Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Dual axis foam makes pad lightweight and compressible for a self-inflating foam pad.
Cons: Not durable, looses air faster than other pads.
Best Uses: Three-season use.
The Nemo Zor's dual core foam makes the pad the lightest and most compressible self-inflating foam pad we've tested. The Zor packs to 2.21 liters and weighs 14 oz., which makes it a suitable and more affordable alternative to the lighter and more comfortable Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite. Although the Zor's foam takes self-inflating foam pads to the next level, we found its material to be less durable and not as airtight as the Therm-a-Rest Prolite.
If saving weight is your top priority the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite can't be beat. The XLite weighs 2 oz. less than the Zor. It also packs smaller, is more comfortable, and warmer, too. If you demand the soft, uniform feel of a self-infating foam pad, we recommend the tried and true Therm-a-Rest ProLite (16 oz.), which is more durable and more airtight than the Zor.
For those who spend less time backpacking and more time base and car camping we recommend the Nemo Astro Insulated, a cheaper and slightly more comfortable alternative to ultralight pads. For the cheapest sleeping pad, get the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL, a durable and lightweight closed cell foam pad that won't break the bank.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Nemo Zor's dual core foam takes self-inflating foam pads to the next level. The Zor's foam is warmer and possibly more comfortable than all other foams of the same thickness. Nemo achieves this by cutting holes in the foam both horizontally and vertically. (Most other pads cut out shapes on the vertical axis only, which makes the pad a poor insulator.) Nemo's foam maintains a uniform thin layer of foam throughout the entire pad.
As for comfort, the Zor is only 0.75" thick. This is 25 percnt thinner than the next thinnest pad we tested, the Therm-a-Rest ProLite. Though thicker pads are generally warmer and more comfortable than thinner pads, the Zor, when fully inflated, is roughly as comfortable and warm as the Therm-a-Rest ProLite.
Outdoor Gear Lab's experience with the Zor started out on a bad note but improved steadily over the course of our testing. We bought the Zor new on Amazon.com. To our dismay the pad arrived with a hole in one of the edges (where the top and bottom fabrics are laminated together, see photo above). Nemo graciously accepted a return and provided us with a new model.
Nemo uses AirLock Elite, an ultralight low denier multi-layer laminate, for the Zor. Although this material is lighter than the competition (a good thing), we found that it lost air faster than other self-inflating foam pads. A week of side-by-side testing showed the Zor deflates much faster than Therm-a-Rest ProLite; the model we tested held air for about five hours. We inflated it before going to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night with it nearly flat.
At $90 the Zor is competitively priced.
For inflation consider the Nemo Disco Pad Pump, a 2.2 oz foot pump or the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pump Sack (3.8 oz.), which doubles as a camp stool, stuff sack, or backpack liner.
For seating check out the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jembe Seat (3.8 oz.), which turns any NeoAir mattress into a comfortable camp stool. The Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair (6 oz.) turns almost any pad (from any manufacturer) into a comfortable camp chair with back support.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 14, 2013
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