The best all-purpose portable pad is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm, which provides the ultimate blend of warmth, comfort, weight savings, and packability. Taking weight savings a level further, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite weighs only 12 oz. and packs down super small. For those who spend less time backpacking and more time base and car camping opt for the Nemo Astro Insulated, a cheaper and slightly wider alternative to the expensive and fancy abovementioned NeoAirs.Choose 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 it's not. Either pad weighs only 14 ounces.
Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The ProLite Plus is the warmest and most comfortable portable inflatable foam pad we've pad we tested. Its contoured shape provides ample slumber space while shaving off unnecessary ounces. The main thing that sets this pad apart from the companys ProLite, the Nemo Zor, and Pacific Outdoor Equipments Peak Oyl Mtn is comfort. The ProLite Plus is 50% thicker than the ProLite and 100% thicker than the Zor. This added air and foam makes sleeping on your side significantly more comfortable and warmer. Therm-a-Rest measures the ProLite Pluss R-Value at 3.8, which makes the pad close to twice as warm as the ProLite. This is a versatile, all-season pad that priorities comfort. The best part about this pad (and all other inflatable foam pads) is its flat surface, which is more comfortable to lay your head directly on than bumpy NeoAirs or other ridged sleeping pads.
Despite being warm and comfortable, the ProLite Plus weighs a pound and a half, which firmly sets it among the heavier backpacking pads we've tested. The pad packs to a passable 3.25 Liters (about a third larger than the company's ProLite and over twice the size of the NeoAir XTherm). Its therefore geared more toward the casual backpacker than the fast and fast and light crowd.
The NeoAir series offers much more performance and comfort. The NeoAir All-Season is our top rated all-purpose portable pad. It's warmer, lighter, and more comfortable (for side sleepers) than the ProLite Plus. We recommend the AllSeason if you can afford its $40 increased price.
The ProLite Plus is a good value if you prefer the flat surface of self-inflating foam pads. If you're willing to give air core pads a try we recommend the Nemo Astro Insulated or Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season.
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