Thermarest Z Seat

9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5)] = ( score (9.5)/10

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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Thermarest Z Seat Review Facts

There are so many places to use the Thermarest Z Seat and so little time to enjoy them all! Perfect for trekking, camping, backpacking, kayaking, boating, rafting, and hiking, this incredible seat pad, made of a foam, that makes the Thermarest Z Seat closed cell, molded, puncture-proof, and nearly indestructible.

Two of the three offered color choices have a reflective side that radiantly reflects heat to warm your bottom when sitting. This warmth-boosting surface is ThermaCapture technology with a 2.6 R-value. It gives comfort, warmth, and insulation that is instant even at rough terrain or places with unaccommodating seating arrangements.

Thermarest Z Seat has a design of accordion style to fold up compactly for storing and toting and comes with a bungee cord to keep the compact form stable. Unbelievably, it only weighs two ounces and resists curling up, so it can offer an excellent option for ultralight backpacking. 

Nothing could be better for entering and exiting a tent as a knee pad or for doing chores at a campsite sitting down. Don’t forget to bring it along for the many festivals, concerts, hard bleachers, or stadiums you may go to for sports games and events all year long. Like other buyers, you will find hundreds of uses for this very versatile piece of incredible gear. If you want to learn more, read today's review on Thermarest Z Seat

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Colors are limon/silver, Coyote, and blue/silver
  • Portable comfort and insulation for rough terrain
  • Radiantly reflects heat
  • As a kneeling pad to enter and exit a tent or for a kayak
  • Good as a chore pad for cooking at a campsite
  • For ski touring, trekking, backpacking, camping, and hiking
  • Used for festivals, concerts, stadiums, or on bleachers
  • Accordion style resists curling up and will lie flat
  • Can be too small for large or plus size; smaller than expected
  • Can flatten after using it for a while; not much cushioning

Key Features

-Surface is reflective ThermaCapture
-Has a 2.6 R-value
-The product consists of a molded foam from a closed cell material
-Fill material is crosslinked polyethylene
-Foam is puncture-proof and almost indestructible
-Sitting dimensions are 16 x 13 x 0.75 inches
-Overall weight is two ounces
-Comes with a bungee cord to store and transport


Typically, choosing a color for something you want to buy is only a matter of preference and has no significance as to how the item will perform.

Well, believe it or not, with the Thermarest Z Seat the color does matter a lot. The colors available are Limon/Silver, Coyote, and Blue/Silver. The blue-silver color is new for 2019 with the silver side being reflective to make the user warmer when sitting.

The Limon/silver color has the same reflective and warming properties. IFor those who prefer a different choice rather, they can opt for the third color option of coyote/gray, which is not as warm. The manufacturer explains this feature in the product description of this well-rated product, but we thought it would be best to be clear about how important the color selection process is for this fantastic seat pad.


How would you like a comfortable seat everywhere you go? You can have that with this Thermarest Z Seat. The whole point of this seat pad is to provide ultimate comfort for the user.

We give a list of suggested places where you can use the Thermarest Z seat in the Uses section, but you cannot go wrong with almost any location you chose. The fill material is crosslinked polyethylene, and the foam is a closed molded cell. It provides portable comfort and insulation that is immediate for rough terrain.

The warmth-boosting surface is reflective ThermaCapture with a 2.6 R-value for the two colors that are reflective. The R-value is indicative of insulating abilities of the material. The 2.6 measurement is a great number on the scale of R-value. This terrific product radiantly reflects heat to make you so comfortable in places where there is no suitable seating for you.

Many people who purchased this seat pad for one particular place or purpose ended up bringing it along to many places for comfort. You will probably think of many areas where you would be more comfortable sitting with one too.


Puncture-proof and almost indestructible, this marvelous camping seat is made of superlight, durable foam that is closed cell. It comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer who produces the Thermarest Z Seat in the USA.

In our research of the product and customer feedback, we did not notice any complaints of the item getting rips or tears easily or having any issues with coming undone at all. The durable foam material and the reflective properties are long-lasting for many years of enjoyable sitting in adverse places that have no adequate seating for you.


There is hardly a place where this comfortable pad would not be welcome. Because of its small weight and compact size, you could bring Thermarest Z Seat anywhere that you would like extra padding to sit on. It affords the user the flexibility of having a comfortable dry seat wherever they go on trips, vacations, at events, or anywhere away from home. Even the choices of the colors give the buyer a preference not only of the color but of the reflective or non-reflective state of each one.


