Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm

Reviews

13

This is a great 4-season sleeping pad. From the Manufacturer:…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Therm-a-Rest for testing and review)

Summary

This is a great 4-season sleeping pad.

Pros

  • Warm
  • Durable
  • Light
  • Compact

Cons

  • Maybe price

From the Manufacturer:

New for 2012: The XTherm mattress is the warmest mattress in the NeoAir collection, allowing you to go lighter than ever in winter conditions. Patent-pending Reflective Barriers give the XTherm mattress true 4-season warmth without the weight or bulk usually found in a winter-worthy mattress. The result is a mattress that weighs less than a pound, takes up less pack space than your water bottle, and provides serious comfort in extremely cold conditions. Pump sack and repair kit included.

First Impressions

Yes, everything I’ve read from Thermarest about the new XTherm mattress is true in my opinion. Over the years I’ve owned more than a few pads for sleeping in the outdoors ranging from yoga mats to full sized four seasons inflatables. I’ve owned the Walmart blue mats, the “Z” pad, the ‘90’s version of an ultra-lite inflatable from Thermarest weighing in at over 2 lb., and I have slept on pine branches spread out to look like the pad that I forgot at home. I have slept in weather down in the minus digits, and always, without exception, when I get cold at night... It is from the ground up.

I don’t go out without some kind of sleeping pad. For me, it is as essential as the tent that surrounds me, and the sleeping bag that keeps everything except my big nose covered. I am not over exaggerating when I say that I love ground pads. Heat conduction from the ground is very hard to combat due to the fact that our rated sleeping bags often don’t do a good job of protecting us when we smash them down under our body weight. Our bodies can only heat up the bag that has loft, and loft doesn’t happen under my big butt.


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Sleeping pads put a barrier between you and the ground in two ways: They give your body a cushion from the hard ground, and they give you a thermal break to stop conduction up to your body that a sleeping bag can’t. Sleeping pads are rated just like a sleeping bag. Some are rated for 3-season use and are often lighter in weight and more compact.

The NeoAir XTherm has an R rating of 5.7. That is an insulation rating that is comparable to other 4-season pad on the market. The NeoAir XTherm is a true, compact, lightweight 4-season sleeping pad that has lived up to my expectations.


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Opening the Box

My NeoAir came shipped from the manufacturer in perfect condition. The instructions, repair kit, inflating sack that you carry the pad in, and the pad itself were all undamaged. The fit and finish is nice. Out of the 8 pads that I’ve owned over the past 25 years, this is by far the nicest (and most expensive).

For a four season pad I couldn’t get over the size and weight of this thing. I tested the large, full size pad and it weighed in at a more than respectable 20 oz. The regular size pad is only 15 oz.  It also packs down to the size of a water bottle, and that’s not hype. It really does pack that small.

After opening the package, the first thing anyone would do is blow it up and let their 4- and 8-year-old daughters jump and play on it in the living room for an hour. That’s what I did. It held up just fine, and to be honest, I probably couldn’t have done that kind of torture test in the field. I left it inflated for two more days looking for any leaks. There were none.


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Quality and Durability

At the time I’m writing this, I’ve spent 8 nights on the XTherm without any problems. The R rating for this pad is 5.7, and has I feel has lived up to the rating. It’s definitely warmer than any 3-season pad you’ll likely use.  The bottom has a more durable fabric, and the top is reflected to be able to use your own body heat that has escaped from your bag and push it back up to you. All the fabrics used seem sturdy as well as the valve which seems to be the standard Thermarest twist valve.  

The Thermarest NeoAir XTherm comes with a stuff sac that doubles as a inflation bag. I have used this method and found that while it wasn’t as fast as using your mouth, you avoid getting condensation into the pad itself which could be a problem when using the sleeping pad in below freezing temperatures. It was a good idea to include this feature in a true 4-season pad.


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I also like the thickness of the pad. At 2.5 inches It has enough loft to it to where I can fully inflate it, then use the valve to let out air once I’m on the pad to find that “sweet spot” of comfort. I’m glad I went with the large pad over the regular. The large gives you an additional 5" of width giving you 25" overall. At 6' and 200 lb. I’ve never owned a more comfortable pad.

Some of my testing happened indoors. My two daughters fall asleep much faster at night if Daddy is lying on the floor in between their bedrooms. I thought this would be a good test of the NeoAir XTherm. It usually takes them about 20 minutes to fall asleep in which I lie there, checking my e-mails or playing a game on my smart phone. Once they are asleep, I go back downstairs and usually clean up from the day’s events.  

