Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season

3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   2
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

medium regular large Trailspace tested regular prototype
Weight 1 lb 2 oz / 510 g 1 lb 3 oz / 540 g 1 lb 9 oz / 710 g 1 lb 3.2 oz / 544 g
R-Value 4.9
Length 66 in / 168 cm 72 in / 183 cm 77 in / 196 cm -
Width 20 in / 51 cm 20 in / 51 cm 25 in / 63 cm -
Thickness 2.5 in / 6.3 cm 2.5 in / 6.3 cm 2.5 in / 63 cm -
Packed dimension 8 x 4.75 x 4.75 in / 20.3 x 12 x 12 cm 8 x 4.75 x 4.75 in / 20.3 x 12 x 12 cm 11 x 4.8 in / 28 x 12 cm -
Volume 3300 cu in 3600 cu in 4813 cu in -

Reviews

2

This is a review for the older "green" model. Purchased…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Around $130

Summary

This is a review for the older "green" model. Purchased in 2012.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Warm

Cons

  • Air pads are inheritable risky because they can puncture
  • This pad is not the lightest on the market

I've used this pad for the last two years in all four seasons. I've used it in temperatures down to -20°F (-29°C).

It has performed flawless in all instants. I optioned for the larger size thinking that I'd be okay with the extra weight contra comfort. I'm 6' 2" and 170lb. If I were to buy a new, I'd buy the regular size in order to save weight and I'd buy the newer mummy shaped model.

I purchased the Therm-a-Rest yellow inflator bag at the same time. This bag really makes sense to me. I've been using Therm-a-Rest self-inflating pads for many years and have always "helped" the pads inflate themselves by breathing air into them. I've always thought that the condensation must make some great habitat for fungus on the inside.

The inflator bag is really helpful, easy to use, and take care of the fungus and what freezing condensation that may be on the inside of the pad after been used for days in -20°F. The NeoAir came with a small grey inflator bag that also could be used as the storage bag. It did not work that well. I use the larger yellow inflator bag as a pack sac inside the backpack for my sleeping bag.

The valve is solidly constructed. when the pad is rolled up, it does poke out a bit. It could be prone to some beating in the backpack. I always try to pack it with that in mind.

When using the NeoAir in the winter, I'm always a bit paranoid that it will puncture, especially because my -20°F sleeping bag is of a construction that does not have down on the bottom side. The idea of patching a hole in -20°F is not ideal. This has made me buy a Therm-A-Rest SoLite ridge rest closed foam pad for next season. I'll keep on using the NeoAir in all four seasons but next winter I'll test the SoLite foam pad without the NeoAir.

I've also just purchased a -50°F sleeping bag with down on both sides. So using the foam pad should be fine with my new bag in -20°F or below conditions. I might lose some comfort using the foam pad but I might pick some up from the down.

If extra comfort is needed, I could maybe pick up an extra short NeoAir XLite to place under the foam pad in the shoulder/hip area. I'll have to see if there's any benefit in using the air pad underneath the foam pad. I'm thinking that there might be less air to heat up in a foam pad.

What I really would like is for the SoLite foam pad to be comfortable enough on the snow to be used alone. That would safe me quite some weight. Maybe still use the NeoAir in 10F to -10F with my lighter -20F sleeping bag since this bag is 1lb 7oz lighter anyway compared to the -50F bag. All this makes sense, right?!

2

This pad has it all... comfort, warmth, durability.

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $159

Summary

This pad has it all... comfort, warmth, durability.

Pros

  • comfort
  • warmth

Cons

  • weight (but it's still pretty light)

I have used this pad for a few months now and it has been a great pad for me. It has the best of everything in one pad in my opinion. It's fairly light (but not ultra-light), it's very warm, comfortable and durable. It's worth the investment.  

Here's my full video review of this pad:

2

Therm-a-Rest sleep systems include various combinations…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
Price Paid: samples provided by Therm-a-Rest for testing and review

Therm-a-Rest sleep systems include various combinations of insulation, pads, and pillows for different temperatures, climates, and activities. By combining different products, it's possible to tailor the (more or less) ideal sleep system for the activity of your choice. 

I tested a Therm-a-Rest sleep system that combined the following products:

(Read the full Therm-a-Rest Sleep System Review.)


Sleep-System-from-above-.jpg

Therm-a-Rest sleep system.

The total sleep system is wonderfully flexible for different uses and is especially well suited to cooler weather. It's very comfortable, but I paid the price in weight and minor inconvenience.

At 3 pounds 6.3 ounces, the total system is heavier than my usual combination of a synthetic EMS Velocity 35 sleeping bag and a cut-in-half Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest closed-cell foam pad. Additionally, the NeoAir is a real challenge to inflate.

