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Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Original Ultralight Foam Camping Pad
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- Egg-crate molded
- Lightweight and compact closed-cell foam camping mattress is a durable, dependable, and economical option for sleeping on the ground
- Trusted by mountaineers and backpackers for generations, the classic pad features folding accordion-style construction that is compact and easily packable
- Designed with dimples in the padding to capture and trap heat for extra warmth in cold conditions, ensuring a cushioned and cozy night’s sleep
- Sleeping pad foam is softer on the top for comfort, and denser on the bottom for extra insulation, durability, and protection from the ground
- Molded foam mattress measures 72 x 20 inches (20 x 5 x 5.5 inches folded) and weighs 14 ounces; made in the USA
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The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Foam Camping mattress is the classic sleeping pad, and trusted choice of campers, backpackers, and mountaineers. For generations, outdoor enthusiasts have used the compact, durable, and lightweight closed-cell foam mattress for sleeping on the ground. The classic pad features folding accordion-style construction that is compact and easily packable for base camp or transporting into the backcountry. Softer on the top for comfort, and denser on the bottom for insulation, durability, and protection from rocks and dirt, the proprietary foam features heat-trapping dimples that capture heat for extra warmth in cold conditions. The Thermarest Z Lite Foam Sleeping Pad can be used by minimalists as a stand-alone pad, or doubled up with another ground pad or air mattress for an exceptionally good night’s sleep. Available in regular size only: measures 72 x 20 inches (20 x 5 x 5.5 inches, folded) and weighs 14 ounces. Made in the USA
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Appearance: The Z-Lite looks just like the photos Egg carton supports with creases on the fold lines. No surprises here. The fact that it folds up rather than rolling makes packing much easier. It still takes up about the same space, but it is much easier to keep it at "packed" size.
Value: For a foam pad the Z-Lite is not that cheap. It is, however, quite a bit cheaper than an inflatable pad.
Comfort: This is where the rubber meets the road. I can tell you that having this under me is loads better than sleeping right on the ground. The Z-Lite did a great job insulating me from the cold ground.
I also took it on a four night backpacking trip.
It was adequate, but after four nights of sleeping on this pad, an air mattress sounded pretty good. It works well, but air cushions would be much more comfortable.
Bottom Line: Recommended. If you have the ability to borrow it from a friend and sleep on it first, I would do that. Older bones definitely prefer a softer surface for multiple night trips.
At first I looked into inflatable models, but the best are expensive and I also like camping gear that's rugged, unlike cactus prone inflatable models. I tossed my multi-patched inflatable a few years back.
1. Size: The egg carton shaped surface interlocks to make it fold thinner than you would think.
2. Packing: It folds quickly, and I didn't have a problem bending it or stuffing it if needed. It is a bit wide for stuffing horizontally, but I prefer to tie it to the outside for easy access as a break chair.
3. Insulation: The new surface creates air pockets and better ground insulation. The foam also seems better than my original black therm-a-rest.
4. Look: I got basic green, and I like that. I don't like rests that double as rescue flags and despoil the campsite with a space camp look.
5. Durability: So far, it seems durable. I will look after the folding points, but expect them to wear well.
1. No real cons. Some may want wider, some may want thicker, but I found it just right. Get an inflatable for extreme cold, but this is great for most people's cold ground needs.
A great pad that keeps me warmer on cold ground, packs quickly, and make a great chair when needed!
If you're getting older like me and you find it harder to sleep without padding, you may want to look at the Term-a-Rest inflatable pads which end up warmer and cushier. But, if you want to save weight and don't want the risk of air leaks or the noise associated with air mattresses, this is a solid option. If you can stand some extra bulk, you could use two stacked together which is what I may do.
Very light and durable. Hung on the outside of my backpack and it held up well to tight trails with tree limbs and rocks scraping against it.
First thing I noticed when I pulled it out of the Amazon box was how light it was. The next thing was the bulk when folded up. Not really "bulk", but more like a big rectangle. This isn't a huge setback just something to consider.
I did a couple size comparisons with standard US military gear. This pad doesn't work very well with the GORE-TEX bivy, mainly because it is a little too long and also likes to fold back on itself when trying to enter the bag. Next I tried using it with a standard cot. The pad fit very well and comfortable.
The main reason I enjoy this pad is that it does not slide around like air pads do. Next I will list some observations that will help out any buyers.
First, I would recommend using a sheet or placing this under your bag. I have tried it without a sheet and found the feel of the foam against the skin is a little uncomfortable. If you are using this outside the wire or keeping your clothes on when you sleep than a sheet is not needed.
Second, there is no retention straps that come with this pad.
I would highly recommend this pad to anyone whether deployed or camping.