The Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad is an ultralight and ultra-thin closed-cell foam pad that can be used to completely eliminate sleeping pad slip on silnylon and Dyneema DCF tent floors. A true multi-purpose item, this 1/8″ foam pad can also be used as a dog bed, a windbreak for your stove, a sit pad, a freezer bag cozy, camp chair insulation, a yoga mat, a nap pad, an insulated skirt, or padding for a wilderness first-aid splint, among other uses. This closed-cell foam pad does not tear, does not wear, does not weaken at crease points, and does not hold dirt, water or mud. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
Specs at a Glance
- Thickness: 1/8” (a 1/4″ thick Hammock Thinlight Pad is also available, used primarily for hammocking)
- Width: 19 1/2”
- Length: 59”
- Weight: 71g
- Material: closed-cell cross-linked Evazote foam
- Foam density: 15kg/m3
- For full specs visit GossamerGear.com ( https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/sleeping-pads/products/thinlight-foam-pad )
Preventing Pad Slip
The surfaces of most tent floors, bivy sacks, and inflatable sleeping pads are relatively slick. Even a slightly inclined campsite can result in the pad sliding around during the night. Placing the Thinlight between the tent floor and the sleeping pad is a simple and foolproof way to completely eliminate the pad slip problem. The stuff acts like sleeping pad cement.
But there’s no need to use an entire Thinlight foam pad for this purpose. You can cut a small portion of one, say torso-sized, and lay it under an inflatable sleeping pad to prevent it from sliding on your tent floor. If you look at the specs, you’ll see that the Thinlight is shorter and narrower than most regular sized inflatable pads as well, because most people trim them for different applications before use.
Another common method of preventing pad slip is to apply dots or lines of seam sealer to either the tent floor or the bottom of the inflatable pad. Compared to the Thinlight, this is messy and time-consuming and must be repeated with every new tent or pad purchase. It also doesn’t exactly help the resale value of those items.
As a closed-cell foam pad, the Thinlight has a variety of other common uses. Many backpackers use a Thinlight as puncture protection when placed under an inflatable sleeping pad. It also makes a handy sit pad. If you fold it over on itself a few times, the Thinlight also makes a passible pack frame, especially if your backpack has an external pad sleeve, like the ones found on many Gossamer Gear backpacks, like the Mariposa 60 or the Gorilla 40.
Some people also use the Thinlight as a sleeping pad, but I’d advise caution in doing this. This pad is so thin that it provides very little insulation value by itself or in combination with another sleeping pad. The thicker 1/4″ Thinlight Hammock Pad, which is used by hammock hangers as cold butt protection in warmer weather, is probably more suitable as a second pad. However, it also provides limited insulation value when compared to an accordion-style foam pad like the Thermarest Zlite or the NEMO Switchback, which are substantially thicker and have a measurable R-value.
Unlike bulky accordion-style foam pads the Thinlight can be rolled up or folded as you see fit which means it can be carried in a variety of ways:
- Inside the pack’s main compartment
- Beneath the roll-top closure or brain
- Vertically in a side pocket
- Rolled-up around a trekking pole or water bottle
- Folded into a square and carried on the bottom of a backpack
The Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad is a worthy companion to any inflatable sleeping pad, preventing pad slip on slippery tent floors while providing added puncture protection. Using a Thinlight in this manner also eliminates the need to apply the messy silicone stripes or dots to your tent floor or pad, that are typically required to prevent pad slip on sloped or uneven tent pitches. For those already carrying a dedicated sit pad, the Thinlight also serves as a multi-functional replacement for a negligible weight penalty. Highly recommended!
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