Best For - System

This Therm-a-Rest sleep system is best for camping and weekend backpacking trips in hot weather, and longer backpacking trips in colder weather. As the weather cools, or your tolerance for sleeping on hard surfaces decreases, the increased insulating capacity and comfort this pad supplies outweigh the minor penalties in weight and challenging setup.

Best For - Pad

The NeoAir All Season pad is best for backpacking in colder weather and camping in all seasons.

Pros

  • luxuriously comfortable

  • warm

  • compact

  • anti-slide straps work!

Cons

  • NeoAir All Season pad is difficult to inflate

  • system is a bit heavy

  • Fitted Sheet is heavy and doesn't add warmth

  • blanket snap system is clumsy

  • blanket system makes snuggling difficult

Best For:

Setup

Setting up the Therm-a-Rest sleep system requires inflating the NeoAir All Season pad and affixing the Fitted Sheet and Alpine Down Blanket. I learned to shorten the setup by leaving the fitted sheet on the pad when storing it in my pack.

The NeoAir All Season pad is lung busting to inflate without a pump. I have massive lung capacity, but inflating the pad required 20 lung fulls, and often ended in me seeing stars and sitting down! If getting a little hypoxia bothers you, and you're willing to carry a few more ounces, I would recommend the forthcoming NeoAir Pump Sack. I'd probably still forgo the pump, to save weight;  that's just me though.

(For January 2012, Therm-a-Rest will offer a NeoAir Pump Sack, a stuff sack that lets you fill a NeoAir pad with two bags of air, and then converts into a camp seat, stuff sack, or pack liner. The new-for-fall 2011 NeoAir AirTap Pump Kit works similarly, using a plastic bag)

Affixing the sheet is a challenge, as the full length of the pad needs to be passed through a series of grippy, rubberized straps. A small, toughened port in the sheet allows the pad's inflation valve through, but isn't quite large enough.

Once the sheet is affixed, the down blanket attaches to small plastic snaps around the perimeter of the sheet. The snaps are small, and it was difficult to snap them securely with cold fingers. Further, vigorous movement can unsnap them easily.


NeoAir-Pad-showing-anti-slip-strips-and-
Bottom view of system, showing anti-slide straps and snaps.

Comfort/Warmth

This system is incredibly comfortable once setup. In a month of testing, including three nights camping, four nights backpacking, and two weeks of home/backyard use, I always slept soundly. The NeoAir All Season pad is thick enough (approximately 2.5 inches) to permit sleeping on my side, back, or stomach.

This pad was warm! Despite nights that dipped down to 36 degrees Fahrenheit, this system kept me warm. The pad itself, which has a 4.9 R-value, seemed to radiate heat. This may be an effect of the metallic foil of each of the pad's internal baffles reflecting my bodily heat back to me. (I'll update after I continue to test the NeoAir All Season this winter.)

The pad is approximately 79 inches long, which is a bit long for me (I'm 5' 8"). This didn't present serious problems, but in combination with the Alpine Down Blanket, it required me to position myself with my feet at the bottom of the pad, with approximately 11 inches of pad above my head. If this was a closed-cell foam pad, I would have rolled that excess to create a pillow, but when the NeoAir All Season is firmly inflated, it can't easily be doubled.

NeoAir-Pad-and-Fitted-Sheet-showing-anti
Sleep system, showing anti-slide pads.

Durability

Therm-a-Rest supplied me with an optional Universal Repair Kit (.6 oz / 16 g). Despite camping on rough surfaces (including gravel), the pad never punctured. I never used the repair kit, but it's similar to a bicycle tire repair kit, and I have no reason to think it wouldn't be effective.

Storage

The entire sleep system takes a bit longer to pack up then I like. After a cup of coffee, the system takes nearly three minutes to pack up.

Deflating the NeoAir All Season pad is a bit slow, and removing the Fitted Sheet is clumsy because of the rubberized straps on the bottom. To save time, I tried deflating the pad with the sheet on.  This is faster than removing it, but increases the bulk of the deflated system considerably. If you're short on time, try leaving the sheet on. If you're short on space, remove the sheet and pack it separately.

The NeoAir pad rolls up fairly small, and can even be fitted into a frame-less pack as a supplemental frame! The down blanket compacts easily, and lofts quickly after unpacking.

Summary

The combination of the NeoAir All Season Pad, Fitted Sheet, and Alpine Down Blanket makes for a versatile, warm, comfortable sleep system. As configured at 3 pounds 6.3 ounces, it's a bit heavy for my backpacking style, but for this small penalty in weight, you get a very flexible, comfortable system.

I'm going to continue to use this system together for my winter hikes and bike trips. Alone, the down blanket is slowly replacing my synthetic bag. I'm also going to be experimenting with using the down blanket as an "enhancer" in an attempt to create a deep winter sleep system in conjunction with a light synthetic bag.

