REI Lite-Core Sit Pad Review

Product Rating: 
REI Lite-Core Sit Pad - Top
REI Lite-Core Sit Pad - Packed
REI Lite-Core Sit Pad - Un-packed
REI Lite-Core Sit Pad - Bottom
REI Lite-Core Sit Pad Compared to Therm-a-Rest Lite Seat


The packable, self-inflating REI Lite-Core Sit Pad is designed to keep your behind warm and comfortable on snow, hard, and/or rocky ground. The top non-slip surface helps keep you in place while the durable polyester bottom resists wear. Includes stuff sack and is available in three colors (orange, gray, & turquoise).


Inflated Size: 16.5 in. x 12 in. x 1.5 in. (42 cm x 30 cm x 4 cm)
Packed Size: 3.5 in. x 8 in.
Top Material: Taslan® Diamond Ripstop Nylon
Insulation Material: Open Cell Foam
Bottom Material: 75d Polyester
Weight: 4.4 oz. (130 g)

In The Field:

Normally I am a minimalist when I hike, but after several day and overnight trips in the snow this winter, I decided I needed to try a sit pad. Resting for lunch in the snow becomes a very cold break when seated. I decided to try the REI Lite-Core Sit Pad. At just over four ounces, it adds very little weight to my pack. I love how small it packs down and the included stuff sack comes in very handy.

My experience with the Lite-Core sit pad has been very favorable. I have mostly used it on snow during lunch breaks while snowshoeing. I usually dig a hole for my feet and then sit down on the pad after inflating. Like most self-inflating pads, you need to add a breath or two to reach your desired firmness. The large valve is easy to use with gloved hands, which is a big plus on my winter adventures. This sit pad insulates very well in the snow, keeping my behind warm and dry. My wife likes it so much that she has since purchased her own sit pad. The material seems durable and still looks new after a winter season of light use.

The Lite-Core sit pad works equally well on hard ground and boulders. I equate the comfort provided to that of sitting on a couch at home (minus the back rest). It is so quick and easy to use that I almost always pull it out if I am stopping for any length of time. Using the sit pad with a boulder or log to lean my back against creates the ultimate resting spot for me. I am always careful to select a site that does not have any sharp rocks or other objects that may puncture the sit pad.

The size of the REI Lite-Core sit pad is larger than similar products like Therm-a-Rest's Lite Seat. This is one of the reasons the Lite-Core pad is heavier. Larger people will likely find the REI Lite-Core to be a better option than the Therm-a-Rest Lite SeatK.

This sit pad can work double duty at night as a thin pillow on its own or as an extra layer with another pillow for added height. I like to use it under my sleeping bag with my Exped Air Pillow inside my mummy bag hood.

See Mud Creek Ridge, Ghost Ridge, and Coyote Wall adventures where the REI Lite-Core Sit Pad was used.

Final Thoughts:

I highly recommend the REI Lite-Core Sit Pad for those who desire a little comfort while backpacking. This sit pad really excels in the snow, keeping one's tush warm and comfortable. Be sure to keep it away from campfires when not in use as flying embers will melt holes in the sit pad. I rarely leave home on any adventure without my lightweight and easy to use Lite-Core sit pad. Remember to always store it unpacked with the inflation valve open just like any inflatable pad. Available from REI.

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