“ Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest / Type: Camping Equipment / 4-season camping mattress „
The Thermarest prolite 4, now sold as the prolite plus is one of thermarests top of the range self-inflating mats.
Self inflating really means 4 of 5 breaths for a mat like this but it is a 1 minute job. It fills the gap between the foam mats which dont add much comfort and fully inflatable designs which take a lot to blow up and are either very easy to puncture or very heavy. The compromise is the weight, typically inflatable mats weight two to threee times the weight of other designs but for most including myself its worth it.
The ideal camping mat would insulate well, be very comfortable, have a non slip top, be puncture resistant and very lightweight. This mat ticks almost all boxes to some extent.
At 50% thicker than the Prolite 3 its definately noticably warmer and comfier than its skinnier sister. With an R value of 3.8 its around 60% warmer so ideal for those cold sleepers or who like getting out in the colder months. Thermarest rate this as a 4 season mat and it should be able to withstand most temperatures you would encounter away from derious expeditions.
Those who sleep on their side dont spread their weight so often end up contacting the ground on the 2.5cm mats. The extra 1.3cm makes a very noticible difference and also allows the lighter or back sleepers to lower the pressure so its a bit more squishy and comfortable.
A non slip top is added to prevent a shiny sleeping bag slipping off a slippy mat. A small but very useful addition.
Self-inflating mattresses are much more resilient to puncture than the air-filled only models but weigh a significant amount more but you don't need to be careful about every slightly pointy item with the Prolite range.
Being 50% thicker its also 50% heavier than the Prolite 3 but its still only 680g for the regular which is of a low enough weight to be carried on your back. The packed size again isn't the smallest on the market but won't cause you too many problems in a pack.
For me I would go for a very lightweight design for carrying and a super comfy mat for car camping, this is a great mat for those who want one mat for all purposes or would sacrifice the extra weight for the comfort and for those this could be the ideal mat.
So What Is The Womans Thermarest ProLite 4 ?
The ProLite 4 is part of the Fast & Light thermarest mattress range. Weighing less and packing smaller than any mattresses ever before makes it ideal for those who want the luxury of a self inflating mattress but don't have the space to carry anything larger.
This mattress designed specifically for women brings the comfort and added warmth you want especially when it's colder. Research has shown that women want more insulation around the torso and feet as these are the areas that get cold, so this mattress has been sized up and designed just for the female body.
The outer comes in 2 textures. The bottom has grips to stop it from slipping and the top is textured to stop you from slipping.
The foam is a unique, diagonal-cut shape of urethane foam, which provides the most efficient insulation possible and of course there is added warmth in the torso and feet.
The tapered design of the mattress eliminates excess weight and also rolls up compactly rather than being the usual rectangle shaped design.
Packed 28cm x 12cm
Width 51cm (at widest point)
Thick 3.8cm (when inflated)
The mattress weighs in at 680g.
This is similar to the tog value of a duvet. This matress is rated at 4.6 Rsi.
To inflate a Thermarest all you need to do is open the valve and the open-celled foam responds by soaking up air, just like a sponge absorbing liquid. Once the mattress has inflated, you can adjust the firmness by adding or letting air out using the valve.
This mattress is ideal for 3 to 4 season use.
£70 - £80 but worth shopping around.
A sea kayak trip to Greenland was what set me out on the path of seeking out the lightest camping kit and clothing I could find without sacrificing any warmth. I had found my perfect sleeping bag in the Marmot Helium EQ the ProLite 4 thermarest was the icing on the cake, or should I say under the cake!!
I have had no problem with my mattress slipping so can only assume that the textured bottom does grip. I do find however that I am prone to sliding down the mattress when in my sleeping bag. This may be down to a number of things:
1. I'm not too fussy about where I pitch my tent so can sometimes be on a slope.
2. My sleeping bag has a very shiny outer
3. I do wriggle a lot in my sleep
4. Or it may be that the texture on the mat doesn't work.
The purpose of the foam is to give added insulation as well as comfort and it certainly does the job superbly.
The mat rolls up really easily. You simply release the valve fold the mat in two length ways then start rolling up from the bottom end. Once fully rolled up it will easily fit inside its bag. Size wise it is perfect for me not too long or wide so very little in the way of wasted space.
680g may sound light but on looking at the weight of a closed cell foam matt these weigh in at around 355g it is heavier, however it folds down much smaller and gives you more comfort and warmth.
I've certainly not felt any cold come up through the mattress. When you lie straight on it without a sleeping bag you do feel a warmth.
I've never really found that the mat inflates enough on its own to use but a couple of puffs into the valve and the mattress is inflated to perfection.
When I first got this mattress I wasn't convinced about the colour, as I'm not a pink person. It has now grown on me and I wouldn't be without it when I'm camping or even when I give up my bed for visitors and I sleep on the floor. It still amazes me that 3cm of foam can provide so much comfort but that's what you get with this superb design. Do watch out for anything that might puncture it, its well worth either buying a repair kit, around £7.50, just in case the worst happens. You can use Seamsure to cover any holes or leaks around the valve area. Thermarest have a mattress for every occasion even some with down in which keep you really warm so check them out and get the right mattress for your needs.