sleeping pads

thinking of investing in Therm-a-Rest base pads. They are interlocking and poly-foam of some sort. I’m looking for any feedback. Anyone out there use these “basepads” before? Also where is a good cheap place to buy? The few site I’ve seen them on average about 15.95 and up.

Similar pads

– Last Updated: Apr-29-05 3:20 PM EST –

I use have 4 ThermaRest pads: 3 self-inflating pads and 1 Z-Rest folding pad. I don't have their puzzle-lock "base" pad.

However, I do have some non-ThermaRest closed-cell pads that interlock with puzzle joints, made for using on shop floors or truck beds. Cost less than $10 for 4 of these, 2' square each, and about 1/2" thick.

Recently I bought another similar set that are sold in sets of 6, also 2' square, but thinner. About the same price as the set of 4 thicker ones. You can buy them at Pep Boys, Checker Auto, and the like.

For the price, it'd be worth checking out all these pads. The ThermaRest pad may be more compressible, if that matters.

speaking of
Sleeping pads, I just sprung the extra$$ and bought 2 new pads for my wife and I. I really like the therma rest quality and warranty so I bought the Pro-light’s that pack up fairly small, great for kayaking. Figure I’ll have these for the rest of my life now.

Chair kit
Don"t forget the chair kit, it makes camp life so much better.

You may want to check out the local Army surplus store or local junk store. The army sleeping pads are pretty comfortable. They don’t compress as small as Thermarest, but you must just plan for it. They are $5 to $10 usually, maybe $15. They are a closed cell foam, so they might float, but i haven’t tested it.

Have fun shopping!


After trying the cheaper self inflating pads. It is worthwhile to invest in the Thermarest. They really are better quality and more comfortable.

After much research, I recently bought a Thermarest pad. Last week I did a 3 day river trip. I slept quite well. At first I was skeptical about about the need to pay more for a Thermarest, but now I am sold. I should have gotten one long ago.

Now could someone explain how the Thermarest seats work? And how much room do they take up?

Thermarest chair kits…

– Last Updated: May-02-05 11:54 AM EST –

The chair kits slip over the top (valve side) of the pad. The bottom of the pad is then folded and stuffed into the bottom of the chair kit to form a chair:

You don't have to remove the chair kit when sleeping, simply pull the bottom of the pad out of the kit, like so:

Once you've used one, you'll wonder how you got along without it!

There are 2 styles of 20" wide chair kits. One is the new for 2005 Trekker Lounge Chair Sleeve. It weighs 18 oz., has a built-in fleece stuff-it pillow which was previously available only as a separate sleeve (known as the Thermawrap kit). Also, apparently, the pad does not need to be removed from the sleeve, as it covers the entire pad. This way, it converts instantly from chair to sleeping pad and back again.

The one I have, which is the older style "Trekker Chair", weighs 10.2 oz. The difference between the 2, other than weight, is that the Trekker Chair does not have the fleece pillow sack, and you have to pull the bottom of the pad out of the sleeve in order to use it for sleeping.

As to the size of the package. If you roll the pad up inside the chair kit, the size is about 19" x 6" (using the Women's Prolite 4 pad, which is 20" x 66"). Rolled up without the pad inside, it's about 18" x 2".

Chair kit rolled size:

Chair kit with pad rolled up inside:

Here is the Thermarest FAQ:

Thermarest For 15 Years
I can’t believe it, but we’re still using the Thermarest pads I bought 15 years ago. They are the self-inflating, slippery nylon covered kind they don’t sell anymore. (When sleeping on a slope you have a tendancy to slide off. The modern versions have a non-slip surface.)

If I were a famous celebrity, I would endorse them for free. They are absolutly worth every penny.

Question about trekker chair
They look comfortable, but do are you actually able to lean back in them like a regular chair? Some of the stadium seats I’ve tried don’t really allow leaning back without additional support. I just ordered the therm-a-wrap for my prolite (naturally) but this looks like it would be a good dual purpose item.

Thanks Pam
Your info on the chair is just what I was looking for. Do you get a commission?

Ok, I’m curious about the trekker chairs, too. Do they hold up with heavy leaning? I’m trying to decide between that or a folding stool with a back on it.

Any help would be appreciated.

Therm-A-Rest & Chairs
At 6’ 220lbs. And with a bad back I definitely fall into the “heavy leaner” category. Some years ago I purchased one of the inexpensive stadium chairs to use while camping. Unless there was a handy tree around to help support the back it was useless as far as leaning goes. Then last year I got one of the Therm-A- Rest converters, think I paid around $30 for it. I used it extensively on a two month Alaska trip last summer. As far as I’m concerned it’s worth its weight in gold. Very comfortable and takes up almost no space when not in use. Spent dozens of evenings lounging and so far shows no signs of wear. Even managed to fall asleep in it once or twice. Try that in a folding camp stool.

Thanks for the information
Dreamsofbears. I guess I’ll exchange my thermawrap for a trekker.

sleeping pads
I have a 1" thick Therma-Rest and a cheaper 1-1/2" thick Wenzel. I’ve sleep many nights on each, and I actually like the Wenzel better. My grown kids or other canoeing partners are usually on whichever one I’m not using. The Wenzel is thicker and wider, which makes a comfort difference, and it has built-in straps for rolling and tieing. The Therma-Rest rolls tighter and smaller, which it should at 1/2" thinner. I’ve had each for about 3 years, and they are holding up equally well. The Therma-Rest was a gift, but cost more than twice as much as the Wenzel, which I found on sale.

I’d leave a clean change of clothes at home before I’d leave my sleeping pad! It has quickly risen to near the top of important stuff to pack first.

cYa Jim