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Prolite Plus
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Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Prolite Plus on 01/07/2010 17:58:52 MST Print View

Does anyone know anything about the Thermarest Prolite Plus for women? Right now I use the BA insulated + GG thinsulite in the winter. I love the BA but I slide all over the place with both pads together and thought maybe this might work with the GG pad seeing as it has grips on it. I doubt it would work alone in cold weather.

Any thoughts?

Edited by leadfoot on 01/07/2010 17:59:28 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Prolite Plus on 01/07/2010 18:25:52 MST Print View

I am not a woman but have met people who are and use that mat 'cause it is my size (plus pillow)
BTW, mine is the PINK version.
For me it works well down to about 32f depending on how I feel.
The standard Pro lite is too thin for me.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Prolite Plus Woman's on 01/07/2010 18:47:29 MST Print View

Bought one for my wife for Christmas to replace her defective BA Insulated Air Core pad. Both weigh 24 ounces; the Thermarest is 1-1/2 inches thick vs. 2-1/2 inches for the BA.

Inflation: The Proilite and Prolite Plus pads still claim to be self-inflating but they are NOT. Open the air valve and they sit there, flat as a board. Even after lying there overnight, it did not inflate. Had to blow it up by mouth, like the BA. Noticed the same thing with my (man's) Prolite Plus. I'm told last years Prolite 3 and 4 models were the same way.

Comfort: fully inflated, I can lie on the P+ on my side on a concrete floor and not feel the floor. The 1-1/2 inch thickness works, and I roll around a LOT.

Got rid of my OLD Thermarest pads a decade ago in an effort to save weight. I've since learned that a good night's sleep along the trail, especially on a multi-week trip, is worth its weight in sleeping pad. SUL be damned; I'm budgeting 24 oz no matter what model or combination I use.


I got a (mans') P+ for me too. The man's Regular also weighs 24 ounces and is the same 1-1/2 inches thick. but is 6 inches longer. The trick to keeping the weights the same appears to me to be in the amount of foam core removed and the pad length. The woman's model appears to have removed less foam (less coring), hence its higher R value (4.6 vs. 3.8) for the same weight, achieved by simply making the pad shorter (66 vs. 72 inches).

The mind begs the question "what data does Cascade Designs have that suggests that women with a body length greater than 66 inches sleep significantly warmer than those of 66 inches or less body length?". My experience counteracts that; there are a LOT of women in this world taller than 66 inches and some of them are backpackers and trekkers. Corallary: "And what makes them think us men with a body length greater than 66 inches - and therefore forced to use the longer, lower-R pad - don't get cold at night? Don't we deserve equal treatment in terms of R values? Sounds like Marketing BS to me, all is the name of hitting a given weight point.

I submit this constitutes sexist stereotyping at its worst and that BPL should lead the charge with a class action suit in behalf of backpackers world-wide, be they male, female, hemapthrodite, or trans-sexual.

It's time for my meds now......

Edited by wandering_bob on 01/07/2010 19:12:47 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Prolite Plus on 01/07/2010 22:03:05 MST Print View

Put a few spots of seam sealer on your BA pad or CC Foam pad and they won't slide around. Otherwise if you still want a new pad, the Woman's Prolite Plus is a nice choice and would be warmer than your BA.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Prolite Plus on 01/07/2010 22:27:10 MST Print View

Our two ProLites self-inflate quite well.


Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 04:49:07 MST Print View

I wondered about putting some seam sealer on the CC pad but didn't know if it worked. I hate to buy new gear ( gasp! I didn't mean it, really. Please don't throw me over the cliff ) and I do love the BA thickness. I also had Thermarest for 20 years...same pad. I do need a thicker pad and that's why I like the BA.

If I use seam sealer on the CC pad, do I need the silicone kind or something else?

Edited by leadfoot on 01/08/2010 04:52:10 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 08:23:52 MST Print View

I know you would want to use the regular seam sealer on the Big Agnes, and I assume the same for the CC Foam, but I have never tried putting any on foam. Perhaps someone else here has.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 08:52:19 MST Print View

Might consider going to a single-pad system, no troubles w/keeping pads lined up. The Downmat 7 short weighs just over 22 oz and has an R-value of 5.9 (vs. 4.5 for wmns P.Plus). The regular-length Downmat 7 weighs ~31oz, the Downmat 9 (R-value of 8!) only weighs about 3.5 oz more. I use a Downmat 9 in winter, and love it. Others mention the Stephenson DAM. I haven't ever had a problem w/the pad sliding.

