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 camping tent floors and a gazillion other ways. 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”
- Width: 19”
- Length: 58.7”
- Weight: 76g
- 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 Sleeping 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, and 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. The Thinlight is also available in a pre-creased folded form (98g) so you can use it as a pack frame for a frameless backpack or as padding for a backpack with a sleeping pad sleeve such as the Gossamer Gear 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. Gossamer Gear hasn’t tested the R-value of the pad but estimates it to be around R=0.5 which is pretty dam low. Snow has an R-value of 1 for example.
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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