The Winter Solstice is upon us, and that means that the shortest day of the year has already occurred; there’s nowhere else to go but up! To celebrate we put together this astrology guide to Therm-a-Rest gear to help you contemplate your adventures to come!

The solstice is an astrological event that marks a shift from introspective thought to focusing on the physical world before us again. That is to say, the long nights of winter are a time to contemplate oneself, while the increasingly longer days are a time to witness the world around you. Outdoor pursuits are among the best ways we observe the world, and as adventurers, we know that quality gear is instrumental in great outdoor experiences.

So, in the spirit of thoughtful adventures, we offer this handy astrology guide to the zodiac signs and what piece of Therm-a-Rest equipment is perfect for each.  (And if you’re one of those that handle your Christmas shopping at the very last minute, use this as a reference to what that special someone in your life might be missing).

questar sleeping bag in tentAquarius (January 20- February 18)

A need to be independent leaves an Aquarius feeling and acting a bit like an alien—not in a bad or isolated way or anything—they rarely approach feelings the way a normal person would. Reveling in the strange and unique allows them to expand their brain power to more altruistic forms of thought. They know good equipment isn’t meant to be thrown away at the first sign of failure and understand there’s creative ways to upgrade it. That’s why we think the two-part duo of a Questar 20F/-6C and a Sleepin Bag Liner for some added degrees of warmth is the choice equipment for an Aquarian. These humanitarians can comfortably sleep at night knowing that their choice of sleeping bag is Responsible Down Standard Certified: ensuring that the waterfowl providing the down are treated humanely.

Woman blowing up air head pillowPhoto by Bard Basberg

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

Pisces are the dreamers of the zodiac sign. They’re the ones longingly staring out the window at alpenglow wishing they could be hugging trees an scrambling rocks in the alpine. They spend a lot of their time inventing new and innovative ways to better the world and are empathetic towards all of their surroundings. While not all of us may join in on personifying the rocks and flora around us, we can agree that the perfect piece of gear for someone with their head in the clouds is perhaps a pillow that will make them feel like they’re—in fact—sleeping on a cloud. An Air Head™ Pillow is the perfect option for the sometimes-airy Pisces in your life.

Aries (March 21– April 19)

Aries are the friends smashing goals and keeping careful track of everything they do on Strava. While they may not appreciate the slowness of the solstice and are eagerly counting down days until the brighter weeks of spring, they’re never the sign to shy away from a challenge. Is there a grueling hike in your area to be done? A really challenging climbing route? We bet your Aries friend has already done it… if not twice. For the cardinal sign that likes to go, the Hyperion™ 32F/0C Sleeping Bag is one piece of equipment that won’t slow you down.

inflating sleeping pad with micro pumpTaurus (April 19 – May 20)

Taurus is the epitome of comfort and pampering. While in the past some people have stereotyped this sign as being lazy, the truth is these folks work really smart so that they don’t have to work too hard. They’ve perfected the backcountry dinner by knowing that some well packed parmesan cheese will spice up their instant mac & cheese. The issue is just making sure they’re not still making that same mac & cheese once they’re comfortably back at home. Well, “let them lounge!” we say, and let blowing mats up be a thing of the past if you have the option to bring a tiny pump with you. The NeoAir® Micro Pump is the perfect solution for a Taurus to get snoozing sooner, even if that means they can’t justify their late start in the morning.

Gemini (May 20 – June 20)

Geminis are known for their inability to make up their mind, but also as the life of the party. Kings and Queens of the FOMO train, your Gemini pals are A) the most frustrating people to try and nail down for plans and B) the funniest people to bring along for extended treks when you do manage to track them down. Any sort of stable plan you make is about two inches away from flying out of the van in which they’re currently living. In light of that, the Ohm™ 20/-6C Sleeping Bag is their ultimate calling as it allows them to not have to decide between a sleeping bag or a quilt. They can keep it zipped to have a sleeping bag or unzip it to unfold a plush down quilt. Meaning they can focus less on that decision and spend more time talking your ear off as you try to fall asleep.

camping sleep systemCancer (June 20 – July 22)

Your Cancer friend is the one ready to give you a cozy hug when you’re feeling down on your luck or are on top of the world. Their pockets will be full of rocks on the way back down from a mountain peak, and they are always reachable through the pair of walkie talkies they gifted you last Christmas. So, it makes a ton of sense that their astrological piece of equipment is the Ramble™ Down Blanket. With the 650-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™ it’s toasty warm for those cold days, and large enough to fit all the strays a cancer picks up along the way.

Ultralight cot near waterLeo (July 23 – August 22)

Posh and ruled by the sun, Leos may find the winter solstice a little bit exhausting. However, they embody luxury and are often incredibly talented artists and musicians. Perhaps they need a bit of a challenge to use as their next muse? While these guys may check their reflection out in any lake they pass, we know they often do end up looking surprisingly put together even in the backcountry. Though they’ll sleep on the ground if they have to, why would they want to? The compact UltraLite Cot will leave a Leo happily getting their beauty sleep so that they’re ready to take on the day, and strategically pose for all of your photos tomorrow.

Man sleeping in sleeping bag and tent, with glaciers in backgroundPhoto by James Barkman

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Virgos are tinkerers. Between sorting the next hut trip, writing a field guide for bird-watching, juggling 15 different side gigs, and rationalizing everyone else’s emotions, Virgos are too busy stretching themselves tighter than a slackline to emerge from whatever cave they hide in during the week. But when you do manage to make it out on the weekend make sure your gear is as efficient as you are. With vents on either side that your arms can slide through, the Polar Ranger™ -20F/-30C Sleeping Bag is made for Virgos. It allows them to continue planning their next move or cleaning their tent space while they lie in the warmth of their bag. And let’s not forget the Toe-asis™ Foot Warmer Pocket that allows them to not overthink how many socks they need to bring along.

topo sleeping pad with winglock valveLibra (September 23 – October 22)

Libras can hardly ever make up their mind, so why should their style of travel be any different? These last-minute planners and go-with-the-flow advocates need to be ready for anything. Their zodiac form is the scales, meaning that these guys are also always trying to find harmony in whatever activity they undertake and the people they bring alongside. To make it easy on them we present the one sleeping pad that does it all… The NeoAir® Topo™ Sleeping Pad is 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick for next-level car camping comfort and light and packable enough to bring on any spur of the moment backcountry trip.

sleeping pad sleeping bag and camping pillowScorpio (October 23- November 22)

These guys barrel through decisions with more force than foresight. Are they mysterious? They’re often described as being passionate but secretive to a fault, and this winter solstice is no different. Except, unlike a lot of the other signs these folks are usually pretty okay with the dark, as it mirrors their sense of humor. What we do know is they often tend to skip catchy and specialized things and invest in functional basics that will suit their needs. The MondoKing™ 3D Sleeping Pad is the ideal mat to bring on any car camping trip with its 4 inches of loft. So, the next time they’re on a stakeout or watching the full moon through their car’s sun roof this giant sleeping surface has got them covered.

Man jumping in honcho poncho in the desertPhoto by Sammy Spence

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)

Stylish, unique and ready to travel at a drop of the hat, Sagittarius are the least predictable and easily most hilarious of the signs. Whether they’re taking off on extended road trip by vespa or hot air ballooning across the country, these on-the-go souls have an unbounded sense of adventure. They also can never stop moving, so don’t expect the Sagittarius in your life to get too comfortable around the campfire. They’ll continue bouncing around telling jokes while their mallows roast (and burn). Which is why we suggest they have a Honcho Poncho™. Warm, wearable, and with a pocket that’s big enough to hold a whole bag of popcorn, the Honcho Poncho not only lets a Sagittarius continue on their way, but it opens up so they can freely talk with their hands.

closed cell foam sleeping padCapricorn (December 22- January 19)

Capricorns have a reputation for being too straight edge, but if you think that, it’s likely because one didn’t like you enough to let you into their world of hilariously dry humor. Capricorns are creatures of habit choosing to ride the same trails, hit the same bars and start their goodbye rounds as soon as they get to the party. All this makes them practical realists who rather than day-dreaming about audacious ski tours, are actually the one’s that will make it happen. The Z Lite Sol™ with its accordion-style design and closed-cell foam construction, is a tried and true, fail-proof design that makes sleeping anywhere possible. And while some may not recommend taking fashion advice from this earth sign (think Birkenstocks and socks) we do think they know a thing or two on how to get down in the dirt comfortably.

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Updated. Originally Published December 21, 2021.