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In a message dated 98-12-18 23:57:22 EST, Montedodge@aol.com writes:

<< Ratings in backpacker mag are directly related to advertising spent.>>


<<Also Ridgerest pads will outlast thermerest pads on a long hike and weigh
less. I only have a thermerest because I won it at PCT conference at Space
Needle in Seattle. (For being earliest thu-hike there) >>

I agree that a closed-cell pad (a la Ridgerest) is superior to a Thermarest
for long-distance hiking. Closed cell foam ain't never gonna deflate, it's
lighter (!), and it's usually strapped to the outside of a pack for easy
access during the day. It's nice to have something insulated handy to sit on
in the snow, desert, or for a nap in the middle of the day. (Take more naps!) 

I'm not especially keen on the Ridgerest or the Z-rests, however, since the
ridges and egg-crate spaces pool water and snow all too efficiently. I like
the reg'lar ol' Army closed-cell pads (usually under $10 US). They're flat and
don't have the pooling problem. They're almost as comfortable as the Ridge/Z-
rests and small pieces can be cut off for the occasional MacGuyver task. 

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