To my surprise, I awoke to my laughing daughters taking pictures of me sleeping on the floor at 9 a.m. I had slept in the hallway all night which was certainly not the plan. I guess that shows just how comfortable this pad really is.


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I like to talk about price in the Quality and Durability section. As of 2012, the large pad would sell for $219.  The regular pad is $189. I don’t know how you might feel about those prices, but let me put it into my perspective: I’ve owned a $40 inflatable 3-season pad from Thermarest for 19 years, and I’ve never had one problem with it. It has more than paid for itself over the years, and in fact, my wife used it just last weekend and loves it.

I’m confident now after using the XTherm that this pad will also hold its value for years to come. When I first saw the price tag I was hesitant; now I feel it’s properly priced. Remember, The NeoAir XTherm is a 4-season pad with advanced material and technology that makes it an ideal choice for winter outings. Sometimes the best just costs more.

Packability

I count every ounce in my pack, so it’s no surprise that I like how the NeoAir XTherm is lightweight and very compact. I use my sleeping pad as structure in my backpack due in part that my packs are frameless. I’ve hiked with this pad both on overnight and day hikes, and it’s everything the manufacturer says it is.

Let me add: Versatile for frameless packs, and small and compact enough to take along for a rest nap on a day hike.


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Bottom Line

I can’t see how anyone who tries the NeoAir XTherm is going to have much bad to say about it. There are always pros and cons to everything, but in my opinion the pros far outweigh the cons. Perhaps if you are used to a rectangular sleeping pad, the mummy style pad might be a con, but I found it to be adequately roomy. It gets a 5 star rating from me. 

So far I’ve had no leaks, I’ve stayed warm and toasty on some cold nights, it packs small and light for backcountry use, and Thermarest is a company known for quality, innovative products that I’ve trusted for years.  

I don’t think you can go wrong with the NeoAir XTherm by Thermarest.

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trouthunter MODERATOR

A nice review!


3 years ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great job, Arson! Thanks for testing and reviewing the XTherm.


3 years ago
ratski

Does it make any noise when you move on it? My friend has a winter rated pad that makes sounds everytime he turns over. I find that most irritating.


3 years ago
Michaelrn

I agree. I have one as well and it is the best pad that I've owned. My son says it makes noise when I turn over in my sleep but it has not woken me up. I wish it was about 2 inches wider. I'm 5'10" and 250 and sometimes I have a hard time staying ontop of the pad while I sleep. But my hips no longer hurt when I wake in the morning after using this pad.


3 years ago
Arson

It does make a noise when you turn over, but I never thought about it bothering someone enough to keep them awake. I'm such a light sleeper that I've worn ear plugs for years so I didn't get woken up by the sleeping pad. If you've had problems with noisy sleeping pads in the past, then this pad might be a problem. It's not as noisy as the regular NeoAir because of the heavier materials used to make it a 4 season pad, but it does make noise when you turn over. I'm sorry for not thinking about that as a possible problem when doing my review.


3 years ago
Middle aged campers

We just bought the NeoAir XLite at Campmor for half price because they were irregularly colored. They do not have the inflation bag stuff sack (at least it does not appear it would work the same way.) I got the Women's which is 66 inches and R 3.8 and my husband got the large which was 77 inches (25 inches wide) and R 3.2. Same mummy pad shape as the one reviewed. We'll be interested to see how they measure up to our old Thermarest self-inflating which had a similar R value. They are certainly smaller and lighter to pack. I'm sure they will be more comfortable although we'll miss the chair adapter kit we had for the old pads. Check Campmor to see if they are still in stock and on sale. Good price although the yellow is kind of a weird off-color.


3 years ago
Ozarks Walkabout

Great review, thanks, you don't mention 'party balloon' effect - you know where you push down on one place and in another place the displaced air pushes it up. I ask because my wife can't use our NeoAir Allseason for this reason - the displaced air from her hips 'digging in' makes her feel that it's trying to push the rest of her body off the pad. Other pads use internal bracing to minimise this - what's your opinion on the XTherm? Also Google 'InstaFlator' for a very lightweight, small, inexpensive and clever inflator meant for inflatable toys etc. We use in for our inflatable pads and it cuts the time in half.


3 years ago
Arson

I've had the "balloon effect" in every inflatable I've ever owned. I simply use the valve to deflate the pad to the desired pressure in order to minimize this.


3 years ago
Ozarks Walkabout

@middle aged campers: I have a 77" x 25" NeoAir. I bought a 25" Trekker chair and it works a treat with the pad.


