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on May 21, 2016
I've used this mattress on several week-long backpacking trips in both the Appalachian mountains in Pennsylvania and the much more rugged Teton rocky mountain range in Jackson Wyoming. I've had it for the past few years and I haven't had one problem with it yet. Its relatively lightweight, incredibly comfortable, and it takes absolutely no time to pack unlike most other sleeping pads that you have to slowly roll and push the air out of. It helps you break down camp a little bit faster in the morning which is nice when you've got a long trek ahead of you and you want to get on the trail faster. Though I personally own both a small and a large, I usually use the small when I go hiking to cut down on the weight and size of my gear. If you get a small and you're older than 12 your feet will be sticking off the mattress, but it doesn't really make sleeping any less comfortable in my opinion. If it is to bad you can always stick some clothes under your legs to sleep on. Though a $600 dollar nano air mattress will fold up super small and might be a little bit comfier, this sleeping pad is a solid, reliable steal. It beats most 50-100$ pads out there and it comes in at only about $30. If you are just getting in to backpacking, are looking into getting a smaller, easier packing therm-a-rest than the one you have, or even if you just going car-camping, I highly recommend this product to you. If you do get it I would recommend strapping it at the bottom of your pack or under your pack's brain. I have seen people strap it to the front of their pack or to the sides as well, in the end it all comes down to how you have you things packed, what type of pack you have, and personal preference.
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126 people found this helpful
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on January 3, 2015
Sleep on it when you're tired! Sit on it when you're hanging around! Use it as a windscreen while cooking dinner! Make it into a helmet when it's hailing on trail! Pretend it is a light saber in battles with friends or enemies! Write words on it to help you get a ride from passing motorists! Uses are many! Buy this rectangle!!!
495 people found this helpful
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on February 28, 2017
For backpacking, I use the Small version at the structure of my Gossamer Gear Gorrilla backpack, and as part of my sleep system. It provides very good insulation from the cold ground, and I can tell when my feet have moved away from the mat because they're much colder. I also bring a torso length air mattress (Nemo Tensor) because I am a side sleeper. I overlap the 2 between my shoulders and knees so that the Z Lite adds extra cushion to my torso and protects the air mattress from punctures and moisture, and just the Z Lite mattress from my knees down. If the air mattress does get punctured, I still have this mattress on my hike. The Z lite also gives me cushion while I deflate the air mattress and repack my bag. Closed Cell foam is perfect for a water barrier, puncture-safety, and insulation and packing it up is a nonevent. As part of the Gossamer Gear backpack, it provides structure to the bag, the egg-crate design keeps air flowing but cushioning my back making the weight comfortable. I think the Large version would also fit in the Gossamer Gear backpack, but I have gone with the small version for my sleep system.
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44 people found this helpful
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on February 26, 2016
This thing is perfect for cold weather hammock hiking-camping. Its much cheaper, lighter, and far less bulky than an under quilt. I slept with it in my hammock in 32'F weather. My arm wasn't on the mat for long before I woke up because my arm got to cold (through a 15' sleeping bag). It doesn't rip or ruin in the curvature of the hammock.
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128 people found this helpful
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on February 22, 2016
As a small (5'1") girl, I thought I would give this small sleeping pad a try. It is definitely smaller than I am and is probably better suited for a child, but for the price, you can't beat this! I take it with me when I go camping, and it works just fine. My feet hang off the edge because I am a little too tall for this size, but I don't mind that at all: the cushion is better suited for my upper body and torso, not for my feet. Although I will probably purchase the full adult size next time, I can say that I was content with this purchase.
