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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Review


Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

In the last twenty years, backpacking gear has seen remarkable advances in materials, construction, and performance. Tents and backpacks have become lighter, while retaining much of – if not surpassing – the durability and function of their more stocky predecessors. Sleeping pads have certainly not been left out of this progress with a plethora of different options available now that make what was available in 1998 look only slightly more advanced than a bed of spruce boughs. Perhaps one of the most significant developments in sleeping pads was the introduction of the NeoAir Series of sleeping pads from Therm-a-Rest. These pads took lightweight comfort to a new level when they debuted in 2009 and, now almost 10 years later, they are still one of the standard-setting items when it comes to sleeping systems. While there were some complaints about the noisiness of the material (the earlier versions probably should have come packaged with a complimentary set of earplugs) and some users noted issues with slow and difficult to detect leaks developing over time, those early material and inconsistent issues seem to have been fully addressed in the near-decade since the NeoAir arrived on the market and under sleeping bags. Although this review focuses specifically on the NeoAir XLite...

@Mark reviews the XLite sleeping pad from Therm-a-Rest - find the full review and rating below in Issue 40:

NeoAir XLite Review

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad Review

Issue 40 Page 1

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K. Urs Grutter

Agree - a very comfortable and lightweight pad.

One caveat: I would rather not inflate this or any other pad by mouth, but use a drysack/inflation bag instead, to prevent the buildup of moisture inside the pad. As a tuba player, I don't have any trouble inflating the pad by mouth, but I know how much moisture is in the air I would blow into it.

As a standard, I put the cheap and easily replaceable closed cell foam pad (a cheapo from any big department store, weighing some 6oz) directly on the ground. Then the tent(-floor) will be protected, and finally the pad.

Sleep well!

Urs

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Mark Wetherington

Excellent point about using an inflation bag -- I don't do this (and have noticed no ill effects), but should probably start. Definitely a good thing to consider.

Interesting about putting the foam pad directly on the ground. I'd never thought about doing it that way, but it certainly does make sense. 

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