Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite

Priced: $39.95 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 53 reviews.
Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite
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Color: Coyote
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Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite - Lightweight and durable, the Z-Lite™ pad from Therm-a-Rest® ensures that you have a great night sleep.
Pad is engineered for extreme alpine climbing, adventure racing and long-distance backpacking when reducing weight is paramount.
Accordion-style design lies flat instantly and folds up into a small package quickly and easily.
Closed-cell foam withstands years of use and abuse.
Egg-carton pattern increases softness and adds insulation by trapping warm air under your sleeping bag.
Average pad weight (oz.) - 10 ounces.
R-Value - 2.2.
Pad length (in.) - 72 inches.
Pad width (in.) - 20 inches.
Pad thickness (in.) - 0.75 inch.
Packed size - 20x5.5x5 / 20x5.5x4 inches.
Dimensions - metric - 183x51x2 / 130x51x2 cm.
Insulation type - Closed-cell foam.
Sleeping pad type - Foam pad.
Sleeping pad shape - Rectangular.
Best use - Backpacking.


  • Accordion-style design packs lots of comfort into as small a space as possible
  • All-new proprietary foams are softer on top for extra comfort and denser on the bottom for extra durability


  • Weighing less than a pound, this mattress goes anywhere easily
  • Closed-cell foam is incredibly durable, providing an exceptional value and many years of worry-free performance
Thermarest Z Lite Regular is the most compact closed-cell pad on the market.
The accordion style design lies flat and packs small.
Z-Lite is light enough to carry on virtually any adventure and the egg-carton pattern enhances warmth and softness, while reducing bulk.
Great way to add warmth and cushion to another inflatable sleeping pad.
Closed cell foam never pops or leaks.
This Thermarest camping pad is a staple for light weight backpackers for a reason.
When ounces count or you’re camping on abrasive rocky terrain that would render your self-inflating mattress useless, the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite Sleeping Pad is there to lull you to sleep. The accordion-style Z-Lite features an egg-carton pattern that enhances both warmth and comfort, and the pad also works in conjunction with a self-inflating mattress on winter outings or expeditions.

Never again hassle with trying to roll up your sleeping pad as tightly as possible to reduce the size of your pack. The accordion-style design makes it the most compact closed-cell foam pad made by Therm-a-Rest. It folds up quickly and easily into a small, easy-to-manage package, and it weighs less than 1 lb. Durable construction will stand up to several seasons of rugged use, and the egg-carton pattern increases softness and traps warm air under your sleeping bag. Made in USA.
Size: 20"W x 72"L.
Thickness: 3/4".
Weight: 14 oz.
Color: Coyote.

Thermarest's Fast & Light Z-Lite offers unrivaled freedom. This ultralight three-season camping mattress is perfect for those go-anywhere, sleep-on-anything treks and bivies where every ounce counts. All-new proprietary foams are softer on top for extra comfort and denser on the bottom for extra durability, and the accordion shape packs more comfort into a smaller space than any other closed-cell foam mattress out there.

The Z-Lite is Therm-a-Rest's lightest and most compact closed-cell pad with all-new foams—softer on top for more comfort and denser on the bottom providing better durability. It’s the best choice for people seeking sleep-anywhere, on-anything durability and comfort.

Mountain Gear
Sleep anywhere, on any ground, and don't expend a lot of effort to make it comfortable by bringing the Z Lite sleeping pad from Therm-a-Rest with you.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)
Still the top choice for adventurers seeking lightweight and durability, the Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Mattress is warm and comfortable.

Country of Origin: USA

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Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Bag Shape:Rectangular
Country of Origin:USA
Dimensions:20 x 72 in. (51 cm. x 183 cm.)
Exceptional Durability:Closed-cell foam is incredibly durable, providing an exceptional value and many years of worry-free performance.
Fill Material:XL Polyethelene
Length:72 in.
Pack Size:20 in.x 5 in. x 5.5 in.
Packed Size:20 x 5 x 5 in (s); 20 x 5 x 5.5 (R)
Packs Small:Accordion-style design packs lots of comfort into as small a space as possible.
Pad Type:Foam Pads
R value:2.2
Rolled:20 x 5 x 5.5in
Shell Material:Egg-crate molded foam
Sleeping Pad Type:Closed-Cell Foam
Storage Sack:No
Stuff Sack:No
Thickness:0.75 in. (2 cm.)
Travel Ultralight:Weighing less than a pound, this mattress goes anywhere easily.
Weight:10 oz / 290 g (Small); 14 oz / 410 g (Regular)
Width:21 in.
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Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

