Trekking Blog for ultralight and outdoor – Trailblaze

Therm-a-Rest Prolite FL vs. BMW Torsolite

April 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Therm-a-Rest has launched a number of new insulated mats this year, including the new  Prolite FL which is the successor to the Prolite 3. The Prolite FL featues a revised form and weight reduction of 20% compared to the Prolite 3.

I conducted a comparison betwen the Prolite FL and my BMW Torsolite from Bozeman Mountain Works, which I currently enjoy taking along on my trips.

BMW Torsolite vs Therm-a-Rest Prolite FL

Both insulated mats are self-inflating and made from pressed foam. Very few air blasts are required to inflate the mats firmly. The BMW Torsolite is a minimalist insulated map which accommodates the rump of the body only. For me, the BMW Torsolite provides the ideal combination of sleeping comfort and an unbeatable weight of approximately 250 grams.

When temperatures are low, I make additional use of the sitpad from my Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Rucksack, placing this at the bottom end of the Torsolite to provide more protection for my knees (I sleep on my side or stomach).

Despite having the same thickness of 2.5 cm, the BMW Torsolite has a much higher R-value compared to the Prolite (3.5 as opposed to 2.2). Both mats have been designed for 3-season use. I beacme aware of the very good R-value provided by the BMW Torsolite whilst on my winter trips, where I combined the BMW Torsolite with a ¾ length Evazote  mat only 6 mm thick (Gossamer Gear ThinLight 115 grams.) and had no problems in temperatures of down to -10 degrees. I found this combination, which weighs 362 grams, to be ideal for winter use.

Therm-a-Rest Prolite FL vs. BMW Torsolite Therm-a-Rest Prolite FL vs. BMW Torsolite

Inflatable insulated mats offer in my view a further major benefit on trips by providing additional stabilisation for the frameless rucksack and thus offering greater rigidity. To achieve this, I take an uninflated insulation mat and place it at right angles in my rucksack. I then add a few blasts of air until the mat effectively stabilises the rucksack.

The BMW Torsolite also provides an additional degree of convenience in camp. Simply fold it over once to create a comfortable cushion to sit on.

I do not know of a company in Germany which stocks the BMW Torsolite. The favourable exchange rate between the euro and the pound means that it is available at an attractive price in England (without customs duty or further import tax) from

Comparison between the old Prolite 3 and Prolite FL

Prolite FL und Prolite 3

Weight (gr.) Dimensions (cm) Pack dimensions (cm) R-value
Therm-a-Rest Prolite FL (S) 310 119x51x2,5 28×9 2,2
BMW Torsolite 247 81x46x2,5 20×10 3,5

– Therm-a-Rest Prolite FL bei Globetrotter
– BMW Torsolite bei

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