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EDIT MOD QUERY OR - Thermarest Z-lite pads - Ray Estrella

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  • edwardripleyduggan
    Hi Ray, I m a little confused by one aspect of the pad report, otherwise excellent. Are the stats for your pad, the kids pads, or both? I think you have two
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 3, 2008
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      Hi Ray,

      I'm a little confused by one aspect of the pad report, otherwise
      excellent. Are the stats for your pad, the kids' pads, or both? I
      think you have two different sizes under discussion here, so could you
      clarify all that a wee bit?



      Senior Edit Mod

      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "rayestrella1"
      <rayestrella@...> wrote:
      > Hey all you editorial types…
      > I do not know what the call is for this month but I feel like writing
      > about sleeping pads. Here is the first one. The HTML may be found
      > here;
      > http://tinyurl.com/6fc9kw
      > See you in a few minutes…
      > Ray
      > Therm-a Rest Z-Lite
      > Owner Review by Raymond Estrella
      > September 13, 2008
      > NAME: Raymond Estrella
      > EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
      > AGE: 47
      > LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
      > GENDER: M
      > HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      > WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
      > I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and
      > in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
      > average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to
      > lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike
      > hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a
      > freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I
      > am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
      > The Product
      > Review Date: August 27, 2008
      > Manufacturer: Cascade Designs Inc.
      > Web site: www.thermarest.com
      > Product: Z-Lite pad
      > Year manufactured: 2008
      > MSRP: $ 29.95 US
      > Size: Small (also made in Regular, which I have too)
      > Weight listed: 11 oz (310 g)
      > Actual weight: 10.1 oz (286 g)
      > Dimensions listed: 20 x 47 in (51 x 119 cm)
      > Actual dimensions: 20 x 50.5 (51 x 128 cm)
      > Thickness listed: 0.75 in (20 mm) Verified accurate
      > Packed size listed (folded up): 20 x 4 x 5 in (51 x 10 x 13 cm)
      > Packed size measured: 20 x 4.5 x 5 in (51 x 11 x 13 cm)
      > R-Value: 2.2
      > Product Description
      > The Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite pads (hereafter called the Z-Lites or pads)
      > are very light weight pads that the manufacture says is, "The perfect
      > choice for chronic ounce-counters engaging in virtually any
      > activity." I don't know about that, but I use them for backpacking…
      > The Z-Lites are made of closed-cell foam that will not absorb
      > moisture. It is orange in color on the top (sleeping side) and dark
      > grey on the bottom, as seen to the right. I can see no difference in
      > the surfaces other than the color.
      > The over-all thickness is 0.75 in (20 mm), but the thickness of the
      > foam is only 0.3 in (8 mm) thick. The over-all thickness is achieved
      > because of the egg-carton shaped pattern it has been constructed of.
      > This technique allows a lot of dead-air space to be trapped between
      > the user and the tent floor (or what ever it is on). This is claimed
      > to increase warmth and softness.
      > Another thing it does is allows the pad to fold up accordion-style
      > with the grey bumps of the bottom sliding into the orange depressions
      > of the front. This lets it pack down to about two-fifths of the size
      > its thickness would suggest. It turns into the roughly square shaped
      > bundles seen above.
      > Once unfolded it lays fairly flat. It does keep some shape retention
      > causing it to rise up from the surface a bit as may be noticed below.
      > Field Data
      > My twins Emma and Raymond used the Z-Lite pads in a MSR Mutha Hubba
      > tent on the following trips, all in summer of 2008.
      > We started by carrying them around Buffalo River State Park,
      > Minnesota for a practice hike as seen above. (In the summer we can
      > only hike on the trails, all camping must be done in
      > the "campground".) After a couple miles of "packing" along three of
      > the hiking trails we went back to our camp spot.
      > We went to Itasca State Park , the birthplace of the Mississippi
      > River where we got a permit for one of three sites at Myrtle Lake.
      > (Backpacking sites are issued just like camp sites in a campground, a
      > new one for me.) This four mile (6 km) round trip hike was on easy
      > terrain as it is almost all grass, at the worst dirt. Temps were from
      > 64 to 80 F (18 to 27 C) at an elevation of 1500 ft (460 m).
      > The kids and I went with Uncle Dave and their cousin Kendall to Round
      > Valley in San Jacinto State Park (California) for an over-night trip
      > with lots of boulder climbing. The temperatures ranged from a low of
