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Dennis Park
(dpark) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
thermarest z lite sol vs solite on 05/25/2014 22:59:10 MDT Print View

Other than packability, can anyone hightlight the various pros and cons of either model?

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: thermarest z lite sol vs solite on 05/26/2014 08:01:54 MDT Print View

As a side sleeper, my opinion is that the z-lite is crap for side sleepers. I tried it for two nights, then promptly put it in the car for picnic and bleacher seating. Luckily I picked it up on freecycle so I wasn't out any money. The problem is the eggcrate pattern flattens out. For a back or stomach sleeper I think this is minimized b/c of the larger surface area of the body pressing down. For side sleepers all that weight is concentrated on two points and it feels (to me) like there isn't any padding at all under my hip.

That said, underneath a second pad I suspect it'd be fine. But by itself I wouldn't recommend it unless you're acclimated to a very hard sleep surface, or else only camp where there's soft ground.

I recently picked up a solite for a song and have only lain on it indoors so far. My observation is that it's not any softer than the zlite, but it doesn't flatten out, so what padding there is actually serves to cushion.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: thermarest z lite sol vs solite on 05/26/2014 08:26:44 MDT Print View

The zlite is accordion style /\/\/\/\
However I don't use it flat. As mentioned above, side sleepers need more pressure point support for shoulder and hip.
I experimented with different folding setup to have more double padding on some areas. I even experimented with folding everything under two columns and using the width of the pad as my vertical support.

So I got 2 or 3 inches of support from shoulder to hip, curled in fetal position. I repurposed other gear to make shift a pillow and I put my feet up on my pack.

Site selection with padded grass and duff and rock removal is useful.

Good luck.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: thermarest z lite sol vs solite on 05/26/2014 08:42:56 MDT Print View

I find the z lite tolerable to sit on. I use a Ridgerest to sleep on. I have actually returned to the wonderful world of ccf. I sleep on my side and find it to be comfortable enough. Even on the concrete hard spots we have to sometimes sleep on.

It's huge, I have the full size. It's inexpensive. I was actually given the one I have now. But instead of the Sol version, which I have seen the aluminum coating rubs off onto your other things, I was given a Classic. But they are about $20.

If you use a pack with a pad pocket you might be stuck to choose whoever fits in there.

I hate the size. Especially after using a NeoAir for a few years. But no worries with it. Throw it down anywhere.

I like the dark grey color of the Classic. Blends in better with me and my black pack.

The Zlite is thinner. Not so much smaller. It is more expensive. It is a bright color. Best suited for back sleepers looking for a thermal break from the ground, not necessarily padding.

End rant.