Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro
I bought the TrailPro because I wanted a self-inflating mattress that could do double duty; both when I'm hammock camping and when I'm using a conventional tent or a bivy. And also because - I have to reluctantly admit - I'm not as young as I used to be and a comfy and warm nights sleep when I'm in the field is no longer a luxury - it's a necessity.
No - it's not the lightest, but then again it's not meant to be. If carrying the absolute minimum of weight is important to you then you'll probably be looking at other products anyway. However for myself the small additional weight and size penalty are a small price to pay for the additional comfort and insulation value.
The TrailPro is well-made which is really only to be expected with a product from a manufacturer whose name has almost become generic to their product. The flip-side of this coin however is that you do pay a premium to buy into the brand.
For the hammock-hangers out there; the TrailPro in my opinion certainly offers the best insulation you'll get from a self-inflating mattress (of a size suitable to backpacking), and is thick enough (50mm) and rigid enough to "iron out" the small creases that can form underneath you in a hammock and become rather uncomfortable.
For the maximum insulation (if you've chosen to go with the pad option as opposed to underquilts etc) you may benefit from adding a segmented pad extender of some kind which would add some insulation around the sides as the TrailPro is a tapered design and doesn't wrap around you as a larger, more rectangular pad would.
For myself however I've never felt the need for anything beyond a sleeping pad and a good quality sleeping bag. Also the TrailPro has a textured finish that minimises any tendency of the pad to move around underneath you - I haven't slipped off it at all while using it with my Hennessy Hammock.
When using it in a tent or in a bivy the 50mm thickness of the pad does a much better job of keeping all the small lumps and bumps you didn't notice when you set up camp at bay than any of the thinner 38mm or 25mm options.
All and all I think it's a good product that meets its design brief well. The only negative is the premium price for which I think it should at least come with a decent stuff sack or an included repair-kit.
Price Paid: $249.95 NZD
The Trail Pro isn't the lightest or packs as small as I like, but it is comfortable and warm. I found it to be most comfortable when it inflated itself without any help from me.
The first night I used it I thought it was a little limp looking so I firmed it up with a few breaths and was a little uncomfortable that night, the second night I opened the valve and allowed it to normalize and slept with no discomfort. It is plenty warm for 3 season camping.
My only real complaint is that it doesn't come with a stuff sack to protect it strapped to the outside my pack and it doesn't pack small enough to fit inside my pack very well.
Price Paid: $65
I bought this on Ebay for $50 which is a bargain. Love this pad. I bought the women's because it's cheaper, better warmth, and shorter length. This pad is 66" long, 1 lb 15 oz, and 2" thick.
Price Paid: $50
Comfortable, but simply too heavy and large for a backpacking trip.
The TrailPro has been surpassed in recent years. The NeoAir line of pads give you as much cushion but at a much lighter weight. The only downside is that I hear the newer, insulated Thermarests are noisy.
This pad has no noise to it, it is durable, it's a nice color, and it has performed well the 3-5 times I've used it. It is however outdated in that newer technology delivers the same or better r-value as at a lighter weight.
I think this will probably be the first piece of gear I replace in my search to lighten my load.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $70
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