      > 55 F to a high of 80 F (13 to 27 C). This was at an elevation of 9200
      > ft (2800 m).
      > And last we went on a three-day backpacking trip to Maplewood State
      > Park in Minnesota. We stayed at the Beers Lake Backpacker site the
      > first day and at the Grass Backpacker site the second. The weather
      > was great for two days then rained the last. The temperatures were
      > from 79 down to 61 F (29 to 16 C). The elevation was 1340 ft (408 m)
      > above sea level.
      > Observations
      > I bought the Z-Lite pads in May of 2008 expressly for my twins Emma
      > and Raymond to use for a whole summer of backpacking we had planned.
      > As I knew that I would be carrying a lot of weight hauling gear for
      > the three of us I was very interested in finding something that would
      > work for them with as low a weight as possible.
      > I have a regular length Z-Lite pad that I use in winter occasionally
      > to boost my R-value with other pads (I will mention my opinion of the
      > Z-Lite at the end of this review). I had the kids try it out and they
      > said they liked it, so I got them the two smalls. They insisted on
      > sleeping on them in the front room when they first got them.
      > The kids used them all summer and I never heard a single complaint of
      > any discomfort or soreness. Indeed they slept harder than they ever
      > do at home, but that could have something to do with the hiking,
      > boulder climbing, lake playing, and frog hunting safaris…
      > Their low body weight seemed to keep the egg-carton ridges from
      > collapsing too much giving them a soft and comfortable sleeping
      > surface. As can be seen in these pictures Emma and Ray (who is buried
      > in his bag) look like they are having sweet cushioned dreams.
      > And I did not mind carrying the combined weight of both of them. I
      > stacked them both together and then attached them to my Osprey Argon
      > 110 with the pack's lower sleeping pad straps. The Z-Lites actually
      > helped my pack sit stably when I would take it off. Here is a picture
      > on our way to Round Valley in Mount San Jacinto State Park.
      > They are a lot more durable than I thought they would be. They have a
      > few scratches and permanent indentations, from sitting against rough
      > granite most likely. But neither of them have any tears or holes. As
      > can be seen above I snug them down pretty tight to make sure they
      > don't slide around but they do not retain the strap indentations
      > after a day of hiking. On the trip above because of logistic problems
      > they were strapped down for over 12 hours like that but showed no
      > sign of it an hour after unloading. Here is a picture as we trek
      > through the hardwood forests of Minnesota.
      > Dad's Use
      > While the Z-Lites have been great for the kids I thought that I
      > should share my experiences with the regular size Z-Lite I have.
      > I am not an Ultra-light backpacker by any means. My brother-in-law
      > Dave is for 3-season hiking, often carrying loads that I can only
      > touch if I leave one leg at home. (Uh, uh, don't go there…) I do try
      > to lean towards the lighter end of the scale for most of my gear
      > purchases though.
      > I bought my Z-Lite to use in winter to put an extra insulating layer
      > between me and the snow before I got some pretty trick winter pads.
      > And it works exceptionally for this use. It seems to grip very well
      > too, although I may not notice much slipping as I can make a darn
      > level pad with my shovel and snowshoes in winter.
      > But at least one time each year I do what I call a "Dave hike". On
      > this hike we go for three days and I try to take the lowest weight I
      > possibly can. But I still have to take my own tent and such, and I do
      > not have any little Bear Burritos to sleep in like Dave does. So one
      > year I took the Z-Lite as my only pad to cut weight.
      > At the time I was up to my high body weight of 220 lb (100 kg). (This
      > was before the crazy monster-distance hikes I have been doing the
      > past 3 years.) And I have to say that the Z-Lite did not work well
      > for me at all. But as a side-sleeper I put a lot of pressure against
      > my hip and shoulder as I sleep. And all of my big trips are in the
      > Sierra at high altitude, with most camps above tree-line meaning I am
      > setting up on rock most of the time. Dave, who is a back sleeper, has
      > one (actually he has two, he brings both in winter some times) and
      > does well with it set up a short distance away.
      > I will keep mine forever as a winter addition, the weight is hard to
      > beat and I use it as a winter seat in my dug-out snow kitchen quite
      > often as the weight is so low that I can justify carrying it instead
      > of my foam seat pad as it lets me sleep warmer too. I will end this
      > review with a picture of it in my kitchen area dug out of about 8 ft
      > (2.6 m) of snow. See how clean it stays with no icky dirt around?
      > (He, he, he)
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2008
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