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Old 10 Apr 2007
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Question Therm-a-Rest long term haul reliability?

Do they withstand the extreme usage and conditions - i.e. wear of the surface, punctures, etc?

I hear some self-iflating sleeping mats like Ferrino the surface material wears out relatively quickly.

Looking currently for a reliable sleeping mattress, Thermarest Trail Comfort looks like a deal with very good isolation properties (R=5), very compact when packed and relatively lightweight. But the question is will it serve us well for years or it just "tires out" after few years, doesn't inflate itself well anymore or other problems occur?

Any idea if the freshly announced puncture resistant models deserve their higher price compared to the "regular" models? (repair kit is separately available)
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Old 10 Apr 2007
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They can puncture, and that is the reason why some travellers prefer non-inflatable options.

Nevertheless, I go for comfort and I frequently use my Therm-A-Rest on my RTW-trip (now half-way) and has not experienced any problems. A repairkit is included, but I never had to use it.
RTW 2005-2007
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Old 10 Apr 2007
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You will find that it sometimes might take too long for the mattress to inflate by itself so you have to manually inflate it.
I am not sure how much of a problem this is as you are blowing a lot of moisture into the mattress.
The biggest problem I have had in the past is the foam delaminating from the outer skin that completely renders the matres useless as all the air migrate to the sides and you sleep almost straight on the ground with no insulation.
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Old 10 Apr 2007
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Hey Margus,

No experience with the new punture resistant models but have used the other models (thin, thick, 3/4 length) a fair bit for camping and mountaineering and they do ocassionally puncture but are typically easy to fix with the standard patch kit. The resistant model only has something like 2mm of closed cell foam on the bottom, my two bits would be to go with the most comfortable standard model that packs out to similar size and bring a patch kit. I wouldn't minimize on a sleeping pad for a bike trip, it makes a big difference to sleep quality and it's not like you have to carry it on your back!

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Old 11 Apr 2007
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I've found the thermarest good and reliable. The main problem I have is the valve seems to have worn out slightly and it sucks in air when deflated (doesn't let air escape however). No real drama - just makes the roll about 30% bigger after an hour or so, but I'm also a bit concerned about the strap wearing on the inflating roll. Hope it doesn't shorten its life.

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Old 11 Apr 2007
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Thumbs up Thanks

for the reviews!

Will consider the Trail Comfort version with straight sides for me and g/f, the puncture resistant version is with a bit oval corners - hard to tie 2 of them together. I see there's a strap to tie 2 mattresses together witch is a good thing.

Currently we have regular mats that are completely worn out after years of intensive (moto) camping, so we are hoping to find someting more comfortible, better isolating and more compact when packed for a change. Let's hope Therm-a-Rest keep their sales promise

Thanks again, Margus
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Old 11 Apr 2007
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I have the old LE model Thermarest.
Blowing it up for 10 years, no issues.
No punctures but I only use it in the tent.

I just bought a new light weight, full length Thermarest model.
I think it will be a good one. I slept on it a few nights in the house on a wood floor.
It was fine.
Also outside at 32F,/0C.
Good again.
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Old 11 Apr 2007
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I had a Thermarest but I don’t think it was the puncture resistant type.
After a week I had several punctures and I ditched it. It was used directly on the ground (Algerian desert conditions).

Now I sleep on my riding gear, but it gets cold below 0°c.
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Old 11 Apr 2007
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I've used a thermarest for maybe 15 years--same one. never had a puncture, although I do slide it into the pocket in the sleeping bag purchased just for that reason. The bag is a bit worn, but still has a few years left. maybe. hope. I always put the mattress back into the bag instead of just rolling it up. It keeps it cleaner, doesn't let it expand, and protects it from scratches and scraping.
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Old 11 Apr 2007
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Thumbs up

I have the long and thick version. For some months I even folded the roll in half and stuffed it into my pannier, so it got creased. Not recommended, but I can't even see any wear. Very happy with it.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 11 Apr 2007
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Been using a Therm-a-rest for years. Used it maybe 100 times. It did get a tiny hole. Found the hole with some water and soap. (Bubbles) Repaired it with "Super Glue" and a piece of fabric. Still using it.
Sam Jones
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Old 16 Apr 2007
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Wink therm-a-rest

My therma-a-rest survived a 4 month rtw trip 2002. I took care that it could not chafe against the rack when travelling corrugations, and also used a cheap tarp under the tent when the ground looked thorny or stoney. I have destroyed two other therma-a-rest mats in Oz deserts on prickly grass. I found them still of some use even when they couldn't be inflated. Wouldn't worry about them too much - if you destroy one surely you can wait til you get to the next big city and purchase another or if really in the boondocks get someone to post you one.
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Old 16 Apr 2007
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all this talk of thermarests made me go out and re-evaluate my old airbed solution. Trouble is it packs up really small, is light, and easy to patch - downside is that I take up extra space by carrying a small electric pump for it - no idea what I'd do if that broke !

So looking around at the thermarests I was amazed at how big they were - I thought they were quite small when packed down - but the only one that comes in at a decent size is the backpackers basic one, and being a rather large chap I'd get as much benefit out of it as a couple of newspapers under me !

So I'm not sure if I'm looking in the wrong place or if they are genuinely as big as my tent?

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Old 17 Apr 2007
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We used therma-rest on our trip. They were very comfortable, compact whenpacked and seemed sturdy. If you buy one, check the edges where the rubber is pinched and molded together (hard to explain). The only problemn we had was that my other half's mattress lost air. Not from a hole caused by a puncture but because the air pressure had forced open a particularly thin section of the moulded-seam edge. To fix it, we had to use some aluminium foil (to stop the material melting and sticking) and a steam-iron, that I se on high to melt the two halves together again. It worked fine for the rest of the trip.

Just bad luck I think: overall it seems like a nice product!
I'd still buy another
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
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Old 17 Apr 2007
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There is also a puncture repair kit for thermarests.. available in camping shops. They're very small, and definitely worth their weight in Saturday night chips. I haven't needed to use my kit yet, but I think thats a good thing.. Has anyone tried it? If so, was it any good?
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