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Outdoor Retailer: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir

August 13, 2008 first published August 9, 2008

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Three decades ago Therm-a-Rest rethought the air mattress, adding foam and creating the self-inflating, insulated sleeping pad. Now they’ve rethought the concept again and come up with another novel approach to adding warmth to an air mattress.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir utilizes a reflective barrier embedded in the middle of a 2.5-inch thick air mattress. Heat from the sleeping user is reflected back upward instead of radiating to the cold ground. The NeoAir also reduces convective heat loss within the mattress by utilizing a multitude of small chambers arranged head-to-foot in two layers, instead of the 4 or 5 long tubes typically found in other air mattresses. Internal baffles of semi-permeable fabric divide the chambers (Therm-a-Rest calls this the “Triangular Core Matrix”) and inhibit air movement within the mattress. This design is also said to improve stability and comfort.

NeoAir cross-sectionTherm-a-Rest claims that the NeoAir is three times warmer than any other non-insulated air mattress, with an R-value of 2.5. It will be available in April 2009 in four sizes, ranging in price from $120 to $170.

Small: 20 x 47 in. (51 x 119 cm), 9 oz. (260 g)
Medium: 20 x 66 in. (51 x 168 cm), 13 oz. (370 g)
Regular: 20 x 72 in. (51 x 183 cm), 14 oz. (410 g)
Large: 25 x 77 in. (63 x 196 cm), 1 lb. 3 oz. (550 g)

Therm-a-Rest has also redesigned and re-named their ProLite pads for Spring 2009. The ProLite 3 will become the ProLite and the ProLite 4 will become the ProLite Plus.  The new versions of both pads will be lighter, and the ProLite Plus will be slightly warmer: angled perforations make it so that at every point on the pad there is at least some foam between you and the ground.


You can't deflect cold back down. Cold isn't a thing. It's the absence of heat. DOH! No offense intended.


Al, can't you see the little blue arrows in the illustration? Clearly, the cold is being deflected.

Little blue arrows trump your so-called "science."

Little blue arrows... "science". LMAO. And here I thought the red arrows were a symbol proving what ever you say bounces off and sticks to you?

Al, thanks for pointing out a very sloppy piece of writing (and utter lack of thinking). I've updated the original post to bring it back within the bounds of physics.

Dave, what sizes do the pads pack down to? As a hammock camper this pad slipped into a segmented pad extender may be the one pad solution if insulating & radiant system is more than hype. Being able to leave home the ocf, ccf & space blanket reducing couple ounces and a lot of volume would be nice.

The Therm-a-rest new product info says:

"The ultralight, compact air mattress packs to the size of a one liter bottle."

They pack down pretty small. They had one packed down to a little smaller than a Nalgene, but I'm not sure which size mattress that was. I'll see if I can get some specs for you...

Here are the official packed sizes for the NeoAir:

Small - 9 x 3.3 inches
Med - 9 x 4 inches
Reg - 9 x 4 inches
Large - 11 x 4.5 inches

The medium technically packs about 10% smaller than the regular, but they use the same size packaging.

I presume that without a foam core these are not going to be self inflating? Back to the days of kneeling red-faced and faint in the tent doorway?

I still want one though!

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