3 years ago
1

Warm, lightweight and horizontal baffles made it the…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $175

Summary

Warm, lightweight and horizontal baffles made it the most comfortable pad to date IMO.

Pros

  • Warmth
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy to inflate
  • Nice tacky surfaces keep you at bay
  • Cool colors
  • Packs down small

Cons

  • Price

OK, so after using Big Agnes insulated and non insulated pads with vertical baffles for years, I've found what I think is the best mat around. The Xtherm large is lighter than my non insulated regular sized BA pad. It packs to the same size, but when sleeping on snow, I never felt the coldness of the ground one bit. Not the case with the non insulated mats where your expensive down sleeping bag compresses down to paper thickness and the cold air is basically a millimeter away from your body. A great sleeping bag is only as good as the pad it's on, take notes if you plan on being in cold areas.

With other pads, I would notice that I would find myself sliding towards the fall line of the slope even if it was barely any angle. With the Xtherm and the slightly rubberized finish, it holds me in place even when I roll from side to side. The horizontal baffle construction basically adds more chambers to disperse your body weight, and I felt that it conforms to the body way better equaling the most comfortable pad I've used. 

The stuff sack doubles as a fill sack, but it was discarded because it weighed a lot and was tedious. This is to eliminate putting so much moisture in via mouth. To help remove the moisture before packing up, I make sure to let about half of the air out, then let the pad sit in the sun and heat up to vaporize any moisture inside, then release again and leave the cap open. So far, so good...

I'm not a big guy at 5'9", but I think the large is the only way to go... I'm more of a comfort guy, but then again, good sleep leads to good hiking. 

This has been used in Sequoia and Mammoth for week long backpacking trips. One based on 3 feet of snow and 21 degree nights all proving that the Xtherm is no joke. Two thumbs up.
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1

TL;DR - nice warm and light pad, best for those thinner…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169

Summary

TL;DR - nice warm and light pad, best for those thinner hikers that don't move around much at night.

Pros

  • Light
  • Warm
  • Tacky top surface holds sleeping bag well
  • Durable materials

Cons

  • Narrow
  • Loud
  • Tacky top surface not ideal for quilt users
  • Very expensive

Me: I'm not exactly a UL hiker - 5' 10" and 220 pounds. I move throughout the night sleeping on my back and both sides. I am a cold sleeper.

Use: Regular size (72 x 20), 2 nights in the 40s on a trip in northern Arizona. One night with my trusty Montbell #3 and one night with a EE quilt.

Results: 

The first night, I used the pad on slightly uneven ground (not completely flat and downslope left to right) in a sleeping bag. 

Good - Unbelievably small and robust. The fabric does not feel like it needs to be babied. The warmth was obvious. It wasn't particularly cold, but I'm still amazed that a pad with no insulation can provide such warmth. The thickness of the pad was sufficient to absorb the irregularities on the ground. The top of the pad has a sticky or tacky surface which did a great job holding my sleeping bag in place when I moved around during the night.

Not so good - with horizontal baffles, there is very little definition to the edges of the pad. Throughout the night, it felt like I really only had about 10 inches of usable pad when I rolled onto my side. I let some air out of the pad to see if I could stabilize more, but I still felt like I was essentially balancing in the middle of the pad when on my side. Noise wasn't a particular issue, but it the pad is loud compared to others I've used.

The second night, I slept on more even ground with an EE quilt on top rather than a sleeping bag.

Good: as mentioned, the pad is warm. It almost radiates heat.

Not so good: I still felt like I couldn't use the entire width of the pad when on my side. If I got too close to the side, the pad felt like it would escape. Additionally, the slightly tacky top surface that worked well with my sleeping bag, was a real issue when using a quilt. The pad kept *me* in place and made it difficult to roll onto my side. 

TL;DR - nice warm and light pad, best for those thinner hikers that don't move around much at night.

0

This is a very lightweight, compact air mattress.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179

Summary

This is a very lightweight, compact air mattress. I have tested quite a few and this one fits my needs. Very comfortable even for a 215 lb toss'n and turning sleeper.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Comfy

Cons

  • It can be noisy and annoying under certain conditions. Pricey

Purchased September 5th, 2014

Fall of 2014 I purchased the NeoAir XTherm. This was replaced with the 2015 NeoAir XTherm / XTherm MAX
The only difference is within this statement on the website "NEW – XTherm MAX – All the performance of the original XTherm with added coverage for extreme temps and larger torsos."

Whatever the hell that means?