A good nights sleep is just as important and a good meal when your in the back country. This pad can go everywhere in the world with you and perform the same virtually every time. Inflatable pads can puncture. In winter without a secondary device to air it up you can collect ice crystals from the condensation in your breath during inflation that can lead to irreparable problems that can sideline your pad and force you to improvise. I value a pad on how comfortable it is and if it has the ability to let fall into a deep sleep without waking up so I can recharge and be ready for the next day. This pad has the ability to do that with some help. A lot of your weight while sleeping, especially on your side, bears down on the bony prominences of your hips and can make your deep sleep turn into a night full of tossing and turning. Just based on how much cushion this pad has as is it will make you do just that. Your head, back, and legs will be just fine, but your hips will dig into the pad and you will feel the ground. Not the end of the world, you can buy an egg crate for $2.00 dollars from virtually anywhere that goes either the length of the pad or just around your hips. This combination will give the Therm-a-rest pad just the support it needs to insure you drift off to sleep and only wake up when you naturally want to, or you alarm goes off. I carry this anywhere because it is reliable and with a highly compression able egg crate 3 feet in length I have never had any issues resting peacefully.

Austin Squires at on 09/15/2013

I bought one of these for a camping/backpacking pad back around 2004. I still use the very same pad today.
The Good:
--Cheap, especially when you consider how light it is.
--Warm enough for my needs (summer/early fall)
--No need to inflate, so no waiting or worries about punctures
--Fold it in half for an instant comfy chair in camp
--Easy to trim weight off of for all you ultralighters out there
--The egg crate pattern holds its foamy-ness better than a rollup ridged pad.
The Bad:
--Compared to an inflatable it's not cushy at all. It's OK when I'm on my back, but I tend to notice it on my side.
--While it's very light, it's very bulky; I always have to keep it on the outside of my pack
If you want palatial comfort, this isn't for you. If you're looking to save money and weight, while still getting a decent night's sleep, or if you want to augment an existing pad, a Z-Rest is an excellent way to go!

Michael Nies at on 11/10/2013

I consider the z-lite the best foam sleeping pad out there. The beauty of the accordion style is that it allows the foam to reshape itself anytime you fold it up. So even if you're wearing it down and flattening it out with use, the material and shape will rebound with storage. I've put about 200 field-days on mine over the span of 4 years and it's still holding up strong. All that being said, it's not as comfortable as a 3-inch, inflatable sleeping pad and it does take up a lot of space, but it does its job with insulating and I find the design gives a little more cushioning than a ridge-rest or other foam pads, and the ability to fold it (as opposed to rolling) makes it easier to pack inside of a backpack. All-in-all, solid component of any sleep-system.

Karen at on 04/27/2013

I love it, my husband doesn't

Used these for the first time last weekend backpacking. I am a side sleeper and always have have hip problems whether on a Thermarest or air mattress, but I had no issues with this. I even slept on my stomach with no pain, and that normally hurts quite a bit. I thought the pad was amazing for what it is, and think I will also use it car camping from now on instead of the air matress that always leaves me sore.

My husband on the other hand didn't like the pad. This could be because there were three of us sharing two (4 year old in the middle) and he was only on it partially, or it could be that he just needed more padding.
backpackerAl at Campmor on 07/07/2013

Hickies... At first I didn't know what it was, I thought maybe I was allergic to something and was having a reaction. However, looking at the "rash" closer, it was far too symmetrical. It took me a couple of uses to put two and two together. Everytime I sleep on it, I get hickies. You might be thinking to yourself "well put on a shirt dummy," well I do and I still manage to sometimes get them. Overall the pad works just fine, can't ever pop, it's light weight, doesn't matter if it gets wet and creates an adequate thermal break for most purposes. Overall a good product. Just a strange issue.

Joseph Nelson at on 09/20/2013

Overall a great pad. For the price you're not going to get anything this light and this functional. Its bulky, but you can strap this thing anywhere and it's tougher than most. Like others have said, I use it for sitting around camp as much as I do sleeping on it. On the downside, its not the most comfortable pad, but it's a lot better than sleeping on the ground. My only other gripe is that its a pain to get into the pad sleeve on my BA lost ranger. If you don't want to spend an arm and a leg and still have a very functional pad, this is for you.

Jordan at on 06/28/2013

Reasonable comfort and very light!

