September 07, 2023 5 min read
Your name: Volvo
Consecutive Nights on a HEST: my longest consecutive streak sleeping on a HEST pad was 60+ nights
What is your dominant sleeping position?
I’m a rotisserie chicken. I usually opt for side or face down when I fall asleep but it’s never the same position I wake up in.
Early bird or night owl?
Where’d you sleep?
In the back of my ‘84 volvo wagon, ground tent camping, & on the floor at friends’ houses.
What did you fill your days with?
On this particular trip I spent most of my waking hours driving (I was on a big west coast solo road trip) but sprinkled in with hiking, swimming, snacking, socializing, sightseeing, and working remotely from various coffee shops along the coast!
Take us through your sleep journey night by night: How was your sleep? Did you wake up at all?
This was my first big trip full timing on my Hest Sleep System and I have to say I was seriously impressed with both the quality and quantity of sleep I was able to get. The first night I definitely had that anticipatory anxiety you get when you’re first embarking on a big adventure, but once I was able to fall asleep I was out like a light. I woke up the next morning stoked on how well I slept and how well my Volvo bedroom setup had worked! By night 3 or 4 I was sleeping as consistently well as I do at home. No anxiety about sleeping poorly, no painful neck or back, no thrashing in frustration trying to get comfortable. By the end of the trip (~60 nights in) I kind of forgot I was even on a road trip.
How did your sleep affect how you felt during the day? Did you feel energetic? Rested?
I felt energized and excited for the entirety of the trip. When I’m driving long stretches on a daily basis for an extended period, I tend to kind of get fatigued from the driving and the sitting. My body gets stiff and your mind gets groggy, but on this trip I really feel like I never fell into that usual road trip rut. I think it’s from actually sleeping well? On big road trips in the past (before my HEST pad) I remember just feeling like total trash after a couple days in… STRUGGLING to stay awake and stiff everywhere from sleeping in random places. That didn’t happen at all this time around.
How was your temperature regulation/body temp during the test?
My body definitely runs on the cooler side… cold hands & feet (people often recoil in shock when I shake their hands because my hand is always icy even on a hot day), and I am prone to getting cold during the night so temperature is a HUGE consideration for me and my sleep performance. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Hest memory foam kept me warm and cozy on those cool January coastal nights. Also the fact that it didn’t get hard at all was a huge plus… I’ve slept on DIY van and truck mattresses before that turned rock solid at night.
Was there anything that you noticed about your sleep that changed once you were a couple nights in on the HEST?
I touched on this earlier but it’s worth it to mention again: my long distance road trips in the past before I had a HEST pad were always marked by my collective sleep loss and zombie-like state after a couple nights in. Really quite a dangerous mental state to be in when you’re driving long distances during the daytime… I remember during one road trip past on a particularly groggy day I momentarily nodded off while driving on a highway and that was enough to scare me into never driving while sleep deprived again! This trip was the opposite: all the fun of a road trip with none of those scary half awake driving moments and none of the stiffness in my neck and back. I can’t imagine going back to sleeping on anything else on a road trip.
How does sleeping on a HEST camping pad compare to the sleeping pad you were using before?
I’ve always been kind of a sleep snob when it comes to camping pads. The last pad I bought before my Sleep System was the thickest/most cushioned air mattress that REI offered at the time in preparation for a previous long road trip. Even on the most plush air pad, I didn’t sleep nearly as well as I do on the HEST. My biggest gripe with the air pad is how dang slippery it is! I remember on that trip multiple nights I would wake up on the floor of the tent having fully slid off the pad. Slippery sleeping bag material + slippery air mattress = might as well just skip the pad altogether and sleep directly on the ground cause you’re gonna end up on it anyways. Also not to mention the noise factor… everytime I would move on the pad it was a cacophony of swish noises! How did loud, slippery camping pads ever become the industry standard?
At night I used the top memory foam half of the Sleep System lengthwise in the back of the Volvo. I kept the deflated dropstitch and pump in my roof box for when there was a chance to do some floating & for the handful of nights I slept in a tent.
During the day I would mostly keep the foam rolled up, but when I had downtime to relax and read I would turn the sleep system perpendicular and use it like a little reclining couch propped up on the windows.
How does sleeping on a HEST compare to sleeping on your bed at home?
Just as good if not better! My home bed is also memory foam so it definitely rivals the Sleep System in terms of comfort BUT I think I tend to sleep better when I’m out adventuring because of the fresh air and moonlight and sense of contentment after a long day enjoying mother nature.
Do you have any pinch points in your sleeping habits that can greatly affect your comfort/rest?
I move around a lot when I’m sleeping so having a pad that actually keeps me on it all night has been key. The memory foam hugs me in place, so even if I rotate I don’t end up on the ground.
Do you have any pain or injuries that affect your sleep? How did your nights on a HEST impact your body/pain?
I can get stiff after a night or two camping on an air mattress. The HEST pad eliminated this concern for me for all my car camping adventures! When I’m backpacking however I still struggle through the night and usually wake up with a stiff back/body and wishing HEST would make an actually comfortable backpacking mattress!
Before bed routine on the trip?
Brush my teeth, read a little bit, and pass the f*** out!