Thermarest NeoAir XLite review
Premium materials made in the USAUltra-lightComfortablePortable - packableExcellent warmth to weight rationStuff sack includedRepair kit included
Not so wideExpensiveTwo-way valve is not easy to useSlippery on both sidesLoud, which means you may have difficulty sleeping if you are easily disturbed by noises
9.3Overall Score
Comfort9.1
Weight9.5
Warmth9.4
Compactness9.2
Durability9.3
Price9

Overview: There is no better thing than ultralight backpacking, and the THERM-A-REST® NeoAir® XLite® delivers exactly that to complete your gear.

Key characteristics:

  • Ultralight at 12 oz/350gr., one of the lightest sleeping pads in the market
  • Quieter than the first version of the model yet still loud
  • This newest version comes with new softer fabrics for enhanced comfort
  • Usable area is 20 inches across at the widest point for the regular size
  • It is easy to slip off from both sides
  • Available in small, regular and large size
  • Made in the USA

top choice

Construction

What is the THERM-A-REST® NeoAir® XLite® made of?

Top fabric type: 30d Rip Nylon

Bottom fabric type: 30d Rip Nylon

Core: Nylon

Durability/materials

The sturdy build makes for a durable sleeping pad although it may seem flimsy at first glance. It is in fact impressive how given the light build, this pad is highly durable.

Without doubt, the newest version of the NeoAir® XLite® will last, and it is likely that you won’t be needing the Repair Kit included, which is of course an added advantage in case of punctures, which are not common however with this product.

Tip: For even more durability, we suggest using a ground sheet or shelter when you set up your NeoAir® XLite®. This will help avoid any punctures or extensive damage.

Ease of use/care

The sleeping pad is inflatable and does not take much time for the whole process to complete. In this sense, you will not have special trouble inflating your NeoAir® XLite®.

That said, blowing up this pad is not the best experience ever as it gets difficult to cope with air escaping when trying to fill it up. It takes approximately 20 full breaths to get the pad fully inflated, which is not the most pleasant feeling. The difficulty is probably due to the two-way valve found at the top of the pad, which you have to screw up and down to open and close.

Thermarest NeoAir XLite out look

Overall, the hard part is to get the pad reach its full capacity, so a good idea is to close the valve when it nearer to getting full. You can then take a breath and then put your mouth on it and blow as you open it.

How to inflate:

Caring for your NeoAir® XLite® is rather effortless thanks to its resiliency. You should always take the stuff bag which is included when you buy the product, to protect it when hiking. When inflating, use an approved air pump or your breath.

Obviously, when you want to lay down, make sure you clear the area where you want to place your mattress and use a ground sheet to prevent your mattress from direct contact with the ground. It is also advised that you don’t use chemicals like sunscreen, DEET Based insect repellents and chlorine on your pad.

Use a cover rather than sitting directly on your pad to prevent sweat. In case you sleep directly on your pad and want to clean it, simply wipe it with a cloth and warm water.

How to care:

Compactness

The NeoAir® XLite® with its ultra-light construction is quite easy to pack and it reaches a size a bit less than a 1-liter water bottle. Of course, no complaints here although there are other pads which shrink to a significantly smaller size. However, this is definitely a decent size and it is not considered bulky like a foam pad would.

weight of the pad

Weight

Definitely a highlight, the NeoAir® XLite®’s warmth to weight ratio is the best on the market. At 12 oz / 350 g., this is a great sleeping bag and we think it is better compared to foam pad which could be lighter, yet doesn’t insulate as much. You should definitely trust the NeoAir® XLite®, if you are looking for a lightweight sleeping bag that will keep you warm.

Thanks to the design and minimizing of the head and foot end, the designers managed to cut another 15% of its original weight, which is remarkable!

warmth

Warmth

Getting down to details in terms of weight to warmth ratio, this is definitely an area where the NeoAir® XLite® excels. It has been designed with care and attention to detail when it comes to keeping you warm.

Made with ThermaCapture layers, this technology prevents radiant heat to leave the pad. In addition, the Triangular Core Matrix construction using reflective material to eliminate any body heat loss with double air pockets, without needing to adhere to down and synthetic fills.

This newest model comes with an impressively high R rating at 3.2, which is quite surprising, given that it is only made of air and baffles. It will do great at keeping you warm thanks to its premium insulation for at least three seasons, so you should be worried about when you will go backpacking or hiking if you get the the NeoAir® XLite®. Fear not of the cold weather, although it is always a matter of how cold or warm you feel in general as well.

Tip: If you enjoy hiking or camping in cold weather, try the NeoAir® XLite® with a foam pad as it will work great at high altitude, snow camping and chill.

I guess you need an air mattress as well for camping.

used for camping

Comfort

Perhaps not the widest pad out there, at 20 in / 51 cm wide (regular size), so you might want to get something else if you are taller, bigger in general as it is not as easy to lay with your arms down your sides. You could of course try the large version of the pad which is 25 in / 63 cm, yet keep in mind that it weighs 4 oz / 110 g more. This is not much of an issue really, yet it depends on individual sizes and preference. Some people appreciate the wide-bodied feel of foam pads, while others don’t mind. It is up to your personal taste and needs really.

One thing which has improved in this newer version designed in 2015, is how new softer fabrics were introduced for a softer surface which feels more comfortable to the skin and adds in terms of durability as well. These 2.5 inch thick sot-touch fabrics and baffled internal structure make of a unique sense of comfort and stability.

Some consumers complain however that the surface still feels slippery at both sides, so it is best to use a cover on top of the pad.

Another improvement made from the previous version is in terms of the noise which used to sound like a bag of chips crinkled, even at the slightest of movements. Fortunately, the new advanced fabrics are less noisy than the previous ones, however they are still not as quiet as a foam pad.

outlook of the sleeping pad

Value for money

Assessing the value of this product is not as easy given that you will undoubtedly get a high quality sleeping pad. There are other foam pads in the THERM-A-REST®’s line, like the Z Lite Sol, which cost only a fraction of the price compared to the NeoAir® XLite®. In this sense, this pad is of the most expensive you will find on the market, but still delivers great value based on its features and performance.

Warranty

This product comes with a lifetime limited warranty which covers defects in materials and workmanship. The company is bound to repair or replace the pad if it is found defective.

The warranty does not cover normal wear, puncture, abrasion, misuse and abuse or alteration. However, the shipping charges to an Authorized Repair Center in case of a damaged mattress are the customer’s responsibility. Still, return shipping fees for the repaired mattress are covered.

Company

The NeoAir® XLite® is part of the brand THERM-A-REST®, which is owned by Cascade Designs. The company is quite reputable and manufactures different brands, including the THERM-A-REST®, MSR, Platypus, and SealLine among others. You should expect to get top quality and customer support at its highest standard from this company.

Final verdict

All things considered, the THERM-A-REST® NeoAir® XLite® is an all-around great choice for a sleeping pad which can keep you warm almost under any weather condition. In fact, this is one of the most versatile three-season pads you can get and despite being expensive, it is still worth its money.

As long as you can afford, it rest assure that this popular sleeping pad will serve for a comfortable and warm, ultra-weight companion during your backpacking travels. It has been reported as the most used sleeping pad by Pacific Crest Trail hikers in the past year, and one we certainly recommend if you have the budget and want to get a high-end product that sets the standard when it comes to ultralight three-season sleeping pads.

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