Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 Regular
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Thanks to its star-punched foam, the Prolite is 20% lighter than last season's GuideLite but still delivers 4-season performance. Providing more insulation than the ProLite 3 mats the ProLite 4 is more suited to 4 season use. The tapered ergonomic design rolls up super small and the new star-punched foam makes this 20% lighter than the old GuideLite mat. Regular size: 183 x 51cm (thickness: 4cm) Weight: 680g
Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 Regular Reviews
Reviewed by Kevin Maule (Beauly, Highlands) on 2005-12-11:
General comments: I could rave on about therm-a-rests all day, they really are fantastic. I own the prolite 4 as I use it year round but more importantly the extra comfort over the prolite 3 (which my girlfriend owns) is very noticeable. The pack size over the solid foam mats was perhaps the main reason for eventually buying one after years of deliberating. The prolite 3 packs smaller still but again I prefer the extra comfort of the prolite 4.
A four season therm-a-rest had been on my wish list for years but the high price tag always kept it just a wish. However the more I got into climbing the more I needed the space and finally bought one last summer when the new models came out.
Now I have no regrets about the price. I have never had a better nights sleep outdoors on anything else, it is incredibly comfy and I have never felt the cold or lumps underneath.
However the best piece of advice I can offer if you do buy one is make sure you also buy the therm-a-rest puncture repair kit. The kit is designed for field repairs using glue, a patch of the same material/colour of your model and a heat source (hot pan). This isn't the easiest procedure in the dark behind Stac Pollaidh on a breathless midge infested night, as I found out. Once repaired the mat is as good as new.
Its lack of robustness could be a problem for Alpine bivis and expeditions in extreme conditions around crampons but is quite expectable for everything else.
One other point that comes to mind is the slip factor. If sleeping on a slope the combination of mat and sleeping bag means you can wake up at the bottom of your tent!
It isn't perfect but it's still by far the best mat I've ever used.
Pros: superior comfort.
small pack size and weight.
jealous partner .
Cons: not as robust as a traditional foam mat.
a bit slippy
Reviewed by Barry Hughes (Invergordon) on 2005-12-14:
General comments: To stop slipping get a small patch ( 12" x 12" ) of the rug underlay you can buy in B&Q. It takes up no room and weighs next to nothing.
Reviewed by Sam Walmsley (England) on 2005-12-28:
General comments: A big improvement on the old style thermarest, this is lighter and packs smaller. They've also covered managed to make the cover fabric far less slippy, so hopefully no more waking up in the bottom of the tent. Thick enough to cushion even fairly big rocks, it also insulates well enough to allow you to sleep on snow in warmth. The Prolite 4 is definitely a big improvement over a foam sleeping and for nearly all situations
Pros: Light, packs small, warm and comfy. Not too slippy.
Reviewed by Ben Johnson (Bath) on 2006-01-05:
General comments: You always know when a product is good when a manufactures name becomes synonymous with the goods it produces. Nobody could deny that the name Thermarest has become the premier producer of self-inflating mattresses. The Prolite 4 was introduced when Thermarest updated its entire range of mattresses about 18 months ago. The main changes to the light weight series were the introductions of a tapered profile and star shaped memory foam pattern, both giving huge weight savings. At 4 cm thick the Prolite 4 is extremely comfortable to sleep on even the lumpiest ground. Although smaller Thermarests are available the Prolite 4 is still less than half the size of a conventional foam mattress and certainly more comfortable. Although expensive (for a sleep mat) Thermarest's lifetime guarantee means once you've got it barring sticking your penknife through it, you've got it for life, I've known Thermarest replaced after 7 years. Now that's customer service. The most common problem with Thermarests are delamination of the face fabrics from the memory foam and leaking valves, but these are all covered under guarantee, so no need to worry. And remember keep it in the back of your car and there will be not uncomfortable nights on your mates sofa after a few too many jars.
Pros: Very comfortable. There's no other product as good on the market. Great guarantee
Cons: It's expensive designer must have been drinking Tango when he chose the colour.
