Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad Review
It’s summer, which means it’s backpacking season. I love backpacking season.
Whether you’re heading out car camping and taking everything and the kitchen sink, or heading out into the backcountry for multiple days (or longer), you need a few things:
- A great pair of hiking shoes or boots (we love Asolo’s Fugitive GTX);
- A good pair of hiking poles;
- A good backpack;
- A good sleeping bag;
- A comfortable sleeping pad.
A couple of years ago my old Big Agnes sleeping pad sprang a slow leak which caused it to deflate multiple times per night. After a few trips where I’d have to reinflate it a few times per night, it was time to invest in a new sleeping pad.
After looking through some reviews (and a great REI sale), I settled on the Therm-a-Rest ProLite sleeping pad.
After using it more than 20 nights out in the backcountry, here is my review.
Overall, I like this sleeping pad because it is light and rolls up easily to either have on the outside of my pack or stuffed inside my large 5600 cubic inch multi-day pack. While I have the manually inflating version, I can blow it up in less time that my wife takes to blow up her sleeping pad.
The ProLite is exactly the length of my sleeping bag, which I like because it is never squeezed into the tent and likely to cause a rip or water seepage when it rains. The downside here is that when we sleep on a less-than-flat site I slide off the mat a bit during the night. But that’s a price I will gladly pay to lower the weight I carry on long trips.
The ProLite is made from polyester, which is fine. I don’t love polyester from an ethical standpoint, but it does make a durable and quick-drying product. If I can in the future I will look for a more naturally-produced product, but that’s just me. Most people don’t care, and at 2-3lb you really can’t go wrong here.
According to Backcountry
Make sure you’re well-rested for tomorrow’s big trek with the help of the Therm-A-Rest ProLife Sleeping Pad. A new variation of the ProLite4, this pad features an aggressive, re-rounded shape to cut out any excess material and increase warmth while maintaining the same weight. The tough polyester construction holds up against rough and dirty campgrounds, while the 3.2 R-value keeps you cozy on chillier nights. Plus, it’s self-inflating for stress-free setup when you finally reach camp after a long day of hiking.
- Comfortable, lightweight sleeping pad for easy resting outdoors
- 75D polyester fabric withstands abuse in nature
- Self-inflating design makes for easy set up
- Item #CAS00BR
According to the manufacturer
Make sure you’re well-rested for tomorrow’s big trek with the help of the Therm-A-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad. A new variation of the ProLite4, this pad features an aggressive, re-rounded shape to cut out any excess material and increase warmth while maintaining the same weight. The tough polyester construction holds up against rough and dirty campgrounds, while the 3.2 R-value keeps you cozy on chillier nights. Plus, it’s self-inflating for stress-free setup when you finally reach camp after a long day of hiking.
Pros of the Therm-A-Rest ProLite
My previous sleeping pad of choice was the predecessor to the Big Agnes Insulated AXL sleeping pad. I loved it for many reasons, but it required a sleeve for storage/in your pack, was tough to get back into said sleeve, and was also heavy. It also leaked air.
The ProLite does none of these, which is exactly what it should do. It can easily be folded and put inside my pack or lashed on the outside if my pack is full to capacity for that trip. It’s also quite light (just 12oz) and thus is great for going light in the backcountry.
Cons of the Therm-A-Rest ProLite
The main con, I have found, is that the ProLite is not thick enough to be comfortable for side sleepers like me. While I love camping, I also love (and need) to get a good night sleep. For drive-in camping, the ProLite isn’t enough for me. When I’m out on long trips, the ProLite is fantastic for its weight and I don’t notice the thinner pad than I had before.
If you’re a side sleeper, this might not be the pad for you (sad face). In fact, I’ve given it to my wife because she likes the packability and ultra lightness, and I am searching for my next pad.
Here are some photos of the sleeping pad from the manufacturer:
Second image via BackcountryEdge
|Weight (Standard)||9 oz||12 oz||1 lbs 2 oz||1 lbs 8 oz|
|Weight (Metric)||0.26 kg||0.35 kg||0.51 kg||0.69 kg|
|Width (Standard)||20 in||20 in||20 in||25 in|
|Width (Metric)||51 cm||51 cm||51 cm||63 cm|
|Length (Standard)||36 in||47 in||72 in||77 in|
|Length (Metric)||91 cm||119 cm||183 cm||196 cm|
|Thickness (Standard)||1 in||1 in||1 in||1 in|
|Thickness (Metric)||2.5 cm||2.5 cm||2.5 cm||2.5 cm|
|Packed dimension (Metric)||28 cm x 8 cm||28 cm x 8 cm||28 cm x 10 cm||33 cm x 11 cm|
|Packed dimension (Standard)||11 in x 3.3 in||11 in x 3.3 in||11 in x 4.1 in||13 in x 4.5 in|
|Top fabric type||50D mini hex rip polyester||50D mini hex rip polyester||50D mini hex rip polyester||50D mini hex rip polyester|
|Bottom fabric type||50D mini hex rip polyester||50D mini hex rip polyester||50D mini hex rip polyester||50D mini hex rip polyester|
|Foam type||Urethane Foam||Urethane Foam||Urethane Foam||Urethane Foam|
|Country of Origin||USA*Built of the Finest U.S. and Global Materials||USA*Built of the Finest U.S. and Global Materials||USA*Built of the Finest U.S. and Global Materials||USA*Built of the Finest U.S. and Global Materials|
Does SingleGeared recommend?
After about 25 nights sleeping on the Therm-A-Rest ProLite, I give this sleeping pad a recommendation. It is not an absolute yes simply because of the side-sleeper issue I talked about earlier, but overall it is a great light pad for your backpacking adventures.