Gear Reviews

Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus

posted by Tim April 24, 2019 0 comments
Noise (lack thereof)5
Warmth4
Comfort4
Pack size3
Ease of use4
Durability4

Noise

Why do I mention this first? Because I can’t sleep on mats that sound as if you’re rolling on a bag of chips. I’ve tried most other ultralight mats, either in the shop or at home, and can’t fall asleep because of the sounds produced when I move on it. Obviously, this is very personal – you may sleep very well on these mats because most of them do feel comfortable.

Warmth

This mat is insulated and has an R value of 3.4, which makes is suitable for cold weather camping. I have slept comfortably down to minus 5 degrees Celsius. Some lighter mats have even higher R values though.

Comfort

This mat has been very comfortable for me. The mat is fairly thin, but I don’t feel the ground, not even when I’m laying on my side (I weigh about 75 kg). The thinness allows you to lay close to the ground in a tent. If you’re raised from the ground – as with most Exped mats – your arms will probably drop down on the sides of your mat and that can lead to your arms “falling asleep” as well.

Pack Size

The packed mat is about 12 cm (diameter) * 28 cm (length). That’s bigger than most ultralight mats. I have tried some of those, such as the XTherm and sea to summit insulated ultralight mats. I really liked their packability and they were laying comfortable, but they were all producing too much noise for me to sleep well.

Ease of use

The mat is self-inflatable. If you unpack the mat and open the valve, it will inflate itself partly most of the times You then only have to give it a few breaths to inflate fully. The self-inflating feature doesn’t work that well sometimes. I think it depends on how long your mat has been packed / compressed and the temperature.

Deflating is easy enough: you open the valve, roll up the mat one time, close the valve (other it will start self inflating again), and now roll it up as tight as possible another time. When getting close to the end, you should open the valve again to get the last bit of air out. I must say the sea to summit system is much easier: you simply open the valve and all the air will escape without any effort.

It can be tricky to deflate and compress the mat enough to fit it back into its sack.

Durability

It seems like a very durable mat. I have had it for 2 years now without any issues. The material of lighter, smaller pack size mats is often less durable. The most common issues with inflatable mats seem to be de-lamination and unwanted deflation (through punctures or a malfunctioning valve). The foam mats (non inflatable) remain the most durable.

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