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Thermarest z lite Sol vs RidgeRest Solite Sleeping Pads: Which are Better in 2021?

June 30, 2020| Gear

The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress and the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Reflective Foam Camping Ground Pad.

Both sleeping pads are among the company’s most popular due to their quality and durability.

We all know how essential sleeping pads are when we go camping, hiking, or hunting.

So we’ll be reviewing the SOLite and Z Lite Sol in detail to help you decide which one is right for you.

Thermarest z lite sol vs ridgerest solite : Quick Look

Thermarest z lite solRegular: 14 ounces
Short: 10 ounces
Regular: 72 x 20 x 0.75
Short: 51 x 20 x 0.75
Pad : 0.75 in
Check Today’s Price on Amazon
My Pick
Thermarest Ridgerest solite
Regular: 14 ounces
Short: 9 ounces
Regular: 72 x 20 x 0.62
Short: 48 x 20 x 0.62
Pad : 0.62 in
Check Today’s Price on Amazon

Read More : Check the best sleeping pad for side sleepers

What is the difference between Thermarest z lite sol vs RidgeRest Solite?

 both sleeping pads have many aspects in common, there are several differences that we can highlight between the two. One of them is size, as the RidgeRest SOLite is slightly smaller than the Z Lite Sol. And although it’s only a few inches, it’s essential to keep that in mind.

Another difference we can highlight is that the R-Value of both is slightly different. The R-Value is what measures the ability of the material to insulate.  It means that the higher the R-Value, the hotter the pad.

The Z Lite Sol has an R-Value of 2.0, while the RidgeRest SOLite has an R-Value of 2.1, which is slightly higher.

However, that small difference has a significant influence on the insulation capacity of each of the sleeping pads.

Thermarest z lite sol Review and Features :

Z Lite mattresses are the lightest and most compact closed-cell mattresses you can find; in fact, it is still a must-have within the ultra-light line. 

The Z Lite SOL, in particular, adds a reflective coating ThermaCapture™ that helps capture radiant heat, increasing overall temperature by almost 15%.

The patented foams are much softer at the top, which gives greater comfort, and denser at the bottom, to provide further durability.

Wherever you go, a Z Lite mattress is an excellent choice for ultra-light heat, durability, and comfort.

A strong point of the Z Lite Sol is undoubtedly its folding design, which allows you to roll up the sleeping pad to make it much lighter and easier to carry. And if we go a little bit more into the aesthetic part, the truth is that the design is quite attractive.

Keep in mind that this sleeping pad comes in two colors: blue and silver. So you have some choices in terms of color.

Click to see on Amazon

Related: these are the best single walled tents for 1 – 2 person

let’s describe some features and specifications of the Z Lite Sol:

  • The lightweight and compact closed-cell foam mattress of the Z L Lite Sol is a durable, reliable, and economical choice for sleeping on the floor. No matter how hostile the environment you are in, this sleeping pad gives you excellent support.
  • The classic pad has an accordion-style folding construction that is compact and easy to pack, which is much appreciated. Many campers experience discomfort when the sleeping pad does not fold as it should and ends up taking up space in our backpack. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Z Lite SOL.
  • The most robust feature of the Z Lite SOL is undoubtedly the ThermaCapture reflective coating and heat-trapping dimples. Their function is to capture the radiant heat, thus increasing the overall temperature by 20 percent. You’re sure to get an extra good night’s sleep. The R-Value of this sleeping pad is 2.0.
  • This sleeping pad was undoubtedly designed to provide complete comfort. The foam of the sleeping pad is softer at the top, which gives more comfort and denser at the bottom to provide more insulation, durability, and protection from the floor to avoid future muscle pain.
  • The molded foam mattress measures 72 x 20 inches (20 x 5 x 5.5 inches when folded) and weighs 14 ounces. As you can see, it is very lightweight and compact. And the best part is that Therm-a-Rest offers you a limited lifetime warranty because one of the company’s pillars is to guarantee quality to all its users.

Check Price and Read More Reviews of the Thermarest z lite sol on Amazon

Thermarest ridgerest solite review and Features :

The Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest SOLite is a modernized version of the timeless classic, the Ridge Rest.

Among the improvements we can see in this pad is that it adds a reflective layer that increases heat without adding any weight.

The Ridge Rest SOLite is the ideal sleep pad for those who prioritize price, durability, and weight. I assure you that it works as well on large walls as it does on the campsite.

The RidgeRest SOLite is coated with ThermaCapture reflective technology, which redirects radiant heat back to your body to amplify the heat. Without a doubt, this SOLite mattress offers exceptional insulation.

Like the Z Lite SOL, the RidgeRest SOLite also has a folding design that is very easy to assemble. You only need to unfold it, and it is immediately ready to use.

As for the exterior design, it’s not that great, but it’s not bad at all. Please note that this sleeping pad is only available in silver.

Click to see on Amazon

some features of the RidgeRest SOLite:

  • The SOLite Ridge’s patented, the molded design is constructed with a ridge and valley pattern to trap dead air, thus increasing the insulation value.
  • The aluminized surface reflects body heat to your sleeping bag.
  • This pad has an R-value of 2.1, making it ideal for cool-weather adventures. At the same time, it provides reasonable insulation from ground temperature. Note that most branded sleeping pads range from 1.0 (suitable for hot climates) to 5.5+ (for extreme cold use). Therefore, the higher the R-value, the more insulated the mat is.
  • The ridges make this cushion softer and more comfortable than most closed-cell foam cushions we get on the market today.
  • This sleeping pad also provides a durable layer of insulation that is ideal for all four seasons of sleep, so you can be sure that with the Ridge SOLite, you won’t have a bad night.

