johndebc

johndebc

Trapped in Allison, IA (I leave to have fun)

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John's Passions

Backpacking
Camping

John's Bio

Born: 1961 (Yeah, I know - ancient)
Grew up in New Hampshire. Car & motorcycle camped all my life in the White Mountains and on the Maine coast.
Lived in West Virginia (some good camping/hiking there. Whitewater rafting too, but I never went).
Been in Iowa since 1998. Great recreation in Minnesota to the north 4-5 hours. Best backpacking nearby at Yellow River State Forest about 2 1/2 hours to my east.
Started backpacking in 2007. Should have done this long ago. Enjoy going with my two boys. Love the gear.

johndebc

johndebc wrote a review of on September 11, 2009

4 5

I have a 2 year old 2L bag that is "sideways" to this bag - stands up on the short side. And now I have the 4L bag pictured here. Both work great, but you've got to make sure the zip-lock is tight. I fill it with filtered water by using a Nalgene or Camelbak bottle on my pump and dumping 1.75 to 2L at a time into the bag. It's a little bit of a pain, but works. The handles are OK, but you wouldn't want to have to carry a full tank very far. I have put these in my pack, but the 4L was on a water run that only had water bottles in the pack at the time - no clothes. But neither bag has leaked on me when sealed properly - DOUBLE CHECK!

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johndebc

johndebc wrote a review of on September 11, 2009

4 5

At 2.5" thick, this pad has great cushion and is comfortable to sleep on. I like to let some air out after getting in my bag to soften it so it conforms to my body shape. Only problem for me is it's a little too thin, so one arm falls off if I'm on my back, but I often sleep on my side, so it's not a big deal. I've had no "hip on the ground" problems when side sleeping. I do use a pillow to get proper spine alignment. This thing packs down very small, especially compared to the self-inflating mats. This is my 3rd year using them and have had no leaks or problems. They are sturdy. You may want to check out the Big Agnes Pumphouse Pad Pump to inflate it without blowing your brains out.

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johndebc

johndebc wrote a review of on September 11, 2009

5 5

Yes, it actually works. My two girls (14 & 18) had a hard time getting a rhythm of filling the bag, but I didn't. You sort of "poof" the bag open, then roll it a couple of times and push the air into your mat. I have the BA Air-Core 20x72 and it works great. It's not fast, but easy, and a lot more relaxing than puffing your brains out and being light-headed after. If you want to use it as a pillow (which I don't) I think you'll need to clamp the valve end. It has a bungee for grabbing your mattress valve, but it doesn't close completely with no valve in there. Leaks air. If you roll it and clamp it you should be OK.

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johndebc

johndebc wrote a review of on July 28, 2008

5 5

The Big Agnes Air Core pad is GREAT for backpacking. It packs small, is lightweight, and is more comfortable than any self-inflating pad because it is 2-3 times thicker! The self-inflators also take up WAY more space when packed! At 20" it is a little narrow (one arm tends to go off the side when lying on my back) but I usually sleep on my side, and it's great for that. Easy to adjust firmness. It does take a little blowing to inflate, but it's worth it for the comfort. I use mine with a Slumberjack Ultimate +20degree bag, and it "squeaks" a little when you move around against the pad. But this is a very minor problem overall. This pad is rated for 35 degrees. For those who complain about it not being warm enough in cold weather, Big Agnes has an insulated pad for about $20 more rated at 15 degrees (also sold by BackCountry.com).

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