|Rating:||7.9 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.0 / 2.5|
|Durability||2.2 / 2.5|
|Comfort||1.8 / 2.5|
|Weight||1.9 / 2.5|
Like most people of my age, I used a foam pad for a number of years and appreciated the Therm-a-rest Prolite series when it came out. For over ten years this pad kept me happy and if I was a back sleeper, and while this style of mat isn’t as common on the trail these days is has some positive that still make it worth considering as a sleep option.
In reviewing this pad I will start with the negatives first. The first is the desire to become an ultralight hiker, to minimise the weight and the bulk of the gear I am carrying. The Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus Mat is relatively lightweight at 450grams for the regular size but it is bulky in comparison newer pads. Given I am now using a relatively small pack and like to minimise what is on the outside of my pack, I can’t afford the space this pad takes up.
The second relates to a a series of injuries that I have collected throughout my life and as such I tend to toss and turn throughout the night spending a lot of time on either side and these mats are meant for side sleepers particularly if you are on the larger size and have bony hips.
On the plus side, this pad is fine for my 185 cm frame and is very stable. One criticism of the Therm-a-rest Neo Air Xlite is that it has soft edges but this is not a problem for the Prolite Plus. The Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus mat is stable across its full length and width and you are unlikely to slide off the pad during the night.
This mat is classed as self inflating which means when you unroll the pad at the days end, all you need to do is undo the valve and let the pad ‘self inflate’. I must admit I like a lot of other hikers prefer a bit of extra padding so I will add a few extra breaths to the seeping pad. This is not recommended by Therm-a-rest as the potential is to introduce moisture into the pad which can create mould but its a risk I have been willing to take in the 11 years I have owned this pad.
One of the biggest pluses on this mat is that they are very durable, much more so that inflatable mats. In the time that I owned this mat it coped with all sorts of hard and rocky ground and just kept on going.
Price wise at AUD $250 RRP this mat is classed as mid range and sits at the low end of the inflatable pad range. Many people will forgo this mat type in favour of a low end inflatable pad but from a durability perspective this pad is only beaten by the foam pad selection.
Warmth wise this pad again sits in the middle of the range and you can certainly tell the difference between a high end inflatable pad and the Prolite Plus. However the cheaper quality inflatable pads tend to have a low R-value and aren’t as warm.
I now choose to use a Therm-a-rest Neo Air Xlite pad and we recently passed these mats onto family members but for those hikers who are mainly back sleepers and want a durable high quality mat that won’t break the bank and will still keep you warm then this is a great option.
Thermarest Prolite Plus Sleeping Mat
Thermarest Prolite Plus Sleeping Mat valve close up
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AUD $250.00 RRP. Keep an eye out for the regular sales that occur and you may get a great deal
Therm-a-rest make a large range of sleeping pads that provide alternatives depending on your needs including:
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker