User Review: Therm-a-Rest Men's ProLite
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.