Thermarest's Trail Lite mats are mid range self-inflating foam mats that offer durable comfort, with larger pack sizes than a typical backpacking mat we think they are most suited to base camping.
Thermarest says: The ideal balance of weight, warmth, comfort and durability.
The Trail Lite self-inflating mattress offers an outstanding combination of comfort, compactness and value making it one of the best all-around camping mattresses available. Die-cut foam reduces weight and bulk while self-inflation adds convenience you’ll appreciate at the end of the day. In addition, its semi-rectangular shape increases sleep area and makes for better, gap-free mating of other rectangular mattresses. Stuff sack included.
Diagonally Die-cut Foams
Pioneered by Therm-a-Rest, this technology works on the same principal as our vertically die-cut foams, lowering overall mattress density to reduce weight and increase packability. However, cut at an angle, these die-cuts decrease the direct, vertical flow of air between the ground and the top of the mattress, resulting in warmer mattress with similar weight and compressibility benefits.
Thermal Foam is our proprietary, solid-core foam. While it may look like just foam, we have spent decades working closely with our supplier, evolving this most basic element of our self-inflating pads. The resulting foam is made in the USA, and optimized for the best balance of light weight, lasting durability, and uniformity of support.
Thermarest's Trail Lite mats are self-inflating and filled with open cell foam that sucks air into the mat when you open the valve thus inflating it - it normally needs a few extra breaths at the end to finish it off. Normally the foam has holes cut into it which makes it lighter but less supportive, the Trail Lite mats have fewer holes in and are teamed up with very durable 75D fabrics top and bottom - they are designed for comfort and reliability rather than for out and out backpacking.
The pack sizes are quite substantial as well, which is why we recommend them for base camps rather than backpacking mats, although if you are heading of for six months you may want the reliability of something like this mat. We also like the shape as well, its mid way between a mummy and a full rectangular mat, which is a good compromise if your legs tend to come off a mummy shaped mat but you still want to trim a bit of weight at the corners.
Foam mats of this type are not as comfortable as airbeds but they are far superior than the ground or closed cell foam mats - and they are forgiving when it comes to durability and rough use.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear