Therm-a-Rest – Invented By Seattle Engineers



The year was 1971. Seattle aerospace giant, Boeing, announced its largest layoff in company history, resulting in 50,000 people losing their jobs. So devastating was the impact on the local population, that a now infamous billboard near the SeaTac airport read, “Will the last person leaving Seattle, please turn out the lights?”

thermarest-2.jpgAmong the newly jobless were Jim Lea and Neil Anderson—both engineers, who were eager to get back to work. Turning to their mountain climbing friend, John Burroughs, he challenged them with the task of creating a better outdoor sleeping mattress. The three friends went to work creating a product that was lightweight, warm and comfortable. By 1972, they’d patented the world’s first self-inflating mattress – the Therm-a-Rest. Today, they’re fortunate to remain a private, family-owned company that has grown to be one of the most respected outdoor equipment manufacturers in the world. Get your own HERE.