Tested: Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus

A couple of weeks ago the very kind people over at Go Outdoors sent me a lovely new Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus Sleeping Mat from their  camping equipment range.

I’ve now finally had chance to give it a proper test and I have to say I’m pretty impressed.

It packs down quite small, although I struggled to get it back to as small as when it arrived, I guess they have some sort of machine that packs them in the factory. I sounds like it’s got a good warmth to weight ratio…680g for a 3 season mat that is 3.8cm thick and has an R value (the way the insulation is measured) it’s sure to keep you warm and comfy in most conditions.

Out of the packet it took a while to inflate so I gave it a few blows just to get it right, I’ve found that the first few times you use a self inflating mat it needs a little bit more help that once it gets a bit older, probably because it’s been compressed for so long, both in transit and on the shelf.

As soon as I put it on the floor of the tent I knew it was’t going to go anywhere, the material felt really grippy and it stayed put while I was rolling around getting changed and into my sleeping bag. Once in my sleeping bag and on top of the mat it seemed to grip well, keeping me and my bag secure, I’ve found that with some of the cheaper mats they can be very slippy and even the slightest hint of a slope and it’s like sleeping on an ice rink.

therm-a-rest prolite plus sleeping mat

Comfy, warm and well made.

The extra thickness over some of the trail mats out there is great especially on the lumps and bumps in the ground, even with my build and sleeping on my side my shoulders were cushioned really well, resulting in a great nights sleep. The length and width was great too, plenty of room so I didn’t find my arms or legs working their way onto the cold tent floor. It tapers slightly at either end meaning it fits into my tent easily and I guess saves a few grammes over a rectangular mat.

Overall I was very impressed with the Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus and I would certainly recommend one to people, although I would have liked to have seen a repair kit included as it’s not a cheap mat by any standards. Although in my experience of cheaper mats, they’ve all been pretty poor, that is apart from the Alpkit ones that I’ve got one of the original models of and it’s still going strong so I’d also recommend checking them out if you are looking for something a little cheaper.

There are of course lighter and smaller mats, like the Neo Air which look like the next big thing but I think still need a little bit of work, and I’m not sure how they’d cope with my weight.

You can the Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus from Go Outdoors here for £84.99 you can view my initial thoughts and more photo of the Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus here.


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