Name: Fuzzy Monkey (David)
Date of Review: July, 2012
Photo Album – REI Lite-Core Sit Pad
DISCLAIMER: Readers should be aware that I was employed by REI at the time I purchased this item however, I was not paid to write this review. The information in this review is from my own experience and done on my own time. Readers should also be aware I purchased this item using my employee discount.
BACKGROUND: I’ve successfully thru-hiked the West Coast Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Appalachian Trail. I also have other numerous backpacking trips under my belt. The weather I’ve dealt with ranges from the sun drenched deserts to snowy mountain peaks. I brought the REI Lite-Core Sit Pad with me to Isle Royale National Park for a 5 day backpacking trip.
Manufacturer: REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)
Website: Shop REI.com! HOME PAGE Link.
Product Information: REI Lite-Core Sit Pad
DESCRIPTION: This is a light weight inflatable sit pad. The sit pad is rectangle in shape with rounded corners. The description states the pad is self inflating. There is a plastic corner value used to inflate the pad. The pad also comes with its own stuff sack and both the pad and stuff sack are grey in color.
REVIEW: I brought this sit pad on my 2012 hiking trip to Isle Royale. I’ve always had my eye on this and wanted to try it out. It is nice to have something clean to sit on when you’re out hiking and I was really hoping this would work out well. People often ask what type of gear I carry with me on my backpacking trips. Sometimes they are looking for advise on what worked out well or what I would change. I purchased this sit pad and decided to try it out.
Situations in which I used the pad included using it in designated campsites with picnic tables. Using the pad for sitting on uneven surfaces and the ground. I also used the pad to sit on fallen trees when I took my breaks. I used the pad to sit on rocks and grass. I really liked having something to sit on to keep my pants clean. The REI Lite-Core Sit Pad was great for solving this issue.
PERFORMANCE: The pad worked ok for the first few days of my trip. After about 3 days the internal cells began to separate causing deformation of the sit pad. The sit pad is easy to inflate but I would not agree with the self-inflating claim. When you are out hiking and ready for a break one of the first things you do is sit down. Waiting for your sit pad to inflate is not really something you’d wait for in real life situations. I ended up having to blow mine up each time I took a break. This wasn’t a big deal but claims of being self-inflating in my opinion is misleading. If you are getting to camp and doing chores then letting your pad self-inflate first things does work out better. I found that I still prefer a firmer pad even after the self-inflating was complete.
CONCLUSION: Overall the pad was a “nice to have” but an unnecessary piece of equipment. It lives up to the marketing claims as being comfy and inflatable. As an experienced backpacker I’m not able to agree with the claims as being light or compact. If I were car camping I’d say it would be worth bringing along. But for the minimalist backpacker in me, I’d have to report this is just a luxury item and would not want to carry it for any trip longer than a week. Since my trip was only 5 days in duration it work out and I didn’t mind having it with me to keep my pants bottoms clean.
Fuzzy Monkey Likes:
Keeps pants/bottoms clean/dry
Fuzzy Monkey Dislikes:
Internal core separated, deformation
Luxury item not needed for long distance
Fuzzy Monkey Approved: No