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REI Lite-Core 1.5 Review

REI Lite-Core 1.5
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Price:  $85 List
Pros:  Comfortable, durable.
Cons:  Packs larger than Therm-a-Rest ProLite and Nemo Zor; weighs more, too.
Manufacturer:   REI
By Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  Feb 5, 2012
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Our Verdict

The Lite-Core 1.5 is REI's best all-around inflatable sleeping pad. It has attractive styling, reasonable features, and is comfortable and warm. Although the Lite-Core is a reasonable value for an entry-level pad, we recommend spending a few extra dollars for the Therm-a-Rest ProLite, our highest rated inflatable foam pad.

If you want to branch out from air/foam construction — and therefore get a warmer, more comfortable and lighter pad — consider a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir. At 12 ounces, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is the best ultralight pad available and the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm, just three ounces more, is the ultimate, do-it-all sleeping pad for multi-day trips in all conditions.

Our Analysis and Test Results


The REI Lite-Core 1.5 is nothing to write home about. It's a basic inflatable pad with average quality foam and fabrics. We like the anti-slip surface, which is grippier, but less uniform, than the Therm-a-Rest ProLite's surface.


The Lite Core 1.5 weighs 27 oz. and consumes over four liters of your backpack. Aside from being heavy and large, this pad has few technical flaws. It's the best at nothing, and therefore slightly more affordable than the better pads. The Nemo Zor and Therm-a-Rest ProLite have better foams that are more comfortable, more compressible, and lighter.


The Lite-Core 1.5 retails for $10 less than the Therm-a-Rest ProLite. The ProLite is well worth this additional sum.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale