The Therm-a-Rest Z-lite sleeping pad (long and short) is a top-rated non-inflatable foam sleeping pad you can buy from a mainstream manufacturer. With an R-value of 2, it doesn’t absorb rainwater and folds up like an accordion so it can be easily strapped to the outside of your pack.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Foam Sleeping Pad
Ultralight and Durable
The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite is an ultralight, inexpensive, and virtually indestructible foam sleeping pad making it a favorite among ultralight backpacking fanatics and boy scout parents alike. Made with closed cell foam, it folds up into accordion-like sections making it easy attach to the outside of a backpack.
The eggshell pattern is fairly comfortable and will support your hips if you are a side sleeper. I prefer the short pad which is 51″ long because it only weighs 10.20 oz. The longer 72″ pad weighs in around 15 oz. The pad itself is 3/4 inch thick and is covered on one side with an aluminum coating that reflects your body heat back at you like an emergency blanket.
Being made of foam, the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite has many uses. I often carry one as an emergency sleeping pad when I lead cold weather trips to insulate an injured hiked from the cold ground, as extra insulation in the bottom of a packraft when paddling a cold river or pond, as a sit pad to keep my bum dry, water bottle insulation, or as protection under an inflatable sleeping pad. Being relatively inexpensive, you can also cut them up for a wide variety of different uses or when you want to trim off excess gear weight.
The Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite is particularly popular with thru-hikers who want a sleeping pad that is light and puncture-proof.
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