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REI Lite-Core 1.5

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: REI Lite-Core 1.5 self-inflating sleeping pad

Pros: Compact Roll Up, Lightweight, Non Slip

Best Uses: Weekend Trips, Backpacking, Extended Trips

I purchased this pad to replace a Big Agnes pad that I thought was going to be comfy. At over 2.5 inches thick, it seemed promising, but fell short.

Anyway, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been trying to lighten my loads, and while this isn’t the lightest pad out there, at 27 ounces, it’s far from heavy.

I recently used this pad on a Zion National Park Narrows Top Down hike. I found it easy to unroll and to inflate. Just unfold, open the valve, and throw it in the tent for a while. Come back later, add a few puffs of air and you are ready to go.

I was concerned, that with the pad being only 1.5 inches thick, I was going to bottom out and feel the ground. Didn’t happen. I sleep both on my side and back, and was comfortable in both positions. The grippy silicon on the pad kept me in place all night, too.

The following morning I opened the valve before getting up, letting my body weight force most of the air out of the pad. Getting all the air out of the pad wasn’t too difficult, something I found impossible with the BA pad. Still, it took two tries before getting it flat enough to go back into its stuff sack. But to be fair, the ThermaRest pad I use for car camping takes the same.

I’m not sure how this pad will hold up, especially considering the centerline fold. I’m considering purchasing a long stuff sack so I can roll it up without folding it. It will no longer fit inside my 65 liter backpack, but I think it’ll add life to the pad.

All-in-all the REI Lite-Core 1.5 self-inflating pad does what it was designed for, landing if firmly in the middle of the rating system, with no big flaws or extras

Price Paid: $70

Great design that saves weight, but the faulty valve makes it unusable.


  • Great design to save weight


  • The valve is useless

Bought in Boston as a replacement for a heavier bag, but found it deflated after a few hours. What is required is a valve that after it is pressed down takes a few turns to tighten, not just one. Wrote to REI and have never received reply.

I have immersed the bag in water, but due to the low pressure and slow leakage it's not obvious where the leak/s are coming from, but like all one-press-down valves you only have to knock them and they let out the air. The self inflating feature works to some extent, but heavy people need a firmer bag. 

Looking for a replacement that works

Merv McCusker  AUSTRALIA

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80

Love the shorty.


  • Light
  • Comfortable


  • Be careful no to poke holes.

Best bang for your buck with the most comfort available. It is light and packs well. I got the shorty because I was cutting weight. For the feet I used the REI trail chair. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60

This pad only weighs 1 lb. 11oz. Comes with a stuff sack and a repair kit, which the Therm-a-Rests don’t. I’ve used it a few times now and I sleep so good on it, completely love it. Even when sleeping on my side my hip bone never pushes through it and touches the ground. Super easy to inflate, and deflate / roll-up. Recommend this pad to everyone!

Price Paid: $75

Good but no shorty.


  • Comfortable


  • No shorty

This is a great sleeping pad, but the only thing I did not like, a short version is not available if you are trying to cut down weight. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60

I love this pad. I've taken it on several trips throughout the Pacific Northwest, and have slept like a rock every night out. I tend to sleep on my side and I have yet to notice any rocks or pokey places bothering me while I sleep.

Price Paid: $65

This pad is great! I just took it out and it's just the right amount of cushion the only thing that kept me up was the "whistle pigs" marmots. Also fit perfectly in my pack. Small and lightweight this pad was worth it.

This was a great bargain when compared to other self-inflating sleeping pads. It weighs little, is thicker than the thinnest Therm-A-Rest and I sleep like a baby when I'm on it. Great buy for a great pad.

Price Paid: $50

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Price MSRP: $84.50
Historic Range: $29.28-$74.50
Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$80.00
Price MSRP: $84.50
Historic Range: $44.83-$69.93
Reviewers Paid: $60.00
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