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Thermarest prolite 4

October 20, 2009

prolite-01bI have used this Thermarest prolite 4 sleeping pad on several long unsupported bicycle tours and several overnight trips and I love it! First off it’s light, really light 20oz. Now that’s what you’d expect out of a sleeping pad, I mean it’s just foam and air but it also packs up to about a eight inch long roll that’s about 5 inches thick. For cycle touring I think packing size is more important than weight and this is the smallest roll up size around, The half is even smaller (half) but I decided to take on the extra weight to get a full body pad. It says it’s self inflating but that isn’t quite true, It does inflate better than other”self inflating” sleeping pads but still takes a little blowing up to get it firm. The top of the pad is rather smooth and soft while the underside is rougher and stronger making punctures less of a worry. I opted for the prolite 4 but the prolite 3 is also great but not as well insulated in the winter, it is a little cheaper but if you either plan on camping on snow or just don’t know what you might get into it’s worth the extra money to get the prolite 4 model.

When I first decided to take this on a bike tour I thought it might be something I could do without but kept reading how experienced people really swore by them, now I’m person who also swears by them. When you’re riding a bike everyday you want to be as comfortable as possible when you sleep and this makes a world of difference from just a sleeping bag. I’d go as far as to say I’d rather take this and no sleeping bag than have a sleeping bag and no sleeping pad. It is a little pricey at around $100 plus an almost essential $15 bag, but it is well worth the money in the long run. You can’t really put a price on comfort anyway.prolite-02b

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