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Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works
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Scott Ashdown
(waterloggedwellies) - F

Locale: United Kingdom
Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/03/2006 12:42:07 MDT Print View

I am in the process of looking to buy a new sleepingpad.

At the moment, i'm undecided between the Thermarest Prolite 3 (Short Version) or the Bozeman Mountain Works Torsolite as sold on this site.

The BMW weighs less, but for marginally more weight the Thermarest covers a much greater area. In fact square inch per square ince the Thermarest appears to have a better weight to area ratio.

Whilst we all want to cut weight, a good nights sleep aids performance on the trail.

So apart from the negligible weight difference, I'd be interest on any other views about which one is deemed to be the better pad???

Thanks for any comments.

Bernard Shaw
( - F

Locale: Upstate New York
BMW more insulative on 04/03/2006 13:53:50 MDT Print View

BMW is significantly more insulative and comfortable, I use is in conjunction with a Gossamer Gear shorty for the rest of body in colder conditions.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/03/2006 17:15:26 MDT Print View


I agree with the last post. The Torsolite is going to fair better through time too. You're right though, a good night's sleep is crucial, so I would suggest ordering both pads, and sending the one back that you dont want. Although its by no means a neccessity, I believe that a good sleeping pad is one of the most important pieces of gear you can carry.


Walter Pickett
(wpick) - M
Therma rest vs. Torso lite on 04/03/2006 17:20:12 MDT Print View


I have tried both and I think the Therma rest is more versitile than the BMW pad. I've slept much better on a therma rest than the BMW.


Pedro Arvy
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
BMW is small on 04/03/2006 18:19:36 MDT Print View

The BMW pad is really small. It may have more insulation, but it looks like a childrens' version of a sleeping mat because of its size. If you more around a lot, I would get the Thermarest.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/03/2006 19:55:15 MDT Print View


On thin pads, like those you referenced, small volume is beneficial. Therefore I would choose the Torsolite.

If you think it's too small and want more area then consider the POE Max Thermo 3/4. For 2oz more than the Prolite 3 you get a 2.5" thick mattress. For the same weight as the Prolite 3 you can get the uninsulated POE Max Compact 3/4.


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/03/2006 23:07:29 MDT Print View

I have never slept on the torso pad.

But, I have the 3/4 therma-rest PRO-LITE-3 and I can curl up on it, Yes - I can get my entire 6 foot body on it. I'm kinda scrunched, but this is how I wake up in the backcountry...



Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/04/2006 07:55:48 MDT Print View

Hi Scott,

I have both pads, the torsolite and the prolite 3 short. The torsolite is a little bit more comfortable and warm than the prolite 3, except of course that it is smaller. It does not work very well for me by itself, so I use it in combination with a Gossamer Gear torso sized nitelite pad.

The combination of the two pads gives a total length of 60 inches compared to 48 for the thermarest. I find that combination way more comfortable at the same weight (10 oz + 3.25 oz) as the thermarest.

If you use a backpack made to take a pad as a frame, like the Gossamer gear packs, or similar, the above combination works really well.


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/04/2006 09:18:18 MDT Print View


Before you buy, be sure to check out this POE uber-lite

It's comparable to the BMW pad in quality, construction, and robustness. It's a little larger, but it's even just a tad lighter. It's still not as large as the Pro-Lite 3 3/4 length.

I've owned all three pads. The Pro-Lite 3 3/4 length simply can't compare in terms of comfort or "heft" of the materials used. I sold mine to a co-worker. He loves it as do four other co-workers. I'm the sole exception who prefers the BMW and POE to the Pro-Lite (they've never tried the POE or BMW however; they are just happy with the Pro-Lite).

I prefer the POE in warmer weather, and the BMW in colder weather. I think that the weight-savings hour-glass shape of the POE makes it colder when the mercury drops.

IMHO, these pads are more for comfort than for insulation. I sleep warmer on closed cell egg-crate cut foam pads from GossamerGear. I rarely use either the POE or BMW self-inflatables.

