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  • mbbp2013
    THERM-A-REST PROLITE SLEEPING PAD BY MARINA BATZKE OR October 24, 2013 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Marina Batzke EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com AGE: 53
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 24, 2013
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      October 24, 2013
      NAME: Marina Batzke
      EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com
      AGE: 53
      LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
      GENDER: F
      HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
      WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)
      I am new to backpacking, having converted from a day hiker and car camper in Spring 2013. I borrowed various supplies for my first backpacking trip and that experience sparked my interest in testing backpacking gear. I am a tent camper looking for ways to lighten my pack.  My backpacking trips are currently weekend excursions in Southern California, USA.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Mattress Top View with Dimensions">>

      Manufacturer:  Cascade Designs, Inc.
      Year of Manufacture:  Plastic Wrapper shows Copyright 2011, yet no manufacturing date found. Bought Summer 2013.
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.cascadedesigns.com/Therm-A-Rest">>
      MSRP: US$99.95
      Listed Weight:  16 oz (460 g)
      Measured Weight:  16 oz (460 g)
      Measured Package Size/ Trail Size: 4.5 in x 10 in (11.43 cm x 25.4 cm)
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Rolled-up Mattress Length">>        <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Rolled-up Mattress Diameter">>

      Measured Thickness: 1 in (2.5 cm)
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Fabric Stuff Sack came with Mattress">>
      Fabric Stuff Sack Weight: 0.6 oz (17 gram)
      The WR = Women's Regular size has listed dimensions of 20 in (0.51 m) width x 66 in (1.68 m) length.
      Measured Dimensions: 20 in (0.51 m) width near the top x 66 in (1.68 m) length, including seamed edges.
      Other ProLite sizes available are XS = Extra Small, S = Small, R = Regular and L = Long.

      The Therm-a-Rest ProLite WR is a light-weight, self-inflating 3-season mattress. The WR = Women's Regular version is specifically designed for women offering more insulation in the torso and foot area for increased warmth and comfort.  Mattress sleeping side color is a bright orange with a leaf pattern, while the bottom side is dark grey.  The flat, non-structured mattress has a tapered shape, widest for the upper body and reducing towards the feet.
      The "Limited Lifetime Warranty" guarantees the mattress without time limit against defects in materials and workmanship.  Should the mattress be found defective under this warranty, the manufacturer will repair or replace it at their option.  Shipping Charges to an Authorized Repair Center are responsibility of the customer; the manufacturer pays for the repaired mattress return shipping. The manufacturer recommends to store the mattress unrolled, filled with air and in a dry place, with the valve open.
      (Source: "Self-Inflating Mattress User Guide and Warranty Information" Flyer by manufacturer Cascade)
      Trip #1:
      Location: Bridge to Nowhere, San Gabriel Mountains, California, USA
      Elevation: 3000 ft (914 m)
      Trip duration: 1 night
      Conditions: campsite on sandy soil on San Gabriel River bank
      Temperatures:  63-80 F (18-27 C)

      Trip #2:
      Location:  Third Stream Crossing Lytle Creek, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
      Elevation:  4000 ft (1219 m)
      Trip duration: 1 night
      Conditions: pine forest campsite with forest soil, small twigs and pine needles
      Temperatures:  60-80 F (16-27 C)

      Trip #3:
      Location: Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
      Elevation:  2600 ft (792 m)
      Trip duration: 1 night
      Conditions:  forest campsite with leaves, pine needles, twigs
      Temperatures:  64-90 F (18-32 C)

      Trip #4:
      Location: Little Jimmy Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
      Elevation:   7500 ft (2286 m)
      Trip duration: 1 night
      Conditions: unusually cold October weekend with snow on the ground
      Temperatures: 35-58 F (2-14 C)

      Trip #5:
      Location: Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
      Elevation:  2600 ft (792 m)
      Trip duration: 1 night
      Conditions:  forest campsite with leaves, pine needles, twigs
      Temperatures:  54-76 F (12-24 C)

