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

If you're 5'5" and under (or sleep curled up) this sleeping pad is a welcome, warm addition to the Therm-a-Rest line

Female testers swooned over the Editors’ Choice (2009) Award-winning NeoAir pad, and doubted that this “women’s” version could offer substantial improvements. Turns out, it does: This inflatable mattress is warmer than the original NeoAir, thanks to an additional layer of aluminum that reflects and retains body heat to help cold-sleeping ladies stay cozier.

“It made my 20-degree bag feel warmer,” reports one tester, who enjoyed blissful slumber despite early-winter conditions in Colorado’s Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. Yet at 11 ounces, it’s also lighter, in part by using a tapered shape and trimmer dimensions (20” wide and 66” long). The smaller square footage still offers plenty of sprawl-space for women 5’5” and under; taller testers who sleep curled on their sides also found it a proper fit. And like the original, the Women’s NeoAir XLite deflates to pint glass-size, resists punctures from sandstone, granite, and twigs, and provides 2.5 inches of cushy, sleep-inducing comfort. $160; 11 oz.;