View Full Version : Z-lite
I have a thermarest Trail pro. The old one. I have had if for about 15 years. patched once. I use it with a peace of foam so I have a seat and other uses. It is heavy weighs about 3 lbs with the small piece of foam I have. So looking at a z-lite. How uncomfortable is it compared to a thermarest. I had a ridgerest years ago and I do not remember that being all that comfortable. Thanks for any input
I have a couple z-lites and I like them because
(1) They fold up nice and they lay out flat hot or cold.
(2) The pattern and finish is sticky enough that I don't slip off easily.
(3) The z-lite feels as cushy as any of the other equivalent thickness CCF pads I have.
(4) A large is 15oz(I think) and a small is 10oz. You can double them up, or add a couple chunks of donor pad to reduce pressue points.
(5) They don't leak. :)
Only ever had the Zlite, so I can't compare.
I can say it gets the job done for me. I like the reliability factor of not worrying about punctures and it's comfy enough.
I used to use a z-lite, then I got old :( It is a bit more comfortable than most foam pads of the same weight. 3 lb is awfully heavy!
I need more padding to sleep comfortably now and have been using various thermarests since my middle 50s, currently using a small neoair.
Like so many things, it depends. Don't expect to be as comfortable with a Z-rest on a plank or concrete floor.
I've carried nothing but a Z-rest for many seasons for the reasons listed above. I try to find a naturally soft site with some duff. Many times on the AT, I didn't even need a pad, there were so many excellent sites where I had to kick away duff to find enough dirt for my tent stakes. The Z-rest is good enough for the occasional rocky or hard-packed site.
The Z-rest also forms the "frame" of my frameless pack. It's perfectly sized for that.
Be advised that Z-rests tend to go "flat" after lots of use, maybe more so when used as a pack frame. I typically get a little over 1000 miles out of one before it gets noticeably compressed. I buy a long and cut it in half for shoulder-to-hip coverage and it costs less that way for two short ones.
stars in her eyes
I've never used the inflatable pads, so I can't tell you how the Z-lite compares, but I will give you my experience with the Z-lite:
It has good 'traction control.' It's less likely to slip - whether sleeping in a tent, shelter floor, hammock or when used on top of a mattress (think hostels) -- than other ones I've owned and tried.
It folds accordion-style. I usually strap it to the outside of my pack. It dries easily, so getting it wet isn't a big issue.
Like others have mentioned, you can customize the length to an extent by removing sections to save weight and also "doubling up" on the folds for extra comfort.
Note: they "wear down" after about 3-4 months of constant use, so if you're going to use one for a thru-hike, have at least one spare in a bounce box or at your home base in case you can't find one in town.
Thanks everybody for the info
It is fine if you are a back sleeper. I tend to sleep on my side and my shoulders and hips got sore over several nights. I am sure that is also a function of age. I switched to the neoair and am please with it, although I wish it was wider.
3/4 Z-Lite user here, nothing but great things. I mean, it could be more comfortable, but than again, I could be home sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic Cloud.
I use a full length Z-Lite and the first night or two out I had to get used to it. I formally used an REI Lite-Core 1.5 but went with the Z-Lite for durability (compared to an inflatable), the reduced weight and packability compared to other closed foam pads. I prefer firm bedding as opposed to more cushion. Even as a side sleeper I am pretty comfortable. Oh, the price is pretty sweet too.
I sleep on my side, there are like sleeping on a rock. Sitting on them around camp is OK.