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Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Regular

*Est. $85
Reviewed by ConsumerSearch
Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Regular

Best sleeping pad for backpacking.

Pros
  • Lightweight (20 ounces)
  • Mostly self-inflating
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Narrow (20 inches)
  • Only an inch thick
  • Not much insulation (R-value 2.3)
  • Non-slip bottom gets mixed reviews
Where to Buy
 

Backpacker magazine has field-tested so many sleeping pads over the years that editors' recommendations carry a lot of weight. In 2003 they gave Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads their Editors' Choice Gold award. An earlier comparison review at GearReview.com recommends the Ultralite, now the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3. We found over 40 owner-written reviews of the ProLite 3 at Backcountry.com, plus another two dozen at REI.com. Dan James gives a detailed review at blog Silver Orange Stuff, and we also found useful comments from owners at BackpackGearTest.org and Trailspace.com.

The self-inflating Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 is the most-recommended sleeping pad for backpacking, with maximum comfort for its weight -- though not all campers find its cushioning enough. For colder nights, reviewers recommend adding a closed-cell foam mat under it. Quite a few older hikers (and younger ones who love comfort) find that it's worth carrying the heavier Exped DownMat 7 (*est. $140), which is better insulated and 2.8 inches thick.

Where To Buy
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress, Pomegranate, Regular

 
Buy new: $99.95   1 Used from $69.99

 

Our Sources

1. Backpacker Magazine

Editors of Backpacker magazine give the Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads an Editors' Choice Gold award for their long-term contribution to camping comfort.

Review: Editors Choice Issue, Editors of Backpacker, April 2003

2. GearReview.com

Despite its age, this comparison review is valuable since it rates 12 sleeping pads. The Therm-a-Rest Ultralite, the model replaced by the ProLite 3, is one of the top recommendations.

Review: Sleeping Pads: Cheap Sleep Insurance, Steve Mann, Nov. 1999

3. Backcountry.com

Staff at this hiking gear retailer rate the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 sleeping pad a "best buy," and over 40 owners mostly agree. A few find that it's just not thick enough, especially for side sleepers.

Review: Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Sleeping Pad, Staff and contributors to Backcountry.com

4. REI.com

The Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 is one of the top-rated sleeping pads here, reviewed by about two dozen owners. A handful of women also give top scores to the women's version.

Review: Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Sleeping Pad -- Regular, Contributors to REI.com

5. Silver Orange Stuff

This detailed review of the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 sleeping pad compares it with the MEC Apogee Long (now the MEC Kelvin) reviewed here in 2004.

Review: Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Sleeping Pad Review, Dan James, Dec. 18, 2006

6. Trailspace.com

About a half dozen owners give the ProLite 3 sleeping pad top ratings here, finding it durable and surprisingly comfortable for its thickness.

Review: Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3, Contributors to Trailspace.com

7. BackpackGearTest.org

Several experienced backpackers review various ProLite sleeping pads in great detail, including the women's version. The 1-inch thickness gets mixed reviews for comfort, and the "non-slip" bottom sometimes slips.

Review: Therm-a-Rest ProLite, Contributing to BackpackGearTest.org

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