Therm-a-Rest Mattress

I have been planning to write a blog on both my Thermarest mattresses. I have held back because recently both mattresses showed signs of defect. One of the Military Litefoam mattress which I had purchased 12 years ago had a deformation. I have 2 such mattresses and this is the second unit to happen again. According to my Camper friend in Singapore, there were a few batch during that period was not properly manufacture. The Military mattress is no longer in production and he had replaced a ProLite for me. The other mattress ProLite is leaking and I can't find the leak even I have use a soap solution. I have sent an email to Cascade Design and they had rerferred me back to Taiwan.

Deformed Military Litefoam mattress
Camperland International, Ltd. (distributor)
Address: 5F #18 Chung Hsin Rd.
Lane 609
Sec. 5 San-Chung City
Taipei, Taiwan
Contact: Shine Huang
Phone: 886-2-2999-9618

Military Litefoam
I like Thermarest mattress because of their design and after sales service. Thermarest has a "Life time warrenty" which is really great and each one of my family members used to have their own set. In total I have owned 6 Thermarest mattresses, 2 x 3/4 long hiker mattresses when my kids were young, 2 x Military mattress (our first Thermarest), 2 x Prolite and a Z-Rest. Now I am left with 2 Prolite and 1 Military Litefoam, the rest was auction off. Among all the mattress Z-Rest was the lightest and easy to deploy. It also one the the cheaper mattress but the disadvantage is that it can't  fold to a compact size.

My friend who owns a Camper shop in Singapore prefers the Z-Rest compare to self inflatable mattresses. The reasons are simple.
  1. Light weight
  2. Never to worry about the ground you sleep on
  3. Deploy as a seating pad
  4. Deploy easily
  5. Not prone to damage or defect.
Frankly, my first trip camping in Taiwan's mountain did worry me when I have to use the self inflating mattress. Our camp ground were all filled with broken slates. These slates are brittle, they will break into pieces when force and they are razor sharp as well. One of my tent had a pinched hole even I had a foot print beneath it. 


Not many will spend their money on Thermarest because the are expensive. However a self inflating mattress is definitely worth an investment during cold weather. The reason is that when using these mattress, warm air will be trap in between the mattress space thus it will provide you the warm for a good night sleep. 

In Taiwan, there are many local made inflatable mattress. Few years ago before I reside in Taiwan I have warned my partner from buying a local made mattress that do not warrant their product. Just last year her mattress broke down, later her brother's identical mattress broke down too. One defect was the inflation valve the other was the glue seam deteriorated. Each mattress cost around NT1000 and it did not last more than 3 years.   

Point of View (POV)
  1. If you wish to buy a local made self inflating mattress, make sure it has a warranty for defect. Self inflicted damage such a pinch hole will never be covered in any warranty. 
  2. If you often spend a night in the mountain below 3000m, get the Z-Rest. Above 3000m use a self inflating mattress.
  3. For river tracking used a Z-rest or similar as they dry off easily
  4. For storing self inflating mattress, always try to open it up so that the foam cell can breath and the next time it will self inflate faster.
  5. If you have the money and you camp often, Thermarest is the choice to go. However do wait for my next post when I get a reply from Taiwan's distributor and see what they are going to do about it.