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  • Therm-a-Rest - Z Lite Sleeping Pad - Coyote

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  • Therm-a-Rest - Z Lite Sleeping Pad - Coyote

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sleeping Pad


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    • Coyote, Reg

    134 Reviews


    This ultralight pad is the camper’s Z-Lite.

    When ounces count or you’re camping on abrasive rocky terrain that would render your self-inflating mattress useless, the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite Sleeping Pad is there to lull you to sleep. The accordion-style Z-Lite features an egg-carton pattern that enhances both warmth and comfort, and the pad also works in conjunction with a self-inflating mattress on winter outings or expeditions.
    • Item #CAS0504

    Tech Specs

    closed-cell foam, cross-linked polyethylene
    [small] 51 x 20 x 0.75 in, [regular] 72 x 20 x 0.75 in
    Rolled Size
    [small] 20 x 4 x 5.5 in, [regular] 20 x 5 x 5.5 in
    Stuff Sack
    Claimed Weight
    [small] 10 oz, [regular] 14 oz
    Recommended Use
    ultralight backpacking, winter camping (with another pad)
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    Essential piece for a better sleep

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I was up in the air of deciding on the Z-Lite or getting a blow up sleeping pad. Since I'm pretty rough on my gear & give it some serious use, I decided on going with the Z-Lite for longevity. So far, I'm loving it & it's a perfect size!

    Comfortable, Cheap, and Lightweight

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    These take up some space but are light and easy to strap to any pack. For long distance hiking or multiple night expeditions, an inflatable pad would be great since you can roll these up very compact, but inflatable pads should technically be stored unrolled when not in use. Whereas these fantastic foam pads just fold up and can easily be stored anyplace - these are also virtually indestructible!

    Anyway, I've owned one of these for 2yrs now taken it on many hiking trips, but purchased another recently for my mom who wanted to come camping with me! I have extra tents for when friends try to make excuses about not camping but no extra pads so buying another was a no brainer. Since my mom and I went "glamping" and had her car, she took along extra blankets for padding. Myself sleeping bag and this pad.

    We get tents set-up, mom puts all her blankets in and notices the pad. I say you should put that under for extra cushion. She declines and later that night says hmmmm this is horrible where is that pad at??? After putting the pad under her sleeping bag and layer of blankets, she didn't complain at all said she slept great! So that's a victory in my book.

    Minimal comfort, minimal weight

      Pad provides the minimal amount of comfort for the weight. Sometimes I get little pools of condensation in the cups.

      Minimal comfort, minimal weight

      Light, Simple, Bombproof

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      If you are expecting 4 star comfort, look somewhere else. But if you put in miles every day, or are working hard enough that when its time to sleep you pass out instantly then this is the pad for you. I sleep on my side on it just fine (okay maybe turning a few times in the night) and I absolutely love that it weighs practically nothing, and you can throw it down anywhere without worrying about it popping.

      Old School Camper

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I picked up one of these pads for my traditional car camping/ small hike in camping trips. I have been camping since I was a kid and have always slept on a roll out pad and have never had complaints.

      These pads are super lightweight and fit fairly easily on the outside of your backpack. Also I have found that I really hate sleeping on inflated anything so I went traditional and got a nice supportive pad.

      Hey, it's better than sleeping on rocks

      Not for side sleepers.

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      This is a great pad for back sleepers. Not so much for side sleepers. The regular size actually packs up quiet large.


      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      comfortable and cheap, what more can you ask for...well maybe more compactability..


      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Comfortable and allows for all types of sleeping styles unlike a lot of blow up pads. Also great not having to worry about popping your sleep system!

      best pad around

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      this pad works great, for keeping you comfortable and warm. I mostly when i use my Eno hammock and it fits great inside the hammock and keeps me nice and toasty on those chilly nights.


      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      This is a really light weight sleeping pad. It is super easy to fold up, because you don't have to spend 20 minutes rolling up your pad, and then trying to find some sort of rubber band or rope to hold it together. Just fold it up like an accordion! It is pretty comphy but a little thin from side to side. I guess that's nice if you're using a hammock or something. I use it whenever I'm in the woods. I would recommend this, because of how cheap it is. Great quality though. You should buy one. I would recommend it.

