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the landing pads are very well built. bomber cover which also makes them pretty heavy but I have zero qualms using it to float or as a water slide for the kids to slide down the beach on. running and jumping full speed even the buckles on pfd's don't even scratch it. I don't know if the foam is as high quality as everyone attests the Paco's to be, but I'm over 4 seasons of use on mine and zero issues. plus, they have the summit valves which is nice. comfortable pad, for the money it's a great value.

I could be tempted but the only one I would probably replace it with would be the 4" paco silverback. I haven't tried the Maravia and it's also a 4". (also called silverback) that paco is a pretty huge price different though.
 

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I agree with Osprey. Have had mine (3 of them) for 4 years now and they are very well built. I like the thickness, 3 inches, as Osprey said the only way I would trade them is to go thicker. Love the price on them as well, I got mine from a sporting goods store going out of business-all 3 for $200 out the door. If you really want to spend the extra money get a paco, but the landing pad does the same job at half the price.

Happy floating.
 

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I don't know if this is still the case, but the non-JPW pads that I saw had the standard raft valve, which is a one way valve that lets air in when "closed". This is great for rafts, but with a pad, you often want to roll all the air out and have the valve keep it sealed. The paco valve seals air out.

But maybe my info is outdated or applies to a different company.
 

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I think the only way a raft valve lets air in when closed is when there is enough air pressure to depress the valve, overcoming the spring holding it shut. This only happens with a pump blowing air into it or if you push it. this is the same. if you roll the pad and close the valve the air stays out with the pad. plus the valve cover provides a second seal which definitely seals it out and prevents accidental depression of the valve. at any rate, it's not a problem and works fine.

I see what you are saying though when I think about it. for example, you wouldn't want to float down the river on one without the valve cover on just for protection of accidental depression of the valve letting water in. I always carry an extra cover in my kit just in case since I have had that happen and those covers can break on occasion from mishandling. it's generally fine though.
 

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The biggest difference I have seen between Paco pads and the others that are out there is the foam. The foam used in Paco pads seems to last forever. I have had two Paco Grandes for 5 years or so and they still self inflate just like the first day I bought them. I have seen lots of Paco Pads that are ten years old and the foam just does not seem to get worn out in them. I have seen other pads' foam compress after one year.
The construction of the pads is the easy part, the foam is where a lot of the price is. I have not seen more than 2 or 3 of the other pads out there after they have been used for more than a year or so, so I would love to hear more from Landing Pad and Maravia Silver Back owners. Does it seem like your foam has compressed over time?
 

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Landing pads are made by chinese people working for fifty cents a day. Paco Pads are made by a man you can actually call and chat with named Jack in New Mexico, right here in the good ol' USA. That's all I needed to hear. Buy the soft foam though, the firm stuff hurts.
 

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In response to Zboda's post.

many years ago coming off a Selway trip where one of the guys had a Silverback pad, I purchased one of the Maravia Silverback pads thinking it was a Paco Silverback. Foam was useless after maybe a year of off and on use by me. Called Jack to complain and found out about the Maravia policy of made in China outsourcing at that time and Maravia's using the name Silverback. On the spot ordered a Paco Silverback made in New Mexico by either Jack or one of his staff and have never regretted it. Lost count of the great nights sleep this pad has given me. Jack does use expensive made in America foam and that is one reason the paco's work so well for so long.
 

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I've never had the Air pads, but I have to say that I absolutely love my pacos. They are some of my most prized posessions. I have a single silverback and a double 3". Both are fantastic. They are both soft foam. I've had the silverback for about 7 years and I've had zero issues other than poeple trying to walk away with it. It's been rolled hundreds of times and still inflates and sleeps the same as day 1. JPW is fantastic when it comes to customer service. Both of my pads were customized to fit my space and I actually paid a little less than the normal sized pads. You will get your money's worth, so I would spend the extra $ and go with JPW.

Kim
 

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Kjirsten
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The landing pad I bought 2 years ago is splitting at the corner seams which makes it really hard to ride down rapids because it fills with water.

My older Paco pad is still rocking class 2 rapids on every trip- and it's more comfortable than my bed at home. :p
 

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I have an older Landing Pad. The foam is breaking down and it is not as comfortable as it used to be. 5 years (I think) of pretty heavy use. Biggest complaint is the green fabric, it gets hotter than a frying pan in the sun. I think they have switched to a better color now.
The raft valve makes an incredible difference. It inflates much faster than a JPW and you can suck the air out of it for a really small role using a pump. I have reto fitted several JPW pads with raft valves for this reason.
Overall I have been happy with the landing pad. If I would have bought JPW I may not be in the market for a new paco so soon, but I got a better return on investment with the landing pad.
 

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I have a Paco pad that was over 15 years old and had been used on the Grand over 100 days a year and the plastic on the pad was worn out and cracked. I sent it back to Jack and he said the internal foam was fine and he recovered the old foam and it is now back in service and good to go for another 15 years hopefully. Jack is also very meticulous and will not re-use anything that will not hold up. You can't go wrong with the Paco pad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well thanks for all the input...Just ordered a landing pad, I think if I get at least 4 or 5 years out of it, it will be worth the $125 I paid for it. Although if had the cash I would have bought the Paco for sure. Some times you just have to get what you can afford at the moment.
 

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I just picked up a standard Paco from Jax in the Fort and paid $107. The pad was 40 percent off at their labor day sale. Now I just have to convince my wife that her thermarest is just as comfortable as the new Paco.

-J
Good luck, My friends have One Paco Pad and one Aire Pad, When they set up camp she races to set up the bed so she can get the Paco Pad :D.
I have a couple Maravia/Cascade designs Silverbacks and a Sotar pad, Both are great quality and should last a long time but I find the Sotar pad more confortable.
 
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