  • Packed:  4.5" x 10"
  • Opened:  25" x 77" x .10" 
  • Inflated: 23.5" x 76" x 2.5"
  • R Value:  5.7
  • Weight:  1 lb. 5 oz (21 oz.)
  • Warranty 
  • Repair Kit Included


The old adage "You get what you pay for" is true in this case. 

I started with an Alps Mountaineering pad that is extremely comfortable, but heavy and bulky. I soon switched that out for a Thermarest Pro Lite Plus Large. This pad folds in half lengthwise and rolls up nicely to fit inside the pack, still a bit bulky but comfortable and manageable.


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L - R Alps Mountaineering, Thermarest Pro Lite Plus, Thermarest NeoAir XTherm

I was a bit reluctant purchasing an air mattress figuring that if I sprung a leak and could not fix it I would have "0" padding and insulation from the ground, but the more I thought about it, I figured if my Pro Lite Plus sprung a leak there would be almost no insulation as well, so it was basically a moot point.

With that type of logic and the strong urge to lighten up and reduce bulk I started shopping around.

As an individual insistent on "lightening up," my research pointed me to the NeoAir XTherm.

This would add 1.9 to the R-value, Rreduce my weight by 9 oz. and reduce my pack size by 50% more switching from the Pro Lite.

The price of $219 was tough sell. However I found a retailer selling the large for $179, a $40 drop in price. I quickly jumped on it. I was hoping that it was not a regular mislabeled a large. Woohoo! I lucked out, the pad came in and it is the large. I went back and checked the retailer and the price is $219, wow I lucked out.

With the added R-Value of the NeoAir XTherm, I will be using the Western Mountaineering Megalite, for my Pinchot trip in April, unless the forecast calls for temps in the low teens.

Field Report 1
September 19th - 21st, 2014
Back sleeper, occasional side sleeper, toss and turn a bit.
5' 9"
210 lbs

Trip weather
temps 55° - 65°

It took a bit getting the pad inflated but was worth it, 35 large breaths to fill. I did not use the supplied stuffsack to fill and may remove the stuffsack altogether.

The pad is very comfortable, side sleeping is no problem at all, the mattress is very firm. The vertical baffles really add comfort.

Back sleeping is also comfortable, my only complaint is the width.

Since the height is 2.5",  you really notice the width as my arms fall to the sides. I will be experimenting with placing gear or clothing to the sides where my arms fall off the pad. If Thermarest came out with a 28" wide version, I would order it immediately.

No sliding on either top or bottom.

I was a bit concerned that the edges would collapse from reviews stating there was no edge support on this pad. This was not an issue.

Side sleeping is not an issue, no bottoming out, weight displacement is great, even when sitting up there is no bottoming out. I never bottomed out and tried stomach sleeping a bit, this is hard to do in a mummy bag.

It wasn't too hot. I was worried I would get a lot of reflective heat but it was not a problem.

The valve works fine.

Other reviewers complained about the noise while they were moving on the pad however this is not quite as bad as some folks review to be, for me anyhow. I am sure individual results will vary.

You will notice some noise when shifting from back to side but minimal movement and there is hardly any of the "crinkling" sound. You will also notice that it is a bit "crinkly" sounding when unrolling it and blowing it up, but once inflated the noise is minimal and even more depending on your gear and setup. Under inflation will have more of a "crinkly" sound than if filled completely.

I did notice it more the second night of camping, not sure if it was the temp drop to 55° or if it's is a bit "crinkly" sounding the more deflated it is? I am sure for different circumstances this may vary. There was no need to reinflate the 2nd night.

My son Stephen heard the pad. He was 5' away in another tent. He told me on the way home, that he woke up a few times thinking a bear was scratching at the food bag. He said, "Dad I kept hearing this sound. It sounded like a bear scratching that vinyl material on the food bag". I laughed my ass off. It was actually me tossing and turning on my new Therm-a-Rest Air Pad.

I said, "was it really that loud?" he said, "No, but I could just barely hear it".

Packing was fairly easy. Opened valve rolled tight. Closed valve unrolled, opened valve, rolled tight. Closed valve and unrolled. Folded the pad in thirds. I did the triple fold and left the valve closed till I got to the end then I opened the valve at the very end rolled up tight and closed the valve. It easily slid into the stuff sack.

No bag slippage.

The pad just plain looks good too.

The old adage "You get what you pay for" is true in this case. 

Field Report 2
October 10th - 12th, 2014
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
Southampton Township, NJ 08015

Back sleeper, occasional side sleeper, toss and turn a bit.
5' 9"
207 lbs.

