Today I’m reviewing a sample of the Thermarest Z-Lite Sol sleeping pad (or closed-cell mattress, as the company calls it). This is the company’s lightest closed-cell mattress and geared towards those who need to count ounces on their adventure.
The Z Lite SOL features ThermaCapture™ coating that helps capture radiant heat, increasing overall warmth by nearly 20%, according to Thermarest. Use it shiny side up to benefit from this feature.
At 20 inches wide and 51 inches long, this is pretty small if you’re a bigger guy like me or want a full-length pad. If you want more coverage, though fewer features, you can opt for the Original Z-Lite (72 inches long). The claimed thickness of ¾ of an inch is also somewhat thin if you’re a heavier person – better than nothing in a pinch, but not the most comfortable for sure.
This product has a claimed weight of 10 ounces – my home scale shows it as just over 14 ounces, still very light and nice if you need to reduce weight for camping, climbing, or adventure racing. The accordion-style design folds up quickly and easily, though not compact enough to carry inside most packs. Sine it’s closed-cell foam, most people just strap it to the outside, as it is pretty much waterproof.
These closed-cell foam mattresses have a denser foam on the bottom and over the years users have found them to be extremely durable, which makes for a great deal. I’d use this (or maybe the Original Z-Lite, since it’s longer), as a protective layer under a thicker mattress or on top of another pad for additional warmth.
More info is available at http://www.thermarest.com.
*This product was provided for review purposes – all opinions are my own.