21 people found this helpful
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on June 6, 2017
I've been camping infrequently my entire life, but I'm getting more into camping consistently, and need a new ground pad. I had a 3/4 length, non-self-inflating one that I've had for years, but it's cold and not so cushy, and I almost pass out every time I blow the darn thing up. I did research - so much research. Everything I read/heard indicated it was the best one. The hipster kids from the outdoor shop in my town raved. I'm trying to be cool (do kids say cool, anymore?), so obviously, this is the camping pad for me, I thought. I tried it out this weekend camping (it's early June, and the nights here get to the high 50's/low 60's, so being warm is still necessary), and was disappointed. Where did I go wrong, you ask? Probably in thinking I could tackle camping like I'm still 20, which I am decidedly not. So the good, it definitely reflected heat and kept me warm. I tested before the trip on my living room floor with the AC blasting, and I was sweating within minutes. In that sense, it is kind of a miracle since I'm always cold. I might actually put this in my bed in the winter. Hubs will thank me, since my ice block feet might not need him. However, here's where we get into "maybe I'm too old for camping" territory: this pad is very thin. Like, how-anyone-can-sleep-on-this-pad-and-feel-any-comfort-from-the-ground-is-beyond-me thin. I felt like the princess and the pea (I'm the princess, in case you're wondering, and every dang thing on the ground was the pea). If you are looking at this for ground comfort (rather than temperature comfort), you may be disappointed, but then maybe I'm just super sensitive. Hubs says as much all the time, though he's usually referring to emotions, and not sensory response, so there's that. I'm a side sleeper when I'm falling asleep (stomach when I get to sleep), and it was pretty uncomfortable. Body parts kept falling asleep from where the little points were digging into me - is it necessary to feel like I'm sleeping on a bed of pointy bouncy balls? I was very sore when I got up - and when I got up was significantly after I woke, since I had to wait for feeling to return to my extremities. Perhaps this is all because I'm not 20 anymore; this is certainly the case with so many other things, like remembering where I put my keys, being able to kill a bottle of wine, you know - important stuff. But I definitely needed something softer under me if I'm going to be sleeping on the ground. Now get off my lawn before I turn the sprinklers on you!
30 people found this helpful
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on April 15, 2017
I already got rid of the packaging and box so I'm stuck with it, but please be aware that the color selection isn't just a color change, it changes the product from the Sol version to the lower R value regular non-reflective version even though the title still says Sol. That is kind of BS if you ask me. I wish I could get the reflective version. The first night I slept on this it was below freezing outside and I got uncomfortably cold and wished that I'd have gotten the version the title said I was buying.
127 people found this helpful
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Top Contributor: Campingon November 11, 2015
Packs down smaller then the Therm-A-Rest mat version (I have both). Seems to be more comfortable too (more cushiony I think). If you are on the fence between the 2, go with this one. Only trouble I have had with it is it likes to fold up a bit in a hammock compared to the mat version during initial setup, but the tradeoff is comfort and an additional minute or two of setup time. Very comfortable for that purpose. Have used it as a lay mat when sleeping in a tent, it wasn't all that comfortable (it isn't made to be used solely as a sleeping mat) but it wasn't that bad. Much better then other closed cell mats... actually this is probably the best closed cell mat I have found.
11 people found this helpful
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on May 20, 2017
Being a hammock camper, I constantly grapple with the idea of whether or not to use a sleeping pad and even more so with the concept of a closed foam pad versus an inflatable pad. I settled on this to help reflect some body heat while also giving some ridgidity to the hammock while lying at an angle. It works fairly well, though I doubt that it is the best option for my needs since it still slides around a bit, even when placed inside my sleeping bag. Even though it is effective in reflecting some body heat, I feel that it is too thin for tent camping and is rather bulky, but manageable when strapping to the outside of a pack. However, this tends to be based more on individual preferences rather than design. I will probably look for a different product to replace this in the near future. With the extra bulk and tending to be a bit awkward to use for my purposes, I would ask others to look around and consider their needs before recommending this product.
6 people found this helpful
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on November 7, 2017
After having an inflatable mattress go flat on me while sleeping on snow in -15°F (-27°C) weather i decided to try a foam sleeping mattress instead and I'd bought the original Z-lite version back around 2009. It worked great and despite some unkind abuse it held up well. I kind of bought this newer version on a whim since it had a higher R-value and i liked the concept of a Z-lite with a reflective surface.
So far it's held up as well and despite some rough usage the reflective surface had more or less stayed put. There is some wearing along the tops of the ridges near the should area since i tend to spin like a top to get comfortable that's usually where i wear a pad out first.
I only managed to really put the improved R-value to the test for a total of three nights where it got below 0 since we had a mild winter this year but as far as i could tell it did feel like it was warmer when being slept on or used as a sitting pad then my original pad.
Take note it's not nearly as comfortable as an inflatable but it is slightly lighter then an inflatable of comparable R-value and it has the advantage of not deflating on you when you need it the most. It's a trade off, you can have a slightly decreased comfort for a guarantee that it will never go limp on you at the worst possible time or would you rather take the increased comfort and ability to adjust firmness for the chance you may need to patch it in the field.
This mattress may not be for everyone but for those who like rigid foam resting pads this one is the gold standard.
5 people found this helpful
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