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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to buy a 3" sleeping pad and am up in the air between these two. Price is not a problem... I'm more concerned about comfort and durability (both foam durability and plastic durability as will be using it as a pad on the raft as well). I currently have/use a JPW 1" Paco and want to upgrade for three weeks on the Grand Canyon. Any advice? I have read that both of these pads use a bit firmer foam than JPW and Maravia for the 3" and up, which suits me - I like my bed to be somewhat firm but not a brick. Seems firmer foam would hold up better over time. Any advice welcome. Thanks!
 

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Donkey Punch
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I have a small Landing Pad and absolutely love it. Had it for two years now and it still looks brand new. Its kept kept rolled up in a shed during the winter, which I have heard isn't good for the foam. But its holding up great, bounces right back when unrolled, and I don't even bother inflating. I have used it in the water as a lounger floating down the river, and water doesn't seem to have gotten inside it at all.
It is super comfy, lived on it for a month straight while I was waiting to move into a new house and woke up every morning feeling great.
Im pretty cheap, so that's really why I went with it despite how well made JPW pads are. I even bought another Landing pad for my lady (large) bc of how mine has held up. I personally like the valves better too.
 

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My household has 5 Jack's Paco Pads ( 1-3", 2-2", & 2-1.5") and 1-3" Aire Landing Pad. I've had the Landing for 6-7 years and I personally gravitate towards using the Landing Pad more than my Jacks (both 3"). My Landing pad is softer than the Jack's 2" pads and thinner, but comparable to Jack's 3". My Landing pad is from it's first production season, so maybe AIRE is souring different foam now.

Last season a buddy bought his spouse an NRS and he's not impressed. To him the foam feels cheap, stiff, and boardy. I personally can't validate his opinion beyond I know he has experience with the others.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great info so far - one thing to add

Thanks guys! So far you are validating my gravitation toward the landing pad. I thought of one more thing I have a question about. The Summit II valve. I read somewhere it's nice to have the Leafield C7 valve on the pad because 1) works well with a pump (which JPW pads don't) and 2) can be used in a pinch on most rafts. Since I don't own an Aire and have the C7 valves on my Rocky Mountain Raft, I doubt I can substitute Summit II valves for C7 valves, right? This probably isn't make or break since as everyone says you spend most of you life sleeping might as well get a good bed... but I always like to think about the overall versatility.
 

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Thanks guys! So far you are validating my gravitation toward the landing pad. I thought of one more thing I have a question about. The Summit II valve. I read somewhere it's nice to have the Leafield C7 valve on the pad because 1) works well with a pump (which JPW pads don't) and 2) can be used in a pinch on most rafts. Since I don't own an Aire and have the C7 valves on my Rocky Mountain Raft, I doubt I can substitute Summit II valves for C7 valves, right? This probably isn't make or break since as everyone says you spend most of you life sleeping might as well get a good bed... but I always like to think about the overall versatility.
No you can't swap valves, because the valve-nut inside are different. I personally wouldn't let the C-7 make my choice, because I always have a spare valve and a couple rebuild kits in the repair kit.

Also, my AIRE pad fabric is noticeably thicker/heavier than my Jacks.
 

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For me the issue with the landing pad was long term durability. First few years no problem, year 4-5-6 you are going to have issues. Corners start to have holes, I think they make them with corner covers now or something, and the foam breaks down leaving you sleeping on nothing. The material is thick and heavy. I also have a JPW silverback and a maravia. Yes, the materials don't feel as thick but I think they are better quality. Good quality foam is very expensive. Value for the dollar the landing pad is pretty good.

So I think it's one of those things where you get what you pay for, you might have to replace a landing pad twice or 3 times vs a JPW lifecycle, so cost wise it's about a wash. Plus, with a JPW, if you have a preference for foam or anything about it, you can call them and have a pad built to order, others can't. Maravia uses memory foam, it's pretty nice.
 

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I have 3 paco's and 3 landing pads. Basically the same, sleeping I can't tell the diffrence. (Do not get a sotar pad - the material is great for a raft not for a bed). We bought the paco's first, then the landing pads. If I could only have one it would be the landing pad, I have no idea how you would fix the paco valve if it broke off or my dog ate it. As long as you have the cap for the valve on the landing pad you are good to go. Also the big hole is sweet for the quick roll.
 

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I have both, Landing Pad for about 3 years, River Bed for 1. The landing pad is very comfortable and has given me many a good nights sleep. It is however starting to delaminate in one spot and cracking in the corners, seems they may have fixed the corner problem in the newer versions.

I got the river bed for my wife and it is just not comfortable at all. You have to blow air into it to get it to inflate. It has corner reinforcements, but I think they are in the wrong spot and will probably make the problem worse.

If these were my only two choices, I would take the Aire hands down.

How about a Roll-A-Cot under your JPW pad? Seems like that would be pretty nice for sleeping out on the grand.
 

