< Go to Backpacking Chairs

Hands-on Gear Review

Therm-a-Rest Lite Seat Review


Backpacking Chair

Click to enlarge
  • Currently 3.2/5
Overall avg rating 3.2 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: March 28, 2012
Price:   $30 List | $30 online  —  Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Light, compact, easy to set up
Cons:  No back support, limited applications, must take care not to pop it
Manufacturer:   Cascade Designs

Overview

The Lite Seat is the lightest and smallest entry in our camp chair tests. However, to call it a chair would be a bit of an exaggeration. It's more of a fancy seat cushion ideal for making bleachers and stadium seats more tolerable. For that application this chair is great. But it is limited in its other uses. For a few more dollars, you can get the Crazy Creek Original, which gives you proper back support.

RELATED: Our complete review of backpacking chairs

Compare Side-by-Side

Compare all Backpacking Chairs >

Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Saturday

Likes


This is by far the lightest and most compact chair in our review. It weighs almost nothing and compacts into the size of a soda can. It it easily fits in a purse or small backpack and leaves room to spare, which few other chairs we tested can claim. It is one of those items that because it weighs nothing you end up taking it everywhere.

Dislikes


This chair is not that versatile. It really just excels at at cushioning hard benches and chairs. There is no back support so you can't kick back at the beach or recline around the campfire. Unlike a Crazy Creek, you can't unfold it and lie down on it or share it with another person. It also needs to be taken care of. Like all inflatable pads, you need to carefully look at the ground you're putting it on always be aware of sharp objects. In windy conditions, it easily blows away.

Other Versions


Click to enlarge
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite - Women's
  • Cost - $160
  • Top Pick Award Winner!
  • Most comfortable lightweight sleeping pad available
  • Regular size weighs 12oz
  • Small size weighs 8oz
  • Women's specific includes reflective layer for added warmth
  • Packs down to 1L size

Click to enlarge
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm
  • Cost - $200
  • Editors' Choice Award Winner!
  • The best winter sleeping pad available
  • Ideal for cold weather camping
  • Regular size weighs 15oz.
  • Packs slightly larger than 1L in size
  • Consistently proven to be the warmest, most comfortable, lightest and most compact sleeping pad available
Chris McNamara

Where to Buy?

Seller Price  Shipping Cost Visit
Amazon $29.95 Check Site
Eastern Mountain Sports $29.95

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 28, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.5)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 67%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 28, 2012 - 03:50pm
Tfish · Climber · La Crescenta, CA
I have the REI version of this pad but it's basically the same thing just a little cheaper. (http://www.rei.com/product/746401/rei-lite-core-sit-pad);

My best use for it is insulating me from cold picnic tables at camp sites. It makes cooking during the morning or late at night much nicer.

I also let my dog sleep on it sometimes on cold nights camping.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 28, 2012 - 01:43pm
OlympicMtnBoy · Climber · Seattle
I've had the earlier version of this for many years (pretty much the same except not as light). I agree with other review that this chair is not as comfy as those with back support but I disagree with that it's not as versatile. I take this on a lot of backpacking trips where I would normally consider a camp chair a luxury because it's so small and light AND because I can then take an extra short sleeping pad and use this sit pad to extend it to near normal length. The weight gain is almost zero to have one of these and a short pad instead of a full length pad. I know you can do the same with other camp chairs to sleep on them, but this has just been the most convenient option for me and makes sitting around in a remote backcountry camp just a bit nicer.

In many years of abusing this I've managed to poke one hole in it, easily fixed with some seamgrip (always carry a tiny tube when using inflatable mattresses). The newer lighter version may or may not be as durable.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the Therm-a-Rest Lite Seat?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Where's the Best Price?

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Table of Contents
Related Review
The Best Backpacking Camping Chair Review

The Best Backpacking Camping Chair Review

We took the top lightweight backpacking and camping chairs and put them in side- by-side tests at the beach, in the mountains, and at the park. We break down what is the best for each application.
Video video review
Helpful Buying Tips