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Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad

This pad offers a thermal reflective barrier for extra warmth at an affordable price.
gg12_Therm-a-Rest_Z Lite Sol_445x260Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol (Ben Fullerton)

[durable bargain]

This dot-patterned, indestructible, closed-cell foam* pad gets updated this year with a thermal reflective barrier that improves warmth by 20 percent. Use it alone or to boost the insulation of an air pad in cold temps.

“It’s handy to throw down on the snow for breaks,” says one tester. And the dimpled surface is plenty comfortable for the weight and price, he says. “I laid this out after an exhausting winter ascent of Mt. Whitney, and it felt so good I didn’t even inflate my regular pad.” It folds easily for packing, but is still a bit bulky (20” x 5” x 5”). $45; 14 oz.; 72” x 20” x .75”; thermarest.com

*CLOSED-CELL FOAM A urethane material composed of millions of closed air cells that trap warmth; it’s light, tough, and affordable, but typically bulky

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