Apr 3, 2006 at 11:42 am #1218217
@waterloggedwelliesLocale: United Kingdom
I am in the process of looking to buy a new sleepingpad.
At the moment, i’m undecided between the Thermarest Prolite 3 (Short Version) or the Bozeman Mountain Works Torsolite as sold on this site.
The BMW weighs less, but for marginally more weight the Thermarest covers a much greater area. In fact square inch per square ince the Thermarest appears to have a better weight to area ratio.
Whilst we all want to cut weight, a good nights sleep aids performance on the trail.
So apart from the negligible weight difference, I’d be interest on any other views about which one is deemed to be the better pad???
Thanks for any comments.Apr 3, 2006 at 12:53 pm #1354032
@be_here_nowearthlink-netLocale: Upstate New York
BMW is significantly more insulative and comfortable, I use is in conjunction with a Gossamer Gear shorty for the rest of body in colder conditions.Apr 3, 2006 at 4:15 pm #1354042
David PattersonBPL Member
I agree with the last post. The Torsolite is going to fair better through time too. You’re right though, a good night’s sleep is crucial, so I would suggest ordering both pads, and sending the one back that you dont want. Although its by no means a neccessity, I believe that a good sleeping pad is one of the most important pieces of gear you can carry.
-Dave:)Apr 3, 2006 at 4:20 pm #1354043
Walter PickettBPL Member
I have tried both and I think the Therma rest is more versitile than the BMW pad. I’ve slept much better on a therma rest than the BMW.
WalterApr 3, 2006 at 5:19 pm #1354046
Pedro ArvyBPL Member
The BMW pad is really small. It may have more insulation, but it looks like a childrens’ version of a sleeping mat because of its size. If you more around a lot, I would get the Thermarest.Apr 3, 2006 at 6:55 pm #1354049
On thin pads, like those you referenced, small volume is beneficial. Therefore I would choose the Torsolite.
If you think it’s too small and want more area then consider the POE Max Thermo 3/4. For 2oz more than the Prolite 3 you get a 2.5″ thick mattress. For the same weight as the Prolite 3 you can get the uninsulated POE Max Compact 3/4.
RobertApr 3, 2006 at 10:07 pm #1354055
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
I have never slept on the torso pad.
But, I have the 3/4 therma-rest PRO-LITE-3 and I can curl up on it, Yes – I can get my entire 6 foot body on it. I’m kinda scrunched, but this is how I wake up in the backcountry…
M!Apr 4, 2006 at 6:55 am #1354064
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
I have both pads, the torsolite and the prolite 3 short. The torsolite is a little bit more comfortable and warm than the prolite 3, except of course that it is smaller. It does not work very well for me by itself, so I use it in combination with a Gossamer Gear torso sized nitelite pad.
The combination of the two pads gives a total length of 60 inches compared to 48 for the thermarest. I find that combination way more comfortable at the same weight (10 oz + 3.25 oz) as the thermarest.
If you use a backpack made to take a pad as a frame, like the Gossamer gear packs, or similar, the above combination works really well.
DanApr 4, 2006 at 8:18 am #1354069
Before you buy, be sure to check out this POE uber-lite
It’s comparable to the BMW pad in quality, construction, and robustness. It’s a little larger, but it’s even just a tad lighter. It’s still not as large as the Pro-Lite 3 3/4 length.
I’ve owned all three pads. The Pro-Lite 3 3/4 length simply can’t compare in terms of comfort or “heft” of the materials used. I sold mine to a co-worker. He loves it as do four other co-workers. I’m the sole exception who prefers the BMW and POE to the Pro-Lite (they’ve never tried the POE or BMW however; they are just happy with the Pro-Lite).
I prefer the POE in warmer weather, and the BMW in colder weather. I think that the weight-savings hour-glass shape of the POE makes it colder when the mercury drops.
IMHO, these pads are more for comfort than for insulation. I sleep warmer on closed cell egg-crate cut foam pads from GossamerGear. I rarely use either the POE or BMW self-inflatables.
Hope this infor helps.Apr 4, 2006 at 11:20 am #1354076
David LewisBPL Member
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
The only problem with the POE Uberlite is that the hourglass shape assumes you sleep on your back. If you sleep on your side or front… this pad is not an option.Apr 4, 2006 at 12:30 pm #1354083
I have been using the BMW pad since I got it. I haven’t slept on the Prolite pad but it does appear to be similar…although, as others have said, the construction of the BMW pad looks heaftier.
I combine this pad with the NightLight pad from Gossamer Gear. This combination weighs the same as the Prolite and you get far more padding or insulation for your lower section in cooler temperatures. I find this combination to be far more versatile and I highly recommend it.Apr 4, 2006 at 12:39 pm #1354085
David, Thanks for your post. I’m purely a back sleeper and really appreciate you pointing out the downside to the hourglass shape for side (and possibly front) sleepers. I’ll try to keep that in mind when giving advice about the various hourglass shaped POE pads.Apr 4, 2006 at 2:15 pm #1354090
Ok, so where does the valve on the Uber-lite go? It looks like it ends up right under your noggin.
Also, there’s a lot of talk here about the BMW pad being more robust but has anyone ever had a Prolite fail?Apr 4, 2006 at 2:59 pm #1354094
Benjamin SmithBPL Member
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
You ought to check out the reviews of the Torsolite at http://www.backpackgeartest.org. The guy who reviewed it was instructed to test the repair kit, and he had to punch a hole in it to do so – it never failed naturally. Not proof of anything other than the fact that the BMW’s reputation for being bombproof is not limited to this thread.
BenApr 4, 2006 at 3:07 pm #1354098
By robust here is what I meant: just feeling the shell of the ProLite3 and the shell’s thickness, it feels thinner then the Uber-Lite and TorsoLite and much flimsier. The shells of the Uber-Lite and TorsoLite feels thicker. The difference is really quite noticeable, IMHO. Placing the same weight (a partially loaded pack caused it to compress further than either the Uber-Lite or TorsoLite with the same pack resting on it. Used it only once and sold it. So, no long term testing involved – just side-by-side comparison with the other two.Apr 4, 2006 at 5:45 pm #1354112
Michael FreymanBPL Member
If a balance of weight and comfort is your criteria; maybe the new therma-rest trail lite small is an option??? (though it is 21 oz.)
** edit – grammar and mathApr 4, 2006 at 8:29 pm #1354128
John S.BPL Member
David Lewis, it appears Carol Crooker disagrees with you. She loves the POE uber lite for side sleeping.Apr 5, 2006 at 9:20 am #1354161
I don’t challenge the durability of the BMW pad. I can’t as I’ve never even seen one. I have read the reviews at BPGT. My question is has anyone actually had a Prolite pad fail on them?
And, any Uberlite owners out there: does the valve placement give you any issues?Apr 5, 2006 at 9:33 am #1354163
Mark W HeningerMember
@heningerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I have not had prolites fail.
The reason a prolite short is only 3 oz more than the much smaller BMW is that the materials are much lighter/thiner. If indeed they don’t fail, a Torsolite sized Thermarest would probably clock in at 7 or 8 oz. I’d love that. I think the BMW is probably overbuilt.Apr 5, 2006 at 9:55 am #1354166
I have had the Thermarest Prolite 3 Short for just over 2 years and used on various terrain at least one trip a month. I think the extra thickness of the Prolite 4 would help on snow, but I just add a closed cell pad under the Prolite 3. Even though I bring a repair kit, I have never had to repair it. With that stated I would say its durability meets my needs. I cannot compare to the BMW Torso Lite not ever seeing one in person.Apr 5, 2006 at 10:46 am #1354170
Benjamin SmithBPL Member
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
Sorry – I skipped reading class in elementary school. Right you are.
*retreats back into hole*
BenApr 5, 2006 at 10:50 am #1354171
@waterloggedwelliesLocale: United Kingdom
Well, thanks for all the comments to date. You have all given me food for thought when making my purchasing decision, which I need to do pretty soon because up until now, I have been sleeping in the nude on the floor of my tent.
1. It seems that pretty much everyone agrees that the BMW is a much more hard wearing pad than the Prolite 3, although so far, no reports of any Prolite’s failing.
2. The BMW is a lighter and smaller pad but on an weight to area ratio, the Prolite is better.
3. It seems the BMW has better insulation properties.
4. On comfort, opinions seem divided.
I think i’m drifting towards the BMW, but then again…..the Max Thermo 3/4 looks interesting. Not sure about the hour glass shaped uberlite though.
PS the bit about sleeping in the nude was a lie but figured it would make you all sit up!!! :-)Apr 26, 2006 at 10:01 am #1355488
I bought the prolite 4 when they first came out–lots of use and no holes–nice pad. I just purchased the BMW because I bought a Big Sky Evolution 1P and want to try and get my weight back down. If I can carry just the fly and the BMW in warm weather I should come out close. I am so bad with tarps–I have carried a sil poncho for the last couple of years and every time there was weather I did not do well.
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