Thursday, May 11, 2006

Catching ZZZs in Comfort Thanks to My Therm-a-Rest Dream Time

Being that I leave for climbing trips nearly every weekend in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, I tend to log a lot of car camping time. I have my system down pretty well by now, but of course, I forget something every once and a while. The one item I will absolutely never forget to bring is my Therm-a-Rest Dream Time.

When I saw that my new boyfriend, Rob, had this behemouth sleeping pad, I thought to myself, "only a princess would sleep on one of these". He raved about how comfortable it was and that because he had recently injured his back (herniated a disk some months prior), it was in fact, "necessary". Out of curiosity, I checked out the price and immediately thought that there was no way I would buy such a costly sleeping pad.

But weekend after weekend, I laid down my piddly ultralight pad next to Rob's dee-lux bastion of comfort, from which he seemed to loom over me. My pad would slide all over the tent during the night, and in the morning, I would wake up stiff and sore (as usual), while Rob was refreshed and annoyingly chipper. Finally one weekend, I decided to swipe his pad "just to try it out for a bit", and I must say that I was quite impressed, and bought one for myself in short order.

I've had my Therm-a-Rest Dream Time now for nearly a year, and have to say that it was well worth the expense. It's seen quite a bit of abuse and still looks practically new (I have had to wash the exterior- which is easily removed and more importantly perhaps, just as easily put back on).

Highlights of the Dream Time include:
  • The stretch fleece top is cozy against your skin - unlike the material of most other pads which is a plus during summer months when you just don't need your bag completely over you.
  • It places 3 inches of insulation between you and the ground. I find that often times I no longer need to zip my sleeping bag - providing me with more room to stretch out at night.
  • It stays snugly in place thanks to a non slip bottom.
  • As an added bonus, if your tentmate has one as well- there are straps to connect the pads together, making spooning much easier (not recommended for non-romantic tent parnters-except in emergency situations).
  • Built in straps cinch it down making fitting it into your car easier. I didn't even bother getting a stuff sack for it- as the straps serve my needs perfectly.
Keep in mind that this is not intended for anything other than car camping. It is somewhat heavy and bulky (even cinched tightly). As car camping sleeping pads go, the Dream Time cannot be beaten.

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