Therm-a Rest’s Z-Seat should be standard equipment in your pack! Functional as a protective seat while resting, it may also be useful for several other innovative means while on the trail…

Therm-a Rest’s Z-Seat should be standard equipment in your pack! Functional as a protective seat while resting, it may also be useful for several other innovative means while on the trail…

Simply a scaled-down version of Therm-a-rest’s award-winning Z Lite mattress, the Z Seat is light and compact enough to tote on the outside of your pack whenever you need a quick, comfortable rest and pack-off break.


Why is the Z Seat important? For several specific reasons…

Statistically, the accordion-style Z Seat measures 16″ x 13″ x .75″ (41cm x 33cm x 2 cm), weighs just 2oz (60g) and has an r-value rating of 2.2. That’s quite a bit of comfort on the trail, and here is why it’s so important…

Regardless of how many times you rest, or when you arrive at camp and need a comfortable place to sit, the last thing you want to do is damage or soil your clothing. We pay quite a premium for our hiking and backpacking clothes, why risk damaging or destroying the fabric, stitching or both? In addition, sitting on the ground without protection will only grind dirt and other biological material into the fibers of your clothes, not only damaging the fibers, but creating a cold, wet (if the terrain or object is damp) spot you may soon regret.

In addition, I’ve used my Z Seat for several other applications including…

  • Foot rest. Here’s a link to a previous review, stating that I incorporated the Z Seat as a foot rest at night. It performed flawlessly for me in this respect and certainly saved me from losing some zzz’s.
  • Stove Windscreen. This application may be difficult for some not to excuse due to the obvious danger, but as a windscreen, cooking with alcohol, kept far enough from the flame, the Z Seat has always pulled through for me when propped between rocks for support.
  • Pack rest. If for whatever reasons I set my pack down without resting, I always do so on the Z Seat and for the same reasons I do not want to damage my clothes. For that matter, especially my pack because my pack is not something I can throw in the clothes washer or replace as inexpensively as a pair of shorts.
  • Gear, of any kind. I’ve used the Z Seat as a gear rest when cooking rather than placing some items in the dirt or on the ground. This keeps my gear cleaner, more accessible, and easy to find if everything I need, at that moment, is located in one place.





The idea is that I prefer to find as many functions for any single item as possible and if it’s capable of being useful in more than one application, and I’m able to leave a lesser, single-functional item at home, I’ve essentially accomplished some savings in both overall pack weight and volume, and saved myself some hard-earned cash and frustration having to deal with damaged and/or lost clothing and equipment.

The Therm-a-Rest Z Seat is gear you definitely do not want to do without.

This is an independent gear review, by David Drake, and I am in no way affiliated with Cascade Designs or Therm-a-Rest. I paid full retail price for the Z Seat and having been using this gear for many years.

All photos copyright, David Drake!

Reach Your Summit!


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Wild Drake

Coming soon: Exquisitely perfected, Health Conscious, Travel & Trail Cuisine. We may be Organic, non-GMO, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Nutrient-dense and Delicious. We may also be Vegetarian and/or Vegan but certainly not limited to such... For the Omnivore we may offer Grass-fed, Free-Range, Cage-free, etc., when available. Bottom line... We intend on offering the very best in Conscious Trail Cuisine! We love it and believe you will too.

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