Gear Reviews

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress

Lightest sleeping pad

Brand: Therm-a-Rest

Model: NeoAir UberLite Mattress




Our take How far we’ve come: You could pack three UberLites for the same weight as a first-generation Therm-a-Rest self-inflator—and this one scrunches down to the size of a soda can. The primary weight savings come in the 15-denier nylon shell (the previous generation NeoAir was 30-denier). That means the UberLite needs TLC. After 30-plus nights of testing, from the John Muir Trail to the Pyrenees Mountains, we didn’t have any serious punctures, but we did have to break out the patch kit to fix minor leaks, and one mattress failed around the valve. Designers also removed the metallic reflective heat layers to save weight (and noise). Tradeoff: The R-value drops to 2.0, making this sleeping pad best for temps above freezing.

The details A novel internal baffle design makes the UberLite comfy for such a light pad. It has two layers on both the top and bottom, each made up of triangular baffles that nest together. This construction puts multiple layers of air-filled chambers between you and the ground. Tradeoff: It tapers from 20 inches in the shoulders to 19 inches at the hip and 14.5 at the foot; restless sleepers will wish for more surface area.

Trail cred “Whether I was sleeping on dirt, grass, or in a lean-to, I never felt any cold seeping in from beneath,” one tester said after a season of testing down to the mid 30s in Wyoming and New York.