Thermarest Neo Air storage

11:45 a.m. on January 3, 2010 (EST)
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Just picked up a NeoAir...user manual is a generic thermarest paper....what's the best way to store the pad? It's not self inflating foam like the standard pads, so will it hurt to store it rolled?

1:20 p.m. on January 6, 2010 (EST)
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The Neo is basically a traditional air mattress. It does not have the foam, down, or Primaloft fill that would make it self-inflating. According to Cascade Designs, it cuts the convective heat loss of other conventional air mattress designs by using a reflective coating and polyurethane coating on the inner nylon core. So the best way to store it is to do as you should with sleeping bags, namely leave it stored flat. The reason for this is that PU coated fabrics stored folded will in time develop some cracking and delamination of the PU at the fold lines. Loose rolling should also work and would take up less room than flat, but since you are already storing your sleeping bags flat on a shelf (you are doing that, aren't you), just stack it with the sleeping bags. Well, ok, you can store sleeping bags in a very loose cotton sack, as the sleeping bag manufacturers recommend (and sell at a high price, though you can get a cotton laundry sack of the same size for less than 1/4 the price, but without the Marmot or TNF logo).

I haven't actually inspected the inside of a Neo, but my impression is that the PU and reflective core is basically a mylar flashing, much like the blackout "honeycomb" window coverings I just put in our family room so we could show slides of our trips during the day. The core airspace with the reflective coating also provides insulation, enough so that it qualifies for an "energy-saving" tax credit. I am a bit skeptical of the insulating capability of the Neo (too large of air spaces to have eliminated convective losses), but based on how well the window coverings are working, maybe it will work well enough in moderate winter camping temperatures. Something to check out at the OR Winter Show in a couple weeks.

December 22, 2014
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