Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Review: Sleeping Pads

If you want an ultralight layer of sleeping comfort on your hikes then a self-inflating pad is ideal. Find out in our Thermarest Prolite Plus review if you'll be in nocturnal heaven or hell.

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Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Review

Our Rating: 4.0/5

Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Mattress - Regular

The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus has been a firm favorite amongst backpackers for some time now. This lightweight sleeping pad gives you a firm, smooth, and stable surface to sleep on, plus it has a quick and very easy self-inflating design that can be completed in under ten minutes. It self-inflates most of the way and only requires a couple of breaths to set it at your preferred firmness.

The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus has a great design that has seen improvements to make it warmer than previous models. It gets its all-season warmth from the diagonal-cut foam that gives you a lot more warmth than you will get from conventional vertical channels.

Ideal an excellent sleeping pad choice for adventures out in the cold weather, ski touring, and winter camping. The new Patent-pending diagonal-cut foam is very efficient, and it gives you almost 20% more warmth overall with no additional weight. It also comes with an included stuff sack for convenient storing.

Key Features

  • Has four season warmth with the thick and patent pending diagonal cut foam
  • Self-inflating with an expanding for core that inflates the pad almost full, only a few additional breaths are needed for personal firmness
  • Lightweight with Atmos Foam reducing its weight by nearly 10%
  • Additional warmth from the unique, diagonal-cut foam that gives you the best insulation possible
  • Compact and lightweight tapered design gets rid of extra weight and lets you roll up the pad compactly
  • Bottom grips allow you to rest comfortably and the textured top surface keeps the pad in place while you sleep

Category Scores

Weight & Packed Size
Ease of Use
  • PROs

    • Self inflating
    • Reliable, well-constructed, and durable
    • Flat surface helps with a comfortable night’s sleep
    • Warm enough to use in four seasons
  • CONs

    • Hard to compress down and fit in the included stuff sack is too small
    • Lighter pads on the market

Hands on Review


The Therma-a-Rest ProLite Plus has a flat surface which is more comfortable to sleep on compared to many pads which have a ridged design. One of the best aspects of this pad is that it does not have the bouncing feeling that you get from a typical mattress.

The ProLite Plus is nice and firm, although as it is only one inch thick if there is something bumpy underneath the mattress, you will know about it. However, if you generally sleep on the flat ground found in most campsites, you should be pretty comfortable.

This is a semi-firm bed with a fantastic baffling system. The sleeping pad does not bulge on the sides when you sit on it. The texture on the bottom and top of the pad keeps the sleeping pad from slipping, and it isn’t noisy like its competitors.

The ProLite Plus gives you an additional layer between your sleeping bag and the ground, which can make a huge difference. It may be a little narrower than you expect, but it will fit an average-sized person comfortably, and your sleeping bag will not slip on it.

The internal foam gives you even padding all through the sleeping pad that your standard inflatable pads don’t have. Instead of pressing on the pad and feeling a bubble, you will feel a cushion. It feels more like a bed with the Atmos Foam compressing under your body weight. This is a great feature when you are a stomach or side sleeper where it is vital to have the mattress contour to your body and distribute your weight evenly. You will not have the typical problems of your arms falling asleep with the Therma-a-Rest ProLite Plus.

The Atmos Foam is one of Therm-a-Rest’s newest innovations. It is made in a closed and controlled atmosphere, so the foam is allowed to rise unobstructed creating more foam with less dense spots. They also bored the foam at angles which lessens bulk and increases its packability. The pad self-inflates when the foam is returned to its natural shape and sucks air in along the way. The attached small plastic valve lets you easily inflate and deflate.

Reviewers that are side sleepers were surprised and thrilled by the amount of cushioning the ProLite Plus gave them. It was a comfortable and quiet experience with no slippage with their sleeping bag. Other reviewers commented on its comfort through all four seasons, and that it has remained a comfortable pad despite constant use outdoors.

Weight & Packed Size

At around 20 ounces (for the regular size), this is not the lightest sleeping pad on the market, but it is certainly lighter than many others. If you are looking to reduce weight, you can opt for the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite or the Exped Synman Hyperlite, although expect to pay approximately 50% more for either of these options.

Many self-inflating pads have been found to be bulkier than those made with air construction. The ProLite Plus has a perforated foam construction that does somewhat help to reduce the bulk in comparison to previous models.

It does take a bit of compression to get the mattress to fold, and it can be a bit cumbersome until you get it deflated. Once deflated, the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus packs up to around 11 x 4.8 inches (regular size), and you won’t have any trouble attaching it to your backpack with one strap. It can be actually easier to store it without the sack as you can slip it along the spine of a pack or behind a sleeping bag.

The ProLite Plus uses the exclusive Atmos foam that lessens the weight of the sleeping pad by almost 10%. It also increases the compressibility of the pad to make your backpack even lighter.


