You may think you're reading a review about the good-ole Therm-a-Rest Z Lite foam sleeping pad. Ha! Wrong-o in the bong-o my gear-soaked friend. We are reviewing a super-secret-squirrel new model, the Z Lite SOL. That's right, capital letters, and you know what that means: it's computerized!
OK, that's a lie. There's no computer, but there is a shiny thermal reflective barrier on the bottom that increases the R from today's 2.2 to 2.6. Yeah, OK, it's pretty much impossible to notice the additional warmth, but it is a theoretical almost-20 percent increase. The point is that when your buddy whips out his piss-colored old school Z Lite, you can whip out your piss-colored but shiny-assed SOL and establish dominant gear superiority! Suck it baby!
Other than that they're pretty much the same. It's still svelte, at under 15oz and a packed size of 20x5x5.5 for the size regular 20×72. No word yet on whether the size small at 20×47 and 10oz will also still be available.The accordion-style design is insanely useful and not just for sleeping, but for storing and converting to chair duty. If you've ever fought with a rolled pad you'll appreciate the folding design; getting it from pack to tent and back again is much simpler.
The egg-crate design gives a little more cushioning than a closed cell flat pad for you side-sleepers out there. It's versatile, converting to a 3/4 length pad with double-thickness under your bony hips easily. It makes a great chair too, doubled for two people or quadrupled for one. Storage is simple: creatively folded it can go anywhere on a pack, in or out. The high-visibility Limon color is bright and cheery, just like you'll be as you watch your campmates try to reverse curl their old-school pads whilst you lounge on your Z-Lite SOL.
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