Reviewed by Eric Smith (Argyll) on 2006-01-13:
General comments: We sold our 3/4 length mats to upgrade to these mostly because of the small rolled up size. The smaller lengths weren't ideal in winter because it was too easy too get condensation on the bag at your feet, even with something else underneath. The introduction of this new range of thicker, lighter and more compact full-length mats was just what we were looking for, and we're not disappointed. The fact that you half the width when rolling means that you can easily stuff this full-length mat into a rucksack and have a much neater profile on your sack. We've used this on quite a few sub-zero camps and haven't experienced any cold or condensation coming through yet, so the mats do what you'd hope for. They're 38mm thick, so when they're blown up hard you don't feel the ground at all when you're lying flat. The fabric seems thinner than the old Thermarests, but we've never (then or now) had a puncture, so it must be strong enough. I would always take a repair kit, though. There is now a revised base, which is claimed to slip less than previously, so that should help if you pitch on a slope.
Pros: Small rolled size; weight
Cons: Bit tricky to squeeze into the stuffsack.
Reviewed by Michael Gallagher (Edinburgh) on 2006-01-21:
General comments: As with others, I've had nothing but good experience with the Thermarest ProLite 4. It's expensive, but I've got to the point where I'm more concerned with performance and longevity than price - I'm sick of buying cheap things which don't do what you want, or don't last. This Thremarest is light, packs quite small, and keeps you comfortable and warm, even if there's a frost. It really does make a difference to the day's walking if you've had a decent night's sleep before. Plus there's a lifetime guarantee. I'd have liked to see the puncture kit included given the price; it's a bit stingy to ask for more money for something which most would see as essential (though I haven't had a puncture yet, touch wood). I'm also not convinced by the "less slippy" underside. It might be less slippy than the old one, but the Prolite 4 still slides easily on a slope. But then it's not a good idea to be pitching on a slope anyway.
Pros: Light, small, warm, very comfy - does what it's supposed to.
Cons: Expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Reviewed by chris (uk) on 2006-02-03:
General comments: A light and small self inflating camping mat
This is one of the newer designs of camping mats from that well known company Therm-a-Rest.
Every thing about this mat has bean designed to reduce weight and space it has diamond shapes punched out of the foam and the mat is also cut in a mummy shape this also reduces pack size and the weight of the mat.
Pros: very light weight and it also has a small pack size
Cons: It is a bit slippery when you are pitched on a slight incline.
This mat tends to take a bit longer to inflate that the standard heavier mats but I thick this is because of the diamond cut-out that are there to reduce weight.
The cost is the biggest bad point of this that I can see there is other cheaper makes out there.
Reviewed by Ben (NE England) on 2006-02-04:
General comments: This product takes the traditional karrimat one step further. In terms of weight to depth ratio and comfort it is a clear winner over closed cell and other inflatable mats. The underside seems to be adequately none slip and the upper side is similar. The upper side has a degree of texture to it, unfortunately this seems to slightly absorb water meaning that unlike a closed cell matt water cannot just be wiped off but needs a longer period of time to actually evaporate. The self inflation properties of the mat are limited in a cold tent when the mat is needed for sleeping in the next few hours. A few breaths of air through the reliable valve solves the problem though. The mat provides great insulation and comfort even over quite an uneven campsite. Mine has been used very expensively for months on end and has remained puncture free and nearly as good as new. Only major disadvantage is that it has very few uses other than a sleeping mat compared with a karrimat. An excellent well sized 'stuff' bag is provided putting the finishing touches to this product.
Pros: Weight and depth
Cons: Lacks a large degree its claimed of self-inflation ability on all but the warmest days.
Reviewed by Banjo Jimbo (New Forest) on 2006-02-21:
General comments: I was looking for a mat that gave the car camping comfort but was also portable enough to carry in with a tent or for overnighters in Bothys. This came with the best recommendations and although it is a little pricey compared with other mats, if you can wangle a 15% discount is still cheaper than your average B and B and will give you many more comfy nights.
