Model: Trail Scout (Small)
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
An affordable introduction to the comforts of Therm-a-Rest self-inflating mattresses, the Trail Scout is streamlined to save extra weight. Also easily repairable in the field with just about any self-adhesive mattress repair tape. R-Value: 3.7