- Weight 666.8 measured (claimed 620 grams)
- Size 51 x 183 x 5 cm
- Price € 140,00
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is a lightweight and compact self-inflatable sleeping pad for backpackers an bikers. Read the review and watch the video!
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is the successor of the Therm-a-Rest Evolite series. The biggest development is that with the same thickness you get a sleeping pad that is considerably warmer.
Sizes and weights
The pad is available in three sizes: a Regular of 183 cm long and 51 cm wide, a Regular Wide of 183 cm long and 63 cm wide and finally the 63 cm wide Large which is no less than 196 cm long. All four mats are 5 cm thick. The weight of the Regular is 630 grams, of the Regular Wide 790 grams and the Large weighs 850 grams. The pack size of the Regular that I am testing here is 16 x 27 cm.
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is made of 50 Denier mini hex ripstop polyester and has an insulation value of R 4.0. This makes the pad ideal for four seasons as long as the temperature does not fall below -5 degrees. For really harsh winter conditions you have to look for a sleeping pad with an R-value higher than 5.
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is once again a straight forward no-nonsense pad from this American brand. It reminds me strongly of the Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite pads that have been traveling with me for years. The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is a self-inflatable mat. For anyone who does not know this: continue reading. Otherwise skip the next paragraph.
Self-inflatable…A sleeping pad that inflates itself? Yes, but only partially. A self-inflatable pad such as the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is a pad that is filled with foam. This foam is sandwiched between two layers of fabric and thanks to the addition of a valve, air can enter or exit the pad. As you know, foam is quite airy and easy to compress. If you roll up a mat, you blow out the air through the open valve. Close the valve and you have a compact package. Unroll the mat again, open the valve and the foam will suck in the air. Close the valve and lie down on it. You will notice that you are still partly lying on the ground and that the foam alone is not enough. Bringing the mat to the correct pressure with your mouth is necessary. So … self-inflatable? Only partly!
To inflate the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex, not much air is needed. Roll out the mat, open the valve and the foam will fill itself with air. How fast this goes depends on how long you have rolled up the mat in its cover. The smartest thing is to roll out the mat as soon as the tent pitched. Or in good weather before you pitch the tent. The foam has ‘grown’ in about ten minutes and you need to top up the sleeping pad. Just old-fashioned with the valve. Blow about 5 to 7 times depending on your lung capacity (and how firm you like the sleeping pad to be).
The foam itself is officially called Stratocore Foam. You should see it as a layer of foam in which slots are cut in the width, so you have less foam material and that reduces the weight of the mat and makes it easier to roll up. The great thing about this Stratocore construction is that you still have foam everywhere and that insulates better than the mats where foam is made lighter and more compact by means of perforations. Hence the relatively high R-value with a low weight and ‘compact’ package size.
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is a wonderfully comfortable mat. With my height of 1.69 cm I have more than enough space on the Regular. It is wide enough not to roll off the pad and long enough not to leave feet and pillows (pile of clothes) dangling beside it. Trick for short people: flip the main side and you have a pillow … The thickness of 5 cm is also good for my modest weight of 63 kg.
The hardness is easy to adjust thanks to the valve. When lying sideways, the mat appears to be sufficiently thick and sturdy to prevent hips and shoulders from touching the ground. You don’t feel anything at all about the ‘humps’ of the pad structure. I tested the mat just a bit above 0-degrees and it performs well. A nice extra is that the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex hardly makes any noise when you turn from one side to the other.
Packing and getting away
Done sleeping packing is a matter of opening the valve and lying on the mat for a while. Then it runs empty the fastest. After that you fold it once in length, you roll it up and immediately press the remaining air out. The latter requires a lot of strength. Close the valve and the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex can be put in its stuff bag. This one is spacious and has two super compression straps that literally make the pad a small package.
TIP: If you are storing a self-inflatable sleeping pad for a longer period of time, remove it from the stuff bag with the valve open. This way the foam can relax and breathe. This extends the life of your mat.
With the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex, the inventors of the self-inflating sleeping pad prove that there is always something to improve. The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex is comfortable, doesn’t make noise and is warm enough for not to severe winters. For a self-inflatable pad with a thickness of 5 cm, I think its size and weight are very neat. Rolling up takes some strength. The price of € 140 for the Regular is not a bargain, but it is certainly worth it considering that my Therm-a-Rest have always proven to be very durable over a longer period of time. I rate the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Apex at 8,9/10 points.
Zie ook de review van van de Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Max SV
Zie ook de review van van de Vaude Performance 7