The mat is a bit slippy on the bottom of the tent, but it does offer a good thickness. Its narrow, but will pack down to a very good size, taking up very little room in the rucksack. I cant vouch for the self inflating tag. as I always get frustrated and end up blowing air into it to top it up. When packing down it needs a bit of patience to get back into the bag, like trying to get a condom over a barrel, but if you are struggling, go back and start again, squeezing air out as you roll it up. A quality sleeping mat, that could only have been improved by allowing it to be attached to another one next to it to stop its mega slippy properties!
Pros: Light, packs down, comfy
Cons: Slippy, a bit narrow, and expensive.
Reviewed by Simon Hastings (Perth) on 2006-02-23:
General comments: Got one of these as I needed to replace my trusty Karrimor foam job and what a difference. I got mine with a reduction in price from Blacks due to me being in the canoe club (try it, it may work for you). I wanted a pad that could do the job of backpacking yet offer my mates unsurpassed comfort when they collapse in an alcoholic stupor on my living room floor. Due to the reduction in price this was the model I went for - it offers great packability over other pads (the alpkit ones are great but don't fold on them selves like the thermarest), and when they inflate, a little extra lung power gives you a great comfy mat. Sleep is really handy when you are backpacking and since owning one of these I truly appreciate the help one of these gives to get your head down. The fabric is good and looks and feels like it could repel most pointy things but take care when using the mat to bivi - make sure the ground is clear as a hole in this turns it back into a karrimat! The colour is cool and has aided my drunken mates in finding a soft spot to land. The fabrics could do with a dose of non-slippery stuff as I also find it a little slidy at times. These are the market leaders in these mats and with good reason. If you can handle the price get one
Pros: Comfort, colour, packability
Cons: Not cheap.
|This review has 1 comment(s):
Kenny responded : just a point regarding the Alpkit mats not 'folding over on themselves'. I assume you mean folding them in half before rolling them up? There is no reason at all why not to do this, it is just that they come in the long thin format. (2006-03-28)
Reviewed by Gordon McIntosh (Glasgow) on 2006-02-24:
General comments: When you are on a trip a good nites sleep is a must and with a thermalite it definately helps. The self inflating?deflating device is good except in colder tempretures when I have found it to be slower. As with sleeping bags I never seem to be able to get them back into its stuff sack. The length is good and I would advise to pay the extra and get this version. The only problem that I have had is with the mat on a slope as it tends to be quite slidy on a smooth surface.
Reviewed by S Harry (inverness) on 2006-02-27:
General comments: I recently purchased a thermarest prolite 4 to replace an old thermarest, which I have had for many years. My old Thermarest was a ¾ length version that was covered in patches due to many a night bivving. I thought long and hard about this and looked at all the options including the Alpkit models, which everyone raves about. I found this good value but the covering was very thing and felt quite weedy compared to the Thermarest. The Prolite 4 seemed the best option. It is very light at almost 700 grams, and packs down incredibly small with the pack size being stated as 28 X 13cm. The mat folds over on itself which halves the width when packing which means I can stuff it nicely in the bottom of my rucksack or even in my North face Tarp holdall for weekends back home. The mat is 20% lighter than older models and I must admit it feel lighter than my old ¾ version. It is very comfortable considering its size but the top lining should have some sort of non-slip covering as my sleeping bag slides around abit, which can be quite annoying. Anyone who is still using the old foam mats or needs an upgrade should look at the prolite range and the 4 gets my vote.
Pros: very comfy for a mat, very light and packable
Cons: the slippy surface, the price and maybe the colour for some
Reviewed by Craig Wilson (Edinburgh) on 2006-03-21:
General comments: 'The origional and still the best', or is it. Thermarest have been around for a long time now but there are several other manafacturers of similar products. Personally I think Thermarest still have the edge. I like the fact that the large range of options means you can almost customise your sleeping mat in terms of length and thickness so consider how comfortable you want to be as you'll have to trade this off against weight. As with most self-inflating mats the valve on this one works well for the first 60 to 70% of capacity then you'll need some lung power to fill it right up. The non-slip surface is good, means you'll only fall half out of the tent at night!
