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Therm-A-Rest ProLite Review

   

Men's Sleeping Pads

  • Currently 4.4/5
Overall avg rating 4.4 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: February 23, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $60 - $120 | Compare prices at 10 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, compact, versatile, non-slip surface, durable material
Cons:  Thicker pads (such as NeoAirs) are more comfortable, heavier and bulkier than Nemo Zor.
Best Uses:  Light and fast activities such as traveling, alpine climbing, and backpacking
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Therm-a-Rest
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 5, 2012  
Overview
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite is the finest minimalist self-inflating foam sleeping pads on the market. It weighs a reasonable sixteen ounces, packs down to just over 2 liters, and employs a durable time-tested design. Though the ProLite is heavier and bulkier than the Nemo Zor, weve found it to be both more comfortable and more durable. The ProLite Plus is warmer and more comfortable, but also heavier and bulkier. We prefer the ProLite.

If you want to branch out from the air/foam construction- and therefore get a warmer, more comfortable and lighter pad- consider a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir. The two most noteworthy of the four models are the NeoAir Xlite, a minimalists dream come true. The XLite weighs 12 oz., packs to one liter, and is, by most accounts, considerably warmer than the ProLite. For winter use, opt for the warmer and slightly heavier NeoAir XTherm. Weighing less and packing smaller than the ProLite, the XTherm is the ultimate all-purpose all-season sleeping pad.

For those who spend less time backpacking and more time base and car camping opt for the Nemo Astro Insulated, a cheaper and slightly more comfortable alternative to the expensive and fancy abovementioned NeoAirs.

Go for a closed cell pad if you need something really durable or are on a budget. We recommend the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL if space is a concern and the Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest SOLite if its not. Both pads weigh only 14 ounces.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite is one of our favorite sleeping pads. It weighs a reasonable sixteen ounces, packs down to just over two liters, and is more durable than other lighter inflatable foam pads, namely the Nemo Zor. The ProLites non-slip surface enables you and the pad to remain together throughout the night better than most pads and much better than the Big Agnes Air Core. The ProLites adequate foam is moderately warm and reasonably comfortable- it prioritizes weight savings over comfort. This is an excellent and time-tested pad. Our testers have spent more than a year sleeping on this pad and recommend it to anyone who favors the flat surface of a self-inflating foam pad, or doesnt want to cough up the money for a NeoAir.

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The Therm-a-Rest ProLite has a much more durable material than the Nemo Zor. We also found that the Zor lost air much faster than the ProLite.
Credit: Max Neale
Dislikes
While the ProLite is, light, compact, and versatile its not as comfortable as the ProLite Plus, Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Oyl Mtn, or any pad from Therm-a-Rests NeoAir series. From a performance perspective, the NeoAir series have left inflatable foam pads in the dust. Inflatable foam pads are heavier, bulkier, and not as warm. The two main reasons to get one are: 1) price (the ProLite is about $50 cheaper than the NeoAir AllSeason and $90 cheaper than the XTherm) and comfort (some people prefer the flat surface of inflatable foam pads to the ridged surface of the NeoAir).

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The Nemo Zor's foam (yellow) has holes drilled in it in two directions while the ProLite has vertical holes only. This makes the Zor lighter and, athough it's 25% thinner, roughly as warm and as comfortable as the ProLite.
Credit: Max Neale
Best Application
This pad excels at all three-season fast and light activities. Whether it is hiking the Pacific, spending a few nights kayaking on the Maine Coast, or traveling internationally, this pad is a tried and true, versatile performer.

Value
The ProLite is totally worth $100 if you need a small and light full-length pad that can do almost anything. The NeoAir All Season is a better all-purpose multi-day pad, but youll need to cough up another $50 for that. The Nemo Zor is slightly cheaper than the ProLite, but, due to durability concerns, we prefer the ProLite.

Accessories
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 campstool, stuff sack, or backpack liner. We recommend one of these for inflating the pad in the winter, when water vapor from your lungs condenses inside the pad.

The Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair (6 oz.) turns almost any pad (from any manufacturer) into a comfortable camp chair with back support.
Other Versions
There is a women's version of this pad. There are three differences between the normal ProLite and the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Women's: warmth, size and color. The Womens version is 6 shorter, slightly warmer, and comes in a different color with a floral type pattern.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 23, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Feb 23, 2014 - 06:11am
skadi · Mountain Biker · Rus
Only want to say that
It's noticeably cold to camp below 30 F.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 22, 2010 - 07:01pm
FortMental · Climber · Albuquerque, NM
This thing rocks. Used it as a replacement for a double RidgeRest system for subzero conditions. It did not disappoint. Used it in the Sangre De Christos, zero degrees, bivying in the snow. No wet spots under the pad.

Feels light and packs down to coffee-can size! Bring a patch kit; it looks delicate!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Therm-a-Rest ProLite
Credit: Therm-a-Rest
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