Thermarest's Prolite and Prolite Plus series of self inflating mats offer comfort and insulation with new foam technology keeping weight and packsize to a minimum.
Thermarest says: Updated - Now featuring our exclusive Atmos Foam to further reduce weight and boost compressibility, the ProLite is the lightest and most compact three-season mattress available.
Self-inflation keeps set-up super-easy and its die-cut foam packs small, easily fitting inside the most ultralight packs. It’s ideal for high-mileage, high-speed journeys where every gram counts. Stuff sack included.
Thermarest's Prolite and Prolite Plus mats are 'self inflating', that is, you open the valve and leave it to slowly suck air into it and inflate. You usually have to add a few breaths by mouth at the end and then close the valve...and sleep.
Self inflating mats have foam sandwiched between two outer fabric layers. The fabric is soft to the touch and quite tough - not all self inflating mats are the same, the Prolite series are a premium product, this is manifested by the high quality outer fabrics which don't slide about the tent as much as others, the foam inside is also high quality that will survive repeated compression cycles and the valve has been tried and tested over many years.
The Prolite Plus mats are thicker than the Prolite - that means they're more comfortable, but also heavier with a smaller packed size.
Whilst not being as comfortable as insulated airbeds self inflating mats are considered to be more durable - and if you do get a puncture you still have a layer of foam to lie on - with airbeds you would have nothing.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
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