Pros: Light weight, small pack size, comfortable and non slip.
Cons: Can be tricky to pack away with cold hands, quite expensive but does add some quality to your tent.
Reviewed by Jonathan Watson (Leicestershire) on 2006-04-03:
General comments: This mat is one of the most important bits of kit I own. If there is one thing I have learnt over the years that I have been walking and camping is a good night’s sleep makes all the difference and along with a good sleeping bag a good mat is essential. These therm-a-rest mats pack very small and are very light. Once inflated they make a comfortable bed and always keeps the cold away from you. Simple to use and easy to pack away. No matter how long the mat has been stored in the bag it always retains it shape and thickness. I have owned it for the last 2 years and I don’t see any signs of wear and tear. The only issue I have with it, is it isn’t long enough for me. I am 6ft 2inch tall and my feet are always off the mat. During the winter it isn’t a problem as I use a thick sleeping back but summer times when my bag is thinner my feet feel the cold ground. Apart from this you can’t go wrong with a therm-a-rest and the Prolite 4 is the pick of the bunch for me. Light, easy to pack away, comfortable and small pack size, perfect for camping and walking.
Pros: Small size
Cons: Not longer enough for my height (6' 2")
Reviewed by Daniel Quirk (Warrington) on 2006-05-24:
General comments: I have recently used the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 Regular on the Duke of Edinburugh and it was ecellent. The Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 is very light weight and very easy to store. I have done two hikes using the therma rest and it has lightened my rucksack trimedisally compared to when i use a blow up lilo. aswell as the excellent weight the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 is very comfy and does not let the cold through from the ground, that usally happens with others. Also the new improved matirial on the thema rest is grippy unlike the old ones. If i had to rate the therma rest prolite 4 regualar i would give it 9/10.
Reviewed by Neil Dunbar (Hove) on 2006-06-09:
General comments: I am only a recent convert to Therm-a -rest having stuck for many years with my trusty Expedition Karrimat - this had always seemed warm, comfortable and puncture risk free.Having tried a friends trail 4 in March and been very impressed with the incrediable comfort I decided to take the plunge and convert. I am so far very impressed - I seem to get a good nights sleep no matter how rough the ground. I was concerned that I would slip off of the smoother prolite surface, expecially since it is tapered but so far it seems to have enough friction to keep me in place. Touch wood I havent suffered the valve or puncture demons although I go treat it somewhat more gently than I did my karrimat - it doesnt get used as a communal camp seat for example. It takes a while to master rolling it up for the stuffsac - I find rolling it unfolded to expel the air, locking the valve and then rerolling it folded works best. It definately doesnt self inflate though - good few lungfuls of air are needed to get the five star matress effect. I shopped around on the internet and saved over a third for mine but otherwise it is expensive
Pros: comfort, size when packed, comfort
Cons: price, not as robust or useful as a karrimat
Reviewed by kris (sunderland) on 2007-01-13:
General comments: The Prolite 4 is the core of Therm-A-Rest's Fast and Light series. Using the most innovative fabrics, materials and an ergonomically shaped design, Thermarest have kept the 4-season Prolites packed size and weight to a minimum. which is very good when iam backpacking. the nonslip grip on the bottom keeps mattress from slipping when in use, and very comfortadle. it is very quick and easy to set up and pack away, when you have the stuffsack. the only thing i was disappointed with was how much it costs and that you have to buy the stuff sack separately. but if you go camping , backpacking , climbing , or you do mountain marathons this 4 season mat is the one for you .
Pros: Very comfortable, packed size and weight to a minimum
Cons: dont get the stuffsack ( sold separately ) and the price of the prolite 4
Reviewed by Richard Marsh (Hampshire) on 2007-01-15:
General comments: I bought both a regular and a short version of this top banana roll mat (the regular was for the girlfriend) early last year. They have been used for both wild and campsite camping very regularly, and have proven to be excellent – even the girlfriend has stopped windging about the cold!
