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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2012

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

High-performance and ultralight, this pad offers comfort and great packability.

by: Will Rochfort

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Ben Fullerton)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Ben Fullerton)

Bundle of Bags
See all the summer, 3-season, and winter bags from our 2012 Gear Guide. Sleeping pads too!
[Editors’ Choice update]

We gave the original NeoAir an Editors’ Choice Award (2009) for its unprecedented comfort-to-warmth-to-weight ratio, and this latest tapered version has even more performance for six ounces less. The internal reflective barrier now returns 25 percent more body heat: One tester used it in lieu of his standard four-season pad on an early-winter summit of Mt. Whitney, and reported staying warm in below-freezing temps on snow (it’s not, however, as insulative as the Exped, above).

Another tester thru-hiked the John Muir Trail and says, “I never ceased to be amazed with its comfort and packability (a miniscule 9 x 4 inches), and deceptive durability.” Downsides: price, and broad-shouldered users might not like the mummy shape. $160; 12 oz.; 72” x 20” x 2.5”; thermarest.com

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gear finder
FULL PRODUCT SPECS: NeoAir XLite (Regular)

gear finder
FULL PRODUCT SPECS: NeoAir XLite (Small)



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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Jeff Wg
Apr 09, 2013

The lower limit is likely to be 12 oz for a comfortable pad. I tried the 16"X72"X1.5" 9 oz. Klymit Inertia X-Frame and simply could not sleep on my back, my side or my belly. Clever to drop air tubes to allow our sleeping bags to loft into the dropped spaces, but some of us need to have all body parts supported.

Star Star Star Star Star
Sneektip
Apr 09, 2013

Just got the size large for Christmas. It's super comfy, but definitely noisy when I move around on it. The downside to it being so packable – you have to blow the whole thing up by mouth or pump. No point in bringing a pump along after you've spent all this money on ultralight gear, so lung power it is!

steve
Aug 23, 2012

what is the difference in size betwwen regular and large? also where can i get a dark colored one like the one shwoed here

http://campingnest.com/?p=23

Eric Nelson
May 29, 2012

Wow, 12 oz! That's impressive for a 3.2 r-factor. Even the X-large is only 16 oz. Yeah it's expensive but so are the Exped pads. I have the Exped Downmat 9 LW. It's is very cozy and warm. I especially like the built - in pump. Doesn't put excess moisture into the pad. Everything goes on sale at REI at some point. Jsut wait for one of their 20% sales.

GriffStarr
May 29, 2012

I heard one of the new Therm-A-Rest's pads is very noisy when you make any movements on it. Is this it and if so, what are your feelings about it?

GriffStarr
May 29, 2012

I heard one of the new Therm-A-Rest's pads is very noisy when you make any movements on it. Is this it and if so, what are your feelings about it?

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