Trip weather
temps 60° - 39°
Mostly Rain

As mentioned above it takes 35 large breaths to fill. I did not use the supplied stuffsack to fill and I will be replacing the stuff sack with a cuben fiber stuff sack or just may fold it into the pack.

The pad is very comfortable, side sleeping is no problem at all, the mattress is very firm.

Back sleeping is also comfortable.

Backsleeper note:
My only complaint is the width.

Since the height is 2.5",  you really notice the width as my arms fall to the sides, this is usually not a problem when zipped up completely in a mummy bag as it holds in your arms.

The problem is when you are a bit warmer and leave your arms outside the bag and they relax, this is when they fall off the sides.

If I sleep zipped up it's no problem, however there is an easy fix, I roll up my jacket and placed it on the zipper side of my bag so my arm would rest on the jacket, easy fix.

No sliding on either top or bottom, placed my Aeros Pillow between the mat and sleeping bag and there was minimal slippage.

Side sleeping is not an issue, no bottoming out, weight displacement is great, even when sitting up there is no bottoming out.

There is a bit of noise when tossing and turning but not much when simply shifting your legs or arms.

The second night I added a one breath of air to fill tight.

Field Report 3
October 16th - 19th, 2014
Ricketts Glen State Park

High of 60° Low of 35°
Rain, with a tiny bit of Snow and Hail.

Three days on this pad was nice. I only inflated it the original day and it lost a little bit of air due to cold.
I have been playing around with a spongier fill and I prefer it over the harder inflation.

Toasty warm at 35° and very comfortable at 65°

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Field Review 4
Canoe Camping 30 miles
Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area
March 27th - 29th, 2015

Trip weather
Friday night high, 37° low 25°
Winds 9 MPH intermittent

Saturday 37° low 15° Rained 50% of the trip
Winds 9-25 MPH intermittent

For this trip I went with the harder fill.

As stated in earlier reviews, this pad is a tad narrow so I lay my jacket or extra clothing along side so my arms don't fall off the side, its not too bad when fully enclosed in the mummy bag. You can feel the heat radiating from the pad.

My only complaint this trip was filling the pad. I was pretty beat after the first leg of our canoe trip and setting up camp. However it was definitely worth it.


Field Review 5
(AT) Overnighter
Wind Gap, PA - Leroy A Smith Shelter (Appalachian Trail)
July 18th - 19th, 2015

Trip weather
Saturday night high, 93° low 86°
Thunderstorms, heavy Rain
Winds 3-5 MPH

I laid on top of my sleeping bag most of the night. You can definitely feel the heat radiating from the pad.

Noise was a bit more noticeable, because I had a few midnight hikers set up camp next to me. I could hear them talking about it. I had to laugh. The girl was saying, "what's that noise?" to her hiking partner. It must have spooked her.

I set up my typical sleep system, Neotherm, Aeros pillow, WM down bag.

My only complaint thus far with this pad is filling it. The stuffsack does have the ability to inflate the pad but I do not want the weight penalty.

Field Review 6
Resica Falls
East Stroudsburg, PA
July 29th - August 1st, 2015

Trip weather
Temps high, 90° low 67°
Thunderstorms, heavy Rain
Winds 3-5 MPH

I Laid on top of bag most of the night.

I set up my typical sleep system, Neoair Xtherm, Aeros pillow, WM down bag and clothing to my side.

This bag saved me this weekend. Wednesday night was hot. I had access to an electric a fan and ice, so I jury rigged a "Swamp Cooler." Well about 3 gallons of water ended up pooling on the tent floor. I woke up when my arm slid off the clothing and into the puddle.

Needless to say my clothes were soaked, YES... of course they were cotton.

The pad kept me and my bag dry.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the review and info, Richard.


12 days ago
0

The NeoAir Xtherm is a great piece of gear because…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $170-ish

Summary

The NeoAir Xtherm is a great piece of gear because it is so light and warm. After having a traditional self inflating mat this is a big improvement.

Pros

  • Warmth
  • Light
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Blowing up

Extremely light with great warmth and super thick to give lots of comfort due. Only disadvantages being that it is noisy to sleep on, doesn't worry me as I'm a heavy sleeper, and that it takes some time to blow up not being self inflatable. But I can put up with that for the benefits it has.

0

Warmer, lighter, more comfortable. I bought a regular…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new

Summary

Warmer, lighter, more comfortable.

Pros

  • lighter
  • warmer with R=5.7

Cons

  • expen$ive
  • noisy

I bought a regular size irregular for $125. It weighs less and is longer than my older Thermarest, and it is warmer and more comfortable.

It does take a long time to inflate, but as one reviewer wrote "I have to breathe anyway."