Thermarest Sleeping Pad Comparison and Buy Guide
A good night's sleep can be the difference between having a great time and a bad one when you're outdoors, so choosing the right sleeping mat is a big decision. Therm-a-rest have been in the outdoor sleep game for over 40 years, so they know a thing or two about how to make a quality sleep mat, sleeping bag, pillow or blanket.
Their range has come a long way since their first original design, with products available to suit every kind of user - from a recreational family on a summer car camping trip, to the lightweight camping ounce-counter who's looking to shave as many grams off as possible. So if you're looking to pick up your next Therm-a-rest, take a look at this buy guide and comparison table to help you make the right choice.
Choosing the right spec
Not all Therm-a-rest products were created equal - some are aimed at the entry level camper, while others are built to stand up to top-level, all-season expedition use. You don't have to spend the earth to get a good night's sleep, but it's important to choose a mat with the level of performance that you need. When describing sleeping mats we mainly talk about packaged weight, packaged size (length, width and height) and R-Value.
Packaged size and weight
Therm-a-rest sleeping mats come in a range of sizes and weights, from the super-light NeoAir X-Lite to the luxurious DreamTime. Choosing the right one will mean knowing how you intend to use it.
If you're new to sleeping outdoors and want some extra comfort then a larger, heavier, comfort-first mat will generally give you what you're looking for. But if you're going to be traveling a long way under your own steam, walking, running or cycling, then the added bulk of these comfort-oriented pads will start to cause problems.
If that's the case then you want to consider a lighter pad that packs down to a smaller volume. Some of Therm-a-rest's mid-range mats like the Trail Lite or warmer Trail Pro will provide a great level of comfort at a size and weight that will be portable enough for most users, while other mats can give the same level of insulation at around half the weight and a significantly smaller size.
It's also worth remembering that the lightweight mats might not stand up to the same level of wear and tear as their more substantial cousins, so you might want to sacrifice a little weight-saving to get a mat that'll last the test of time.
Used to describe the thermal resistance of a material, R-Values are given to lots of insulation products like those used in building construction. The higher the R-Value, the harder it is for heat to pass through the material, and therefore the more insulating it is.
One of the key functions of a sleeping mat is to protect you from losing heat to the ground, but it's not as simple as just looking at a mat's thickness, to tell you how well insulated you'll be. Different thicknesses, weights and designs can provide the same amount of insulation - so we really need the R-Value of a product to tell us how well the pad will perform.
An R-Value of 1 will only be effective down to a temperature of around 10 degrees celsius, whereas for comfortable sleeping in temperatures below zero you might need a combined insulation R-Value of over 5. For all-season winter camping you might find you need to combine more than one layer of sleeping pad to get the level of insulation you need for a comfortable night's sleep, but sleeping position, clothing and sleeping bag can all have an impact too.
Therm-a-rest Mat Comparison Table
The table below details the packed weight & dimensions and R-Value for the full Thermarest Sleeping Pad range to help you decide which is the right mat for you depending on what your priority is between weight, size and warmth.
|Thermarest Mat Model||Packaged Weight (g)||Packaged Length (cms)||Packaged Width (cms)||Packaged Height (cms)||R-Value|
|ProLite - Xtra Small||285||28||8||8||2.4|
|NeoAir XLite - Small||300||23||8||8||3.2|
|ProLite - Small||370||28||8||8||2.4|
|RidgeRest SOLite, Regular||400||51||20||20||2.8|
|Z-Lite SOL, Regular||400||51||13||14||2.6|
|RidgeRest Classic, Reg||425||51||20||20||2.6|
|NeoAir XLite - Regular||425||23||10||10||3.2|
|NeoAir XLite - Women's||425||23||10||10||3.9|
|ProLite Plus - Small||450||28||10||10||3.4|
|NeoAir Trekker, Large Torso||455||28||9||9||3|
|NeoAir Xtherm - Regular||515||23||10||10||5.7|
|ProLite - Women's||530||28||10||10||3|
|RidgeRest Solar, Regular||540||53||23||23||3.5|
|RidgeRest SOLite, Large||540||64||21||22||2.8|
|NeoAir XLite - Large||540||28||11||11||3.2|
|ProLite - Regular||540||28||10||10||2.4|
|NeoAir Venture WV, Small||565||23||11||10||1.8|
|NeoAir Trekker- Regular||565||23||11||11||3|
|RidgeRest Classic, Large||565||64||20||20||2.6|
|NeoAir XthermMax - Large||565||28||11||11||5.7|
|NeoAir All Season, Medium||595||23||12||12||4.9|
|NeoAir All Season, Regular||595||23||12||12||4.9|
|Trail Scout, Med||625||28||14||14||3.4|
|ProLite Plus - Women's||650||28||12||12||4.2|
|NeoAir Xtherm - Large||655||28||11||11||5.7|
|ProLite Plus - Regular||670||28||12||12||3.4|
|Trail Scout, Reg||680||28||15||15||3.4|
|EvoLite Plus, Regular||690||19||14||14||3.2|
|NeoAir Venture WV, Medium||710||23||12||11||1.8|
|RidgeRest Solar, Large||740||66||23||23||3.5|
|NeoAir Venture WV, Regular||740||23||12||11||1.8|
|NeoAir XthermMax - Reg||740||23||10||10||5.7|
|ProLite - Large||740||33||11||11||2.4|
|NeoAir Trekker, Large||765||28||12||12||3|
|NeoAir All Season, Large||780||28||13||13||4.9|
|NeoAir Camper, Regular||795||28||13||13||2.2|
|BaseCamp AF, Regular||820||30||18||18||1.7|
|EvoLite Plus, Large||890||23||15||15||3.2|
|ProLite Plus - Large||900||33||13||13||3.4|
|Voyager, Regular Wide||905||28||12||11||2.2|
|Trail Lite, Women's Reg||905||29||15||15||4.9|
|Trail Lite, Regular||905||29||15||15||3.4|
|Trail Scout, Large||905||33||15||15||3.4|
|NeoAir Camper, Large||965||33||13||13||2.2|
|Trail Lite, Women's Lg||965||29||16||16||4.9|
|NeoAir Venture WV, Large||995||28||12||12||1.8|
|Trail Pro, Women's Reg||1000||29||15||15||4.8|
|Trail Pro, Regular||1000||29||15||15||4|
|NeoAir Camper SV, Large||1080||38||16||17||2.2|
|BaseCamp AF, Large||1105||36||19||19||1.7|
|NeoAir Camper, XL||1135||38||13||13||2.2|
|Trail Lite, Large||1195||33||16||16||3.4|
|Trail Pro, Large||1260||33||16||16||4|
|NeoAir Camper SV, XL||1275||43||16||17||2.2|
|BaseCamp AF, XL||1335||41||19||19||1.7|
|Luxury Map, Regular||1760||53||16||16||6.8|
|Luxury Map, Large||1900||66||16||16||6.8|
|NeoAir Dream, Large||2040||25||25||41||6|
|MondoKing 3D, Large||2125||66||17||18||11.4|
|Luxury Map, XL||2325||79||16||17||6.8|
|NeoAir Dream, XL||2380||25||25||47||6|
|MondoKing 3D, XXL||2720||76||18||18||11.4|