Hope this infor helps.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/04/2006 12:20:08 MDT Print View

The only problem with the POE Uberlite is that the hourglass shape assumes you sleep on your back. If you sleep on your side or front... this pad is not an option.

Edited by davidlewis on 04/04/2006 12:20:40 MDT.

David Reid
(DavidR) - F
BMW Pad on 04/04/2006 13:30:44 MDT Print View

I have been using the BMW pad since I got it. I haven't slept on the Prolite pad but it does appear to be similar...although, as others have said, the construction of the BMW pad looks heaftier.

I combine this pad with the NightLight pad from Gossamer Gear. This combination weighs the same as the Prolite and you get far more padding or insulation for your lower section in cooler temperatures. I find this combination to be far more versatile and I highly recommend it.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/04/2006 13:39:31 MDT Print View

David, Thanks for your post. I'm purely a back sleeper and really appreciate you pointing out the downside to the hourglass shape for side (and possibly front) sleepers. I'll try to keep that in mind when giving advice about the various hourglass shaped POE pads.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Uber-lite on 04/04/2006 15:15:07 MDT Print View

Ok, so where does the valve on the Uber-lite go? It looks like it ends up right under your noggin.

Also, there's a lot of talk here about the BMW pad being more robust but has anyone ever had a Prolite fail?

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Uber-lite on 04/04/2006 15:59:00 MDT Print View


You ought to check out the reviews of the Torsolite at The guy who reviewed it was instructed to test the repair kit, and he had to punch a hole in it to do so - it never failed naturally. Not proof of anything other than the fact that the BMW's reputation for being bombproof is not limited to this thread.


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Uber-lite on 04/04/2006 16:07:02 MDT Print View

By robust here is what I meant: just feeling the shell of the ProLite3 and the shell's thickness, it feels thinner then the Uber-Lite and TorsoLite and much flimsier. The shells of the Uber-Lite and TorsoLite feels thicker. The difference is really quite noticeable, IMHO. Placing the same weight (a partially loaded pack caused it to compress further than either the Uber-Lite or TorsoLite with the same pack resting on it. Used it only once and sold it. So, no long term testing involved - just side-by-side comparison with the other two.

Michael Freyman
(mfreyman) - MLife
other options? on 04/04/2006 18:45:44 MDT Print View

If a balance of weight and comfort is your criteria; maybe the new therma-rest trail lite small is an option??? (though it is 21 oz.)

** edit - grammar and math

Edited by mfreyman on 04/04/2006 19:00:21 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Thermarest v Bozeman Mountain Works on 04/04/2006 21:29:29 MDT Print View

David Lewis, it appears Carol Crooker disagrees with you. She loves the POE uber lite for side sleeping.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
BMW pad on 04/05/2006 10:20:10 MDT Print View


I don't challenge the durability of the BMW pad. I can't as I've never even seen one. I have read the reviews at BPGT. My question is has anyone actually had a Prolite pad fail on them?

And, any Uberlite owners out there: does the valve placement give you any issues?

Mark W Heninger
(heninger) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: BMW pad on 04/05/2006 10:33:58 MDT Print View

I have not had prolites fail.

The reason a prolite short is only 3 oz more than the much smaller BMW is that the materials are much lighter/thiner. If indeed they don't fail, a Torsolite sized Thermarest would probably clock in at 7 or 8 oz. I'd love that. I think the BMW is probably overbuilt.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Thermarest Prolite 3 Short on 04/05/2006 10:55:36 MDT Print View

I have had the Thermarest Prolite 3 Short for just over 2 years and used on various terrain at least one trip a month. I think the extra thickness of the Prolite 4 would help on snow, but I just add a closed cell pad under the Prolite 3. Even though I bring a repair kit, I have never had to repair it. With that stated I would say its durability meets my needs. I cannot compare to the BMW Torso Lite not ever seeing one in person.

Edited by mikes on 04/05/2006 10:57:05 MDT.