Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, comfortable, durable
Cons: Bulky and heavy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Trail Lite is an all-around excellent value pad that will work well for women looking for extra warmth and comfort on their camping adventures.
With the implementation of a new testing standard in the US, the R-value of the TrailLite has decreased from 4.9 to 4.5. The Trail Lite is still one of the warmest pads in this review and could be used in spring through fall, and stretched into winter camping if paired with a foam pad. Therm-A-Rest uses fewer die-cuts (holes) in the insulating foam to create warmer spots with more padding and insulation in the torso and foot areas. This pad also has a less tapered silhouette at the feet to create a larger sleeping area for greater warmth and comfort.
Thanks to its extra foam and wider shape, our testers found the Trail Lite to be one of the more comfortable sleeping pads. The added comfort comes from its wider cut and the cushier foam under our torso. The rectangular shape makes it easier to lay side by side with another sleeping pad for those times when you may want to cozy up to your tentmate.
The Trail Lite's top and bottom are made from a durable 75 denier polyester material, making it one of the more durable sleeping pads in this review. This pad would do well somewhere you are tentative to bring a less durable pad to, such as the desert (pokey things) or somewhere with sharp rocks. We like the new grey color of the top materials but are a bit worried that it could start to show dirt over time.
Since we last tested the Trail Lite, Therm-a-Rest has given it its new WingLock valve. This valve is wider than the previous valve and is designed to allow more airflow. The "wings" toggle the valve open in a way that allows air to move in, but not out, helping you battle that pesky loss of air while inflating. This new feature also improves the durability of this product since there have been complaints of the old valves being leaky.
With the alterations to this product, the Trail Lite's weight has dropped by a few ounces to 26 ounces. The Trail Lite is no longer the heaviest sleeping pad in this review, however, we would still be hesitant to carry this sleeping pad on an extended backpacking trip and would instead reach for other lighter, higher-scoring models The saying on the trail goes: ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain!
You can see where Therm-a-Rest has attempted to lighten the pad up by removing strategic pieces of foam in the mattress near the head and feet; they do keep the foam intact around the torso to maintain warmth. Many women's products include extra insulation around the hips and feet as these are areas where women typically get colder.
The Trail Lite is one of the bulkiest of the pads we tested. Its packed size as we measured it is 10.5 x 6 inches.
The Women's Trail Lite provides an excellent bang for your buck. This sleeping pad is warmer, more comfortable, and only slightly heavier and bulkier than other self-inflating models that retail for more. If you would rather sacrifice a few ounces on your back for a few more pennies in your wallet, and potentially a few more winks of sleep, go with this pad.
The Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite is a great value for a warm and comfortable mattress. For cold sleepers, it is a good solution for 3-season camping; paired with a foam pad, it can be used all four seasons. The added padding in the torso and foot areas makes this pad slightly more comfortable than similar products. It went on a diet recently and dropped a couple of ounces, which means it is no longer the heaviest of the bunch.
— Jessica Haist