Multi-purpose Thinlight Pad
I’m a Gossamer Gear fan. The Gossamer Gear 1/8 Thinlight Pad is lightweight and barely noticeable, strapped onto the top of my backpack. It is one of the most useful and durable pieces of gear I carry.
This thin multiple-use pad has many uses, but I most commonly use it to keep it from slipping on the slick tent and tarp-tent floors, as a sit-pad, and more recently, as a cozy to help rehydrate my food.
This article describes the 1/8 Thinlight Pad, what I use it for, and where you can purchase other options.
Table of contents
- Multi-purpose Thinlight Pad
- Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad Uses
- Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8 – Quick Specifications
- Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8 – Performance
- Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad – Final Thoughts…
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad Uses
Below are a few of its uses. I use and abuse this piece of gear more than any other.
- Traditional Sleeping Pad
- Umbrella Handle Anchor
- Hot Pot Holder
- Sitting Pad
- Shoe Insole
- Anti-sliding Sleeping Bag Pad
- Pot Cozy
- Glissading Sleigh
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – My Most Common Uses
My two most common uses include an anti-sliding sleeping bag pad and a sitting pad.
- Prevents Slipping – The Thinlight is an excellent anti-sliding Sleeping Bag Pad, stopping my Neoair from sliding around on my tarp-tent floor while I sleep. I don’t use a whole pad. I cut about a four-foot-long piece of the pad to go under the center of my Neoair X-Lite.
- Sitting pads – I can fold the Thinlight pad to make a small sitting pad or unfold it for a more reclined position. It’s pretty versatile. The ability to fold it up also lets me store it in a small compact package on the top of my backpack.
- Weight – almost non-existent
- Versatile – it has A LOT of uses
- Durability – pretty tough for such a thin pad
- Thin – not sure this is a negative
- Cons – I don’t have many for something so simple
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8 – Quick Specifications
- Weight – 2.5 ounces
- Material – Closed cell cross-linked Evazote foam
- Dimensions – 19 x 59 1/8 x 1/8 in
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8 – Performance
The Thinlight Pad is not expensive, so I usually purchase one about every 1,000 – 2,000 miles. I cut it in half or to whatever size I need, and one piece lasts me at least two seasons.
The ultra-thin piece of foam repels water, so I keep it strapped to the top of my pack and brush off any water if it rains. The water resistance allows me to use it as a sit pad in rainy wet conditions, and if it stops raining while I’m hiking, it is usually dry by the time I get to camp.
The Thinlight is the most practical piece of gear I own. Some of the uses I mention below may seem far-fetched, but I have used the Thinlight in these situations.
If you want to sleep on the 1/8 Thinlight, this is probably not the pad if you want any comfort. This is a thin pad unless you fold it in two.
The pad is also not very durable. If I want it to last for a full hike, I have to keep it inside my backpack or in the large mesh pocket outside of the pack. The Thinlight tears easily if it snags on branches or brush, so I must take care of it while hiking.
The Thinlight Pad does an excellent job of preventing your sleeping pad from creeping across a Silnylon or Dyneema floor while you sleep. Even a small piece does the job well.
As I mentioned above, I usually cut mine down to a three or four-foot piece. I don’t need a large piece of foam to prevent my pad from slipping.
2. Sitting Pad
I fold the Thinlight into a small sitting pad, about the same size I strap to the backpack. The advantage it has over a regular sitting pad is that I can also spread it out and recline if I don’t cut it down too short.
On my Arizona Trail Hike, I often used it to protect my legs when taking a break. There were thorns or rocks just about everywhere south of Pine, Arizona.
3. Back Pad for Frameless Backpack
I have used two frameless backpacks: my Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet and my favorite ULA CDT backpack. Folding up this pad provides sufficient padding for comfort in both backpacks.
While the Thinlight adds comfort, it is not rigid enough to add much structure, but if you pack your frameless backpack right and keep the weight low, you don’t need much structure. Your gear will provide the structure you need.
I’ve used the Thinlight Pad for pain prevention.
- Moleskin Replacement – I’ve cut a hole to protect blisters and abscesses.
- Insole – Cut to use as a temporary insole until I could replace my ragged one.
I have been told that Thinlight 1/8 provides no insulative qualities, but I have to disagree. Even if psychological, I do feel warmer when I use it under my inflatable sleeping pad.
- Sleeping Pad – Under my sleeping pad on frozen ground, I am warmer after I put the Thinlight under my Neoair inflatable pad.
- Cozy – I have now had the opportunity to use it, and my Store-Bought Cozy and my Thinlight pad insulated my pot just as well as the cozy.
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad – Final Thoughts…
The Thinlight Pad is becoming more common, and I’m seeing it more and more on the trails I hike, which is no surprise. It has become one of my favorite pieces of gear over time.
You can purchase the Gossamer Gear 1/8 Thinlight below and check out some more Gossamer Gear Items.