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Mattress underneath Sleeping Bag">>       <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Mattress inserted in Sleeping Bag">>
      As I am completely new to backpacking, for its very first use I allowed the mattress to self-inflate at home for a couple of hours with its black plastic valve open, then added several long breaths to inflate it more, closed the valve and stored it overnight.  The inflated mattress feels very light, is easy to lift and handle.  The next day, I deflated it by opening the valve, then folded the mattress in half (= the size of the stuff sack length) and rolled it up while repeatedly kneeling on it to squeeze the air out. I closed the valve, unrolled the mattress and rerolled it again with its valve closed, then opened the valve towards the end and squeezed all remaining air out. Finally I closed the valve and the mattress stayed perfectly rolled up at its trail size of 4.5 inch x 10 inch (11.43 cm x 25.4 cm).  Using this process, I have been able to roll up the mattress to perfection every time, whether at home or in the field.

      Rolled up this way, the mattress fits great into its stuff sack but I keep it coiled inside my backpack with a simple rubber band.  I usually take its handy fabric stuff sack (0.6 oz = 17 gram) that was part of the sales kit for other items inside my backpack.
      Most of my backpacking trips have been to warm, sunny Southern California locations.  After setting up my tent, I toss the mattress onto the tent floor with the black plastic valve opened and the mattress always easily self-inflates.  I always add several breaths of air to really well-inflate the mattress for its ultimate firmness, then close the black plastic valve by rotating it clockwise.  Finally I place my sleeping bag on top.  Both the mattress and my sleeping bag are mummy-shaped and therefore fit well.  I like to sleep on the side and throughout my trips so far, with a variety of soil conditions, the mattress has provided good hip and shoulder support, so I have not felt the ground.

      I switch sleeping sides a lot at night and have noticed how very quiet the Therm-a-Rest is:  I frequently hear fellow backpackers in neighboring tents toss and turn on their mattresses, while I hear not a sound from my mattress.

      The mattress surface feels velvety (neither glossy nor rough); neither the surface nor the bottom has anti-slip dots or anything of that kind. Once I did not pick a great spot for my tent and when going to bed noticed that I was sleeping a bit feet-downwards.  I placed my backpack at my feet as "support".  That night, I tossed and turned a lot but noticed that my sleeping bag stayed on the mattress.  I assume my pack as foot support helped, despite me pitching tent at a slight slope.

      The real challenge was an unusually cold Southern California October night with only 35 F (2 C). Most of the campground was covered in snow, while I pitched my tent in an area with no snow but still near-freezing ground temperature. The self-inflation worked very well even with a cold daytime temperature of 58 F (14 C). At night a cold wind blew. I woke up a lot throughout the night, often having cold feet and blaming it on my sleeping bag plus the large mesh door of my tent.  I felt that the mattress provided borderline enough protection against the cold that radiated up from the ground. The manufacturer gives this 3-season mattress an R-2.8 rating (Source: plastic wrapper by manufacturer Cascade that mattress was wrapped in at time of purchase).  The R stands for insulation resistance: how well the mattress insulation resists the flow of heat. A winter-suited 4-season mattress pad may have an R-5 rating or considerably higher.  As I do not have experience with such a higher R-rating mattress, I can only say I felt the mattress protected my body from the cold ground temperature.

      During my most recent trip, I placed the mattress inside my sleeping bag. I have a pretty big sleeping bag, so the mattress had enough room inside and I thereby slept directly on the mattress.  I slept well, tossed and turned less than usual.  Maybe because the mattress is firmly held in place below me by my sleeping bag, I do not subconsciously reposition that much during the night.  I felt warm and comfortable on the mattress and will try this again.
      1. Light weight
      2. Easily self-inflates and only needs a few additional puffs for full inflation
      3. Silent when turning on mattress

      1. Price
      2. Wider would give me more room to turn from left to right

      Marina Batzke
      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.

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