Although some people wish this Z Seat could be a bit larger for their bum, it is wide enough for the average-sized person. The dimensions when sitting are 16 x 13 x 0.75 inches and folded they are 12 x 2.5 x 2.75 inches. For those that are large or plus size, it may not be wide enough for full coverage. We did notice a couple of comments in the remarks from buyers that the item was smaller than they expected. In all fairness, the size measurements are given online in the description, so the size should not be a surprise when received.


There are so many places and instances that you can use this incredible seat pad that we had to put all the excellent suggestions from customers in two sections!

These examples are supportive of aiding with different moments in your life that it can be helpful. Put it at the entrance door to use as a kneeling pad to enter and exit a tent or on a chore pad for chopping kindling or cooking at a campsite.

If your regular seating somewhere becomes wet, such as outdoor chairs, it works well for that to make it instantly usable, which is also true for hard packed snow too. Just put the pad on the snow and sit. You will not feel the cold with the reflective aspect of the Thermarest Z Seat.

Other than camping or outdoor seating places, you can still use this item in many unique locations. It is suitable for those that may not want to sit on aluminum bleachers or benches at events. Older folks are using it for the hard pews when sitting in church, and some customers are utilizing the Thermarest Z Seat for a small dog to provide them some heat and a comfy rest spot.

Due to the small size, it will not be too much comfort for a medium or large dog, unfortunately. As you can see, it is so useful in so many places that you may end up getting more than just one to prevent moving it around from location to location.


Yes, believe it or not, if the previous section of supportive uses was not enough, there are even more suggestions from buyers that could give you some beautiful ideas.

The Z Seat is perfect for ski touring, snowshoeing, trekking, backpacking, and hiking. Don’t be shy to get it out for seating at festivals, concerts, stadiums, or on bleachers.

Even in a boat or a kayak or on a raft, this fabulous seat pad is precious and comforting. We honestly cannot think of a sport, activity, or place where this product would be out of place or a problem with using because it is so versatile and discreet. It is ideal to have along on trips to prevent you from sitting on wet ground, logs, or grass.

When on picnics at the table, you can sit with this pad to do the cooking or pack your gear comfortably. It provides a dry place to put down a backpack too if the surface conditions are not favorable. Even if you go somewhere in adorable clothing and do not want to sit at a possible outdoor event, it would be terrific to have.


Since Thermarest Z Seat comprises of foam material, this seat pad weighs only two ounces. The thickness is .75 inches or 2 cm, so it is not very thick either. Several customers wrote in their feedback remarks that the Thermarest Z Seat could flatten out somewhat after using it for a while.

Others said that it does not have as much cushioning that they thought it would have. Again, the shopper has all of this information before purchasing, so it pays to look at all the details before buying. The company has clearly stated that the item is a “pad” and not a “cushion.”

If it were a cushion, then you would expect it to give some support when sitting, but a pad is just that. A pad is indicative of an object that is flatter than a cushion, so the Thermarest Z Seat is adequately named and not supposed to be a cushion as some people expected.

Ease of Use

Nothing could be easier to use than this outstanding seat pad. Just put it down and sit – that is it. The design is accordion style, and it comes with a bungee cord to keep it in compact form for mobility.

One customer included a friendly warning for users when toting the Thermarest Z Seat on the outside of their backpack. It is so lightweight that when fastened on the exterior of the pack, it could come off without the user even knowing it. You could travel miles from where you lost it if it is not appropriately clamped.

When questioning what to put in a pack based on weight, since you can only carry so much, this pad is a great choice. Many buyers claim that with the few things they bring along to take physically, this item is very much worth the minimal extra weight on the backpack.

It is nice to know too from users that the Z Seat is not noisy when sitting on it nor will you slip off the pad accidentally from it being too smooth or slick. It resists curling up and will lie flat every time you need to use it also.

Bottom Line

Yes, Thermarest Z Seat could be larger for wider bottoms and it does not have much cushioning as a “cushion” would, but this is a “seating pad” and the size was indicated in the product description online.

Of course, it will flatten out a bit over time too, but the reflective heating properties and the comfort are still there regardless. Not even the best pillows remain the same fluffiness as when you purchase them.

You can sit almost anywhere that the seating surface is not to your liking when you have a Thermarest Z Seat. This area may be cold snow, a rocky ledge, a wet grassy patch, or a damp picnic seat.

If you encounter any of these circumstances, you will thank your lucky stars for having such a pad to sit on problem-free. The warming properties are a nice plus for colder weather and climates, too.

If you do decide to get one or even a couple of these products, be sure that you understand that the blue one is not reflective, but the other two colors are. It seems as though the manufacturer wanted to give a choice for heating to everyone, as in milder climates and weather conditions, this might not be a good thing. The price is right, as it is quite economical, even to try it out.