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The Aire is pretty nice. Be sure to read the hang tag on the Maravia before you consider it. Not air tight- which to me means not fully watertight either. I ordered one and sent it back once I realized this. Called Cascade and they couldn't believe it wasn't holding air. I had em go read the hang tag- dammed if I understand why they would do this?-

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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I got the river bed for my wife and it is just not comfortable at all. You have to blow air into it to get it to inflate. It has corner reinforcements, but I think they are in the wrong spot and will probably make the problem worse.

What's wrong with the RiverBed comfort wise?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How about a Roll-A-Cot under your JPW pad? Seems like that would be pretty nice for sleeping out on the grand.
Great call, I have a cot, too. Would definitely be the most ideal scenario. Thing is my fiance wants a pad and he hates the 1" JPW (feels like a brick, hates the valve - we think there is silt in it - and finds it tough to inflate/deflate). It's nice to sleep on the same level (he sleeps on Thermarest right now). Was thinking I'd give the 1" pad and the cot to my father who's joining for the last 2 weeks of the trip since it seems it's time the fiance and I sleep on the same level... :)
 

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What's wrong with the RiverBed comfort wise?
Comfort wise compared to the Aire: The foam just isn't the same quality as the Aire. I have to blow air into the riverbed (with the provided hose, hint?) to make it so I don't really feel the ground, and then it is kind of like sleeping on a balloon, my feet go up in the air when I lay down.

My Aire pad no longer holds air and it is still very comfortable to sleep on, I know before it had holes in it I forgot to close the valve a couple times and didn't notice until the morning.

Yes, Jacks valves are a little quirky, the Summit are better but it would be nice if Aire would just put in a regular valve, and on the side like the Maravias...seems like it would be much easier to roll them up that way.

On a side note, we sewed up some sheets that slip over the pads, makes them much more comfortable to sleep on when it's hot out.
 

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I have the large Landing Pad and have always been very happy with it. As previously mentioned there was a wear issue on the corners but Aire improved the design several years ago to eliminate that. When my corners began to wear (no performance issues but I didn't want to let it get worse) I emailed them and they immediately asked me to return it and sent me a new one with reinforced corners. The pad is bomber and pretty comfy. I've used it on my cot, on the ground, as a seat cushion on top of a cooler and dry box, etc. and it's always filled the bill.

As for the valve, you don't want to pump one of these things up anyway. Just open it when you get to camp and close it at bed time and it'll be as firm as you could ever possibly want it.
 

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I have both a landing pad and the NRS pad in addition to a couple of older JPW pacos. I prefer the pacos, mainly because of the funky toothpaste lid fillers on them. I find them much easier to fine tune by blowing a bit of air in as well as to suck air out for a tight roll.

But that wasn't your question. The NRS pad is good gear. It is much thinner than the big cushy landing pad, and as a result it is much easier to roll up tightly than the aire, (more like the pacos.) Both the landing pad and the NRS pad have extra material covering the vulnerable corners, which is where my pacos eventually wore through and started leaking. Jack from JPW sent me a set of what he calls "corner condoms" that I put on my slightly shortened pacos after doing the full repair per the JPW website. They are already at least 15 years old (I bought them used in 2000) and with the recent repair/upgrade are good to go for the foreseeable future.

From what I can see from the outside, all three are basically the same design and materials other than the fillers, with the landing pad and NRS having rafting style valves (the aire has 2, NRS 1). That memory foam sounds like a pretty cush option in the silverbacks, but I've never gone that high end.

I got swinging deals on both the landing pad and NRS, about half the price of a new paco, and for the cost they work great. Then again, I was buying them for my kids, who I was upgrading from the old "Big Mats" that Cascade Outfitters used to sell. It really depends on which one you find more comfortable, so I'd recommend trying them out if you can get that opportunity.
 

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I bought a stack or NRS beds both L and XL when I came across a good deal. They seem to have come from a couple of batches. The first ones needed some love before they were comfortable, like they had been stored compressed for a long time. I would say they needed to be inflated for a few weeks before the foam was expanded to the point of comfort. I thought I was doing something wrong. But over time the issue resolved itself.

Since then they have been good. The XL batch was comfy right out of the box.

They are on year 3 now. So far so good. They will probably need corner patches in a few years. I would buy them again. I've got probably 50 nights on my L pad. no complaints.

I do not like the JPW valves.
 

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FWIW - The true testament of longevity can be told by the outfitters. I rarely see an established outfitter running anything but Jack's. I have seen and heard of a few of them switch and after a few years, switch back. The truth is in the foam and JPW uses the best. But don't take it from me...call a couple of the the outfitters that run the Grand and see what they recommend. I'm willing to bet they all say Jack's ;)

They will also install a boat valve if that is what you want. (3" and 4" pads only I think...because of the depth of the valve).
 
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