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Reader Reviews

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Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso

in Sleeping Pads - Foam

Average Rating
3.95 / 5 (20 reviews)

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Ryan Jordan
( ryan - BPL STAFF - M )

Greater Yellowstone
Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso on 08/05/2005 22:00:02 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Just ... three ... more ... inches ... of length ...

And this may be the torso pad of choice for the ultralighter if the bulk is OK with you.

For a foamie, maybe the best comfort out there?

Scored sections that fold and make it well suited for shoving into a frameless pack as support is a mark of brilliance: kudos to Cascade Designs for thinking about this with the Z-Rest and to GVP for making it practical to the UL community.

Update 11-06: Now that I've had the chance to use the pad on longer hikes, I've found that its water absorption was less than I originally thought (a good thing) but its durability was worse than I thought, and the pad lost its "loft" when used as a backpack frame repeatedly inside a pack that was compressed with lots of heavy food. This is the nature of the pad being very light and made with foam that may be a tad too fragile if you are looking for longevity. So, I have to downgrade it from a 4 to a 3. In short: great pad out of the box, rapid loss of its key benefits (comfort) as trail miles pile up.

Edited by ryan on 11/06/2006 23:41:54 MST.

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Eric West
( Pacer )

New River Valley / SW Virginia
Better Than Z-Lite on 12/07/2005 10:03:02 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I combined a NightLight Torso pad with a Granite Gear Virga pack on my AT thru-hike this year. I decided to replace the pad after two and a half months of continuous use, but I found that it is indeed more durable than a Z-Lite (which I've used for years) and is slightly lighter as well.

It would be nice if the pad was scored in sixths, to make it more usable for bicycle touring and other applications, but otherwise I have no complaints.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Granite Gear Virga Pack priced at: $125.95
Michael Doughty
( woebegone2006 )
Just not quite long enough on 04/28/2006 03:48:59 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I agree with Ryan, this is a great pad but it's just a tiny bit short. I'm not a tall guy, but the top and botton edges of this pad hit me at about mid-shoulder and mid hip. I can feel the edge of the pad as it falls away under my weight.

It'd be nice too if it folded accordian style, more like the Z-Rest, instead of over onto itself, if you know what I mean. That would reduce it's bulk just a bit in my backpack.


Edited by woebegone2006 on 04/28/2006 03:50:28 MDT.

Jeremy Lynn Franchow
( jfranchow )

The Great Basin
Perfect with GG packs on 07/12/2006 17:52:05 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

When folded up, this fits the sleeve of my Gossamer Gear G4 and G5 packs perfectly and provides good pack support.

Previously owned a Z-Rest and the NightLight's lighter, tougher...very comfortable for 3.7 oz.

Comes up short for full torso coverage as mentioned above, but this side sleeper needs extra cushioning for his bony hips anyways, so I use it in combo with Thermarest's Lite Seat.

Edited by jfranchow on 07/14/2006 20:36:43 MDT.

b d
( bdavis )

Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
My first and still used pad on 11/30/2006 09:53:47 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

As stated in the other reviews, this is a great pad but has quirk or two. On the up side it is light and really comfortable, IMO. Also it is great to deal with the GG UL geeks (love their Squall Classic tarptent). I like the egg shell surface, my partner doesn't. So there is some personal preference in this sort of thing.

It does give up some of its shape and "loft" after or with use. And, in my case, it got a tear in it at one of the folds after a bit of use, but that can easily be fixed with the duct tape solution.

I use it combined with the thin, smooth surface grey closed cell foam longer pad GG sells, which takes away the problem for me of needing the extra length ... but people taller than 5'10" may have a problem with it running short of the hips when it is up around the neck or head. I keep the top of the torso pad at my shoulders and then it reaches well enough below the hips ... but I also use some kind of pillow for my neck and head area, especially in warm weather when I using my less loft more thin REI sub kilo 32 down bag (1.5 lbs.) instead of the winter/cold weather Marmot Never Summer 0 degree F high loft, comfy, heavy and bulky, but so ever soft down bag (3 lbs. +).

Finally, I attached some velcro to the underside of the torso pad and the thin pad so they would stay in place together ... the velcro seems to come loose because it does not stick to the surface of the closed cell foam very well ... anyone have a solution for that?

So even with the quirks (which is why I give it a 4 rather than a 5) the GG pad is my favorite ... especially when combined with the thin longer pad. Without that thin longer pad I'd probly give the torso pad a 3 as others would.

All in all I am sold on closed cell foam for UL packing (knocks off a bunch of ounces from the pack weight) ... otherwise I really like the inflatables with down or foam in them (like the Big Agnes black thing which I use a lot for car camping or if guests have to sleep on the floor).

Edited by bdavis on 11/30/2006 09:59:32 MST.

