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Hands-on Gear Review

Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest Solar Review

Camping Pads & Mattress

Click to enlarge
Price:   $40 List | Sale $39.95 online  —  Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Light, durable, easy to set up, comfortable, warm
Cons:  Very bulky, grooves collect dirt
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Therm-a-rest


The Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest Solar is the most comfortable closed cell pad we reviewed and the cheapest offering in our Car Camping Mattress Review. This pad offers car campers a cheap, durable, and reliable pad that will last for many years. Its closed cell construction also make it suitable for yoga, sitting around campfires, and anything else that requires a little extra cushioning.

The Ridge Rest Solars low price is its best selling point. Other car camping mattresses are more comfortable. The Therm-a-Rest DreamTime, with its customizable firmness and memory foam top, leads the pack and the REI Camp Bed 3.5 assumes the middle ground- its more comfortable than the Ridge Rest Solar, but not as luxurious as the DreamTime.

For a less voluminous and less comfortable, but cheaper option get the Ridge Rest. For a lighter and more compact pad get the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol. If you dont mind spending another $20 we recommend this over the Ridge Rest.

RELATED: Our complete review of camping pads & mattresses

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

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

Last Updated:
March 23, 2015


Slightly thicker foam makes this pad noticeably more comfortable and warmer than the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL and Ridge Rest SOLite. As with all closed cell pads, the Ridge Rest SOLAR is very durable and does not require tender loving care like most inflatable pads. You can come into camp late, throw it down anywhere and fall into a blissful sleep while your friends exhaust their lungs blowing up their pads. This pad is the lightest of those tested in our Car Camping Mattress category. It offers car campers a cheap, durable, and reliable pad that will last for many years.

Its closed cell construction also make it suitable for yoga, sitting around campfires, and anything else that requires a little extra cushioning.


We found that the grooves can collect dirt and the ridged surface isnt the best to lay your head on directly. All other car camping pads tested here are more comfortable, but none are as cheap as this one.

Best Application

Budget car camping.


The Ridge Rest Solar is a great buy for a first car camping pad.

Other Versions

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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 (recommended as the pad to buy if looking to own a single, multipurpose inflatable pad).
  • 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.


Click to enlarge
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pump Sack
  • Cost - $30
  • Used to inflate any Thermarest pad
  • Functions as a stuff sack also, doubles as a camp seat by placing rolled and partially inflated NeoAir pad inside sack
  • Ideal for wintertime use when air from your lungs condenses inside the pad, decreasing the warmth
  • 3.8 oz

Click to enlarge
Therm-a-Rest Compack
  • Cost - $30
  • Turns any pad into a camp chair with back support
  • Works with all Thermarest Pads, including NeoAir and self-inflating pads
  • 6oz.
Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: March 23, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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0% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Apr 26, 2011 - 09:48pm
PAUL SOUZA · Climber · Central Valley, CA
I picked up 2 of these for winter mountaineering. I picked up a short and long version. After 1 day of use, the silver finish began to rub off on both pads. Regardless, I was toasty warm when sleeping on the snow.

In short, nothing fancy…just another sleeping pad.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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