Shortening the Thermarest Sleep pad.

I have a ridiculously thick and comfy Thermarest pad that I’m pretty sure I’m going to use at least on the colder parts of the trip with the tarp and ground cloth.  (Read – when the bugs aren’t out.)   The trouble is that it was also ridiculously heavy.   One way to lighten your load is to put it only under the areas of your body that need the most insulation – the core.   So, I needed to shorten it.   I’ve already shortened my lightweight pad, but didn’t document the process, so I was pretty sure of success.

At any rate, without further ado:  How to Shorten your Thermarest.

Cut the pad about an inch longer than you want for a final length.

Use something to roughly cut away the foam glued to the inside of the pad. Cut back about an inch and a quarter.

Assemble your tools for removing the excess foam - Goo Gone, Rag, Wire Brush. I used the freezer paper to protect the table from any stray Goo Gone.















Carefully cutting the foam away from the pad surface.














It took a long time and two brushes to get a lot of the foam off the pad surface.















Important:  After I was done using the Goo Gone to remove as much of the foam as I could, I cleaned the second wire brush, and went over the entire inside surface AGAIN using the isopropal alcohol from my fuel supply.   This got off even more foam, and removed the Goo Gone from surface to be glued.  When THAT was done, I let it sit overnight so the whole thing could dry thoroughly before I applied the glue.


Clamping the pad with the glue















Again, I let the entire thing sit overnight to dry before removing the clamps, and trimming the end of the rough edges and excess glue.   Done!  It holds air, and that’s the test of a successful operation.  After using the Aquaseal to shorten two pads, I have a small amount left over for my repair kit in the bounce box.   Don’t know what a bounce box is?  That’s mostly for another post, but it’s a box you keep “bouncing” from one post office to another with things you might need along the way, but don’t want to carry.


~ by quilteresq on January 26, 2012.

2 Responses to “Shortening the Thermarest Sleep pad.”

  1. Very interesting, thank you. You didn’t mention the Aquaseal , I assume this is the glue you used? Also , did you use strips of wood to clamp the seam while setting the glue….
    Happy camping! Marilyn

    • I had two long paint stirring sticks – for five gallon cans. And some heavy duty metal office clamps – the kind for holding a BIG stack of paper. I think I used two or three. It’s been so long I forgot which glue I used, but probably Aquaseal.

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