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Chris Kinsey

Chris Kinsey

Chris Kinsey's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Chris Kinsey

Chris Kinsey wrote a review of on January 6, 2012

5 5

Hmmmm - NOW they change the name to Hogan Park. Mine says HOG Park on it. An unfortunate name but call it like it is. I am a BIG guy and I hate traditional mummies. The Hog/Hogan/whatever Park bag allows me to roll over, curl up in a fetal position, toss, turn, and stay comfortable and warm. I pair this bag with a 25x77 NeoAir (the bottom insulation in a Big Agnes comes from a pad - you must have a pad - and it's like being at the Hilton. The bag is well made. I have spent over 30 nights in it and have nothing to complain about. It is a 15 degree rated bag which I have used with the NeoAir down to 27 degrees. It was quite comfortable. I feel certain that if I wanted to zip up like you are supposed to and dress like you are supposed to the bag would be comfortable down to 15 degrees. Personally, I prefer to just avoid sub-freezing camping on a regular basis!

Downside - this ain't going to stuff into the sleeping bag compartment on most packs. Big is big. The synthetic fill compresses more than goose down, and is easier to dry out when damp, but this is still a big bag. It is going to end up on top of the pack, or under the pack. Which is great - because that allows my full size pillow and NeoAir to stuff into the sleeping bag compartment. Forget buying Big Agnes a bra (that's what they call it) and you will NEVER get it back in the original stuff bag. I use a Sea to Summit XL waterproof compression bag. With a little elbow grease it stuffs into that nicely, then you have just enough room to compress the air out and get three wraps on the top. You will need to give it some oomph to make this happen - but if you are a Hog/Hogan Park kind of camper you have plenty of oomph to spare - right?

Basic laws of physics - big and comfortable is not going to be small and light. But - if sleep ranks right up there with dry, fed, and happy on campouts - get the Big Agnes and be happy.

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Chris Kinsey

Chris Kinsey wrote a review of on January 6, 2012

5 5

Along with the Big Agnes sleeping bag with which I use this pad, the NeoAir is the single most valuable (not expensive, valuable) piece of camping gear I own. At home, I have a Sleep Number bed...the NeoAir is as close as you are going to get to that in a tent. I have used it in 95+ degree (at night) weather in Texas and it was comfortable. I have used it in 27 degree weather in Oklahoma and I was toasty warm sleeping directly on the ground. In a Big Agnes, the sleeping pad provides 100% of the bottom insulation. I have owned my NeoAir for over 18 months now and spent over 30 nights on it. Zero complaints. Well worth the money.

I am a classic Big & Tall sort of person (more big than tall, but tall too) and the NeoAir pad allows me to roll over on my side without my hip ever touching ground. Sure, it takes 40 breaths to blow it up - but then it's heaven all week. When slipped in to the pad pouch on the bottom of the Big Agnes I can roll, toss, turn, and SLEEP in any position in complete comfort. Every campout (I am a Scouter) I make the folks with big blowup mattresses and self-inflators alike jealous as I fold the NeoAir into thirds and roll it into a bag smaller than a loaf of bread.

I have seen others complain of punctures on the first use - try clearing your sleeping site of sharp stones and burrs before you pitch your tent (duh).
I have seen others complain of awaking on the ground in the morning. A little lesson in science - your breath is approximately 98 degrees when you blow up the pad. Warm air is expanded. As your warm breath in the pad cools down, the air contracts and so does the pad. This is especially pronounced in cold weather. Just top it up with a few breaths and sleep happy. As a matter of habit, the NeoAir is the first thing I set up after my tent. I blow it all the way up, toss it in the tent, and then finish setting up camp. Then, right before I go to sleep it needs topping up because the air I used to inflate it has cooled down and contracted. Once the pad and the ground temperature reach an equilibrium point, there is no problem. But, if you blow it up right before you get in the bag - yup - you are going to wake up on the ground. Don't blame the NeoAir, blame science.

Buy the stuff sack. Ridiculous that you have to spend an extra $15 when you are spending $100+ on a pad, I know, but the stuff sack is just the right size. I have seen others complain about the stuff sack. Here we go again...if there is ANY air left in your NeoAir when you try to roll it up - you got it - too thick to go in the bag. Make sure all of the air is out, roll it up, and it slides into the stuff sack with room to spare. There is absolutely NO problem with the NeoAir, or its stuff sack.

One other tip - blow it up the minute you get it and let it sit over night. Notice how it deflates a little. Top it up. Notice how it stays inflated. If there is a manufacturing problem this is where it will show up. If you buy it, never test inflate it, and wait until your first night out to discover a problem, whose fault is that? (Hint - it's not the NeoAir's fault. Be Prepared.)

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