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Theramrest Z-Lite

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Thermarest Z Lite Sleeping Pad Review

The Thermarest Z-Lite sleeping pad is designed for those seeking a basic lightweight pad for trekking, camping or backpacking.

While the Z-Lite has been upgraded to the Z-Lite Sol. CascadeDesigns has decided to keep the original on the market and some stores continue to have it in stock.

    What's Smart?

  • Lightweight
  • Packs Well
  • Comfortable
  • Offers good insulation

    What's Not?

  • Some users find it bit bulky
Suitable for: Base camp, Backpacking, Hiking, Travel
Approx price: $40 US or less
Countries available: Worldwide (check with us or CascadeDesigns)
Brand: Therm-a-rest (CascadeDesigns)


The Thermarest Z Lite Pad is designed for those who enjoy camping and backpacking that want some comfort between them and the floor without having to carry a full size mattress around on their adventures.

This pad is suitable to take on light-weight trips when keeping the weight and pack size as low as possible is a great advantage.

What the Consumer Reviews Have To Say

The Reviews for the Z-Lite are extremely favorable. The majority of buyers give ratings of 4 out of 5 stars, if not the full 5.

What's really impressive is that many of the reviews were written by people who have used the Z-Lite for years and have never felt let down.

Here are some actual users comments that seem to sum up what most users have to say.

  • "I have used this pad for a few years now and it is definitely worth more than the 25 bucks I spent for it." (Trailspace review)
  • "And another user comment states: " If you want a VERY reliable, very tough, light simple sleeping pad....then this is it." (REI review)"

Here's what users liked and didn't like

There's many positive things people find about this sleeping mat that's a common thread among users which they don't hesitate to state in consumer reviews.

There were also a few scattered complaints that it was not as comfortable as one would hope. However, one other buyer summed up these comments nicely when he said: "What did you expect the same comfort as a tempurpedic? It's a foam mat, get a clue." (REI review)


  • Light weight
  • Packs well
  • Durable
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Life time warranty
  • Great price


  • Some condensation in cold weather
  • Can be a little bulky on long hikes

Conclusion - Verdict

If you are looking for a pad that is light enough to take hiking and durable enough to last for years then the Thermarest Z Lite Sleeping Pad seems to be the ideal choice.

It's versatility, and the egg shaped design makes it more comfortable than most thin foam pads and it's fold up design makes it easier to carry.

Update: 2012 CascadeDesigns introduced the Z-Lite Sol which is an upgraded version that has an aluminized reflective barrier offering more warmth.

The features/specs of this sleeping mat are:

  • Closed cell foam, egg crate design.
  • Folds up rather than rolls up for more compact carrying.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Dimensions: 20 x 72 in. (51 cm. x 183 cm.)
  • Pack Size: 20 in.x 5 in. x 5.5 in.
  • Weight: 14 oz.
  • Thickness: 0.75 in. (2 cm.)
    Pack size
    Value for money

User Reviews And Ratings

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