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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Taking time to enjoy the outdoors is something many of us wish we could do, but 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 very own backyard.

One thing you’re going to need is a chair. This Therm-a-Rest Z Seat review will take a 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 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 sleep outdoors.

These three climbers knew that they needed a good night of 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 on all of their products is the 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 you find yourself on.

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

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

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

Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Features

While this chair is simple in theory, the reality is that it has a lot of 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 material used to make the chair is a puncture-proof closed cell foam. This gives the exterior a sturdy, but also 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 simply 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 in its folded state securely.

Extremely Lightweight

Perhaps the most astonishing part of this chair is the weight. While many backpacking chairs come in at 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 you’re 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 also remaining durable for all manner of 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 that 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 if there are 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 really 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 as a budget-friendly option that fits a wide variety of environments and outdoor locations.

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