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z lite
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John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
z lite on 06/01/2012 14:12:15 MDT Print View

I think the z lite might be comfy enough to give up my 1” thermarest.

How well does it hold up?
Does the foam &/or bumps pack down and loose comfort quickly?
Do the hinges start to rip relatively soon?


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: z lite on 06/01/2012 14:19:54 MDT Print View

Durability wise its fine but I personally would not sleep on one as I sleep mainly on my side.

Joseph R
(Dianoda) - MLife

Locale: Chicago, IL
Re: Re: z lite on 06/01/2012 14:28:05 MDT Print View

I agree with Stephen. Very durable but not a great choice for side sleepers. I know a number of people who swear by them, but I just need more cushioning. They are awesome to have in camp and make great seats. I usually carry a short section to even out the bumps in my pack (SMD Swift w/ stay) and use it in my quilt (which has a sleeve at the foot for one). If you sleep on your back, then you'd probably be fine.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: z lite on 06/01/2012 15:00:26 MDT Print View

I slept on one two weekends ago just to see how it was and it was actually not as bad as I expected. The one thing I would say is, if you're a side-sleeper (as I am), you'll want a really solid pillow. I woke up with my whole upper arm numb and ended up pulling my pack under my backpacking pillow. After I did that, I slept surprisingly well.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
Works great on 06/01/2012 15:02:25 MDT Print View

I like the z-lite a lot. As said, very durable; no problems with the folds or the bumps. The bumps are a bit wrinkled and obviously not new, but they don't seem to have lost much or any comfort. I'm not shy about using it on the ground when lounging; that's one of my favorite things about CCF versus my heavier self-inflating pad.

I sleep on my back when I'm asleep but need to be on my side to fall asleep, so on hard, oft frequented campsites, I have problems. A simple solution is to fold the z-lite so that there's two or three sections under my hips. I bought a full length pad and cut it so that I have one 9 section pad and one 5 section pad; 9 is enough for my torso when the last two are doubled up, or a bit extra if not. But the best solution is site selection; camp on a surface that's comfortable to begin with and then add more cushion with the z-lite. Not always doable but it's a cornerstone of UL technique in my opinion.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
z lite on 06/01/2012 16:15:53 MDT Print View

If I were in my 20's, that's what I'd get. Unfortunately, I'm quite a few decades beyond that point and would be screaming in pain all night if I tried to sleep on one. As with any sleeping pad, I recommend trying it out on the floor for a night or two before deciding to keep it.

I did get them for my grandkids. The oldest has the newest version (with reflective coating); the middle one has an older version; the youngest has one that Thermarest once made as a dog sleeping pad. The last is 36" long and has a picture of a dog embossed on one end; otherwise it looks like any older Z Lite, back when they were all gray instead of fluorescent yellow or orange.

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/01/2012 16:16:31 MDT.