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Description

Keep it simple, smartie.

Therm-a-Rest added a thermal reflective barrier to its Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad to boost warmth by twenty percent. Super-lightweight and ultra-durable, this closed-cell foam mattress offers backpackers and campers a simple solution to their search for a comfortable night's sleep in the backcountry.

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Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

If you are going to sleep on snow.

I own the RidgeRest Solite that rolls up but I got one of the Z lite SOL's and would recommend it over the RidgeRest SoLites if you are having trouble deciding.

The way the Z Lite folds into itself makes it the better choice for strapping it to your pack. I also think the egg carton style dimples trap more warm air from your body and is a bit squishier than the RidgeRest. It has a tendency to want to accordion back up when you initially lay it out but it really isn't a big deal.

I was up at Camp Muir this past August and there were two guys who decided to leave their sleeping pads at the car and opted to not carry the extra weight. They set up their single person tents out on the glacier and I saw them the next morning. One guy was almost hypothermic and the other guy bailed on his buddy in the middle of the night and found a place in the public shelter. I spoke to both and was really confused and a bit concerned why the one guy was so cold. When the second guy came out of the shelter and was wondering where his buddy was. It all made sense as soon as he told me they didn't have pads under them while sleeping in their tent on the snow out on the glacier. Luckily the weather wasn't worse and that it was in August. If the weather would have been worse and it wouldn't have warmed up the next morning or there wouldn't have been a shelter. Those guys would have both been fooked.

It seems like a really stupid thing to need to bring. But it is even a more stupid thing to leave it behind.

If you are thinking about getting a closed cell foam pad.. This is a great one to get.

4 5

Works well for me!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just like any pad of this type, if you know what you're getting into, you're probably going to be very happy with it. If you're expecting comfort equal to an inflatable, you're going to be somewhat disappointed. In my eyes, though, the warmth, multiseason functionality, ease of use, and light weight make this a pad I'd get again and recommend to others.

I've slept on it about 40 times, and it's nowhere near needing replacement (but when it does start to go, I'll be able to cut it in half and recycle it as a mini camp chair).

Another thing that I really like about this pad (and closed-cell pads in general) is that it's great to rest gear on when breaking camp. Dust one thing off instead of all of your gear!

By the way: on warm and humid nights where the ground it relatively cool underneath you (as I've experienced a lot on New Zealand's North Island during the summer), you might wake up to find a bit of condensation in the egg-crate depressions of this pad. I've noticed this a few times, but haven't had it get any of my other gear wet. Note that my metabolism is pretty fast: this might not be an issue at all for most people. If in doubt, it might not be a bad idea to try out the Ridge Rest, as it might not trap as much condensation. In dryer and colder climates, this isn't an issue at all, and has never bothered me in my desert camping in summer or winter.

5 5

worth it

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

a little expensive, but worth it. love that it folds - roll-up foam pads are a pain because they always try to spring open. Also, this folds smaller than the rolling ones. good as a bottom pad for snow camping.

5 5

save your breathe..

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Simple, yet solid. This bad boy can go anywhere and do anything! It is great for sleeping on (side sleeping excluded, unfortunately) but what I really love about it is that I can quickly take it off my pack and use it as an extra comfy seat while I'm hiking, or just sitting around the camp fire. Again it's simplicity is one of its advantages, when you arrive at camp after a long day of hiking, kayaking, climbing, what have you, the last thing you're going to want to do is kill yourself blowing up a $200 air mattress that can easily pop, or deflate unexpectedly while in the backcountry. In conclusion, this is a thrifty buy, indestructible, and one of the lightest sleeping pads on the market. I would recommend it to a friend, and certainly replace it if it was stolen or damaged beyond repair.

