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Luc
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PostThu Nov 12, 2020 12:08 pm 
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I've been bragging about months-long road trips with my daughter for a few years now. We've hit so many places in the west and usually sleep in the back of the truck. But now she's showing increasing interest in backpacking - YASSSSSSSSSSS!

I'm not finding many inspiring products for backpacking sleeping pads for kids, though. One thing about kids (if you don't have any) is that kid products are often made more cheaply because they don't need to last as long because they become outgrown sooner. I would be willing to pony-up in regards to cost for something nice for her, and also would be willing to carry more weight if it means better quality and longer shelflife due to it not being a product designed for children.

Does anybody have recs for kids or shorter adult sleeping pads for backpacking?

She is 8yo this winter and tall, 65#, and getting even taller.

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dave allyn
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PostThu Nov 12, 2020 1:20 pm 
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Buy an adult pad. Sounds like she'll be ready for it long before a youth pad would wear out. I have 2 self inflating pads that are over 20 years old and still working. Also, many pads come in a 4' length.
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dave allyn
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PostThu Nov 12, 2020 2:22 pm 
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The Thermarest neo air pads are nice. Good ground insulation and I can sleep on my side without bottoming out. Big Agnes, Nemo and others have similar pads.
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neek
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PostThu Nov 12, 2020 2:31 pm 
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Same situation here.  You're right, most kid-specific gear isn't worth it.  I just get lightweight adult stuff that I use myself when the kid is not with me.  1 pound REI sleeping bag and ultralight Thermarest inflatable pad.  He can even use my microspikes, hats, day pack, and other gear.  Of course we need kid-specific shoes and clothing.
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cryptobrian
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PostFri Nov 13, 2020 1:58 pm 
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I started my kids backpacking pretty early and always tried to set them up to be as self sufficient as possible, carrying as much of their gear as was reasonable. This meant purchasing smaller gear and often paying a premium to keep the weight down.  And I know my kids always liked having their own special gear, that they were responsible for, and could care for.

For sleeping pads, we went with "3/4" or "short" versions of the pads that I would carry. It shaved maybe only a half of a pound, but all of the little savings add up.  These aren't kids pads, per se, they are used by adults who want to save weight and feel  like they don't really need a pad under their lower legs.  So, your kids won't necessarily outgrow them.  My kids did eventually want a full size pad but by that time, their original pads had seen years of use.  We had easily gotten our money's worth and so no regrets on investing in appropriate sized gear for them.

For sleeping pads today, I would consider the Nemo Tensor Short Mummy as a top choice.  When your kid outgrows it, you'll still be able to sell it for half of what you paid for it.

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JVesquire
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PostFri Nov 13, 2020 5:21 pm 
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My kids have used our old Z-rests since they were babies. They're 7 and 10 now and are still fine with them. Kids are tougher than adults, at least at bedtime.
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Dante
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PostSun Nov 15, 2020 1:43 pm 
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My kids slept on closed cell foam pads until I my wife and I upgraded and they inherited our ancient Therm-A-Rests.  The kids never complained.
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