I would recommend Therm-a-Rest's NeoAir All Season Pad, Fitted Sheet, and Alpine Down Blanket highly as a general purpose sleeping system for shorter trips. Together with a closed-cell pad, an all-season adventurer would need no additional pad. For ultra-light trips, a closed-cell foam pad would suffice. For more comfort, the NeoAir would be ideal. For deep winter trips, both pads could be combined for ultimate warmth.

Read the full Therm-a-Rest Sleep System Review.


IMG_1329.jpg
Seth atop Maine's Deasey Mountain on the International Appalachian Trail, with hiking buddy Steve.

Testing Circumstances

I tested the NeoAir All Season pad for approximately 60 days in spring and summer. During this period, I tested the pad:

  • While camping for three nights in northern Maine. The elevation was only slightly above sea level. Temperatures ranged from a low of approximately 36°F overnight, to a high of approximately 43°F overnight.
  • While on a four-day backpacking trip north of Maine's Baxter State Park. I traveled approximately 12 miles per day, bushwhacking and often fording rivers. Weather was cool, humid and rainy, with the last day warmer and sunnier. Nighttime temperatures went as low as approximately 46°F. Day time temperatures were between 56° and 70°F.
  • As my primary sleeping pad for 14 days in my home, on a hardwood floor.


IMG_1318.jpg
Seth's pack on the International Appalachian Trail in Maine.

NeoAir All Season Pad
Claimed Weight: 14 oz / 410 g
Tested Weight: 1 lb 3.2 oz / 544 g
Note: I tested a 2011 prototype, with a slightly non-standard weight and size.

Manufacturer's Description

Lightweight, durable and extremely warm, the NeoAir All Season mattress is the ultimate solution to year-round backcountry comfort. Patent-pending Triangular Core Matrix™ technology creates over 100 internal cells and Reflective Barriers trap warm air, resulting in an incredibly high R-value without the weight or bulk of conventional insulation. Durable fabrics and construction give the All Season mattress the strength to stand up to rugged conditions throughout the year. Pump sack and repair kit included.

  • Year-Round Warmth: Patent-pending technology traps warm air to provide a high degree of warmth.
  • Light and Compact: NeoAir technology allows the All Season mattress to be lighter and more packable than mattresses filled with conventional insulation.
  • Extra Comfort: Stable construction and 2.5-inch thickness offer greater comfort for a full night of sleep.
  • Lasting Performance: The All Season mattress can be inflated directly without the worry of exhaled moisture wetting insulation and decreasing performance.

Made in Ireland

Visit Therm-a-Rest's NeoAir All Season page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

With its high insulating properties and 2.5 in. thickness, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAirTM All Season Sleeping Pad brings exceptional comfort and warmth to your year-round backcountry outings.

- REI

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season MattressThe Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season Mattress is constructed with a patent-pending Triangular Core Matrix technology. It has over 100 insulating cells and multiple layers. This technology captures radiant heat for maximum warmth. The mattress is made from durable fabrics which can be stand up to rugged conditions. The mattress has a new NeoAir technology, which is lighter and more packable, and is not possible with conventional mattresses. The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season Mattress, can be inflated directly with no worries of having wet insulation.

- SunnySports

In the world of lightweight backpacking, the less an item weighs, the fewer features it's supposed to have. Not true with the Therm-a-Rest All Season All-Season Sleep Pad. The patent-pending Triangular Core Matrix technology creates over 100 cells and reflective barriers to trap warm air without the bulk of regular insulation, so you can enjoy unprecedented comfort on the trail in any season.

- Backcountry.com

On Sale. Free Shipping. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season Mattress FEATURES of the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season The award-winning All Season mattress is a rugged, go-anywhere mattress that comes ready for any activity We designed the All Season with an increased R-value for year-round use and the result is one of the warmest, most versatile NeoAir mattresses we offer Pump sack and repair kit included NeoAir Mini Pump included. Mini Pump batteries (2 AAA) not included SPECIFICATIONS of the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season R-Value: 4.9 Thickness: 2.5in. / 6.3 cm Fabric: 75d Polyester / 70d Nylon Sofeet Grip The SPECS for Medium Dimension: 20 x 66in. / 168 x 51 cm Compressed Dimension: 9 x 4.3in. / 23 x 11 cm Weight: 1 lb 2 oz / 510 g The SPECS for Regular Dimension: 20 x 72in. / 183 x 51 cm Compressed Dimension: 9 x 4.5in. / 23 x 11.5 cm Weight: 1 lb 3 oz / 540 g The SPECS for Large Dimension: 25 x 77in. / 196 x 63 cm Compressed Dimension: 11 x 4.8in. / 28 x 12 cm Weight: 1 lb 9 oz / 710 g

- Moosejaw