Thermarest Z Seat

Cost: $15

Product description: With its accordion-style design and closed-cell foam construction, the Z Seat camping seat is an ounce-counter's solution to on-the-spot comfort. It's virtually indestructible and superlight, making it ideal for backpacking, ski touring and relaxing on rough terrain. Available with or without our warmth-boosting, reflective ThermaCapture™ surface treatment, there’s hardly a place that the added comfort isn’t worth it. 

Product specifications:

  • Color - Coyote, Limon / Silver SOL
  • R-Value - 2.2
  • Weight - 2 oz / 60 g
  • Width - 16 in / 41 cm
  • Length - 13 in / 33 cm
  • Thickness - .75 in / 2 cm
  • Fill material - Crosslinked Polyethylene
  • Country of Origin - USA*Built

Bob's impressions: When we first picked up these rather insubstantial bits of apparently left-over sleeping pad material I thought they would turn out to be mostly useless. I was wrong. I've kneeled on the folded-over foam when cooking, protected clothes and gear from water or mud, kept my feet out of the dirt, softened hard surfaces for my back...and yes, sat upon it a time or two. The Z Seat is both versatile and comfortable. And more than that, it's cheap, especially in light of the value it returns. The only downside is that it's bulky. If, like me, you're a bit fussy about having items hanging off of your pack, then you may find that the Z Seat occupies more pack space when day hiking than you're willing to give up. Because of that at first I thought I'd only bring it along now and then, but the truth is I've left it in my 24 liter pack and haven't regretted it yet.

Laura's impressions: Maybe it's a middle-aged thing, (I hope not!), but I really appreciate this padding and dirt protection when we take a hiking break on the nearest log, rock, or ground. Loved using it as extra seat padding for my no-legs camp chair on a kayaking trip. Like Bob, I find it a little bulky and it gets in the way in my day pack a bit - but if I can squeeze it in, it is coming with me.

Italics indicate manufacturer's remarks and details.