The Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad! | Average Hiker
Multi-purpose Thinlight Pad
The Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad – 1/8 is but a feather in my pack, and probably one of the most often used 2.5 ounces I carry. Below are a few of it's uses over the years….
- Traditional Sleeping Pad
- Umbrella Handle Anchor
- Sun Hat
- Hot Pot Holder
- Sitting Pad
- Shoe Insole
- Anti-sliding Sleeping Bag Pad
- Pot Cozy
- Glissading Sleigh
There have been other uses, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind. I have had several of these pads over multiple hikes, and I have cut, stuck, burnt, bent and crushed them into shapes and places I'm sure they were never intended.
Since it is only a piece of foam, I'll keep this post short.
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8 – Quick Specifications
- Weight – 2.5 ounces
- Material – Closed cell cross-linked Evazote foam
- Dimensions – 9 x 59 1/8 x 1/8 in
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8 – Performance
The Thinlight Pad – 1/8 is thin but tough. On most long distance hikes it starts out full length, but by the end of the hike it is a small battered square though still functional. This sucker is resilient! It repels almost any normal wear and tear, including dirt, water, etc.
Below are some details on it's more common uses. There are many I have not listed.
Probably the best thing about the Thinlight Pad is it's ability to hold my Neoair XLite Sleeping Pad in place. The Thinlight pad keeps the inflatable Neoair from sliding all over my Silnylon and Dyneema floored shelters. Both types of floors are slippery and a pain in the ass if there is any type of slant to the ground.
One recommendation I often see for slipping is to apply seam sealer to the bottom of your tent. This is alright if you never plan to sell the tent, but if you are a gear junkie like me then you are probably going to want to buy another tent. Don't put seam sealer on the bottom of your tent unless you are going to keep it long term and don't plan to sell it.
The Thinlight is NOT a sleeping pad – at least not for me. It just does not provide enough padding. The Thinlight makes an awesome seat though, which is why I always roll it up and strap it to the top of my backpack. If I'm taking off the pack then that means I'm probably sitting down. I just fold over the pad and there ya go.
If I'm using a frame-less pack, the pad can also be used as back support and to give the pack some rigidity. I'll admit though that I often cut the pad down to a smaller size so it does not provide that much support.
Let me not forget the obvious – a pillow. I have rolled it up and used it as a pillow when I was sleeping in all of my clothing. It was a toss up between comfort and insulation. The Thinlight offered a better return on it's pillow functionality than it did it's insulating qualities, so I chose to put it under my head instead of under my Neoair.
Huh? I know, I know, but it does have it's uses. On the PCT I got an abscess on the bottom of my foot. I cut off a small piece of the pad, folded it over, and cut a hole in the middle of it before sliding it into my shoe to relieve the pressure on my foot. Walking was a little awkward, but MUCH less painful.
The Thinlight also served as an insole on the same hike. I let my shoes go to long and the insole in one of them became ragged and started causing blisters. In came the Thinlight pad to save the day until I got to town and was able to purchase some more inserts.
I'm told that any insulation benefits I perceive are all in my head. I'll take that when I'm freezing though. If my brain is convinced the Thinlight gives it 3-5 degrees of warmth then I'm sold! When it is cold I always put the Thinlight under my Neoair X-lite.
A cozy is another good insulated use of the Thinlight. If I cook and eat in camp, I usually boil water as soon as I arrive. I then wrap the Thinlight around the pot and let my meal soak while I set up camp. It is not as good as my Gravity Gear Cozy, but it gets the job done.
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad – Final Thoughts…
I'm thru-hiking the Colorado Trail in a few weeks, and the Thinlight will again be coming with me. This ultra-light pad is definitely a permanent part of my backpacking kit.