      Super light, cheap, comfortable enough

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      After having a leak spring in my air pad and a trip to the Uintas coming up I bought a z lite. It's super light and easy to clip to the outside of a pack. Not as comfortable as an inflatable pad especially for side sleepers but will get you through the night and keeps you warm. Way quicker and easier to pack up than an inflatable pad as well. Can be used as an impromptu seat cushion.

      Great Bang for your Buck

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      I bought this for my first backpacking trip on the AT (Standing Indian Mountain) for Labor Day weekend and it was great for the price! No, it's not as comfortable as my bed at home, but it insulated well and I slept quite comfortably. I would agree with other reviews that you definitely need to be prepared to strap it to the outside of your pack, it's light but bulky. I strapped it underneath my pack and I won't lie, it took a beating. Maybe I'm too rough with my things, but the foam chipped a little. No holes, but just something to keep in mind if you're one to sling your bag around.

      Ultra-lite Back Country Dreams

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      For a back country hunt this pad is awesome. I usually carry about 35 to 40 lbs into the back country and the pad didn't seem to add any weight. It provided a good barrier between the ground and my bag and stayed warm throughout the night. If you are looking for a lite weight pad this is it. Cant beat the price. The only draw back on this pad is its size. If you are all loaded up make sure to bring some para cord to strap it to your pack.

      Ultra-lite Back Country Dreams


      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      I was impressed with this pad, especially for a lower priced pad. It's really comfortable. I was able to side sleep without getting sore spots. It packs down pretty small, and is lightweight. I just bungeed it to the outside of my pack, and it wasn't bulky or annoying. Provided pretty good insulation. I didn't feel the cold ground (air temp was around 40 F).

      Does the job!

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      Definitely better than the last sleeping mat I used. It was possible to lay down comfortably on my side while camping in my two-person tent, which is a good thing since I am a "side-sleeper". Very light and compact enough to bring with you while backpacking. I did need to buy bungie cords that kept the pad from unravelling itself. Would recommend it for beginning campers on a budget who want a decent night's sleep.

      Manage expectations.

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I swapped from a self-inflating pad to a Z-lite so that I could better manage weight on longer backpacking trips, and while it certainly isn't as comfortable, it's comfortable enough. It insulates very well, and packing it in the morning is a breeze. I would highly recommend it!

      Manage expectations.

      Sleep Well

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I'm a huge fan of the Z-lite pads. My older brown and orange one has been going strong for years and has kept me insulted and warm on Rainier, Baker, Adams and plenty of other cold, on-the-snow camping experiences. I also use one as an insulator between myself and my hammock on cool nights - these things make a huge difference!

      Catch some Z's

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Not as comfortable as my inflatable Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad, but it's still plenty comfortable. I use this pad on motocycle camping trips, don't have enough room in my bag for the inflatable, so this guy gets strapped to the outside. So far it's held up well to the abuse of the road, and it's nice to be able to fold it out halfway and use it as a seat.

      Light and warm

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      After realizing I wasn't a young buck who could sleep on the cold, hard ground anymore I figured it time to invest in a sleeping pad. This pad has been great. Simple to pack and spread out, provides a decent amount of extra comfort, and is super light. I was impressed with the added warmth the pad provided after using it for a couple nights in my ENO hammock on nights that got a little chillier than I had expected. Only negative I could think of is that it doesn't pack down small so pretty much has to be attached to the outside of your pack, but that really isn't an issue considering all the benefits. Great, simple, light sleeping pad.

      Perfect sleeping companion

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Sleeping is pretty important when you're on your feet all day lugging around your pack. The Therm-a-Rest Z lite sleeping pad is the perfect combo of weight and comfort. Your not on a feathertop mattress by any means but it'll get the job done.

      I'm a little taller than the small pad but the large would be a little too big. Could I cut off the extra length on the large pad or would that destroy it?

      Hey Brian,

      you definitely could cut it at one of the seams, but be sure to seal it pack up in some way. Once cut open you'll expose the foam to more dirt and moisture which will degrade the materials.


      Will this Z pad be ruined if it gets...

      Will this Z pad be ruined if it gets wet/soaked a few times? i'm bicycling across the country and this pad will be hanging on my rear rack, how will it do?

