Thermarest Sleeping Pads and Mattresses Review

Sleeping outdoors is usually a great experience. There is absolutely nothing like unplugging for a few days, heading out into the desert, the woods, the valley, a secluded beach – whatever does it for you – and reconnecting with the earth and with ourselves a little bit. As far as camping is concerned, one of my favorite parts (and I don’t think I'm alone here) is falling asleep under a canopy of stars, far away from city lights. 99% of the time, it's a highly rewarding experience.

In 1971, Therm-a-Rest (aka Thermarest) was established. It is an outdoors company which specializes in the “chill out” aspect of camping. Their products include air mattresses, sleeping bags, cots, pillows, quilts, camp chairs, and hammocks. Here is the thing: without proper gear and some insulation, you may be in for a rough and uncomfortable night. The best solution is to find a way to get as comfortable as you can be. To that end, there are many sleeping bags, sleeping pads, air mattresses, and other apparatuses which are meant to help you get through a night outdoors. Thermarest is one company of many which manufacturers outdoor equipment, and it is one of the best ones around.

Here in our Thermarest Sleeping Pads and Mattresses Review we will cover some of Thermarest's most popular products. Ultimately, it is about comfort and need, so this is all my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Thermarest NeoAir XLite Review

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The Thermarest ‘Fast & Light’ series of air mattresses includes several models, and the NeoAir XLite is probably the best-selling one of the series.

Here are some of the specs on this mattress in its regular configuration:

  • Weight – 12 oz.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – 2.5 inches.
  • Fabric material – rip nylon.
  • R value – 3.2.
  • Also available in small and large sizes.
  • Repair kit and carrying case included.

Definitely one of the most comfortable air mattresses around, and I have been on quite a few. There are several models which are pretty darn close to a regular mattress, and this is one of them. Yes yes, it isn’t a ‘real’ mattress, I know, but it still feels great, and it provides a fine sleeping experience. Don’t throw your bed’s mattress out quite yet, though. [MSRP: $159.95]

Thermarest Prolite Review

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This is the lightest self-inflating air mattress which Thermarest have in their catalog. It is built of materials which guarantee its light weight and comfort.

Here are some of this model’s specs in its regular configuration:

  • Weight – 1 lbs 2 oz.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – 1 inch.
  • Fabric material – rip polyester.
  • R value – 2.4.
  • Also available in extra small, small, and large sizes.
  • Carry case included.

Efficient, compact, and lightweight, this is a mattress targeted primarily at those who are counting every ounce. Weight adds up and makes a big difference. This mattress is comfy, with a relatively good R rating which will help keep you warm. Definitely worth the price, and you get real value for your money. Just remember to treat it right and choose your sleeping site with caution. [MSRP: $89.95]

Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Review

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This is one of the pricier air mattresses in Thermarest’s line of products, but it has that price for a reason. You get what you pay for. It is better to invest a bit more in your gear, rather than suffer the exasperation and discomfort of busted equipment. This is especially true with it comes to your sleeping gear.

You come back to base, or set one up, at the end of a long day. All you want at that moment is to lay down and catch some Z's. If your gear fails you at that point – well, it’s a very bad feeling, let’s leave it at that.

Here are some of this model’s specs, in its regular configuration:

  • Weight – 15 oz.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – 2.5 inches.
  • Fabric material – rip nylon and nylon.
  • R value – 5.7.
  • Also available in large size.
  • Repair kit and carrying case included.

This is a 4-season pad, with an impressive R rating if 5.7. It will keep you warm, and it will allow you to spend less on a sleeping bag, if you have budget issues or other issues. While it may be meant more as a winter pad, it works just as well in any other season. You can pack a lighter sleeping bag, safe in the knowledge that the XTherm will not let you down. [MSRP: $199.95]

Thermarest Z Lite Review

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At 2.6, this mattress has one of the lowest R ratings in all of Thermarest’s line of sleeping's, yes it is still one of their most popular and sought after items.

Here are some specs (regular size):

  • Weight – 10 oz.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – ¾ inch.
  • Material – crosslinked polyethylene.
  • R value – 2.6.
  • Also available in small size.
  • Repair kit and carrying case included.

