Air Mattress Flooring

Does anyone have any tips for keeping an air mattress used for padding/insulating the floor in the boat in the event you capsize? :blush: I have the Ether that Alpacka sells (which doesn’t fit all that well with the seat in; perhaps I’m all wet…), and a Bozeman Mountain Works Torso-Lite that fits great, but is much thinner…

When I’ve put Thermarests in, I just cram them really tight into the bottom and they seem to do pretty well. But that’s not in big hydraulics.

I use the ether pad. I never had a problem with it, but lately I’ve been running rivers with bigger waves, getting crushed and having to deal with hard choices. Choices like do I go after my my ether pad and crazy creek (i put a crazy creek underneath my bum to protect it from rocks),or do I hold on to my paddle and my boat, because I can’t do all three(or four). I’ve been able to get away with this set up on hard low flowing creeks, or moderate creeks at a higher flow but without big breaking waves.

My plan is first to install thigh straps, I was going to avoid this but I’m hopefully putting them in tonight. Second I’m going to either modify my either pad so that I can strap it down to the boat and glue the Alpacka backrest to it, or I’m going to rig a dry bag to the back of the boat. Either way I’m going to secure the ether pad. I can’t have a yard sale at the end of class IV going into Class III.

What about some strategically placed omnitape/velcro? could play double duty on the pad by allowing you to velcro a quilt to it.

Nah! It’d get in the way of paddling!

I recently cut apart an old thermarest and have it perfectly sized for the floor. I have a 2010 model raft with removable seat & deck. I am thinking of adding a couple lashing points and securing the pad where the seat threads in.

Hig- what kind of glue did you use on your thermarest vests? Did you iron seal and then touch up with glue, or put glue in place and iron seal. I am having a few leakage problems right now…

I’ve tried several approaches, and found none easy.

Initially I unsealed the heat-seal, cut the thermarest, removed a bit of foam, and then re-heat-sealed them. Then I sealed leaks with Aquaseal. This worked ok, but the leaks that did happen were really difficult to seal and tended to come open in time since they were often on the very edge of the re-sealed seam. A possible solution I haven’t tried is to mismatch the heat-sealed edges so that the edge of one half is inset relative to the other… then hopefully you’ll be sealing on a flat surface which is easier.

I’ve also tried a couple methods where I just ignore the heat-seal properties and just stitch and glue. I did this with a sewing machine and chasing all the leaks seemed an infinite task, so I cut that out and hand-stitched using a baseball stitch (edge-to-edge.) I’ve come to love the baseball stitch plus Aquaseal, but to my knowledge I’m pretty much the only person who uses this. :slight_smile: And in this case I still find there’s multiple iterations of chasing leaks.

I’ve been meaning to write Cascade Designs or one of their competitors to suggest they make a sleeping pad that also serves as a survival vest for severe weather (no mention of the fact that it also floats.) Haven’t gotten around to it though. But they could stamp those suckers out, and putting on straps is pretty easy too. I’d buy one, given how much of a pain re-sealing is.

Does it have to be an inflatable air mattress. Would thermarest ridgerest or some other closed cell foam sleeping pad just to the exact dimensions of the packraft floor work as well. I realize it won’t work quite as well likely as a inflatable pad, but I am thinking it could help and CCF pads are cheap so I wouldn’t feel bad about cutting one up too bad.

while I have not tried it myself, i know folks who use closed cell sleeping pads as floors and they say it works fine as insulation, but its not as “stiff” as an inflatable pad. They seem pretty happy with the setup, so it would be worth a try I expect.

I have been using a yoga mat cut to fit the floor in Asia for the past 7 months and it has worked fine. I have even been using it as my sleeping pad, its pretty ghetto but for tropical/sub tropical weather its fine if not the most cumfy thing but its kept my weight down and its super packable for planes, trains, automobiles, tuktuks, and even elephant back.

I think I am going to velcro one in. However, instead of a solid one piece, I was thinking about trying the REI thermarest camp seat. I would place one under my butt, and the other under my feet to reduce damage to the floor from rock impacts smashiong it against boot soles. Has anyone tried two pieces?

I don’t think I will ever get in a packraft again without some sort of a cushion under the seat. It has been almost a week since I hit a rock under the boat, and I am still limping. I imagine I slipped forward off the seat a bit, and probably came close to breaking my butt off. Even worse, it was during one of my cool moments, when I was playing “baby hole boofer,” and landed on a hidden mine which ruined my whitewater fantasy.

What a difference it made by just cutting up a cheap roll out sleeping pad for behind protection. I did not attached it in anyway, it seems fairly tight and secure, and if it is lost I still have the other two thirds of the mat. ( My boy was wondering why his mat was so short) After a dozen or so trips, no problem.

I also found out that Gorilla tape is almost impossible to peel off if it’s put on a clean surface. I stuck a piece over a hole for a temporary fix, and after several trips, I’m impressed. Since then I have covered my floor where my feet are, seems good.

Hi, Summer has just started here in Australia and I am going for 7 days trip with my family. Please advice about the air mattress, is it good? Or should I buy proper mattress? Other than this quilt is good option or just a quilt cover will be enough?