Most problems w/inflation on thermarests are due to improper storage or the foams just being well-used. What causes the pads to inflate is expansion of the memory foam, which creates negative pressure and draws air into the pad. If the "memory" of the foam is that of being rolled up and compressed, it'll pretty much stay that way. If, however, the pads are stored flat they'll self-inflate much better. You still might want to add a breath or two for firmness. Also note, good idea to store w/valve open to allow for airflow, esp. if you're mouth inflating; moisture can eventually degrade the foam. (My old turquoise LE is roughly 15 years old, though, and the foam has only been noticeably breaking down for the past several years.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 09:58:33 MST Print View

Much to consider. I guess I am skeptical about a single pad in the cold when my past experience has been not so stellar. But, I do know others have had great results with the down pads you mention.

REI just opened here and maybe they have some I can look at. In the meantime, I could try using sealer on the CC pad. I'd rather have that get ruined than my BA.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 15:51:54 MST Print View

OK...Exped has something called the mat cover pro, which has an integrated EVA pad inside a cover, which goes over your pad. Has anyone seen/used this? It weighs 3.2 oz? and would eliminate my CCF pad all together, if this would fit over the BA. Does this seem better?

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 16:07:46 MST Print View

Oops... the weight is over 24 oz for that mat cover pro. I think the 3.4 oz is the weight of just the shell, or of the stuff sack for the mat.

Even if you had a CCF pad that weighed around 3 or 4 ounces, though, it would add less than R-1 to your sleep system. If you combined it w/a Wms P.+ then you'd get an R 5-5.5 for 28 oz. For 31 oz you could have a full mat w/R-5.9, or for 34.6oz an R-8. Presumably you're combining pads in the first place to gain some warmth, so just using a warmer pad from the start kinda makes sense to me...

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 18:38:43 MST Print View

it really does make more sense to have one pad. I was trying to aim for a cheaper alternative. The Expeds now have the built-in pump.

I will mull over all this and see what works best. : )
Off to a hike......

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Prolite Plus on 01/08/2010 19:21:10 MST Print View

As far as sliding, when I had two pads used together, I would simply secure them together with some grossgrain type webbing that I bought at REI (with buckle). One looped and buckled/tightened around the top third, one around the bottom third. Added a couple of ounces to my pack weight, but kept the two pads together as if they were one.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Prolite Plus on 01/10/2010 08:27:30 MST Print View

We have two of the older Prolite 4 pads, one Regular and one Women's (in screaming pink.) I've been carrying my regular Prolite 4 since it came on the market, and find it comfortable and warm in all seasons. I've slept on it down to the single digits in AT shelters.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Prolite Plus on 01/10/2010 08:32:54 MST Print View

Good to know because that's what it was last night! 5 degrees.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Winter = two pads on 01/10/2010 10:46:56 MST Print View

In true winter conditions I would carry two pads anyway. An airpad or thermarest could spring a leak and then you're essentially down to no pad at all. An uncomfortable night in three season conditions, but in cold winter maybe outright dangerous.

Paul Davis
(pdavis) - M

Locale: Yukon, 60N 135W
Pink Prolite versus (gasp!) T-rest LE on 01/10/2010 22:13:45 MST Print View

All: I have a 2008 women's tall Prolite, bought mostly for the weight savings and considerably smaller deflated size. I too bought it because it had the same R-factor (insulation) as the LE. But I find myself only packing it in the summer as I fear freezing on it! Pyschological I guess! The LE I have is almost solid internal foam. Still the Pink Prolite is so much smaller it can go almost anywhere, no mean thing when carrying full -40C survival gear!!!

Well, if I get my courage up and use the Pink Pro-lite at -10C on a foam pad, I will let you know! If anybody already has done so, let me know---and save me a (possibly!) cold night!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Pink Prolite on 01/10/2010 22:47:52 MST Print View

I carried the pink Prolite, in the 66" size, for years until the advent of the NeoAir. Now I sleep in total comfort.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Pink Prolite versus (gasp!) T-rest LE on 01/11/2010 03:42:29 MST Print View

Paul, if you have a backyard, sleep there one night to test your pad. I do that for cold weather gear that I am unsure of before going out.

I think the Prolite is a bit different than the Prolite Plus.

I will try the straps to hold the pads together, but the CCF is narrower than the BA and not sure it would hold together as well as if the pads were equal in width. Maybe put the seam grip on one pad as well. But those down mats look sweet, especially with a built- in pump.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Pink Prolite versus (gasp!) T-rest LE on 01/11/2010 08:03:22 MST Print View

I had a Men's Prolite 4 for a while and found it cold in the 20's. I think the Men's version only had a R value of 3.2 while the Woman's version is warmer. I switched to an Exped Downmat 7 with a R value of 5.9 and have never been cold while sleeping since.