If the previous mattress we discussed (the XTherm) allows you to spend less on a sleeping bag because it is so supportive, then this is the opposite of that, in a way. With the Z Lite, comfort and support take a backseat to lightness and price. This is a mattress meant for those who would otherwise sleep on the ground without complaining. If you are looking for a mattress which totally separates you from the earth, go with a different model. [MSRP: $39.95]

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Thermarest Prolite Plus Review

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Offering year-round warmth and efficiency, the Prolite Plus pad is compact, self-inflating, and light.

Some specs of the regular size:

  • Weight – 1 lbs.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – 1.5 inches.
  • Fabric material – rip polyester and polyester.
  • Foam – urethane foam.
  • R value – 3.4.
  • Also available in small and large size.
  • Carrying case included.

This is one pad targeted at winter campers, probably more than anyone else. I don’t have any experience with this particular mattress, but since it is one of their best-sellers, I figured I should at least give the specs. From the research I did, it seems that most people absolutely love this mattress, and that its shape is ideal for side-sleepers. [MSRP: $99.95]

Thermarest Prolite 4 Review

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This is categorized by Thermarest as a women’s model. The company’s website doesn’t list it anymore, but you can still purchase it through various websites and camping gear shops.

Specs of the regular size:

  • Weight – 1 lbs and 8 oz.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – 1.5 inches.
  • Fabric material – polyester.
  • Foam – die cut foam.
  • R value – 3.2.
  • Carrying case included.

This model is more mummy shaped, and it helps it stay light. This is why it is considered a women’s mattress, but have no fear – plenty of men order this model, too. [MSRP: $69.99]

Thermarest Neoair Trekker Review

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ThermaCapture heat technology is a feature which is prevalent in many of Thermarest’s pads. The Neoair Trekker incorporates several patents, and that is one of them. Another one is the patent-pending Triangular Core Matrix construction, which provides unmatched stability to the sleeping pad.

Here are some specs (regular size):

  • Weight – 1 lbs and 2 oz.
  • Width – 20 inches.
  • Length – 72 inches.
  • Thickness – 2.5 inches.
  • Material – polyester and aluminized nylon.
  • R value – 3.0.
  • Also available in large and ‘large torso’ size.
  • Repair kit and carrying case included.

A lighter backpack and a warmer night – this is the primary promise of this item, much like others in the Trekker series. Durable and compact, it is a trekker’s best friend. Thermarest describe this item as being a jack-of-all-trades kind of air mattress. [MSRP: $129.95]

Thermarest Pillow Review

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The pillow – a place to lay your head comfortably and get some support for your neck. With all the talk of air mattresses, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads, it is kind of easy to overlook this essential piece of sleep equipment. Forget improving with a bulky sweater or jacket, get yourself some quality pillow action going, and sleep in the utmost convenience.

Thermarest produces several models of pillows, and they are all made from excellent materials which allow the sleeper (or slacker!) to thoroughly enjoy the time spent inside the tent, on the hammock, or within the sleeping bag.

Thermarest makes head pillows, neck pillows, and pillow cases – compact, comfortable, and light. This winter (2016/2017), the company came out with a hydrophobic down pillow with brushed polyester, priced at $29.95 (Regular) or $39.95 (Large).

Conclusion

For over 45 years, Thermarest has been providing campers, hikers, bikers, and adventurers with the finest ways of getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Some of their products are higher-priced than their competitors, but you get precisely what you pay for: advanced comfort, compactness, and durability. Also, it is good to know that Thermarest provides a limited lifetime warranty on pretty much all of their products (excluding electronics).

Money is important, but when dealing with outdoor equipment, it is usually worth digging a bit deeper, spending some more money, and getting gear which will last for many years, and allow you to rest and sleep comfortably.

Thanks for reading our Thermarest feature! Check out some of our other great outdoors supplies reviews here at EduMuch: Lifestraw, Camelbak, Camping Hammocks, Ozark Trail, REI Kingdom SeriesColeman Tents and Sleeping Bags, and Big Agnes.
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