Stephen Nelson
( stephenn6289 )

Sunshine State
warm, light, and comfortable on 01/25/2007 12:18:52 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

If weight comes before longevity, this may be the one for you. It is a good length for me (6 feet) if I place it from my shoulder to my lower back. It durability is definitley limited.

Matthew LaPatka
( gungadin - M )

Pittsburgh, PA
Does what I need it to on 01/30/2007 11:17:19 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Nightlite is a very effective pad for me. After being pretty displeased with the Z-Lite pad, I decided to go for this one from Gossamer Gear. I have found what I have been looking for.

I find that the pad is just long enough for me to be comfortable on. If I was any taller, this probably wouldn't be the case. I am 5'10", and it cushions from my shoulder blades to just past my hip bones. This was just enough for me. The pad is quite cushy (especially when pretty new), and I found it much more comfortable than the Z-Lite.

The pad does a good job of providing support for my Fanatic Fringe Thompson Peak pack. While this may shorten its life somewhat, it has provided a solid frame and is the right size for it.

The pad also provides enough insulation from the ground for summer and some spring/fall trips.

The pads' downsides are that it won't last for years and years. It begins to show some flattening over time, but since it is 3.7 oz. and pretty cheap I can understand that. I also would like it to fit together better when folded. This would save some pack room.

Despite a few shortcomings, for the weight I don't feel there is any better.

Shop Peak, Thompson products at GearBuyer
paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
My favorite pad. on 03/06/2007 05:40:10 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

My favorite pad.

Light. Warm enough (use two when it gets cold). I add a separate single section of this pad for use under my feet. Being so short that xtra 3" that the First Reviewer mentioned is not an issue for me.

I use two in colder weather.

I also serves as a fine sit pad at extended rest stops.

It functions just dandy in the pad sleeve of several of my L/UL backpacks.

I give it a 4 b/c it doesn't serve well alone, in colder weather - i need to use two or couple it with an inflatable pad.

So, it might be nice if a thicker, warmer version of the Torso and 3/4 length NightLight pads were made to extend the lower range.

In colder weather, i use just use the longer 3/4 length NightLight pad, or couple this one with an inflatable pad. I've also experimented with duct taping a fourth section to the pad - though this makes it a bit too thick for the pad sleeves of some packs, or forces the pack to be further away from my back, affecting longitudinal CG a bit.

Adam Rothermich
( aroth87 )

Missouri Ozarks
Beyond my expectations on 03/06/2007 08:34:06 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I just received my Nightlight torso and these are merely my initial observations.
It is REALLY light, mine weighs 3.6 oz. I bought it to replace an older Thermarest pad that weighed about 26 oz and to my surprise it didn't feel too much more uncomfortable. I laid on it, with the bumpy side down, on my floor for about 20 minutes in my sleeping bag and tossed and turned on it and was surprised at how well it padded me.
It looked like it was going to be too short when I pulled it out of the box, but laying on it I was able to lay with my shoulder right at the top and get all of my hips and part of my upper leg on the pad and I'm just over 6'. I'm a side sleeper and from what I initially tested on the floor I think could sleep just as well as with my Thermarest.
Overall I love my new Nightlight Torso, but I gave it a 4 because there is some comfort (though just a little) that must be given up to pull off a pad of this weight. I think I'll be taken a couple of Vitamin I before bed to help with that though.


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Johnny Gish
( jtgish )

Coppell, Texas
needs new folding on 04/06/2007 21:45:13 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I love my nightlight torso, but I wish it folded similar to the z-rest. I only use two of the three sections because I use it as hip padding and not so much for insulation. I use a thinlight pad for the insulation. I just wish GG could design it so that the egg crates fold into each other so it would fit easier into my pad sleeve(ULA Conduit)

John Haley
( Quoddy )

New York/Vermont Border
NightLight Torso Pad on 05/16/2007 12:19:27 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I decied to try this pad with my Conduit and have a double purpose item and for that it definitely excels. Firm structure in the pack, and more comfort than I expected from the pad while sleeping. Once I got over the idea of never using an inflatable again, the die was cast. I found that it was just long enough and gave just enough comfort to be my go-to pad for at least the bulk of 3 seasons.
I just returned from about 4 weeks on the Long Trail where this pad was used for both the "frame" of my Conduit and also as my only sleeping pad. Within a couple of weeks the pad was compressed to about 2/3 of it's original thickness making it less effective for both purposes. Although I can't think of another product that would really top it ounce for ounce, it dropped from a 4 to a 3 on my scale. At the low price, I guess I could just keep replacing it as it flattened out... or maybe join the older one onto the bottom for use as a longer sleeping pad.

Edited by Quoddy on 09/02/2007 12:21:53 MDT.

