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365 Therm-a-Rest Trail Seat 2011-03-23

Therm-a-Rest Trail Seat

While hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, or even car camping we are always trying to find that perfect mix of weight to comfort ratio. In other words we want to carry the least amount of weight, yet still have some degree of comfort.

Of course, too much comfort might also mean too much weight. On a trip to the Tetons, we were in a group of six, planning to camp at the Lower Saddle. One of the climbers was moving slower and slower. Carrying the 5 pound rope was just too much weight high on the slopes below the Saddle. We took the rope and a tent from the hiker so that we could make camp before nightfall. When we arrived at the camping area we found our friend had a Crazy Creek Chair, heavy sandals, and lots of extra gear. The climber wanted comfort; but wasn't strong enough to carry the weight.

One extra that I often pack is the Therm-a-Rest Trail Seat. The cushion is lightweight (5 ounces) but still gives an amazing amount of comfort. The uses for the pad are only limited by your imagination.

A few Trail Seat tips ...

I guess the Seat is self inflating; but I rarely have time to allow it to inflate. I just add a couple of puffs and shut the valve.

The pad insulates you from the cold and keeps you off the wet ground.

Place the pad close to a tree or boulder to add a backrest.

In a soft pack (frameless) stow the seat against your back to take advantage of the pad's cushioning.

Use it as a dog pad in the tent, maybe he will get off yours!

Combined with a Crazy Creek type of folding chair, it makes a lightweight cushioned chair (with a back.) The combo is great for car camping; but is too heavy for backcountry.

The pad can also be used as a knee pad for use around the house or yard.

Use the seat to cushion any hard seat or bench.

The seats do puncture. I have three holes in mine; but they are easy to patch.

REI carries three cushions. The original Therm-a-Rest Trail Seat like the one I have, the REI Lite-Core Sit Pad, and a lighter version from Therm-a-Rest, the Lite Seat. The lightweight Therm-a-Rest seat only weighs 3 ounces!

I use mine almost exclusively for car camping, but the 3 ounce model might find a home in my pack for some trips!

Buying advice: the original seat is the toughest, the REI seat is a good buy, and the Lite Seat is the lightest.

Happy Trail Seat trails


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