In a Nutshell:

The Therm-a-Rest Z Seat is a very simple, but durable backpacking chair that doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles, but when you need a place to sit, it will always be there.


Overall Rating



  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Durable material
  • Extremely compact
  • Comfortable


  • No back or head support
  • Cheaper options are available
Therm-a-Rest Z Seat

Recommended For: Anyone in need of a very simple, compact, and durable backpacking chair that doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles.

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Many of us wish we could take time to enjoy the outdoors, but we never have the time or the equipment to make it happen. There are so many things to see and do on this incredible planet, many of which are in your backyard.

One thing you’re going to need is a chair. This Therm-a-Rest Z Seat review will look at one of the top chairs on the market. It’s quite simple, but it has a great price and plenty of happy customers to back it up. Let’s find out if it should accompany you on your next trip.

Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Overview

The Therm-a-Rest brand began back in 1971. As the company website describes it, the idea came together from a trio of engineers who wanted a better way to sleep outdoors.

These three climbers knew that they needed a good night’s sleep if they were ever going to continue on long trips into the outdoors. The entire team at Therm-a-Rest is devoted to the outdoors and building things with their own hands whenever possible.

The focus of all of their products is comfort. They believe that you need rest to truly enjoy the time you’re outside. The company sells durable sleeping bags and unique seats that allow you to create a chair out of any surface.

The Therm-a-Rest Z Seat is the latest in its simple but effective outdoor backpacking chairs. While it doesn’t have the solid frame or high-end features that other backpacking chairs offer, it comes at an excellent price point.

The sturdy exterior adds cushion to the ground. It also keeps you from getting dirty if you take a quick break or eat lunch while hiking. The accordion design makes it simple to fold the chair and resume your activities.

You can’t ask for more from a camping chair for the price. Let’s take a look here at our Therm-a-Rest Z seat review and the features it offers.

Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Features

While this chair is simple in theory, the reality is that it has many features we like to see from portable chair options. Here’s an in-depth breakdown of the things you can expect:

An Image Sample of Thermarest Z Seat Accordion Design for Thermarest Z Seat Review

Puncture-Proof Material

The chair’s material is puncture-proof closed-cell foam. This gives the exterior a sturdy but comfortable texture comprised of divets and self-contained closed cells.

Accordion Design

The chair unfolds immediately whenever you need it. Once you’re finished and ready to move on, you can use the accordion folding design to compact the chair back into an easy-to-carry form.

Integrated Bungee Loop

This 2018 model of the Therm-a-Rest Z Seat includes an integrated bungee loop that holds the chair securely in its folded state.

Extremely Lightweight

Perhaps the most astonishing part of this chair is its weight. While many backpacking chairs weigh several pounds, or one pound at the lightest, the Therm-a-Rest Z Seat weighs a mere two ounces! You practically won’t feel it when carrying it around inside your pack.

An Image Variants of Limon Silver of Thermarest Z Seat

Reflective Surface

The surface of the Limon/Silver version of the Z Seat pad is a bright and reflective shade of silver. Thanks to this style of coloring, the chair reflects heat and sunlight away from you, keeping the surface from getting too hot.

Product Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 3 inches.
  • Weight: 2 ounces.
  • Material: Puncture-proof closed-cell foam.
  • Colors: Coyote Brown, Limon Silver
An Image Variants of Coyote Brown of Thermarest Z Seat
Coyote Brown
An Image Variants of Limon Silver of Thermarest Z Seat
Limon Silver

Pros and Cons of Therm-a-Rest Z Seats

We are big fans of the Therm-a-Rest Z Seat, but we know it’s not perfect. Even so, this chair most certainly made our list of the best backpacking chairs on the market. Here is a handy breakdown of the pros and cons we saw while reviewing this chair:


  • Wide height range.
  • Large weight capacity.
  • Easy-glide lockable wheels.
  • Removable ball.


  • A lack of backrest or armrests may not be ideal for some people.
  • No special bells or whistles.

A backpacking chair that weighs two ounces is entirely unheard of. While most chairs weigh at least a pound, this chair isn’t even a quarter of that weight. While this kind of lightweight design is mostly achieved through the lack of a frame, the chair still manages to be comfortable.

An Image Variants of Yellow and Silver of Thermarest Z Seat

The puncture-proof foam offers some cushion from the hard ground while remaining durable for all outdoor excursions. When you’re ready to move on, the accordion folding design lets you quickly put the chair back into a compact shape and secure it with a bungee cord.

The lack of a frame means this chair can only be used on flat surfaces. It won’t work for long periods of sitting, but for quick breaks, you really can’t beat this option. Now, some customers have expressed a point that other similar chairs are even less expensive.

While this is true, and the other chairs offer similar features, in this case, we believe that buying from a reputable brand is worth the extra funds. It also ensures that you have someone to contact for any issues. 

Final Verdict on Our Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Review

There aren’t many negative Therm-a-Rest Z Seat reviews out there. Most customers enjoy the portable and comfortable features this backpacking chair offers them. While it’s not quite perfect, the pros of this chair vastly outweigh any cons that may be associated with it.

If you need something simple and affordable to bring with you on your next trip, consider this chair. It is a budget-friendly option that fits a wide variety of environments and outdoor locations.

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