3 5

Significantly warmer than the ground

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

So I used this for the first time over the weekend and I like it.
Its warm, it folds up like an accordion, and it gives some cushioning on the ground. The thing I don't like is that its bumpy. I am a stomach sleeper, so when I sleep, all those bumps are pressed into my face. Its pretty uncomfortable, but its not awful. If your sleeping bag is cushiony at all it should help a lot.
As far as warmth goes, I had a shitty walmart style sleeping bag and it was 40 degrees at night and I was sort of cold, but I'm the kind of girl that is wearing a sweater when my friends are in t-shirts.

Overall it does what it needs to do. It kept me a lot warmer than I would have been without it and I am happy to have purchased it.

Super dumb question. Which side is the...

Super dumb question. Which side is the top? do I sleep with the yellow side up or silver side up?

Best Answer Responded on

Taylor,

No question at all is the dumb question. Use the silver reflective side face up and next to your bag. This will allow your body heat to be reflected back at ya.

Enjoy!!!

Scooter

4 5

Nice!

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

I owned a large Thermarest RidgeRest SOLite pad and after several uses, I got tired of the rolled up size of it, as well as the comfort; the RidgeRest wasn't that great. I went and got a regular sized Z Lite SOL after seeing the way it packs as well as researching others' reviews. I took it out recently on a night of camping, but I used it under my Thermarest Neo Air. I was warm that night, the lowest it got down to was 31 degrees F. When I tested this pad by itself at home, it felt more cushiony than my RidgeRest.

Z Lite SOL marching up Vinson Massif

Z Lite SOL marching up Vinson Massif

You can sit on it, sleep on it, you can marvel with your team at how warm the silver-side is, but you won't have to worry about it... and isn't that nice?? Save your altitude ravaged brain cells for weather forecasting and route finding! Z Lite SOL's brilliance is its durability, simplicity, performance, and that cheerful yellow color :)

5 5

Versatile!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Yeah this is not an air pad. I don't understand why people are so surprised that it's not super comfortable. I have slept on it a few times by itself and it was fine. I am a side sleeper and I will admit it was not the best sleep I have had in the back country but that rarely happens anyway. I usually have used it under my 2.5 inch thermarest pad. It adds some extra protection from pointy rocks that could puncture my pad and it adds warmth. I also love how this pad makes a seat out of anything. I throw it up against a tree or a rock and boom instant comfort. I can even fold it a little at the top to make a head rest for my seat. This pad gets its value in versatility not absolute comfort.

making a very comfortable seat

making a very comfortable seat

on the yellow side count out 4 folds including the single layer on the outside and then fold out

4 5

Nice and lightweight

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pad is nice and lightweight and pretty comfortable for a closed-cell foam pad. The folding design is nice to quickly pack it up. It is fairly warm for a pad of this type. If you put it on a cold surface and then get on it you can feel the difference. This pad is also versitile, you can fold it part way out and use it as a seat or use it to pack gear on. This pad is fairly water resistant so if you are caught is a sudden downpour you can use it to cover some stuff or if it is on your pack you don't have to worry about it getting wet.

If you sleep on your side a lot or don't do good with foam pads there are a few other light weight options, but they cost twice as much.

The cons of this pad are the comfort and the bulk. This pad gets the job done but is far from the most comfortable pad on the market. If comfort is more what you are looking for you should look elsewhere. The bulkiness of this pad is also a drawback. You pretty much have to strap it to the outside of your pad. This isn't a horrible drawback but it does give your pack something to snag on. NEMO makes a pad the same weight but being inflatable it takes up only a fraction of the space. The upside to this pad it is can't spring a leak and leave you sleeping on the ground in the morning.

So 4 stars for the weight and comfort of a foam pad but it loses one star for the bulk and total comfort.

Rapping the Yellow Tower - Ama Dablam

Rapping the Yellow Tower - Ama Dablam

The z-lite is light and bomber, It cant fail :)

5 5

warm

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

this pad is comfortable, warm and light i have used it once and i was impressed how much warmer i felt with it i would defiantly recommend this to everyone.

Is the reflective coating a worthy upgrade...

Is the reflective coating a worthy upgrade over the standard z-lite? Is it much warmer?