The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus has a 3.4 stated R-value making it warm enough for four seasons of outdoor adventures. Reviewers have been very happy with the pad, even on especially frigid nights when no one felt the cold creeping in from underneath the pad.

Ease of Use

The crowning glory is the self-inflating design, which is a great feature of the Therm-a-rest ProLite Plus. The pad does most of the work; you only need to add a few breaths at the end to set the mattress to your personal preference.

Once you unroll the mattress and open the valve, it immediately begins to inflate. It takes about ten minutes to inflate completely, and then you will need to add a few breaths of air to get it to your desired firmness. This leaves you plenty of time to cook, or just simply enjoy the view while the Therm-a-rest ProLite does the hard work for you.

It inflates faster when you are in warm weather, but is much slower when it is around 20 degrees. The self-inflating feature is very convenient as it allows you to do other vital tasks while it takes care of itself.


The ProLite Plus is constructed with 50d mini Hex Rip Polyester making the sleeping pad extremely durable and long-lasting. As long as you take care of the pad, there isn’t any reason it shouldn’t last for several years.

If you do happen to puncture the pad, it is easy to patch in comparison to other pads with baffling systems that are much harder to mend, especially when you are out in the wilderness. One reviewer commented that when there appeared to be small puncture holes in the mattress a little Seam Grip took care of the problem quickly enough.

The ProLite Plus has exceptional overall durability and build quality. It is tougher and thicker than its competitors, and it has an excellent slip-free surface made with the silky nylon of a tent. It is a sleeping pad you can feel comfortable using outside your tent without fear that it will fray, leak, or get cut.

Technical Specifications

Best UseBackpacking
Sleeping Pad TypeSelf-inflating Pad
Sleeping Pad ShapeSemi-rectangular
Stuff Sack IncludedYes
Packed SizeS11 x 4 inchesL11 x 4.8 inchesRegular11 x 4.8 inches
DimensionsS47 x 20 x 1.5 inchesL77 x 25 x 1.5 inchesRegular72 x 20 x 1.5 inches
WeightS14 oz. ounces, Large1 lb. 11 oz., Regular1 lb. 4 oz.

Best Applications

The Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus is one of the great all-around sleeping pads that aren’t particularly a master of any one area. Great for any season, good for either car-camping or thru-hiking it’s a reasonable choice at a reasonable price for many different adventures.

Other Versions & Accessories

The ProLite Plus also comes in a standard “ProLite” version which is lighter but does not have as high an R-rating meaning it is only suitable for 3-season camping.



Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Camping and Backpacking Sleeping Pad, Limon/Silver, Regular - 20 x 72 Inches

The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL is one of the most versatile sleeping pads on the market. It is a lightweight closed-cell sleeping pad that will work in pretty much any camping situation including mountain climbing, backpacking, or car camping.

The Z Lite Sol is part of the Therm-a-Rest’s Fast & Light series of mattresses that lets you feel unparalleled comfort without the added weight. The Z Lite Sol packs smaller and weigh less than other mattresses, and it is one of the best ultra-light three-season camping mattresses on the market.

It is created with a new proprietary foam that is dense on the bottom for increased durability and soft on the top for added comfort. It has enough substance to keep you comfortable while on a camping trip and packs up smaller than its competitors due to its accordion-style design.


Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Camping and Backpacking Sleeping Pad, Lemon Curry, Regular - 20 x 72 Inches, WingLock Valve

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is a high-performance product that offers you comfort and great pack size in only 12 total ounces. This pad is perfect for use in most weather conditions in the spring, summer, and fall.

Like the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus, the XLite has patent-pending technologies that give it excellent performance with little weight and bulk. It is small enough that it can fit inside a one-liter water bottle. The XLite is made of a softer fabric that is still pretty durable and adds to its comfort level, all without adding more weight.

This is the best choice for those looking for both comfort and something to keep the weight of your pack down. It is slightly more expensive, but it is worth slightly more for the warmth and comfort you’ll have.


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture Lightweight Camping Air Mattress, Pine, Regular - 20 x 72 Inches

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture is not the lightest or warmest pad on the market, but it is extremely comfortable. And if you are someone that prefers comfort over having a light pack, this is the sleeping pad for you. Plus, it comes at a great price.

Its unique construction has over one hundred insulating cells that double the warmth an uninsulated mattress will give you without additional bulk, weight, or concerns about the long-term durability of the synthetic or down fills.

Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Brian has been an avid hiker and backpacker since he was a small kid, often being taken out into the wilderness on trips with his father. His dad knew everything about nature and the wilderness (or at least that's how it seemed to a ten year old Brian).

After high school, he went to university to read for both a BS and MS in Geology (primarily so he could spend his time outside rather than in a classroom). He's now hiked, camped, skied, backpacked or mapped on five continents (still need to bag Antarctica) & 30 of the US states.

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