One of the first slogans used by the Thermarest brand was "For the rest of your life". And while this slogan emphasized the superior sleep quality offered by the new Thermarest mattresses, adventurers began sleeping on their mattresses during their outdoor adventures. A lot has happened in the past 50 years, but all along the brand has stayed true to its motto: helping customers get a better night's sleep outdoors. So, Happy Birthday Thermarest!

How did the story begin?

"We started because I wanted a better mattress," says John Burroughs, co-founder of Thermarest. As an experienced mountaineer, John knew that the thin foam mattresses of the early 1970s left a lot of room for a more comfortable mattress.

And when Jim Lea, a friend and colleague at Boeing, discovered a way to outfit those uncomfortable mattresses with inflatable fabric and an airway control system, the self-inflating mattress was born. In 1972, the friends filed a patent for the "Thermarest" mattress and formed Cascade Designs Inc.

The very first Theramrest mats were produced in Seattle in 1973, and were called the 3/4 standard. From the beginning, the 3/4 standard was very popular, and attracted the attention of REI, the brand's very first customer. As manufacturing techniques were perfected, Thermarest's ability to create lighter, more efficient mattresses continued. In 1983, Thermarest introduced the Ultra lite and Camp Rest mattresses, and in 1984, the RidgeRest was introduced, a mattress that achieved iconic status early on and has remained a staple for outdoor novices and experts ever since.

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As popularity and demand grew, Cascade Designs established a second production facility in County Cork, Ireland in 1985 to supply the European market, which remains the center of European activity today.
Première expédition de Thermarest vers l'Ireland
But the innovations didn't stop with mattresses - in 1994, Thermarest entered the sleeping systems market with its line of sleeping bags. A cold room was built in the Seattle factory to test the sleeping bags to their limits, a sign that the brand was ready to challenge the market.
Another high-impact introduction for the brand was the launch of NeoAir. This line of super-compact, air-filled mattresses raised the bar for the air mattress market when it launched in 2009, and continues to set the standard for innovative, lightweight design.

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Neoair Products:

Did you know?

Thermarest is also part of several organizations dedicated to protecting access to natural areas, helping people in contact with the environment and sustainably managing recreational areas to make the outdoors a better place for everyone.

As we look back on 50 years of Thermarest innovations, the brand continues its unwavering commitment. With more and more people enjoying the outdoors, the Thermarest team around the world looks forward to the next 50 years!