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My Therm-a-Rest zlite. It's a sleeping pad! It's a chair! It's a pillow!
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Jacob Blumenfeld
(surfingdwedge) - F

Locale: Northern California
My Therm-a-Rest zlite. It's a sleeping pad! It's a chair! It's a pillow! on 11/16/2011 21:03:22 MST Print View

I usually do not bring a pillow on my trips, but after waking up every morning on every trip with a sore neck and sore shoulder (I end up pretty much sleeping on my shoulder which rolls it in). I was looking for a solution WITHOUT increasing any weight.

So what i did was, is I took my therm-a-rest z-lite regular (72 inches) @ 13.5 oz and cut off the top 4 folds! I then cut it in half longitudinally so that i could stack it up to a height that was comfortable for my neck but not too wide. Wrap it in a down sweater, fleece, or thermal and BAM instant pillow that you can adjust the height of section by section (from 1/2 inch to ~3.5 inch for your own personalized comfort! The support it provides is much better than the compressible pillows, and you don't roll around on it like an inflatable. Yes, my pad is now only 51 inches long (the length of the short version, and heck I'm only 66 inches tall so its still quite nice...), but now I will just use my pack for my feet, or nothing for my feet. If I ever feel like I need better insulation under my feet ill just sacrifice my pillow for the night.

I'm sure all of you "z-liters" have used your pad as a chair as well. Well now with this extra double folded section, it nearly doubles the height of my chair, and feels like quite the luxury! My z-lite chair is 8 inches off the ground and super squishy.

Some other things you can use the z-lite for:

-collection tray for finding dry tinder (or even use it as a fire starter if necessary)
-smaller pillow sections can be a fly / mosquito swatter
-canopy for shade
-the pillow sections can be used as a hand fan
-yoga mat (early morning stretches before hitting the trail)
-changing screen

Wanna get really creative?

Instead of using a jacket use a vest and wrap the pillow sections around each arm and tie para cord around it for extra insulation..


place pillow folded open under jacket on chest and back for lots of extra insulation (actually very practical in an emergency situation).

Snow sled and river raft perhaps?

Someone should try tying pieces of foam to their feet and see if it will allow you to walk on water!

Is there anything the therm-a-rest z-lite can't do? If anyone says "give me good nights sleep" so help me....


Edited by surfingdwedge on 11/16/2011 21:06:29 MST.

Nick Reid
(NickBReid) - F
+1 on 12/30/2011 14:55:15 MST Print View

It's best piece I ever bought. Mine has also been cut down; I'll try using the extra for a pillow.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 01/25/2012 01:50:44 MST Print View

Nice! I did pretty much the same thing once for sitting in the bleachers at a yankee game. I have since duct taped the cut sections back together to make a full pad again. I like the pillow idea, I might have to try that.