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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Z-Rest

Manufacturer: Cascade Designs

Your Opinion: 
 - 6 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Jun 13, 2002 / Jun 13, 2002

Object ID: 370

Hits: 5301 


The most compact closed-cell EVA foam sleeping mat on the market--now improved with dual-density laminated foams!
  • Now softer on top and more durable on the bottom, plus it weighs less than the previous model
  • Egg-carton pattern creates dead air space for increased insulation; when folded, the egg pockets nest together compactly
  • Extra compression is applied during the molding process making the hinges super-strong so they won't tear or give out
  • Unique sleeping mat folds accordion-style and instantly unfolds flat with no curling


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miztflipUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

It's so simple that there isn't much to say. You can't get it soaked, tear it, or punture it. The pad is light weight and really doesn't take up much room because I put it on the outside of my pack. Being so light makes it possible to lash it anywhere. I don't need a bag to cover or stuff it because it sheds any rain or snow.

I use it on snow and rock equally and it provides adequate padding except in the most extreme situations where most nothing works. No need for patch kits.

Oh, and the price makes it even that much more attractive.
Posted Jul 5, 2002 12:50 pm

JohnUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

This is not exactly the most comfortable or warm pad out there but at least I got a good clearance deal on the old model (the non-dual-density one). Yes, it's nearly indestructible but what good is that when you can't get a good night's sleep? This pad can be used two ways:
  • Single-Pad System: When used by itself, I'd have to give this only 3 stars. For me, it's uncomfortable enough with the egg crate bumps sticking into my back that I don't get a good night's sleep. Also on cold nights on frozen ground in my bivy, this doesn't keep me as warm as say my UltraLite does - another cause for a restless night. The new model is supposed to be softer and lighter so I might have to try that out ... eventually. The Ridge Rest closed-cell pad is supposed to be more comfortable but rolls up into a huge package.
  • Double-Pad System: The Z-Rest does a much better job when used as the base pad in conjunction with another pad, say the UltraLite. This two pad system is extremely comfortable and can be easily separated when only one of the pads is needed or for packing. Some of the newer Mountain Hardware pads look huge when rolled up - so huge that I'm not sure how I would pack one of those but maybe I need to examine them more. As a base pad in a 2 pad system, I give this 5 stars.
Overall rating for the old green colored single-density pad: 4 stars.
Posted Dec 14, 2002 8:20 pm

Brett AUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

After using a 3/4 length inflatable therma-rest for many uncomfortable nights on several week-long backpacking trips, I decided to go for the full length z-rest.

Pros: Much more comfortable (compared to the 3/4 length inflatable), cheap, and easier to use. It looks cooler strapped on the outside of my pack too.

Cons: Not as compact, slightly heavier.

Overall a great value for backpackers.
Posted May 27, 2004 2:25 am

DudeThatMustHurtUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I certainly could not be more happy with my pad, After many miles of travel I can trust I will get an excellent nights sleep with this pad.

As stated above the it as close to Bomb Proof as you can ask for.


Light weight and reliable

"Masks" small pebbels from your aching back

doubles as an awsome chair for laying back at the camp fire

perfect for moving valuables in the bed of your pickup truck ( grin )

doubles as a leg splint (found out the hard way)

good sled for glissading

good for "rockin the boots" in the back country


I actually had to pay for it ($20 on sale)

a bit bulky but easy to store outside of pack so not really a con
Posted Jul 22, 2005 3:07 pm

tarolGreat pad

Hasn't voted

I use it in the wintertime, when camping on snow, underneath my Therma-rest UL. It's not comfortable enough to use alone, but it adds an extra layer of insulation when its needed. Wish it wasn't so bulky but I'm not sure you can do anything about that...
Posted Jan 24, 2007 12:00 am

J.J.Z lite

Hasn't voted

For the price to weight and compactability i dont think it can be beat. Definetly waaaay better when used in conjunction with an air pad. Durable as all hell. I use mine for everything inside and outside the tent.
Posted Mar 9, 2007 10:27 pm

WMLcannot be beat

Voted 5/5

This thing is AWESOME. I've used the Z-Lite alone from snow camping to bandit camping and it has excelled in all arenas. From Shasta to Whitney and anywhere in between this thing has been the only sleeping pad I've used - and for $30 the price is as good as it gets!
Posted Apr 26, 2010 6:27 pm


Voted 4/5

I fold my 3/4 length into the same rectangular shape as the original thin bivy pad that comes with CiloGear worksacks, and slide it into the frame\reservoir sleeve to act as a pack frame on my CiloGear 45L worksack. Works great.
Posted Jun 4, 2012 10:28 pm

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