a look alike Jack's copy.

If you want a comfy pad the next best pad is a Thermarest foam type. They have a new 4 inch thick foam pad that is the bomb but bulky. I have one and it is super comfy. I also have one of their 3 inch foam pads that is many years old and still is working. That pad will roll down for back packing but is still very comfy.

Over the years I have searched for the ideal pad. Jack's Paco is the ultimate pad - but kinda bulky. Thermarest foamies come in a close second.

I use both brands and am happy with them, just depends on the trip as to which one I take.
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Old 05-28-2017   #7
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 216
Thanks for all the feedback. The Paco pads seem super durable, especially when your tugging it around in the car and raft. The only down fall is its close to $300.00. On the other hand I have access to deals on Thermarest Pads, getting it for nearly half the cost of the Silver Back... I'm not sure how long the Thermarest would last...
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Old 05-28-2017   #8
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
I've used various Thermarest mattresses for years for all of my non-rafting camping. If you don't need the the water proof material and general bomb-proof nature of a Paco Pad, then the Thermarest Luxury Map is a better pad, IMO. It doesn't pack small like other Thermarests so on the river I still prefer the Paco, but it's superior in comfort. When I am loading up for a car camping trip without space constraints, I always take the Luxury Map over my Super Paco.
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Old 05-28-2017   #9
fat guy in a little boat
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 408
x2 for Jacks Silverback.
I went thru the same dilemma a few years back before buying my silverback. But it certainly is nice.
I don't have a real mattress. My silverback has been a part of my permanent bed-roll since I got it.
Super comfy, and definitely worth every penny!

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
- Spicoli
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Old 05-28-2017   #10
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 89
Something else to consider... I've had my paco pad for probably 20 years and had countless good night's sleep on it on rivers around the world. I've recently gotten back in to backpacking though and also bought a packraft. For this I bought a Big Agnes Q Core sleeping pad and it's the most comfortable pad I've ever slept on outdoors, way more comfy than my paco. I'll still bring the paco on traditional river trips but the big agnes will be blown up in my tent.
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