Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All-Season Sleeping Pad Review
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Therm-a-Rest has been on the forefront of the sleeping pad category for many years and had a real breakthrough a few years back with the introduction of the NeoAir Xlite. They have expanded the NeoAir line and added the NeoAir All-Season as an alternative for those who don’t mind a little more weight and size for a larger mattress. NeoAir sleeping pads compress to a very small size (about the size of a Nalgene) but inflate to relatively thick mattresses. I have always been a closed-cell foam sleeping pad guy so I was excited to try something different. The NeoAir All-Season offers additional warmth when compared to the Xlite and Trekker with added insulating properties.
The NeoAir All-Season is a full coverage (20″ x 72″ in the Regular size) rectangular pad that packs down to a very compact 4.75″ x 8″. This is quite an impressive feat and a substantial space savings when compared to most traditional closed-cell foam or inflatable pads that generally have to be strapped to the outside of a pack. The pad also comes in at a very light-weight (given the inflated size) 19 ounces. I tested the Long version which brings the specs up a bit but offers greater comfort for my 6’1″ body. The long version gets an additional 5 inches of width and height and 6 ounces of added weight. A stuff sack is included with the NeoAir that gets the job done but I would ditch it for a compressible one so you can bring it down to the smallest stored size.
70-denier nylon runs along the bottom of the pad and provides a reasonably durable surface. While I don’t necessarily recommend it, I through the NeoAir All-Season down on sand stone in Utah to take a nap and didn’t notice any significant scuffing. As always with inflatable pads, it’s highly recommended to bring a patch kit in case a puncture does occur. When fully inflated the pad offers 2.5 inches of thickness and this is quite nice for someone like me who is used to the rather hard .625 inches of my Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest. When lying on my back, I was nicely supported by the entire pad and felt comfortable. I even was comfortable on my side. The major downside of an air mattress pad is that if you sit on a part of it without distributing your weight, you will usually bottom out the pad and hit the ground below. If you can blow it up really full, this might not be as much of an issue. Speaking of which, the L size of the NeoAir All-Season took me about 25 breaths to fill up; I’d estimate 18-22 for the Regular size. Honestly, this is why I have avoided inflatable pads in the past and I really don’t like the idea of sitting around blowing up a pad after a long day on the trail. This is definitely one of those trade-offs you have to consider personally. Therm-a-Rest does make a combo stuff-sack/inflation pump for the NeoAir that I haven’t had a chance to use but am very intrigued by. A very important function of any sleeping pad is to provide insulation from the ground to keep you warm and the NeoAir All-Season excels here. There is a baffle system that creates 100s of internal cells that trap warm air and form a barrier from the cold ground. A reflective barrier on the inside also reflects warmth back to your body. On the coldish Spring nights in Moab, I found I was perfectly insulated from the cold, rocky earth below me.
Overall, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All-Season is an excellent option to consider if you are looking to save space while increasing sleeping comfort and I definitely recommend it. At $149.95 for the Regular size, the NeoAir is not a bargain but is a decent value when you consider what you are getting out of it. I suggest checking out the different size options and comparing it to the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite and NeoAir Trekker to determine which works best for you. For more info on the NeoAir All-Season Sleeping Pad and other Therm-a-Rest products, visit www.thermarest.com.