Gear-Zone Guide to Comfort Part Two: Therm-a-Rest
Posted by Neil | June 03, 2011
Therm-a-Rest have been at the fore-front of comfort for travellers for 40 years.
Their legendary self-inflatable mattresses, sleeping bags, thermal blankets and cushioned seating have been - literally - a great comfort for travellers since the 70s.
Memory foam pillows for air passengers, portable chairs for sporting enthusiasts, blow-up air beds and specialist camping bed linen…the Therm-a-Rest list is almost endless.
The company, founded by three redundant Boeing engineers who happened to be avid backpackers, started out manufacturing a line of self-inflating camping mattresses.
Since those early days, Therm-a-Rest have become the last word in comfort for travellers everywhere, whether holiday makers looking to relax on a long-haul flight, skiing enthusiasts after a little après-ski comfort, or serious cold weather mountaineers seeking warmth in freezing conditions.
Therm-a-Rest’s unmatched quality has made them the world’s finest in sleeping systems, thermal insulation and all-round, award-winning comfort.
Their ‘Fast and Light’ mattress series is designed for lightweight backpacking, expeditions and mountaineering.
Prolite is the lightest, most compact self inflating sleeping mattress around, a 3-season mat aimed at campers, trekkers and climbers for whom weight and pack size are a priority.
To shave extra weight, it is tailored to fit your body shape – wide at the top and tapered at the bottom – and weighs just 460g (regular.)
2.5 cm die-cut foam provides plenty of comfort and allows it to roll up neatly to a pack size of just 18 x 13 cms.
Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus is of similar design, but is suitable for 4-season use, and as the warmest in the Fast and Light range is ideal for winter environments.
3.8 cm of diagonal punched foam weighs 680g (regular) and rolls up to 28 x 12 cm.
The ‘Trek and Travel’ range gives a touch more comfort – the Trail Lite for example with its expanded urethane 3.8 cm foam still weighs just 800g (regular) with a slightly larger 28 x 18 pack size.
The last word in luxury though is the Basecamp series, which maximises comfort and warmth to make it the deluxe version of a classic Therm-a-Rest.
The added comfort does come at the cost of slightly more weight and pack size – 1150g and rolled size of 53 x 12 cms (regular,) but the thicker – 5 cm – of expanded foam is guaranteed to make all the difference.
If weight really is of the utmost importance and every last gram does matter, Therm-a-Rest’s non-self inflating Neoair series of sleeping mattresses is their ultra-light alternative to anything else on the market.
Packing down to the same size as a one-litre water bottle, the Neoair weighs just 410g (regular) and rolls away to 23 cm x 10 cms. Warmth-to-weight ratio is obtained by a reflective aluminised barrier, which reflects body heat and reduces heat loss, and a higher number of individual air cells designed to minimise convective cooling.
Choosing a Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Mattress
3-season or 4? Is weight a critical factor? How tall are you?
Whatever your needs, Therm-a-Rest has the solution.
Sleeping mattresses are rated by their R-Value, the measure of thermal resistance. The higher the value, the warmer you will be.
- Prolite – 2.2
- Neoair – 2.5
- Prolite Plus – 3.8
- Trail Lite – 3.8
- Basecamp – 5
Weight and Pack Size
- Small: 119 cm long, 51 wide
- Reg: 183 cm long, 51 wide
- Large: 196 cm long, 63 wide
- Neoair – 410g, 23 x 10 cms
- Prolite – 460g, 18 x 13 cms
- Prolite Plus – 680g, 28 x 12 cms
- Trail Lite – 800g, 28 x 18
- Basecamp – 1150g, 53 x 12 cms