Source: received it as a personal gift
Proven, lightweight self-inflating pad, but a little more difficult to pack.
- Difficult to deflate
- Feels "flimsy"
I've used Therm-a-Rest pads for years, but I had two: a thick but enormous one for base-camping, car camping, and family trips, and a thin, light backpacking model. But I'm not getting any younger, and the thin one was starting to be too thin. So I went with the prolite: same thickness as my "comfort" pad when inflated, and only slightly heavier and larger than my lightweight pad when packed.
I was not disappointed in its size and weight — I'm pretty sure I could fit the new pad in the old backpacking pad's stuff sack. And I may have to: the included stuff sack is pretty thin and seems likely to wear out quickly. The pad itself seems mostly high quality, with a grippy bottom surface that is a nice touch, but the weight savings comes from a waffle-style interior, and it just feels to me like it won't last as well as the old one — which is 20+ years old and still going strong! So maybe I have high expectations for my gear.
The other complaint is that it is more difficult to pack. Partly due to the thickness, you really need to work to get all the air out. I find I need to roll it up, squeeze hard, and then unroll and quickly re-roll it to get it narrow enough to fit in its stuff sack. This is made more complicated by the valve placement: the pad has a rounded, mummy-bag shape to it, and the valve is about 30 degrees right of center at the head of the pad. This leaves about an inch or so of pad beyond the valve, and I just can't get that last bit to squeeze down as well as the rest of the pad. A minor quibble, perhaps, but it feels like something that could have been designed better.
Overall, a good pad, and, really, I'm happy with it. I don't know that there are any better products on the market. But I do think, with this pad, Therm-a-Rest has left room for improvement.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
Love my Therm-a-Rest.
- Packs down small
- A little hard to get into stuffsack
The ProLite sleeping pad is a perfect pad for backcountry, lightweight camping. I have had mine for about 5 years now and it still works good as new. It's not your home mattress but it is very comfortable given the size and weight. I highly recommend!
Source: received it as a personal gift
Have used this pad for 5 years with no problems. Inflates quickly, stays inflated all night, packs small.
- Not enough r's for winter
- Stuff sack too small
This pad has performed well after being used for the past 5 years, at least once every month of the year in the northern climate.
The stuff sack is really small, so it takes some extra time to get it in and the "handle" of the stuff sack broke within the first year, but no real loss there. Most of the time I don't use it anyway. The width seems perfect for a backpacking sleeping bag, which isn't cut too wide to save weight.
Although I have not compared many of these pads, this one seems to be among the lighter of them. The only time I can say this pad has failed me was when I used it in a quinzee, and that was only because it didn't have the insulating value I needed for use on top of the snow. Since then I have layered this with a Thermarest Ridgerest under it and it worked fine.
All in all, I really think this is a great pad.
Bought this to replace my old one from 1995 (not because of performance). I just wanted new technology and the less weight.
I love this pad, it is all the padding i need to make a hard ground manageable. I recently used it on an overnighter and the temp. was well below 20F not a bit of chill all night.
Rolls up to the size of a nalgene bottle and fits right in your pack.....lovely!!!
Price Paid: $89
This is an AMAZING pad! It's like magic!!! You can inflate it just right! And it seems pretty puncture proof! It's light! I've only had trouble rolling it up, as most self inflating pads are hard I assume. I know it's a bit pricey, but well worth it!