keeping thermarest pad dry

I have a TR sleep pad and when kayak camping, would just stuff it in a hatch. Now that I’m canoe camping also, I find that it doesn’t fit in any of my dry bags. Don’t see alot of drybags that are long enough when rolled down to hold it. Other option, place in a garbage bag/duct tape and hope for the best??? I’ve read the pads are suppose to dry fast, but I’d hate to take a chance in cold weather…while I’m at it, what do others do about sleeping bags sliding on said pad?

dry TR sleeping pads
GLAD makes a line of very strong ziplock bags that go up to 4’ x 2’ appx. I haved used all three sizes. They are tough and don’t leak if properly " zipped"

Not “a lot” of drybags that size:

– Last Updated: Nov-02-08 11:06 PM EST –

That's very true. There are not a lot, but there are some. I have a Baha 55 vinyl bag made by Seal Line, which unless your Thermarest is positively enormous, would easily carry it. It's probabably a little bigger around than you need, but just make use of that space by putting something else in there too. There's enough length when it's rolled to carry my rolled-up Ridge Rest pad, plus a tent. Oh, and I have seen much larger bags. Might have to shop a little to find them.

Single large bag
I have a large, duffle sized (about 6,000 ci) dry bag and I just slip our two Thermarests in there along with the sleeping bags and other stuff.

Which Thermarest?
The Prolite fits in a tiny dry bag… As said, fold it in half and then roll it up. I think my dry bag is a 1 liter…its exactly the same size as a 1 liter Nalgene. Well…that dry bag anyway…I have a collection.

Though I suspect you have one of the thick cushy pads.

have a look at these dry bags…

Wife and I have these and love them. Pack down really small.

Wet Thermarest
I have not had my pad get wet, as I do have a drybag long enough to allow me to carry my 25x72 pad on deck. However, I did consider what I would do if it did get wet. I figured I would just slide it under the tent floor and use it that way.

Poor-man’s drybag
Unlike clothing, etc., a nylon sleeping pad should dry fairly quickly, especially if you can wipe it off and air dry.

To prevent wetting in the first place, you can use a poor-man’s drybag. Simply seal your sleeping pad or other gear in a heavy-duty trash bag and slide the whole works into a cheap nylon stuff sack or duffle; the inner bag offers waterproofing, while the outer prevents abrasion and puncture.

Here are some other ideas on packing for paddle-camping:

Good Luck!


Trash Compactor bag
I use a trash compactor bag and the bag from one of those chairs in a bag.


– Last Updated: Nov-03-08 10:07 AM EST –

Check out NRS.

I have several long length bags from NRS that I use to haul tents, and thermarests.
One I have holds 2 thermarests side by side. Two others I use will hold a Timberline 2 man tent, and a Timberline 4 man tent.
If they are still making/selling them, there are bags available that would work.

It has been my experience that soaked thermarests will dry quickly when exposed to the sun/wind. I keep mine dry; I don't think long/repeated UV exposure would do it any good.

My thermarest pads have some type of non slip material on one side.


it all depends on the climate
and how long you are out for.

I have invested in dry bags since my trips are often multiweek and sometimes there is no time to dry a thermarest. Or no sun…up in Canada.

Wetess begets wetness so I am very stubborn about not letting anything in the tent with any wet…

Contractor grade bags are probably what most of us started with…after a flip on a Lake Superior trip toward evening…I swore off them… It was close to freezing and damp Thermy was not my friend.

If you are a gear geek…the new backpacking air mattresses are quite nice for old bones and pack up Nalgene size…

air tight means waterproof.
The shell of the Thermarest will not absorb water so it’s an item that doesn’t need a dedicated dry bag. I suggest folding it and using it as extra back padding for a Duluth Pack or just picking up a stuff sack for it. Thermarest offers an extensive range of stuff sacks for their current line of pads, certainly one will fit. I upgraded my bag to one with a fleece lining so I can turn it inside out and have a stuff-able pillow.

I agree
When I backpacked I kept my thermarest on the outside of my pack at times in the cheapest of nylon stuff sacks. It was far from water proof and I never recall having an issue with it. I did always close the valve once it was packed so water could not enter it. I think I’ll do some testing with it this weekend. I suppose a good coating of scotchguard wouldn’t hurt.

Thermarests don’t wipe off
very well…the nylon will stay damp. If you are using a down sleeping bag…beware of treating them as items OK to get wet.

Maybe you guys are tripping in temperate climes…and not the tundra though…

Ridge Rests wipe off pretty well with packtowel.

Thermarest dry bag
Why not just get one of Thermarest’s own dry bags?

Thanks all for the great ideas NM

Because we didnt actually go to
their website…just to our attics!

Not a lot of drybags that size?
The stuff sack that came with my Thermarest pad was smaller than 99% of all dry bags. Try folding your Thermarest once lengthwise, then roll it up. Should fit.

Your bag won’t slide off the pad …
… if you get a Big Agnes. The Big Agnes sleeping bags have a sleeve on the back of the bag that accept (I think) up to a 20" pad. They’ve also taken the insulation out of the back of the bag on the theory that the pad will provide the necessary insulating capability. That said, you need to make sure you have a thick enough pad - one that’s too thin may be too cold. Also, I’ve heard some complaints that there’s an area between the front (top) of the bag and the back of the bag where the insulation gets thin and allows some cool air to leak in. Some of them are also cut a little bigger than others for those who toss and turn in their sleep and find a regular mummy bag too confining.

Easy…Listen to me…I have the answer.
Take your normal TR stuff sack and line it with a plastic garbage bag. Roll up TR and place inside of garbage lined stuff sack. Squeeze air out of garbage bag and simply twist it a few times and tuck excess into stuff sack. Pull draw cord and pack.

Try it at home and put said method to a test by placing it at bottom of bath tub with a weight on it. Pull it a few hours later, unwrap and find a dry TR pad.

I have guided and run personal trips in some of the wettest country on the planet. Keep it simple and don’t overthink it. It aint hard.