black closed cell foam source

I used to have a sleeping pad made of the dense black closed cell foam similar to what Bell Canoes has in their kneeling pads. Bell has engineered som nice kneeling pads by the way.

Does anyone know were to get a reasonably priced sheet of that type of foam. The lighter weight foam sleeping pads you see around today don’t seem to be of the same material.


Try Sportsman’s Guide or Cheaper than dirt.They sometimes have military surplus pads thet are very reasonaple and more likely what you want.I made my kneelong pads out of a greem one thad came from eastern europe I think.It was the perfect stuff!

Good luck,Turtle



– Last Updated: Oct-15-07 2:07 PM EST –

McMaster-Carr has two pages of neoprene, even adhesive backed up to one inch thick. Many, many other kinds of foam also, with explanations of what the different durometer ratings mean. Can you tell it's my favorite store?
Check page 3398 for a functional comparison of all the types of foam they sell

blqack closed cell ads
pipefitters and the crews that insulate chillers and other HVAC equipment use this black, dense, sturdy stuff that I have used for kneeling pads in my canoes, sleeping pads, gun rests, and many other things. It is probably expensive stuff, but if you know somebody in the buisness the scraps lay around the jobsites all the time

An alternative
I found myself in a similiar dilema and glued the blue foam pads you sleep on together until I got the thickness I desired. After cutting them I covered them in canvas using glue. So far they have held up well. The canvas prevents them from tearing and the glue minimizes how much water the canvas can absorb. The glue I used was contact cement.

Good Thoughts
Thanks for the sources and ideas folks. Some good possibilities. I know a fellow that might have some access to that industrial insulation foam and I’ll ask him.

this is the place

I don’t really know if it is the best, but this place has basically everything. I haven’t used them, but I know people who have, that is how I got the name.


That black foam insulation is Armaflex. I paid 40 bucks for a 3x6 sheet. Probably got ripped off.

When I used to work in commercial construction I’d see the stuff everywhere.

Black Foam
As one who was involved in the original “Bell” pads, the foam is not common in the retail “supply” houses.

The Foam can be made in different colors if you are willing to pony up to the minimum qty and cost. My foam supplier tells me that most foams are being imported to side step (leave the problems/ damage off shore) the enviromental issues of the foam agents.

There are now 3 ply heat set laminated pads being sold. A non slip hull gripping material with 5/8" of the “black Foam” and a brushed nylon top surface. They were first seen at the midwest freestyle symposiun in Ohio.

There are some other foams out there that function well. Some that have an EVA added in a 4lb fill should work well. EVA gives the small closed cell foams better resilancy. 1/2" sheets in a 4’ x 6’ should retail under $50.00 and cost about $15-$20 to ship as it would be considered oversise.

Bottom line Good foam ain’t cheap.

Dan Cooke

its used for pipe insulation. I paid three bucks for an eight foot length…however its made to wrap around a 1/2 inch pipe.

I use it for a non skid surface for my canoe trailer cross bars.

Home Depot has those workshop pads…twenty bucks for four(I think they are Minicell). I think they are each two feet across and have interlocking edges. Make a nice canoe pad that you can custom fit to your boat. Cons are that you can stick to them and not slide around the boat easily. For some this is a “pro”

However Dan Cookes pads are far superior to Bells. The Bell pads will develop a thin spot over time. DC’s are thicker and I forget if it is 1/8 or 1/4 inch. It sounds like little, but it is enough to matter. Particularly if you are kneeling in a ribbed boat.

Dan’s pads are the best!!
Have tried and used most of the various types and ideas mentioned in this thread, and depending on your needs are, some will suffice. Some types of foam tend to break down and get much more spongy after age and UV exposure; some slide around and flop when wet, some get sticky, some tear your skin up when wet, etc.

Now I am the proud and happy owner of a Dan Cooke pad. Thank goodness for the MFS debut!

Pads and Foam
I’ll sure check out the Cooke pads. Thanks to those who suggest them. I hadn’t been to the Cooke web site in a while and was glad to go back there. Another pad will likely be on my wish list 'cause these knees aren’t getting younger nor less arthritic.

I was mainly looking for the foam for odds and ends padding. The pad I mentioned in my original post got used up on various projects over the years.

I’ve used the interlocking foam pads from Lowes and they are OK but not as soft feeling as the black foam was. Still I’ve got that stuff glued into two boats and also use it to kneel on for weeding the garden!