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Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) REVIEW

Durable, resistant to compression, and very comfortable for the weight, but a couple of extra inches would be nice.


by Doug Johnson | 2005-12-06 03:00:00-07

Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) REVIEW - 1
The Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) is just long enough for my torso; I am 6 feet 2 inches tall.


The Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) is very lightweight at 3.4 ounces (measured, 96 g) and short at 29 inches (73.7 cm). It features durable closed-cell Evazote foam that has egg-crate contours on one side and is flat on the other. It offers some key advantages over the popular Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite pads.

What's Good

  • More durable than other egg-crate pads such as the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite
  • Very lightweight at 3.4 oz (96 g)
  • Folds neatly into thirds
  • Provides excellent comfort for the weight

What's Not So Good

  • Not as comfortable as an inflatable pad
  • Not very compressible for packing
  • A little short for some users



2005 Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length)


Evazote foam


3.4 oz (96 g) measured weight; manufacturer's specification 3.7 oz (105 g)




Thickness: 3/4 in (1.9 cm); Length: 29 in (73.7 cm); Width: 18 in (45.7 cm)

  Folded Size

10 x 18 x 2 in (25 x 46 x 5 cm)






The Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) has a short 29-inch length, which is just long enough for my 6 foot 2 inch frame, but can be a little short for other users. It provides 3/4 inch of padding but seems like more due to the inherent give of the egg-crate design. The NightLight does not compress as much as a Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite pad, making it more comfortable with the raised sections down so you don't feel them when sleeping. Don't expect the comfort of the NightLight to match an inflatable pad, but it is quite comfortable for a foam pad.

With an R-Value of 2.27, the NightLight has an insulation value that is roughly the same as a Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite (2.2) or ProLite 3 (2.3), but less than a RidgeRest (2.6) or Bozeman Mountain Works TorsoLite (3.5). By design, torso-length pads do not provide insulation for your head or legs. By using my clothing, pack, or natural materials, I hardly miss the extra length of a full 3/4-length pad.

The NightLight is slide resistant. Even when placed on silnylon floors and when used with slippery nylon sleeping bags, this pad hardly slides an inch. This is a big advantage over inflatable pads when using an ultralight tent with a silnylon floor.

The torso-length NightLight folds neatly into thirds because of pre-cut scoring. The folded width fits comfortably into a frameless backpack to make a virtual frame and also fits neatly into Gossamer Gear or Six Moon Designs packs with an outside pad sleeve. The torso-length NightLight is a nice fit even in a very small volume, narrow SuperUltraLight pack such as the Fanatic Fringe Alpine Trail; once inserted against the backpanel, open the two sides to form a triangular enclosure for pack contents. (The 3/4-length NightLight pad does not fold and must be rolled.)

Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) REVIEW - 2
The torso-length pad folds neatly into thirds. The 3/4-length version must be rolled.

After many nights sleeping on rock and other hard surfaces, the NightLight pad still looks like new. Unlike Z-Lite pads, which tend to lose their cushioning over time due to foam compression, the Gossamer Gear NightLight pad is just as thick and stiff as when it first arrived. It is a tough, durable pad.

Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) REVIEW - 3
When compared to a Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite pad, the Gossamer Gear NightLight is more durable, light, warm, resilient, and bulky. Here 8-pound weights show the difference in compression between a NightLight (left) and an older Z-Rest pad (both pads have had similar amounts of usage).

At just 3.4 oz, the NightLight is a good balance between warmth, comfort, and light weight. At only $15.95 for a comfortable lightweight pad that is very durable, the Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso-Length pad is an outstanding value.

What's Unique

The Nightlight sleeping pad is the lightest sleeping pad for the comfort it provides. It is durable, resistant to compression, and at $15.95 is an excellent value.

Recommendations for Improvement

The current NightLight design is excellent, but we'd like to see it a couple of inches longer so it's easier to stay on it. It also isn't very compressible for packing. If possible, it would be nice to see a design with contours on both sides that would be able to fold in an interlocking pattern like a Z-Lite.


"Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) REVIEW," by Doug Johnson. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2005-12-06 03:00:00-07.