      The closed cell foam should shed water pretty well as long as there are no major rips and tears in it and really should be good for your bike trip. Now that's not saying you shouldn't be careful and if you do get caught in a downpour maybe put a rain cover over it just to be safe.

      I've fallen in a river with this strapped on the outside of my pack and it took me about a minute to get myself and it out of the water. I set it out in the sun for 30 minuets, give or take, and let it dry out and it didn't seem any worse for wear or even damp for that matter. the water all just kind of rolled off the surface. I've heard of closed cell foam absorbing water after a whole lot of use and abuse but I've had mine for over 10 years and it still works fine rain or shine, (though it looks a bit ratty around the edges)

      Best Answer

      Mine has been soaked a time or two & it didn't affect it at all. In fact this thing has been put through so much wear & tear & it works just like the first day I bought it... doesn't look as nice though. haha

      How long is this pad?

      How long is this pad?

      5 foot 10 inches maybe a touch more. Im 6 foot and it works fine!

      What would be a good, waterproof stuff...

      What would be a good, waterproof stuff sack for this pad?

      Best Answer

      I honestly wouldn't worry about trying to keep the pad dry. In fact I used to use mine all the time to keep other stuff dry. If you're worried about your sleeping bag getting wet, just give it a good shake before you put it in your tent.

      I agree with Matt, I have actually used it to keep other stuff dry as well. I also have a 2 piece section that I use as a butt pad to sit on when the ground is wet. Your pack cover will do just fine in keeping it dry as well if you strap in on the outside of your pack.

      Being a closed cell foam pad, little to no water is absorbed in the pad. If theres any on the surface of my pad, I either give it a shake or wipe it down with something

      what is the R value of this pad

      what is the R value of this pad

      The Z Lite has an R value of 2.2. The Z Lite Sol has a slightly higher R value of 2.6 thanks to an aluminized reflective barrier.

      What are the dimensions?

      What are the dimensions?

      The short 20 x 5 x 4 in; the regular is 20 x 5 x 5.5 in. The packed sizes for the short are 20 x 4 x 5 in and 20 x 5 x 5.5 in for the regular.

      Those are the packed dimensions, but the dimensions unrolled for the small are 51 x 20 x 0.75 in; the regular dimensions are 72 x 20 x 0.75 in.

      Write your question here...whats the best...

      Write your question here...whats the best sleeping pad for backpacking...want to keep it light

      If you're going ultra light, this is a great pad. You might also consider the ridgerest, though I prefer this one.

      This pad is perfect if you're looking to shave ounces. But if you're looking for something that packs into a smaller size, you might wanna look around a bit more.

      This pad is extremely light and you don't have to hassle with rolling up a pad or blowing air into a pad because this just folds and unfolds with ease.

      How is this pad when hammock camping? I'm...

      How is this pad when hammock camping? I'm concerne that the extra weight being imparted on the pad could cause a break in the folding sections. I previously used a ridge rest and I'm looking to upgrade but still want to stay with the closed cell foam.

      I've used one in a Hennessy Expedition with no worries and not tears. The folks on the hammock forum that suggested this pad didn't mention any problems either.

      When I sleep in my hammock, this is the pad I use. It's downside is comfort on the ground, which is irrelevant in the hammock.

      how long are the small and regular sizes...

      how long are the small and regular sizes when unfolded?

      Best Answer

      small 51 in / 130 cm
      regular 72 in / 183 cm

      How much does this pad weigh?

      How much does this pad weigh?

      Best Answer

      (small) 10 oz, (regular) 14 oz
      Most backpacking products on backcountry have the weights listed. Look along the right hand side of the page.

      I have this pad and have checked the weight; the regular weight of 14oz is correct. Oh, and its amazingly comfortable!

      I am needing a super light weight pad for...

      I am needing a super light weight pad for my 11 and 8 year olds. They will be carrying packs and this is their first trip. What do you think about this pad? Also, we have a 6 and 3 year olds. I was thinking of buying the larger and cutting it in half (I am trying to save weight and $ wherever I can). Can this pad be cut?

      This would work just fine. Its not as comfortable as some of the others, but I doubt your kids will notice the difference - plus this one can be cut and the other can't.

