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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, Regular


    149 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

    Manufacturer Warranty
    Claimed Weight
    [small] 10 oz, [regular] 14 oz
    Stuff Sack
    [small] 51 x 20 x 0.75 in, [regular] 72 x 20 x 0.75 in
    closed-cell foam, cross-linked polyethylene

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Cheap price but quality USA made

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Perfect fit for my Big Agnes Fishhawk regular size bag. Slips right into the sleeve and I sleep like a baby. No worries about punctures either. Can't beat the price and the comfort is excellent. Super light and compact enough for what I do.

    Sweet Dreams

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

    Feedback below:
    "Super light and folds up easily to strap to the outside of my pack. Made sleeping more comfortable on a 3 day trip on pretty flat/ clear ground. Not the comfiest for a side sleeper but definitely does it’s job!"

    The Base Layer of Camping

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

    This is essential for comfort. Adding just this lightweight pad as your base layer, makes for a really comfy night's sleep. And when you're in the mountains or desert trying to survive, you can't put a price on the ability to sleep well.

    durable and easy

      These are not the most comfortable pads but good enough. They insulate from the cold and provide some cushion. Fastest set up of any pad in my collection. Also a nice add on to a summer weight pad while car camping on a cold night.

      Dog Proof

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I started the Pacific Crest Trail with this and it did the trick. I will say it's not the most comfortable and they will flatten out (after 3.5 months of sleeping on it every night and throwing it around during the day)...ended up switching to a Nemo sleeping pad which made my body happier at night from all the hiking...I did recently purchase this product again for backpacking with my dog...her nails are no match for this pad. After they flatten out a bit for sleeping on, you can repurpose these! Cut 2-4 panels off and you have a nice seat for on the go.

      Versatile Product

        Recently tried a new sleeping setup where I paired the z-lite thermarest pad with the Nemo Tensor pad. I love the combination but the z-lite half of the setup is awesome for quickly setting up a durable seat when taking a break on the trail or having a pad to lie/sit on when lounging around campfire in the evening. The pad while not as comfortable as the inflatable pads available today is still comfortable enough to fall asleep on and sleep and soundly.

        Great affordable pad

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        Great piece of gear. Insulates well and is very comfortable for me. Very lightweight. The only issue is you'll have to plan accordingly if you're going to use a rain cover over your pack as it will not usually fit under (maybe someone out there has figured this out) it. The other thing is when traveling overseas it will take up alot of room in a duffle bag. These aren't hits on the mat, its just something to keep in mind.


        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I took this on a month backpack trip in September in the North Cascades. It kept me warm, held up well, and I slept decently. (I usually have no problem sleeping, so that's not saying much). It also kept me warm on a snow camping trip. Great insulation.

        2nd One

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        I already own one. Bought another one for son. Kids can generally sleep with minimal padding. For me, I couple this with a Thermarest 1.5" pro lite. Very comfortable and nice to have for camp seat.


          Love this pad. Durable, light, simple and functional. I'm kinda grossed out by sleeping pads that you inflate by blowing into them. It seems like bacteria heaven inside those things, lol.

          Great little pad

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          Love the way this thing folds up. No deflating / inflating. It ties on top of my pack and keeps the flies and mosquitoes off my neck. It stays put under the mummy bag. I camp with my dog all the time and appreciate her claws can't puncture it. Only problem is I have to get in the tent first, or she claims the pad!

          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.

          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

          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?

          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

          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.

          What are the dimensions?

          What are the dimensions?

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

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

          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.

          How much does this pad weigh?

          How much does this pad weigh?

          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?

          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?

          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.

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

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

          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!

          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!

          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.

          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.

          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...