Check Price and Read More Reviews of the Thermarest ridgerest solite on Amazon

Features comparison between thermarest z lite sol vs ridgerest solite


Okay, now let’s talk about something fundamental in a sleeping pad: comfort. Let’s start with the RidgeRest SOLite.

Many climbers and backpackers feel comfortable with this foam pad, knowing that it will not fail them during the month-long expeditions, hikes, and big wall climbs.

However, the Ridge Rest SOLite does not offer much comfort. Well, let’s not exaggerate either. This sleeping pad gives you a much more comfortable sleeping surface than the ground.

The thing is, while you’re sleeping on it, you’ll still be very aware that you’re sleeping on the ground. If you happen to have any rocks under you, you’ll certainly notice them.

Now let’s move on to the Z Lite SOL !

This sleeping pad is not the most comfortable in the world.

However, it far exceeds the RidgeRest. The Z Lite SOL gives you better support, and at times you don’t feel like you’re sleeping on the ground. But as I said before, it could be much better.

Related: here are the best tent heater for cold weather

Packability and weight:

Well, now let’s evaluate weight and packability. For all hikers and campers, it is essential to have lightweight and easy-to-carry items. And the same goes for the sleeping pads.

In this respect, the Z Lite SOL stands out like no other. This sleeping pad is ultra-light to the point that you don’t even notice it’s in your backpack. And as far as packability goes, it’s just great.

The Z Lite SOL rolls up quickly, making it easy to carry. Plus, it’s easy to assemble. You just need to extend it, and that’s it. 

The full-size SOLITE I’ve been testing weighs 14 ounces.  although it is a little heavier than some of the lighter inflatable pads, this extra weight ensures incredible durability.

Remember that it also has a smaller version that only weighs 9 ounces. But that’s up to your taste.


Another essential aspect that we need to review is durability. If there’s one thing we all want, it’s that the things we buy will last us for a long time, no matter how we use them. And the same goes for sleeping pads.

Let’s start with the Z Lite SOL.

When it comes to durability, the Z Lite SOL certainly lives up to its name. The virtually indestructible closed-cell foam gives you long-lasting, cost-effective comfort. Also, these patented foams are much softer at the top, which offers more exceptional support and denser at the bottom, which gives more excellent durability.

regarding the RidgeRest SOLite !

Durability is undoubtedly the most substantial aspect of the RidgeRest SOLite. And in all honesty, I say it far exceeds the Z Lite SOL. Because it is built with foam, this pad gains 10/10 in durability. No matter how often you use it and how hostile the terrain, I assure you it will stand up to a lot of abuse for years to come.

Related: these are the best tent with stove pipe hole for extremely cold weather


The main reason we bought a sleeping pad is for insulation. The idea is that by lying on it, you don’t feel like you’re sleeping on the floor. And if you’re in a cold area, the insulation’s function would also be to keep you warm.

in the first hand the RidgeRest SOLite !

Well, the insulation on this pad is not the eighth wonder of the world, but it certainly does its job. I recommend you reinforce the insulation with a slightly shorter sleeping pad.

the other hand the Z Lite SOLite.

As far as the isolation of this pad is concerned, I consider it to be far superior to its rival. Unless it’s extreme weather, I highly doubt you need to reinforce it with another shorter sleeping pad.


another essential aspect, and that is temperature. In general, the truth is that both sleeping pads are quite even in this aspect.

Both the Z Lite SOL and the RidgeRest SOLite are suitable for all types of weather, so either is the right choice in terms of temperature.

Read More : these are the best budget sleeping bag 

Potential Drawbacks: 

You know that not everything can be perfect. So let’s go with some cons from both sleeping pads:

  • The RidgeRest SOLite is not comfortable at all. You will need to reinforce it with a smaller one because you will feel like you are sleeping on the ground. And if the ground is full of rocks or cracks, I doubt if you will be able to sleep well.
  • The RidgeRest SOLite tends to get very snowy and dirty after use, so you’ll need to clean it very thoroughly every time you use it.
  • The Z Lite SOLite is also not the most comfortable sleeping pad. But it is undoubtedly better than the RidgeRest.

Wrap up: which sleeping pad should you choose?

Thermarest z lite solBuy On Amazon
My Pick
Thermarest Ridgerest solite
Buy On Amazon

Finally, I want to make it clear that both sleeping pads are of outstanding quality. Regardless of your decision, you will be making a perfect purchase.

However, some aspects will make you inclined towards a particular one.

The RidgeRest is undoubtedly made to last for years. It is a closed-cell foam sleeping pad that has a very high level of durability and is very economical, ideal for ultra-lightweight backpacks and winter expeditions.

The only problem I find with it is that it is not very comfortable and you will have to carry an extra smaller pad so that you do not feel so uncomfortable.

As for the Z Lite SOL, it is an ultra-light and very easy to carry option, as well as to be economical. Another thing I love is the ThermaCapture feature, which will keep you warm at all times.

The only problem I find with it is that comfort is not exactly the best, but it’s not terrible either. 

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