      I picked up a Big Agnes Encampment bag....

      I picked up a Big Agnes Encampment bag. With the BA bags, there is fill on the bottom so it has no insulating properties. I like the Thermarest Z Lite but wonder if it will be warm enough to compensate for the lack of insulation on the bottom and also fit into the bag sleeve on the bag?
      I will be at 10000 ft in September so any temp is possible.

      Best Answer

      I believe it will fit just fine, but with 10k elevation in September, you may want to go with an insulated pad like the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core. If you don't want to spend that much, you may be able to get by with a z-lite combined with another foam roll-up pad.

      how is the small different from the...

      how is the small different from the regular?

      The small is 4 inches thick. The regular is 5.5 inches thick, thus the regular is 4 ounces heavier. Look at the dimensions to the upper right of the page for the complete specs.

      Best Answer

      Jason is comparing the folded dimensions, not the unfolded dimensions, which is why his answer makes little sense. The unfolded dimensions are what's really important.

      Essentially, both pads are identical in thickness (.75")and width (20"), but the small, which would more accurately be called a "Short", is only 51" long. The Regular has 4 extra accordion segments, making it 72" long.

      Many people find that they can put their empty pack, some extra clothes, or a rope underneath their calves and feet to insulate them and choose to save the 4oz by getting a small. I personally have the Regular and prefer it.

      Also, just so ya know, the small has 10 sections and weighs in at 10.7 oz, so that puts each section at just over 1 oz. Good to know if you want to cut some down, or are shooting for a target weight.

      Is there a long version of this pad? I...

      Is there a long version of this pad? I need something 76"-78" long.

      Best Answer

      Nope, 72" is as long as it comes. Try either the Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest (item# CAS0272) or the Ridge Rest SoLite (item # CAS0643). Both are available in a long that's 77" in length.

      I'm 5'8" - is the S gonna be long enough...

      I'm 5'8" - is the S gonna be long enough for me?

      Best Answer

      Well, the small is 47" long, and you are 68". Some people do fine with a pad just under their torso and head (with their feet extending beyond the pad), especially if the pad is being used primarily for comfort and not warmth. Personally, I prefer a pad that is at least as long as I am.

      the only advantage to the s size is the 3/4 length, so its is much less bulky when packing up. I own the 3/4 length. It is perfect if you have a tent. If your in the shelter, during the winter months, your feet might get cold, however it is easily fought with a pair of socks. The s size is ideal for ultra light, minimalist, through hikers because it is the lightest pad therm a rest offers with the closes cell foam design. I'm planning to through hike the AT next year, as a 16 year old, Ill be using this pad. It is a great pad, ive logged over 600 miles on it. But the small with be plenty, I am 6'2 and It is perfect for me!

      I was checking this out as a possible...

      I was checking this out as a possible sleeping pad. But I am a newbie camper and know very little about what exactly I should get.
      I need something durable. Sometimes we go to the lake and lay out on the jetties. They are pretty flat, but rocky. I am afraid the stones (about 2-5 inches across in the center of the jetty) would puncture anything air-filled unless the material is very durable and puncture proof. We lay on our backs and sides. At the moment, we use a tarp covered with a blanket, but the stones soon make this uncomfortable. This terrain is the roughest the sleeping pad will see. Once we start actually camping, it will be in moderate weather on somewhat even ground at an established campsite.
      I was looking at the self inflating, but Im worried about it being punctured. Im also worried that it will eventually become uncomfortable.
      Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
      Also, we are on a budget and are looking for something no more than $30-$40 each.

      Best Answer

      This is probably the best you can buy for that price range and without having the worry of puncturing it. Its durable, can never go flat and (as you can now see) has multiple uses. I've found the pad to be a bit thin at times when the ground is really rocky and I lay on my side as it increases the amount of pressure my body puts on the ground and thus the pad. Laying on my back or stomach, this isn't usually a problem. Hope this helps!

      This is probably the best you can buy for that price range and without having the worry of puncturing it.  Its durable, can never go flat and (as you can now see) has multiple uses.  I've found the pad to be a bit thin at times when the ground is really rocky and I lay on my side as it increases the amount of pressure my body puts on the ground and thus the pad.  Laying on my back or stomach, this isn't usually a problem.  Hope this helps!

