November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter

Reader Reviews

Add your own review

Therm-A-Rest Pro Lite 3

in Sleeping Pads - Inflatable

Average Rating
3.85 / 5 (13 reviews)

Display Avatars Sort By:
Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
Therm-A-Rest Pro Lite 3 on 11/09/2006 18:23:16 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This is "the standard" Pro-Lite 3, but providing insulation value of R 2.3. It's 1 inch thick and weights about 20 ounces. It is easy to inflate and deflate, and has a easy to use inflation / deflation valve.

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 $65 - 75, but if you can handle a few more ounces and need more insulation or thickness, look at the Pro Lite 4.
Next to the Big Agnes, this is an excellent pad.

Shop Big Agnes, Therm-a-Rest products at GearBuyer
George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
thermarest pro lite 3 on 03/01/2007 10:07:59 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Not bad. Not great.

Compared to the alternatives, it is about average.

Shop Therm-a-Rest products at GearBuyer
paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Not best in class on 03/01/2007 18:17:50 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

Owned it. Sold it.

My opinion: It was 'ok'.
It has quite a following though. All of my co-workers love it, except for my old boss. He loves his ProLite4.

Compared to the BMW Torsolite and the POE Uber-Lite self-inflaters, it is clearly second class.

It is NOT as robust, does NOT feel as robust, and compresses more when laying on it (resulting in a colder torso when laying on it) than both of them, plus it's heavier (well, it's also a bit larger too - even in the shorter length).

I did not feel that its performance was on par with the other two pads I mentioned.

I give it a two because it is not terrible and is useful. I'd probably give the other two pads somewhere between a 4 and 4.5.

At this point in time, in my experience, there is no 4.5-5.0 lightweight self-inflater. Perhaps an aerogel-type pad will change that? (one can always hope!)

Edited by pj on 03/02/2007 04:44:40 MST.

Richard Gless
( rgless )

San Francisco Bay Area
Not best in class?? on 03/01/2007 20:55:23 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

It's interesting how some products work for some people and not for others. I've tried the TorsoLite and the POE UberLite. They are just too short for me (I'm 5' 11"). On duff they're just OK, but on rock or wet ground they just don't insultate that well and from your hips down you're cold. They are also hard to stay on because they're small. The ProLite 3 in the short version is just 13 oz, compresses small, is a bit wider, and can also be used to rigidize your bag (put it in your pack rolled up deflated, pack everything, then blow it up to rigidize your pack). I see this as a great compromise to foam pads on a weight basis and much more comfortable. My last trip the campsite was on a rock and gravel slab and the temp went into the low 30's - I was very comfortable on the Prolite. The trip before was on wet hardpan and the uberlite left my thighs cold and made for a rather sleepless night even though the low was in the mid 40's. If you add a thin foam pad to extend the uberlite your weight goes up. It only takes about 4 puffs to blow up the ProLite so I don't get the need for "self-inflating".

Edited by rgless on 03/01/2007 20:59:45 MST.

Andy Goodell
( geekguyandy )

New York State
Prolite 3S on 03/15/2007 17:30:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought this as the next step after owning an original Thermarest. The material is lighter and still just as good. The short version I have is 14.5oz with my homemade stuff sack. It may be heavier than some other pads, but I find it much better. It packs into a tiny space when deflated unlike close-cell foam pads. This is my 3rd pad and best I've used. I have never had a Thermarest get a hole or lose air since I started using them 4 years ago.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's priced at: $57.34 - $119.95
Shop 3RD products at GearBuyer
Tom Kirchner
( ouzel )

Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Not a bad pad on 03/15/2007 18:02:51 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've used the Prolite-3 almost since it came out with good success. It compresses well, is very light FOR ITS SIZE(what would a TorsoLite weigh if it was 20"x48"??), and insulates just fine for me as a 3 season pad. I'd give it a 5 if it weighed a couple of oz less. I do think the insulation adequacy depends a lot on how much you weigh. At 137#, I don't find cold spots due to compression to be a problem. That said, as a previous poster suggested, carry a patch kit because sooner or later.....For me, a Prolite-3 combined with a Gossamer Gear Thinlite pad is about ideal for most trips I take. It's a tradeoff of a few extra oz for a compact package that works really for bushwhacking-talus hopping, when I don't want a bulky closed cell foam pad system(which would be my second choice/first choice for trail hikes) strapped on the outside of my pack. I also find both the TorsoLite and Uberlite too small for my particular taste.

Johnny Gish
( jtgish )

Coppell, Texas
fits my pack sleeve, thats it on 04/06/2007 21:50:34 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

The prolite3 short fits my pad sleeve perfect because thats what my sleeve was designed for. Thats about the only positive attribute for this pad.
Even with seam sealer on bottom it slides around way too much on the tent floor. To make matters worse, my bag slides around too much on top of the pad, so instead of sleeping I spent all night waking up fishing for my pad to put it back under me only to wake up in an hour to find it again. I like fishing while i'm awake not while Im trying to sleep.

Philip Mack Furlow
( PhilipMack )

North Texas
Pro-Lite 3 great way to lighten up on 05/30/2007 09:24:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

In my quest to move to lighter gear my sleeping pad was the last thing to give up. I love my 15 year old full length thermarest that weighs in close to 2lbs 6oz. It is heavy but awesome to sleep on. So I tried the ProLite 3 Shortie that weighs in at 13 ounces and I have to admit, combined with good camping location - this pad was excellent. and slid easily into the back of my big agnes horsethief.

It was comfortable, light, and I slept like a rock. Three nights straight and no problems. I might experiment with the BMW torso light - but I was very pleased with the pro-lite 3 shortie.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's priced at: $57.34 - $119.95
Eric Viviano
( lightweightpack )
Fair pad on 09/13/2007 10:48:02 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

A little expensive for what you get. This is a nice lightweight pad, does not take up to much room in the pack. I also bought the compression sack made for the ProLite 3 Regular, which is a nice addition. Keeps you comfortable, but offers little warmth and insulation. On a late season archery hunt near Mt. Reba in the Mokelumne Wilderness, I was left quite chilly in the mornings on my back.

Derek Cox
( derekcox )

Comfy Durable Pad on 02/24/2008 21:12:51 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Had it for a few years now. Never had any problems with leaking or holes. Comfy 1" of padding. Plenty wide and long, but a little on the heavier side.

( sheilabaynes )
... on 05/19/2008 13:38:16 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5


Edited by sheilabaynes on 10/30/2014 11:46:25 MDT.

Martin Rye
( rye1966 )

Comfort and joy on 05/19/2008 17:04:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

It’s a great pad, no leaks, no problems. It’s given me comfort all over the hills and dales. As for the view it’s on the heavy side trust me it feels lighter to have one of these in your pack after a comfy nights sleep, than a bit of foam from no sleep due to discomfort.

Shop Comfort products at GearBuyer
Elliott Wolin
( ewolin )

Hampton Roads, Virginia
Works great for us on 12/03/2009 14:22:02 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

We've been using the Prolite 3 short (13 oz, latest model 11 oz) for a few years now with great success on all sorts of surfaces from wooden lean-to floors and hard-pan car camping sites to soft duff. We've used them from warm weather to below 15 F. We haven't used them on snow yet, though.

Not as comfy as 1.5" thick pads, but less weight is the tradeoff.

No leaks yet.

We place the deflated pads folded in thirds inside our packs right against our backs to stiffen and pad the soft frames of our packs (Golite Speed, Pinnacle, and/or Trek).

Edited by ewolin on 05/02/2011 14:59:18 MDT.

Shop GoLite products at GearBuyer

Add your own review