The top surface is a nylon ripstop type material and the underside a more heavy-duty material almost cordura like. The mats are super simple to use - unroll and blow! Both pack volume and weight are excellent – particularly the short which is ideal if your planning to go uber light. Another bonus of having these mats is they fit very nicely in your rucksack and so you no longer have to have a massive rollmat sticking out of the side catching on rocks / trees / stiles and everything else. Both sizes of mat come with a nice light, and perfectly sized stuff sack – although a thick elastic band can be used if you’re counting the grams. The manufacture quality is excellent, the materials feel of a high quality and the valves are both still working perfectly.
Having only used these in a tent environment I would be slightly concerned with using these for a bivi on rocky ground – although should be fine with a decent bivi bag. You obviously loose your supply of foam for constructing splints etc from.
Overall light, small, well manufactured and warm, get a short if your counting the grams or a long for comfort. If mine were stolen damaged or lost I would definitely invest in another exactly the same.
Pros: Very warm
Fits inside your rucksac
Cons: Would be slightly worried about using ontop of sharp rocks.
Need top be stored flat
Reviewed by norris (london) on 2007-03-05:
General comments: I have been extremley pleased with the use that i have got out of my thermarest and have found it one of the best sleeping mats around. Dont be put off by the high price because it is worth every penny with its excellent weight. This is also extremely comfy and has a bit of grip unlike some other mats. Like my self i travel all over the country riding and camping and i find it very good as i can have it in my rucksack for a day with out even noticing it. The self inflation is quality as it nice to have after a hard day of travelling instead of blowing it up and using every last bit of energy you have. The down side to the mat is it is easy to pick up punctures but is easly fixed with the repair kits that can be purchest fromm al over the place. So to be honest thats not such a problem.
Reviewed by Simon McDougall (Glasgow) on 2007-03-29:
General comments: I do like a good sleep wither I'm in the house or sleeping on a Munro summit and to dot his means getting a decent sleeping mat. The therma-rest prolite four IS the best I've had. I'ne previously had two ultralites in the past but found these a biot chilly if sleeping out in winter, especially on snow! This does not happen with the pro lite four. Alot of people say that thety would'nt pay the price for one of these mats, I bought mine when they first came out at £70.00 but it has proven itself on every occasion. The weight is nearly the same as the ultra-light but the warth is much better, so much so that I now use it for both winter and summer camping/bivvy etc. The mat will last 5 years if you look after it so it's definetely an investment. It works brilliantly inside my bivvy as they are both cut slightly narrower at the bottom.
Samll pack size.
Orange colour looks cool.
Reviewed by Andrew Munro (Durham) on 2008-08-04:
General comments: This review is for the prolite 4 large as there is no section for this. The large mat is longer and wider but the same thickness as the regular. I'm 6'2" and this mat is plenty long for me though i wouldn't want to be much taller. The 4cm thickness advertised is probably just about correct though to get it to optimum thickness a few extra puffs of breath are needed to top it up after it has done the majority of it's self inflation. For comfort and warmth it sure ticks the boxes. I never feel the floor(a problem i have encountered with many cheaper unbranded mats) and invariably wake up with fewer aches than my camp mates who are still using old style closed cell foam mats. What else? pack size isnt great but i guess thats a compromise against the size and thickness of the inflated mat and while it deflates easily this can be quite difficult in a cramped hike tent on a wet morning; i wouldn't want to pack this in a bag smaller than 65l it's just too large when packed up. the weight penalty is also quite high weighing in at almost 1kilo it's hardly 'lightweight'. However build quality is good and the fabrics are durable i have yet to have a puncture and despite several encounters with water and even a midnight nosebleed its still almost looks as good as new. also the non-slip base is rather efficient. Overall a great mat for heavyweight winter backpacking and all year round for comfy warm basecamps but for lighter weight summer backpacking i'll reach for a wee airic everytime
Pros: Thick and comfy!! long and wide enough for us 6'+ types,great build quality and lifetime warantee on the workmanship
Cons: heavy, large pack size, very expensive (particularrly when compared to the alpkit airic mats)