David Neumann
( idahomtman - M )

Northern Idaho
Nightlight Torso on 05/17/2007 12:54:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I love this pad. It is lightweight and provides reasonable comfort. It works for my 5'10" frame provided I used my pack and other items for padding under my legs. I have used it successfully in a SMD Essence, ZPack Zilch and FF Alpine Trail. It provides more comfort than a Z-rest for me. I understand it's comfort can be enhanced by punching 1/4" holes in each ridge. Directions for this modification are available on the GG web site. I haven't done this yet but may give it a try.

It may not provide the most comfort of any pad but for it's weight and size, it gets 5 from me.

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Joe Westing
( pedro87 )
best foam pad I've used on 07/19/2007 12:18:16 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This is a great pad. It is fairly comfortable, although it gets less comfortable with use. I would give it five stars if it maintained its initially level of comfort. Still, it doesn't wear down as fast as the Z-Rest. The pad is bulky but that is to be expected with a foam pad. It is extremely warm for the weight and it just fits my torso. Highly recommended!

Margaret Snyder
( jetcash )

Southern Arizona
just not enough insulation or comfort on 07/31/2007 22:56:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I hate to be the only naysayer, but i can't deal with this pad alone. i may be a wussy or it could be the rocky ground i usually set camp on. I am 5'11" with bony hips and shoulders. sleeping on grass or duff is okay, but after 4 nights in death valley i had visible bruises on my hips from lack of cushioning.
also when i used this pad alone in hawaii and death valley i was very cold on my ground side.
in the desert i now use the nightlight in conjunction with my thermarest prolite 3 shorty and it's actually more comfortable than my bed.
Ive had my nightlight for about 9 months and it definitely shows wear. It appears to have compressed a bit as well.
all in all, it's a good buy for the $20 it cost me, but not independently dependable.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's priced at: $57.34 - $119.95
Michael Chamoun
( snowchief )

Simple but just not enough comfort on 12/26/2007 18:19:16 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I used this pad on the Colorado Trail this summer and I must say that even though this is a very good piece of gear for ultra-lighters that don't mind uncomfortable nights I needed a little more padding in the hips area. For someone who likes sleeping on their side after continuous 25+ mile days a comfortable surface area for the hips are necessary. As far as durability goes it's great and with 20 nights of rain it handled water beautifully. However, it does deform rather rapidly and the pad becomes flat as a board in no time. It's pretty big for a foam pad but worked beautifully with my MLD Zip pack. Next time I'm going to try the BL Torso Pad.

David Stenberg
( dstenberg1 )

Light piece of gear, but not durable on 02/21/2008 09:55:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I used a GG Nightlight Torso on a long hike. Within four days the pad had gone flat. On a long hike it is problematic, but on a short hike or overnight no problem. I didn't get much use out of one pad, but that may be because I am heavy and was sleeping on hard ground. I would recommend this pad for the best night's sleep for the weight, but not for comfort or longevity. I do not think I will use this pad again as my primary sleeping pad. i will use a single panel as a sit pad for around camp and for giving my pack a little more structure.

George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
Nightlight Torso on 04/15/2008 18:43:39 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I like the light weight. I combine this pad with the Gossamer Gear 1/8" insulation pad. I always try to find the softest spot possible so I've not had a bad night yet using it. For the price, I plan to replace it with the same pad when it wears out.

Steven Friese
( sfriese )

Great ultralight pad on 12/29/2008 15:29:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I'm 5'11 and pretty scrawny. I have no complaints on the length of the pad. It works well as insulation for sure. As far as padding goes, it's gonna be personal preference. I don't sleep so well on super thin pads, even piling up leaves and needles underneath, but it sure is light and held up reasonably well through 16 nights on the colorado trail. Dries quickly. Squished down a bit for sure, and I think another couple weeks would have left it super flat. But cheap enough to replace if you wanted.

Richard DeLong
( Legkohod )

Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Best pad for the weight on 02/01/2011 10:16:01 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have seen no other pad that is as comfortable for the weight. True, for most people the Nightlight is not thick enough, but then use two! I doubt you will find a softer, more comfortable pad for the weight (200 g). This is a pad I expect to buy again and again. I'm on my third I think. 230 grams of GG pads kept me quite comfy on my PCT thru-hike despite moderate compression.

Jace Mullen
( climberslacker )

Your guess is as good as mine.
Love it but... on 04/07/2012 21:38:51 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I used this pad for 5 weeks this summer while building trail. I have also used it on every backpacking trip for the last two-ish years.

I just bought a new one to take on my PCT thru this summer.

It would be a 5/5 if not for one glaring error (in my eyes at least). While GG acknowledges that the pads weight will vary and they do give a range of weights to expect, I was upset to see that after weighing on my scale (perhaps not precisely accurate, I do grant you that) it was 4.1oz.

On the high end of their "expected weights" that is a 12% error rate and a staggering 24% error rate on the lightest end up the spectrum.

Unacceptable in my opinion. Why a 4/5 on the scale? I think that speaks to how much I love the pad.

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