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Reader Reviews

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Therm-A-Rest Pro-Lite 4

in Sleeping Pads - Inflatable

Average Rating
4.17 / 5 (12 reviews)

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Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
Therm-A-Rest Pro-Lite 4 on 11/09/2006 18:19:58 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the upgrade of "the standard" Pro-Lite 3, but provides significantly more insulation (R 3.2 vs 2.3) and another 1/2" of comfort. It only weights a little more, 24 oz, vs. 20 for the "3". Best of all, it's extra thickness makes, at least for me, a better rest for those that toss and turn and want the extra insulation and padding.
As with any inflatable matress, you have to carry a repair kit, as sooner or later you're going to get a small hole in it.
You can often find this on sale for $70 - 80.
Next to the Big Agnes, this is an excellent pad.

Shop Big Agnes, Therm-a-Rest products at GearBuyer
Laurie Ann March
( Laurie_Ann )

Ontario, Canada
Love my ProLite 4 on 12/11/2006 08:27:16 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I dislike the feeling of being overtired from tossing and turning all night long because I am cold or I can feel the bumps in the ground beneath my shelter.

The Thermarest ProLite 4 sleeping pad is a 4-season, self-inflating design with a 3.2R value. For those of you who already own a previous Thermarest model you will be happy to know that this one is twenty-five percent lighter, more compact and has a no slip bottom. The regular size ProLite 4 weighs 680 grams (1 lb 8 oz) and is tapered at the foot. It measures 51 cm x 183 cm x 4 cm (20" x 72" x 1.5").

I tested the ProLite4 in late winter and had the chance to try it in varying conditions ranging from bitterly cold nights to extremely damp weather. The Prolite 4 handled every condition with ease leaving me warm, rested and happy. I look forward to using this pad over and over again.

Definitely give the ProLite 4 a second look; it is well worth the small investment.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Therm-a-Rest Prolite 4 priced at: $69.97 - $69.98
Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's priced at: $57.34 - $119.95
George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
Thermarest Pro Lite 4 on 03/01/2007 10:16:00 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

More comfortable than the Pro Lite 3, but at a weighty cost.

I give it an average compared to the alternatives.

Shop Therm-a-Rest products at GearBuyer
David Lisak
( davelisak )

Grand Canyon hiker
Comfortable but deflating on 04/04/2007 04:51:00 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

As a tall (6'2") and finicky sleeper, I decided to indulge myself by taking the Thermarest Prolite 4 Large sleeping pad on a recent week-long hike in the Grand Canyon. This pad was the heaviest single item in my pack, but if it contributed to more pleasant nights, it would be well worth the weight. Darkness in the Canyon during March extends for 12 hours; that can be a long time if you're twisting and turning uncomfortably. The Prolite 4 was indeed extremely comfortable -- initially -- but every night I would awaken after about 4 hours to find that the pad had lost much of its inflation. At first I thought I had a pinhole leak somewhere, or that the valve was leaking. However, my son, who was using a smaller, Prolite 3, was having the same problem. Our hiking companion was using an older model Thermarest, one that is somewhat heavier, and he was not having this problem. I began to use some of those long night hours to speculate on what might be happening. While I don't know for sure, I was left wondering whether the lighter-weight Prolite series of pads were relying more on air and less on foam as a way of saving weight. With a greater reliance on air, the pads become more susceptible to changes in air temperature, and therefore air pressure. These changes can be quite significant in the desert, especially in March. Thus, when I inflate the pad at 6 pm, the air I blow into the pad might well be 65 to 70 degrees. But 4-5 hours later the ambient air temperature plummets into the 40's. With that drop in temperature comes a corresponding drop in pressure. Thus, as the air inside the pad loses temperature, it also loses pressure, and the pad loses some of its inflation.

