DIY - Making a 2-person Sleeping Pad
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My wife and I have always shared a large 1-person quilt and 2 sleeping pads together. We've tried various ways to fashion the pads together. Straps or 2mm guylines work ok, but they allow air gaps which equates to cold spots. I tried glueing a strip of velcro at the edge of each of our NeoAirs, which would have eliminated gaps, but that glue was not strong enough to last more than a few trips. The best method we've found so far is to create a 40"x70" Tyvek sleeve to keep the two pads together. This is heavier and bulkier, but does what we want it to and has the added benefit of protecting our very expensive pads.
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I'm aware of a few existing 2-person pads, with the Exped SynMat Hyperlite Duo seems to be the best rated. It is 28 oz, with an R value of 3.3 and costs a whopping $280. Klymit just came out with their Double V, but it's uninsulated and way too heavy for us. So, I'm back to trying to make a 2-person pad by combining two regular pads. I took my Massdrop x Klymit pads and created holes all along the seams on one side of each pad using a leather punch (borrowed, but these cost about $10). I strung 8' of 2mm guyline through the holes, basically sewing the pads together. This eliminated air gaps / potential cold spots. But, it put too much pressure on the end holes, with tugging on the guyline knots at head and foot. I'm afraid this will tear the fabric after extended use.
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I think there are a few options to look at, with the best scenario would be some snug connector at each pair of holes. Some ideas:
  • Short lengths of guylines, with knots at each side, to pair each hole
  • Toggles, like MontBell uses (but I would look for something smaller), which would allow some gap but not a lot.
  • Something similar to a paper fastner, found in old-timey offices that still have paper products. Those are light and small and would line up the holes for no air gap. However, the brass ones have sharp edges, so I would need to find rubber or plastic.
  • Heat sealing the pads together with a hot iron. Not sure how easy this would be, but it would eliminate all air gap and simply the setup. Downside is that it would make the change permanent.
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What other ways are there to couple these pads so they are snug against each other? How have you modified or thoughts about improving your pad?
thumb_upDenys Skomorokh, Batuhan Bülent Tümkaya, and 18 others
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Ortep
65
Jul 24, 2019
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You know what might be even better, is if you take a "poncho liner" and some tivek. Use the poncho liner for the top--to get some more insulation, and the tivek underneath.
Jul 24, 2019
stevevillasenor
38
Jun 6, 2019
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Zpacks sells straps for 5 bucks each. The straps can be adjusted individually for each pad and since there is a little center divider, it keeps the pads together without a gap. It would be an easy design to copy if you wanted to DIY. Though at 5 bucks a strap maybe just buy the darn thing? I guess I should say I have been trying to make a good DIY kit for attaching pads for quite a while. I didn’t have much success, but the zpacks straps seem to work great. https://zpacks.com/products/sleeping-pad-strap
Jun 6, 2019
Kodai
17
Jun 2, 2018
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I think you could use zip ties to fasten the pads together and get a tight fit. They are inexpensive and come in lots of sizes.
Jun 2, 2018
BearAndCougar
10
Jun 2, 2018
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The exped hyperlite sheet is pretty amazing, holds two 20-inch tapered pads together (including the Klymit pads), and is washable.
Jun 2, 2018
yiyonghwan
2
May 9, 2018
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Pads from Outdoor Vitals have built-in snaps along the edges so that pads can be snapped together. Prices are reasonalble as well. www.ourdoorvitals.com
May 9, 2018
AJFWG
34
Feb 28, 2018
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Feb 28, 2018
Cbslc
45
Feb 28, 2018
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I took a Kelty Bestie and sewed in 2 straps on the back. One near the shoulders and one just below the pelvis area. I use those straps as a sleeve. Then I put a quilt (actually a Nemo Tango Duo Slim) over the top. I also have the Nemo Tango Duo sleeve, but they are heavy and uninsulated. My Bestie is pretty well insulated and weighs 20 OZ. Too heavy for backpacking, but perfect for car camping.
Feb 28, 2018
Heston
4
Feb 27, 2018
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Interesting idea. Here's a link for some Tyvek by the foot. Billed for tent footprints, but you could surely just order however many feet you needed for this project.
https://www.flyboxgadgets.com/collections/camping-and-survival-gear/products/tyvek-tent-footprints-buy-by-the-foot
Feb 27, 2018
DannyMilks
4528
Feb 27, 2018
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Thanks for the link! I picked up some 15d silnylon and will try making a lighter coupler, but my fear is that it will be too slippery. Tyvek is good about not being slippery.
Feb 27, 2018
Heston
4
Feb 28, 2018
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Good thought. Only downfall to the tyvek is that it can be noisy at first. I use it for a tent footprint and love it! Cheap and easy!
Feb 28, 2018
davnadz
2
Nov 29, 2017
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Kam Snaps! Do a flange joint (welding term, basically like two hands praying) every six inches or so. If the force is high enough to tear the pad fabric, the snaps will have already separated. No reinforcement needed, Kam Snaps don't cut a hole as much as spread fibers apart. And they're plastic (very light) and dirt-cheap from RSbtR.
Nov 29, 2017
DannyMilks
4528
Nov 29, 2017
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I just looked these up in more detail, and the snap sets weigh about .8 grams each. If I put a dozen on there, then the total weight increase would be about 10 grams, but that's over two pads so the per pad increase would be 5 grams - totally acceptable. I'll try to do this over the holidays and will report back. It's not as ideal as a full seal (like 6' of velcro) but still, should work well if I can overlap the fabric a bit to avoid cold spots. Thanks!
Nov 29, 2017
GrandmaGirl
1
Feb 5, 2019
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FYI to anyone out there still thinking about Kam snaps, I just did this! I was tired of drifting apart from my boyfriend in my sleep, lol. I used a Massdrop Ultralight V for my side, and a cheaper Amazon pad for his since we typically only camp together in the summer. There's plenty of sealed material to install the snaps on the Massdrop mat. The Amazon mat was way riskier because the seams were pretty thin, but it was a $15 mat so I was willing to take my chances lol. It worked great! I'll attach a dorky gif of me moving the mats around with my foot. I might protect the snaps with some seam sealer in the future. We haven't had the chance to test this out yet, but I did roll across both in my apartment and nothing bad happened aha.
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Feb 5, 2019
Ehsan416
0
Nov 28, 2017
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@DannyMilks did you ever end up figuring out the best solution for this?
Nov 28, 2017
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