Gear Review

5 5

Me and my Z-Lite: a love story

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

With great sadness, I bid farewell to my trusty Z-Lite last month after 5 amazing years of companionship, epic adventures, warm and comfortable nights, and some of the wildest terrain I've ever seen. You know how they say dogs start to look like their owners? Well my Z-Lite looked like me; in that I spent so many nights on it there was an indentation the shape of my back on it. I had it strapped to the outside of my pack bushwhacking through Yukon scrub pine forest, Utah slot canyons, New Zealand rainforest and everywhere in between and the Z-Lite never failed or broke. I spent 20 days camped on a glacier, double padding with my Z-Lite and a Prolite and was snug as a bug, when everyone else, including a guy who had a 2.5" thick Exped mat and people using just a Prolite were freezing their butts off. Simply put, the Z-Lite is one of the most functional, reliable pieces of equipment you can buy. Just do it. You'll fall in love.

(footnote: the same Z-Lite is still going strong; I gave it to a friend in New Zealand because I didn't want to have to pack it coming home. I cut off part and use it as a buttpad though, so it still has a place in my heart.)