If someone out there has had similar problems, or can either verify or discount this theory, I would be very grateful. My back especially.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Therm-a-Rest Prolite 4 priced at: $69.97 - $69.98
Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's priced at: $57.34 - $119.95
Shop Canyon, These products at GearBuyer
Tom Kirchner
( ouzel )

Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Reply to David Lisak on 04/04/2007 17:17:49 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Hi David,
What you are experiencing with your Prolite-4 is a common phenomenon in my experience with the Prolite-3. It is, however, easy to mitigate. Just position the valve next to your shoulder on the zipper side of your sleeping bag. Then, when the pad starts to go soft, arch up on one
elbow and your feet(elbow and feet off the upper and lower ends of the pad, respectively, pull the valve up to your lips with your free hand, open it and reinflate. Once a night is usually sufficient in my experience. Never more than twice, so far.....

Chad Ellertson
( NorthernLights )

Superior Hiking Trail
For its purpose, perfect. on 12/13/2007 07:18:09 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is a 4 season pad, with a 3.2 r value and it weighs 24 oz. That being said, people who are expecting to use it in situations of ultralighting in the summertime are going to be disappointed. I love this pad in the winter time. It is very comfortable, it keeps its inflation all night for me. It packs down relatively small(takes up less space than a foam pad)and is a great luxury for things like canoe trips. I used it in very wet conditions this past summer in the BWCA, and it was great. It got completely soaked on the bottom, but still kept me warm, and dried out quickly in the morning to boot. I wouldn't recommend this for backpacking outside of the winter, because of its weight, but for canoing or winter backpacking it is really nice and will keep you warm and comfortable all night.

Albert K.
( archer )

Northeastern U.S.
Great Comfort on 01/15/2008 05:00:06 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I love this pad because it provides outstanding comfort in a reasonably compact package. It's a bit heavy, but it smooths out amazingly large rocks, roots, etc. in those less than perfect campsites.

If you've had problems with thinner pads, this may be the one for you.

Shop Comfort products at GearBuyer
Chris Bell
( Hobbit )

PA Wilds
Very Warm & Just Thick Enough on 03/06/2008 18:01:52 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the warmest pad I have. I've slept plenty warm down into the 10 - 15 deg F range. Durable - I've used it directly on frozen ground without issues but certainly would not recommend it.

My old bony hips usually require a hammock or when on the ground a 2.5" Max Thermo pad to keep from really hurting. The thickness of the Pro-Lite 4 is just enough to keep the hips from pressing through to the ground. For me I keep just enough air in it so my but is feeling the ground when sitting up. Then when laying out flat I am not pressing through at any point. If you air this bad boy up tight as a trampoline you'll be warm but very uncomfortable.

For really cold weather camping this is my go to pad.

Shop Max products at GearBuyer
Stephen Morse
( scmorse1 )

Bay area
Inflation problem on 06/29/2008 21:53:01 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I owned my Prolite for several years. It doesn't self inflate as easily as other Thermarest mattresses. I always need to give it a few puffs to get it fully inflated. Otherwise, it's light & comfortable.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's priced at: $57.34 - $119.95
A. B.
( tomswifty )
5 for it's purpose on 10/06/2008 21:50:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've owned a regular size Pro-Lite 4 for a couple of years now. I have used it many times in the conditions it is targeted for: the 4th season. This included several bouts below zero.

The pad has performed very well and I have had no problems with warmth.

Anecdote: I was camping with 2 friends in snow in a tent. When we took down camp the next day it was very obvious where they were sleeping as much of the snow had melted beneath them revealing the dirt below. My spot next to them was still covered in snow.

James Lee
( JLeephoto )

Good under varied conditions on 03/06/2009 07:45:46 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I'm not a true UL backpacker, but as an international photojournalist, have used this pad for world travel in some of the harshest environments including war zones. It's been an excellent and durable companion. Since most of my work has been in relatively warm regions, it has been used sleeping directly on the ground frequently and, as a camp chair, pillow, or kneeling pad. I've had it for 4 years and am a big guy but have never had problems with leaks. I understand there are more compact and lighter pads available and thus the reason for the 4 rating.

Luke Khuu
( ninhsavestheday )
Great Pad, but not the lightest on 02/26/2012 16:25:16 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have a neo-air and a prolite plus.

I find the prolite plus comfortable when inflated properly.

I dont give it 5 because its not the lightest.

Edited by ninhsavestheday on 02/26/2012 16:25:54 MST.

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