June 15, 2023 4 min read
Introducing HEST Test, the ultimate test to see the longevity of HEST Products during consecutive use. We interviewed our friend Jamie Sookprasong, during his 90 day long rock climbing trip across the country how his experience using the HEST Foamy was on a nightly basis. Sleeping out of his Subaru, Jamie recounts his trip with us below:
Your name: Jamie Sookprasong - @jamiesookprasong
Nights: ~90 during the trip, with dozens more since then
What is your dominant sleeping position?
I generally start out on my front or side, as I find it helps make me fall asleep faster, but then right before I fall asleep, I somehow know to roll onto my back.
Early bird or night owl?
On the road, I adjusted to the sun, typically rising when it did. In general, I'd say I'm an early bird after a day or two out in the mountains, but a night owl once back I'm in the city.
Where’d you sleep?
The back of my Outback! I also had the occasional friend let me sleep on their floor (and take a much needed shower).
What did you fill your days with?
I filled my days rock climbing - mostly trad and sport at the start of the trip and then shifted to a bouldering focus as the days grew shorter and colder (and also due to an injury). I typically climbed 4 or 5 days a week, and then spent my rest days at the local library, café, or going for a swim.
Take us through your sleep journey night by night: How was your sleep? Did you wake up at all?
I generally slept quite well, because I’d be exhausted from hard days of climbing. I’m pretty sensitive to noise though and would wake up a few times each night, but that’s pretty typical for me indoors too. Sometimes, I'd sleep with earplugs, or even noise canceling headphones with rain sounds, if I was in a particularly noisy spot. Given how much water I'd drink each night to rehydrate, I'd generally have to get up to pee most nights too.
How did your sleep affect how you felt during the day? Did you feel energetic? Rested?
I generally woke up feeling well rested and ready for another big day of climbing, however I do frequently have nightmares, and occasionally even sleep paralysis, which can ruin my sleep and affect me the next day. I think the lower stress life on the road, sans work and with more time out in nature, helped reduce the frequency of these bad nights, so I probably slept better then than I did before the trip.
How was your temperature regulation/body temp during the test?
I typically run hot, but some nights dropped down to or below freezing, so getting the layers right was sometimes tricky, and I'd wake up freezing and need to pull out my sleeping bag. Unless it's freezing, in which case I'd sleep in a hooded base/mid layer, I typically just slept in my boxers with an insulated blanket; if I knew it'd get really cold, I'd also have my sleeping bag open on top of the blanket.
Was there anything that you noticed about your sleep that changed once you were a couple nights in on the HEST?
I definitely think I sleep better on my Foamy than on my inflatable pad.
How does sleeping on a HEST camping pad compare to the sleeping pad you were using before?
In the past, I've had a couple times where I'd wake up freezing cold, with my inflatable pad clearly punctured and leaking. It's definitely nice to not only know that my mattress won't deflate, but also my mattress is way more comfortable and doesn't shift other parts of my body around when I add or remove pressure in one place. For a car camping setup, where the extra space and weight doesn't really matter, I can't imagine going back to an inflatable sleeping pad (or directly on my crashpads which is what I did before I bought a sleeping pad).
How does sleeping on a HEST compare to sleeping on your bed at home?
Honestly, my Foamy is more comfortable than my mattress at home. Earlier this year I had some lower back pain, and I actually slept on my Foamy, which I had laid out on top of my mattress, to help ensure I was getting enough support at night.
Do you have any pinch points in your sleeping habits that can greatly affect your comfort/rest?
I'm sensitive to light, but my window blockers do a pretty good job of keeping the light out. I will sometimes still wear an eye mask since they aren't perfect. I'm also sensitive to noise, but generally don't like sleeping with anything in my ears; at home I typically play rain sounds to drown out any other noise, but on the road I generally didn't waste my battery on this.
Do you have any pain or injuries that affect your sleep? How did your nights on a HEST impact your body/pain?
While on the road, I was dealing with a shoulder injury for part of the trip. It's hard to compare to what it would have been like on another setup, but when I'm trying to recover and get back to 100%, it's crucial my sleep is as good as possible.
Before bed routine on the trip?
The last thing I'd do before bed (and every time I'd wake up) is put on Rhino Skin and pray my skin would heal enough overnight so that I could still climb hard the next day.