IR Therm-a-Rest Women's Prolite 3 - Jennifer Williams
- The html version is in the test folder. Thanks. BTW, I have still not received a return
shipping label for the wrong mattress that they sent. Should I contact them?
Initial Report: Therm-a-Rest Women's Prolite 3
Name: Jennifer Williams
Height: 5 ft 3 in (1.6 m)
Weight: 120 lbs (56 kg)
Shoulder width: 16 in (41 cm)
Hip width: 15 in (38 cm)
Email: jensmail78 (at) yahoo.com
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Date: January 25, 2005
I grew up horseback riding, camping, and hiking and just started backpacking about three
years ago. All of my trips have been one or two night stays. My trips normally range from
coastal trails in the redwoods to mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada. I tend to hike
where I encounter rain and dampness. This year I am looking forward to making some
longer trips in northern California and gaining more experience. I am not a lightweight
backpacker yet, but would like to reduce my current pack weight significantly.
Year of manufacture: 2005
Size: women's regular
Color: Red on top and Black on the bottom
MSRP: $79.95 (US)
Filling: Urethane Foam
Weight: 1 lb 4 oz (567 g)
Length: 66 in (168 cm)
Width: 20 in (51 cm)
Thickness: 1 in (2.5 cm)
Rolled length: 11 in (28 cm)
Rolled width: 4 in (10 cm)
Dimensions as delivered
Weight: 1 lb 3.5 oz (553 g)
Length: 66 in (168 cm)
Shoulder width: 20 in (51 cm)
Foot width: 17.5 in (45 cm)
Thickness: 1 in (2.5 cm)
Rolled length:11 in (28 cm)
Rolled width: 6 in (15 cm)
The Therm-a-Rest Women's Prolite 3 is a lightweight, self inflating mattress intended for
3-season backpacing or camping. It has extra insulation under the torso and feet areas to
accomodate women's colder body temperatures while sleeping. The pad is sized for
women with a shorter length and slightly tapered design. There is a valve on the upper left
corner (if facing the mattress). There is also a small Therm-a-Rest logo, size, serial
number, and web address printed on the upper left corner (if facing the mattress). There
are small diamond shaped holes in the foam that are visible through the outer material.
These holes appear as slight indentations when the pad is deflated and they bulge slightly
when the pad is fully inflated. There are fewer holes in the torso and foot areas of the pad
than under the head and leg areas. I assume that fewer holes are indicative of the extra
insulation in those areas.
The Women's Prolite 3 sleeping mattress arrived with minimal packaging inside a
surprisingly small box. The mattress was rolled inside of a plastic sleeve that had product
information printed on it. The information on the sleeve explains that the Women's Prolite
3 is part of the Fast and Light Series of sleeping mattresses and is intended for 3-season
use. It also lists the dimensions of the mattress and the R-value, which equates to warmth.
The R-value for this pad is 3 on a scale of 8 (8 = warmest), although it is not clear what
temperature ranges these values map to. The packaging also claims that this is the
lightest, most compact women's 3-season mattress and that it is 30% warmer than the
regular (men's) Prolite 3. The mattress was folded in half lengthwise and rolled tightly.
Upon unrolling it I found a sheet of instructions and warranty information tucked inside
the roll. The mattress has a lifetime warranty covering manufacturing defects in materials
and workmanship. Instructions are provided for initial inflation, first use, winter use,
deflation, storage, repairs, and cleaning, as well as tips for protecting the mattress.
I followed the instructions for the initial inflation and let the mattress self inflate (this took
about 30 minutes). I then over inflated it by blowing a few breaths into the valve and then
closed the valve and stored the pad overnight. The next day it was still fully inflated. I
opened the valve and started to roll the matress back up to see how small I could roll it
after it had been inflated. I rolled it the same way that it was when I reveived it and was
not able to get the roll quite as narrow as it had been upon arrival. However, it is still quite
compact and easy to roll up. I then unrolled the mattress and let it self inflate again and it
was slightly faster this time (about 20 minutes). Once it had self inflated I sealed the valve
and layed on the mattress. I felt comfortable and could not feel the holes while laying on
it. The mattress provided a decent amount of cushioning after self inflation, but I would
add a few more breaths to it if I were in the field. The matress is definitely long enough for
me and the width at the shoulders and feet is more than adequate. The material on the top
does not seem particularly slippery, but my sleeping bag is slippery, so I will be curious to
see if I slide off the mattress much. The material on the bottom of the mattress seems to
have tiny little grippy dots for traction. Hopfully this will keep me from "traveling" around
inside my tent.
I deflated and inflated the mattress a few more times over a couple of days and everything
seems to be in working order. I have now stored it according to the instructions by tucking
it in my closet unrolled, with air in it, and the valve open. When I am ready to take the
mattress backpacking for the first time I will use one of my older stuff sacks, as this
mattress did not come with one. However, if it does not fit in my stuff sacks well, I will
likely purchase a sack for the mattress.
Central and Northern California Coasts:
During the beginning of the testing period I will go on multiple trips along the coastal
mountains to take advantage of the warmer winter temperatures in that area. Locations
will include multiple state parks and national forests, such as Big Sur, Los Padres National
Forest, and Henry Coe State Park, ranging in elevations from 0 to 6000 feet (1800 meters).
I will go on at least two overnight backpacking trips. Temperatures will be between 30 and
60 F (-1 to 16 C) and conditions will generally be damp and rainy with occasional dry and
warm days. The bay area tends to get a warm spell in February between all the rain and
cold in January and March. Thus, I will be able to get quite a bit of backpacking in during
the winter months.
As the testing period progresses and weather improves I will start backpacking in the
Sierra Nevada range again. I will go on 2 overnight backpacking trips in Tahoe National
Forest and another trip to Yosemite National Park at elevations between 7000 to 9000 feet
(2100 to 2700 meters). Temperatures are typically between 30 and 70 F (-1 to 21 C) and
conditions tend to alternate between dry, clear weather and occasional rain storms.
On all camping trips I sleep in a 3-season, 2 person tent and a semi-mummy style, down
sleeping bag rated at 15 F (-9 C). I typically sleep in lightweight, silk long underwear and
wool socks. If the weather is REALLY nice I sometimes sleep outside and don't set up my
tent. However, chances of that during this testing period seem remote.
Some specific things I will evaluate include:
*Does the pad hold air all night or does it slowly leak?
*Is the outer fabric tear and puncture resistant?
*Is the bottom durable enough to use it outside if the weather is good?
*Is the valve durable without bending or breaking easily in case someone accidentally
steps on it?
*Is the non-slip bottom actually grippy? Is it too grippy?
*Is the top layer slippery against my sleeping bag?
*Is it easy to inflate, deflate, and open and close the valve?
*Is the 1-inch (2.5 cm) thickness enough padding?
*Is the pad wide enough to accommodate rolling over or side sleeping?
*Do my feet actually stay a bit warmer?
*At what temperatures do I start to get too cold?
*Does the pad actually keep me warm enough to warrant the bit of extra weight from the
*Given that the insulation is strategically placed and the pad is not necessarily reversible,
is the valve in a good location? Is it by my face so that I roll onto it in the night?
Thanks to BackpackGeartest.org and Therm-a-Rest for the opportunity to test this
- EDIT: IR Therm-a-Rest Women's Prolite 3 - Jennifer Williams
Sorry to take so long with your edits. I had a good time at the OR
show, but it overtaxed me a little and my bronchitis came back.
I put a request in to Stephanie about contacting Therm-a-Rest with
your shipping labels. Sometimes they don't want the items back, too
much trouble for them.
Your report looks good in the test folder. Is there any way you
could rotate the picture so we are looking at it the same way the
camera was? Currently it has a dizzying effect.
Your edits are below. If most are spelling mistakes that could be
picked up with a spell checker.
Thanks! Looking forward to hearing how it works out in the field.
The Therm-a-Rest Women's Prolite 3 is a lightweight, self inflating
mattress intended for 3-season backpacing
or camping. It has extra insulation under the torso and feet areas to
on the upper left corner (if facing the mattress). There is also a
small Therm-a-Rest logo, size, serial number, and web address printed
on the upper left corner (if facing the mattress)
Comment: The parenthetical isn't needed here since you've already
indicated which way is left above
The next day it was still fully inflated. I opened the valve and
started to roll the matress
I rolled it the same way that it was when I reveived
Once it had self inflated I sealed the valve and layed
n the field. The matress
grippy dots for traction. Hopfully
Locations will include multiple state parks and national forests,
such as Big Sur, Los Padres National Forest, and Henry Coe State
Park, ranging in elevations from 0 to 6000 feet(1800 meters)
EDIT: abbreviate ft and m