Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Light, durable, easy to set up, inexpensive.
Cons: Mildly comfortable, bulky, grooves collect dirt.
Best Uses: Budget or occasional use backpacking.
The Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest SOLite is the updated version of the ultra classic Ridge Rest. This improved pad adds a reflective layer that increases warmth without adding any weight. The Ridge Rest SOLite is the go-to sleeping pad for anyone who prioritizes price, durability, and weight. It works in just about any situation, whether on a big wall in Yosemite, backpacking, alpine climbing, or car camping. Unfortunately, this is one of the larger pads on the market and is not the most comfortable. Get the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol for a more compact closed cell pad, or the Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest Solar for a thicker and warmer closed cell pad.
For the best all-purpose inflatable pad get the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm. See our complete Sleeping Pad Review for complete scoring.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
You can stumble into camp late, thrown down the Ridge Rest and sleep in moderate comfort just about anywhere. This is the ultra classic sleeping pad. It works well in a variety of environments, is moderately comfortable, highly durable, very light, and is a great value. Whether you're big wall climbing, backpacking, alpine climbing, mountaineering, or just getting into camping, the Ridge Rest is a stellar all-purpose pad. You can also use it for other things such as yoga, sports games, and even moving furniture. Its price and durability make it a steal.
We found that the grooves collect dirt and the ridged surface isnt the best to lay your head on directly. The pads large volume forces you to strap the pad to the outside of your pack. This can lead to problematic snags when hiking off trail or simply may not be an option for some activities. We prefer to get the pad in a small, which is more compact and only weighs 9 ounces.
Superior value for a pad that will last for years.
Personal Stories from Chris McNamara
This has been my go to pad for two decades. Sure inflatable pads are a little more comfy and more compact, but I have always loved the durability and ease of set up of a Ridge Rest. Most of my camping is near the car or on rocky terrain and it is nice to pull up to spot late at night and just throw down a pad without worrying too much about it popping. Also, the Ridge Rest is by far the best option for big wall climbing. I buy it in the small size (48 inches) and use one or two to line the haul bag for low angle routes. This protects the haul bag from getting holes. Last of all, you can't beat the price. I would not hesitate to buy this as a first pad or just about anything. If you want a warmer but bulkier version of this pad, get the Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest Solar.
Other Versions and Accessories
Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol, $45
Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus - Men's, $110 or Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Women's, $110.
If you're looking for something with more padding (which often means more weight), check out the Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map - $100, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker - $130, Therm-a-Rest MondoKing - $130, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Camper - $150, or the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season - $180.
Therm-A-Rest Lumbar Pillow - $30
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. We recommend one of these for inflating the pad in the winter, when water vapor from your lungs condenses inside the pad. If you are near the car, consider using the Kwik Tek Airhead Hand Pump or the Kwik Tek Airhead 12V Air Pump.
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: March 1, 2012
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