Therm-a-Rest vs Old Blue


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  1. #1
    Does anyone have experience with Therm-a-Rest? I recently bought the guidelite long at EMS on sale for $52 and it seems like it would be very comfortable on packed ground or rock slab, compared to my foam pad. It inflates to 1 1/2 inches. My biggest motivation was the smaller packed size. Have people had a lot of problems with punctures?

  2. #2
    I recently bought the Therm-a-Rest Backpacker from Campmor and used it for the first time several weeks ago at Liberty Springs tent site. I found it to be comfortable enough that lying on the platform was hardly noticeable.

  3. #3
    Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Thomaston, CT
    I have a $50 EMS gift certificate that I need to use. I was thinking about putting it toward this. Are these really worth the $70? I'm using a Ridgerest now; any thoughts on the therm-a-rests?
    I ski double black diamonds.

  4. #4
    It is only an inch thick. My mat at 1 1/2 inch looks thin enough. The one you are looking at is quite a bit lighter though.

  5. #5
    I prefer the self-inflating pads over the foam pads myself.

  6. #6
    I've used mine on occasion but in indoor situations more than in actually practice except for car camping. I'd check archives of AMC's bbs's & Backpacker Magazine as they have been discussed in detail on those sites.

    Feedback I've read seem to indicate they are much more comfortable (a tad heavier but some who watch pack weight less than fanaticlly still carry them) than foam have lasted for years & come with a patch kit. At tent sites/platforms or on rock slabs with a groundcloth & tent floor as buffers, you should be fine.

    Some (read well prepared) winter campers will carry both as extra insulation & back up just in case. I suppose a stick just under snow or ice would be problematic as well as catching on a sharp fir or spruce branch.

    As mentioned feel free to check out other feedback from other sources. & (I think, they may have updated to

  7. #7
    I have both and still use both. I was fine with my foam pad as far as comfort goes, but got the Thermarest for winter insulation. It definitely provides greater comfort over the foam pad, but I still use my foam in the summer because it is lighter.

  8. #8
    I have a full length thermarest guidelite which came cheap due to blemishes. I think its a great compromise between comfort and weight. Although its self inflating, a little extra air blown in seems to make it just right for me. I've had no puncture problems.

    You should be able to find one on sale at less than 70 dollars. I'm not sure I would bother replacing the ridgerest unless you have a liberal gear budget or are unhappy with the ridge rest.

    I am tempted to get one of those chair adapter kits after using someone elses, but I'm pretty cautious about ading weight and spending money.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: pedxing on 2001-07-25 13:39 ]</font>

  9. #9
    I have a 3/4 length ultralite therma-rest. Never a problem as far as punctures... but sometime I find myself wishing I had the wider, thicker version.

    I'm a restless sleeper and seem to roll off the mat too easily '-)

  10. #10
    In my teens i was a blue foam guy. Now in my 40's I won't give up my ThermaRest (Backpacker $39 at Campmor). Had it 3 years, used about 20 nights, no problems. Bring the Patch kit, and get a cover (They make one with a built in pillow sleeve arrangement which seems nice). One issue about the ultralight versions - they are not nearly as warm to sleep on on cooler nights, due to their construction. I love the Thermarest, but wouldn't spend the extra cash to save 8 ounces.

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