      I was also looking at the Therm-A-rest Ridge Rest Deluxe, which this site has on sale at the moment, as a possible option. Is that also one you would recommend?

      Trina, I own the Z-lite as well as a regular Ridge-Rest, but I have used a friend's Ridge-Rest Deluxe.

      Z-lite - this is easily the most versatile of the options as you can fold it into a thick cushy seat, but for simply laying down on hard bumpy ground this pad isn't the best in the world. Durablility won't be a problem with any of these three closed cell mattresses

      Ridge-Rest - This will provide slightly more padding than the Z-lite, but won't easily make a great seat. This will also be a little tougher to move around as it doesn't have that quick folding accordion feature.

      Ridge-Rest-Deluxe - This is pretty much the same pad as the Ridge-Rest, but noticeably thicker. It will pack slightly larger than the others, because it is bigger, but it is still lightweight. If carrying it around isn't a big issue this is probably your best bet. It is by far the most comfortable of the three, yet it can take the same amount of abuse.

      I hope this helps you make your decision!

      I have used the Z-lite for years and I love it. It is dependable, cheap, and I always sleep well on it. You will enjoy it.

      Lashing the Z-lite to the outside of my...

      Lashing the Z-lite to the outside of my pack, and looking for a stuff sack or cover to protect it- any suggestions that would fit the Z-lite?

      Best Answer

      You may have a hard time finding a stuff sack to cover it. Can I ask why you would want to cover it? It is a closed cell foam pad so it will not soak up water and if it gets dirty just rinse it off. If you do want to get a cover for it I think the only thing that would most likely fit is an old tent stuff sack which will give you the length you need. Or you could get a heavy duty contractor trash bag and cut it down to size and just use a twist tie or piece of string to tie it off. Realistically though this is a ground pad that shouldn't need any protection. Hope this helps.

      If you have it strapped to the outside of your pack you could also cover it with a large pack rain cover to keep it from snagging branches and getting torn...

      I actually just put mine back into the plastic cover that it was shipped to me in, I have used this for 4 years and it keeps the bag tight and together so it doesn't spread out when I am trying to put it on my pack. If I didn't have this, I would just get some bungees to keep it together and maybe put it in a plastic bag.

      I'm planning a backpacking trip to the...

      I'm planning a backpacking trip to the Wind Rivers and we will be sleeping at 12,000+ feet so we won't be ON the snow, but temps will certainly get to the teens or less, would this pad have sufficient insulation on its own, or would I need a second pad to stay warm enough?

      The R-Value of the Z-Lite is 2.2 which will take you down to about 25 degrees F with the right sleeping bag. The Z-Lite has many advantages, but lacks in some areas. It is light, puncture proof, inexpensive, and easily packs away. It won't be as comfortable as a self-inflatable mattress nor as warm. When combining the Z-Lite with a NeoAir or Prolite pad will increase the R-Value for winter camping, but if you're not planning on sleeping on snow then this might not be necessary.

      Best Answer

      I've used this exact pad by itself in the wind rivers for the last three years. All three years I set up camp above 10,000 feet in the Titcomb basin in late July. This pad with a 25 degree bag worked fine for me. If you are used to sleeping on foam pads this will be great. If you are a side sleeper you may want to look into an insulated air core pad. They'll cost you quite a bit more, but Big Agnes makes some that are affordable.

      Been into single digits (in CO and on the the AT) sleeping in a WM Ultralight 20* bag and stayed comfortable. I sleep a little warm tho.

      is this pad yellow or orange? says 'limon'...

      is this pad yellow or orange? says 'limon' in the dropdown menu and looks yellow in the description, but i see pictures of people with an orange one..

      Best Answer

      It's a Lime Green color (very bright green). The orange colored version was the old Z-Rest sold a few years ago. This new Lime Green is what Cascade Designs (parent company of Thermarest) has decided to use to designate their 'Fast and Light' products.

      This new Z-Lite was updated last year with more resilient foam (less prone to flatten out). Because of the new foam, it's more comfortable and will last longer. The older orange colored models don't have this foam...