Therm-a-Rest is one of the biggest names in sleeping pad manufacturers, and they continue to impress us. We recently tried the Therm-a-Rest ProLite sleeping pad, and we highly recommend it if you’re looking for a great sleeping pad that won’t break the bank.
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Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad: The Verdict
Last year we reviewed Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad and still use it all the time, but we recently tested the company’s ProLite Sleeping Pad because we wanted something easy for the kids to inflate. We were pleasantly surprised with this ultralight sleeping pad, and the fact that it’s budget-friendly only adds to why we like this sleeping pad.
Overview of Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad
One of the lighter sleeping pads on the market right now, the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad integrates diagonally-cut foam material with an ergonomic shape for backcountry comfort. With three sizes to choose from, this sleeping pad suits all outdoor lovers. Ultralight, packable, and comfortable—and self-inflating! You just need to top it up to your desired firmness with a few breaths. Sleeping comfortably in the backcountry has never been easier.
When to use
Confidently pack this sleeping pad for your three-season adventures. We took our sleeping pads out on a few backcountry trips, but you could also use them in the front country. The tapered design makes them more suitable for longer journeys—less fabric on the sleeping pad means less weight in your backpack. The sleeping pad is lightweight, though doesn’t pack down as well as other sleeping pads.
Weight + size
Outdoor adventurers come in all sizes, right? Well, so do these sleeping pads. So lucky for shorter folks, you get to carry slightly less weight. But even if you go for the longest, it’s still super light.
Small. 350 g / 12 oz Medium. 510 g / 18 oz Large. 690 g / 24 oz
Using the included stuff sack, the packing dimensions for each size are slightly different.
Small. 28 x 13 cm / 11 x 5 in Medium. 28 x 15 cm / 11 x 5.8 in Large. 33 x 15 cm / 13 x 6 in
Light. Perfect for keeping weight down in your bag. The ProLite is the lightest self-inflating sleeping pad currently on the market. This is a great feature, however the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is only 340g (12 oz), a savings of 170g (6 oz).
Budget-friendly. For a sleeping pad that has so many impressive technical specs, the price point is relatively low. Great for our family when you have to buy five of them!
Self-inflating. Save your breath when setting up camp—this sleeping pad will inflate on its own. You just add a few breaths to inflate it to your preferred firmness.
Small Size great for kids. Have you struggled to find a sleeping mat for kids? The small and medium size are perfectly sized for kids.
Tapered shape. The mummy-style shape of the sleeping pad may be an issue for some. It’s not a barrier for backcountry trips, but you could pack something broader at the bottom if you’re front-country camping.
Packed Size. The ProLite is relatively light and a good price, so there has to be a compromise, and for this sleeping pad the compromise is that it doesn’t pack down that small, and our tester estimates it’s roughly 2x the size of a NeoAir XLite
Self-inflating + WingLock™ valve
Don’t worry about losing your breath when you inflate the ProLite Sleeping Pad. The sleeping pad self-inflates, and you just need to top it up with a few of your own breaths. So, even at high altitudes when oxygen is thinner, blowing these up is a breeze. We bought these for our kids, ages 6, 8, and 10, and they had no trouble filling up their sleeping pads to their desired firmness with a few breaths.
The ProLite Sleeping Pad has a locking feature that prevents air from seeping out as you’re inflating it. It’s always a pain to hear your hard work go to waste, but Therm-a-Rest has solved that problem with its WingLock™ valve feature, which toggles to one-way airflow when you need it.
Since our testers were a family of five, there’s bound to be some roughhousing in the tent, and sometimes that means popping a sleeping pad. The material used to construct the ProLite Sleeping Pad felt super durable and unlikely to get a puncture. With a strong polyester fabric, the tent is designed to handle a bit of roughness, whether from terrain or kids playing around. The diagonally-cut foam maintains a thickness of 2.5 cm / 1 in, which is efficient for retaining heat and prevents the uneven terrain from poking through.
One of the most important features of a sleeping pad is its ability to shield you from the cold. Therm-a-Rest tests this capability on an R-value scale, used by engineers and scientists to test thermal resistance. Three-season sleeping pads like this one generally have an R-value of 2–4. The ProLite Sleeping Pad fits this range, with its 2.4 R-value rating. Not the best, but good considering the price.
Should you buy the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad?
Overall, we think this is a great budget option for a sleeping pad. The Therm-a-Rest ProLite sleeping pad performed well in the backcountry, and it’s light and easy for the kids to handle in their packs. Self-inflatable, comfortable foam material, and made to uphold in three-season conditions—this sleeping pad is a win!