Responded on

So that reflective coating just makes the pad that much more efficient then the standard z-lite. On those really cold nights it does bounce your own body heat back to you rather than letting it escape into the ground. Will you notice the difference with general use, that's hard to say but it could make up for those few degrees of difference between survival and hypothermia.

5 5

Great Pad for the money

Awesome pad. Pretty comfortable too if you're sleeping on something other than rock. I usually use an inflatable mattress and bought this to go under it during the winter. But since it's so light I've started just using this by itself and I don't miss my mattress as much as I thought I would. Also since I'm only 5'6", I cut off the last two square and use it as a seat cushion on day hikes.

5 5

Excellent for my needs

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

I took this on an 85 mile hiking trip in New Mexico, Philmont, during the 2012 summer, and it was perfect. It reflected the heat which was super key for me, because I know when I sleep close to the ground I lose an immense amount of heat. Then it was very easy to handle, the pre-made fold make storage for this, "a no brainer", and your really just have to fold it how they tell you. Having been in Search and Rescue also, It can act as a very effecient and stable splint, for both ankles, wrists,and arms. It provides many functions, but it excels at a ground closed celled foam. the great thing about this is that I don't have to worry about popping it, or deflating it. Quick and easy set up.

4 5

Does the job

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

I have the small or 3/4 version of this pad and have slept on it approximately 35 nights. The only signs of wear or tear is a small burn because of an ember from a fire which was entirely my fault for sitting to close.

I wouldnt go as far as to say this is a great pad but it does exactly what it is supposed to do. It is cheap, durable, insulates fairly well, and provides a little cushion.

Im young, but a side sleeper. I would wake up a few times throughout the night and have to roll over because my hip would be a little sore.

As far as insulation goes, I would consider myself an average sleeper. I would use this pad by itself down to about 40 degees before I would have to add something else for a higher R value.

So, if you buy this with high high hopes of 100% insulation and comfort you are going to be disappointed. If you buy it with reasonable expectations you will be pleasantly surprised.

3 5

Not a fan

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

Tried this pad a few times before I gave up. Its like (not) sleeping on the floor. If you are a side sleeper don't bother even trying. I keep it around for crazy friends who don't know that you are supposed to sleep on a ground pad. Also good for a back up under an inflatable in winter.

Responded on

I am a side sleeper myself, and have far different impressions. I have been using this pad for awhile now, and find it gives great comfort especially for the weight and price.

Responded on

I am a side sleeper as well and have no problem but if your heavy set I could see there being a problem. As Zach said for that price you should have no complaints!

Responded on

i agree with wayne. us heavier folk tend to not fair well sleeping on our sides with any light weight pad. i bet bone structure is a big factor too. i have a thermarest ultralight and find it not so comfy when trying to sleep on my side. either double up pads, get a more cushy pad, our embrace fast and light/less comfortable.

Responded on

I have actually found this to be more comfortable sleeping on your side than the classic 3/4" Therm-a-Rests.

I've got this pad in a regular and I love...

I've got this pad in a regular and I love it. I'm looking to get an inflatable pad to pair with this for winter camping, and my question is would i need a full length inflatable pad or could i get away with a 3/4 length one?

Responded on

Go 3/4 and put the foot of your sleeping bag on your pack (or something else) for additional insulation.

Responded on

the idea with winter camping is that any part of you or your sleep system (pads and bag) that touches the ground will be colder. insulating from the cold ground allows the parts of your sleep setup to retain more heat. you could use only this pad and be okay depending on how warm you sleep and how warm your bag is. you could also use a 5 inch thick pad and have lots of insulation from the ground, but it would be tough to pack that around. the 3/4 will be fine, but not as comfortable as a full length. what you need to decide is how cold do you get on fall nights, and how much are you willing to compromise space and weight for comfort and more warmth.

i use a zero degree bag, a 3/4 inch air pad, and put my bag under my feet, but i'm a warm sleeper and i'm not camping in -20 degrees.