User Review: Therm-a-Rest Original Z-Lite
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35
Nice and basic sleeping pad.
- Accordion style fold-up
- Cell foam collapses after awhile
This was one of the last items I purchased for my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2012, because I couldn’t really make a decision. I had the Thermarest RidgeRest SoLite at first (their products are quite a mouth full), but it rolled up very large and didn’t fit on my pack where I wanted it to.
The great thing about the Z-lite is that it folds up accordion style and so stays pretty compact. I decided on the short version, which went to to just below my knees, because I’d learned that you don’t really need it to go all the way down to your feet which can save you a few ounces. Whenever there wasn’t a log or rock to sit on, I could also pull it out and sit on this instead. It doesn’t absorb water or anything, and so it was fine if it got rained on.
Blow-up or self-inflating mattresses were pretty popular, but there was always the chance that it could develop a leak, get punctured from some random object or a chipmunk attempting to ruin your life. I didn’t want any of that mess so I went with this, and I’m glad I did. By the end of six months though, the egg crate design definitely was worn down quite a bit, but then again after six months you don’t really care about that anymore. Anytime you get to go to sleep is a good time.
I’d recommend it overall.