This pad is a reasonable compromise between the super cheap pads that provide little support/padding and the expensive inflatable pads that are a pain to roll up (I tried a number of different kinds at a Gander Mountain outdoor store on a concrete floor before settling on this one). The comfort is pretty good (slept on it 2 nights so far). I prefer to have a little extra padding on my upper torso, so I folded it over itself slightly near the top. Good buy overall. The only down side is that it doesn't come with a strap to keep it folded up, but thats no biggie.
Brad at on 03/03/2010

Wicked Awesome Pad

I love this pad. I used to have a self-inflating, and this one is half the weight with twice the comfort and even less bulk. I use it for sleeping on the ground or in a tent, even in a car. I also use it to sit on logs or the ground or sometimes I even do yoga on it...It's just so darn comfy. The eggshell design makes it easy to pack and it doesn't slip anywhere at any time. I'd even sleep on this instead of my bed at home! Definitely worth checking out.
Sambam at Campmor on 07/07/2013

Bought this baby a few years ago when I wanted something light but was on a budget. Not the most comfortable pad out there, but you can not beat the value for the price you pay. Plus it's damn light as feathers. and it's indestructible. spent a week hanging off the back of my pack as I fought my way through the dessert mountains of Arizona where there are thorns on anything that grows and it barely has a scratch to show for it. Also doubles great as a seat for lounging around camp.

Terran Siladi at on 07/02/2013

Best nights sleep in a tent

My husband and I each got one of these therm-a-rests last summer and couldn't be happier. They are comfortable and lightweight. I always insisted on an inflatable therm-a-rest bc I thought closed cell foam took up to much space but that is not the case with the z lite. They pack easily and my sleeping bag doesn't slide off of it during the night. A good night's rest in our tent starts with the z lite!
Green Rose at Mountain Gear on 04/04/2012

Negative Reviews:

Not for Side Sleepers

I have used this sleeping pad in the winter and found that it worked great as a second insulating layer under my usual winter sleeping pad. It folds easily and packs well on the outside of my pack.

I sometimes use a bivy sack and have had problems getting it into my bivy sack without it folding back up on me. This can be annoying, but when I finally get everything in, it works ok.

I have found that it words ok in my therm-a-rest Compack™ Chair. It can be tricky to get into the chair and get it folded right, but once done, it makes a nice seat.

My main problem with this pad is that the closed cell foam is so firm and does not cushion me from the ground. When I sleep on my stomach or back it is not such a problem, but on my last trip I ended up with bruises in the shape of the dimples of the sleeping pad on both of my shoulder blades, and was sore the entire trip from bruises on my hips from trying to sleep on my side the first night. I am 5'5" and 145 lbs. Someone who is differently weighted (heavier or lighter, I am not sure which would be better) might have less problems, but for me, this sleeping pad did not work well.

I really like this sleeping pad in theory and for winter camping, but will never take it on a summer trip again.
Sarah the SideSleeper at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 07/07/2012

Neutral Reviews:

Not for me

I thought I could be tricky with this pad by folding it in half and doubling the thickness, I'm 5'1 so I didn't think I needed much for the length. I was completely wrong and it didn't work so well. I kept sliding down and the bottom half of me was really cold all night long. I did unfold it for the next night and kept warm, but it was not as much cushion as I would have liked.

This being my first adventure with true backpacking instead of site camping, I was reluctant to spend much money. I was afraid an air mattress would pop or get a hole. I am now more willing to spend more money on a good sleeping pad, after this experience. A good night's sleep can really set the tone of a good trip.

I do like how it folds and can be used for sitting on while using it as a back rest. This was my main attraction of numerous possible uses.
newbie backpacker at Campmor on 01/01/2012

This pad is pretty good, but, honestly, if you are at all concerned about space in your backpack, get an inflatable pad, for about $20 more you can get a decent inflatable pad that will use up a fourth of the space that this behemoth uses.
That said, if cost is such a big concern, this pad is really good. If you are considering whether to buy this one or the normal rolling pad, get this one, same comfort when sleeping, but much more comfortable to take with you.

Pablo Fernandez at on 05/30/2013


Before the neo-air, this would have been given a high rating. I found it to be that extra bit of padding that would protect from small lumps and roots, essentially improving the chances of sleeping well. Its primary selling point, however, was its weight. It no longer appears to be worth the price, as there are now comfortable mattresses in the same weight class.
Superman at Campmor on 05/05/2013

Blah coloring but decent pad

Hope I don't forget to pack this pad after being out in the backcountry for a week, it looks just like the dg/dirt in this area! A brighter and more noticeable color would've been better for me. But I do like the lightness of it and it's compact size.
Dave A. at Campmor on 07/07/2011

It's lite

folds nicely but no included straps to hold it together when not laid out flat, which make attaching to a pack an aggravating experience at times.
The Dad at Campmor on 06/06/2011