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Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus?
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Aaron Goldzimer
(goldzim) - F
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 08:44:44 MDT Print View

Dear friends,

Do we have any consensus yet on which way to go between the NeoAir and ProLite Plus? (Putting price aside.)


Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 08:58:41 MDT Print View

Yep! POE Ether Thermo 6. Starting to see a surprising number of NeoAir's show up in the gear swap on multiple forums. Surprising, considering how it was give cult status befoer it was even released.

Edited by skinewmexico on 10/09/2009 09:23:09 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 09:18:16 MDT Print View

They are different pads. I don't you find 100% agreement. Between the two I would pick the neoair... but I would like to be sure the quality control issues are completely resolved before I plop down $140.


Edited by verber on 10/09/2009 09:25:34 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
POE ether thermo on 10/09/2009 13:10:38 MDT Print View

What's the lightest of the ether thermos? I may give the Montbell UL 90 a try before going to the NeoAir.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 13:55:44 MDT Print View

I don't know what the lightest is, but REI is closing out the Eco Thermo 6 for $40.

Jeff Patrick
(callmeammo) - F

Locale: Sacramento
they sold out on 10/09/2009 15:53:01 MDT Print View

They are all gone now I think.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 15:59:01 MDT Print View

I have used both, although the Neo Air is fairly new, so less than a dozen night on it.
To me the Thermarest ratings are pretty accurate, I was still warm at 39f and so were my two mates with the same mat. So I do expect the Neo to work down to 43f but of course the Plus works below that temperature.
Above that the Neo is (to me) much more comfortable and it packs a lot smaller so no reason for me to use the Plus (it's a Prolite 4 in my case...) for fair weather. Below freesing I will provably use the Exped Downmat 7 but I am considering getting some thin Evazote.

Aaron Goldzimer
(goldzim) - F
Non-self-inflation? on 10/09/2009 16:18:38 MDT Print View

Thanks, Franco. What about the issue of its not being self-inflating? Does that not become a pain in the butt, or how does that balance out with the pros/cons?

Assume I have room for the ProLite Plus; so the extra bulkiness is not a huge issue.

Thanks a lot.


Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
NeoAir vs. Prolite Plus on 10/09/2009 16:24:25 MDT Print View

Why are you comparing theses two mats? Would it not be a more fair compilation to compare the NeoAir to the Prolite? The NeoAir is much lighter than the Prolite Plus, the Prolite Plus is much warmer than the NeoAir. Also, if you go with the Prolite Plus, I would get the Women's version which is much warmer.

Edited by Mocs123 on 10/09/2009 16:24:58 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 16:30:35 MDT Print View

Aaron, you're comparing two pretty different pads, as people have noted. That begs the question, then, what are you looking for in a pad? The NeoAir is going to be cushier, more comfy, smaller, and lighter. The P.Plus (agree w/other Brad, get the Women's for greater R-value) would be warmer.

I seem to be the lone dissenting voice on warmth of the NeoAir, but I don't find it warm enough in the high 30s/40-ish. The R-2.5 of the Neo goes against the R-4.5 of the womens So. Are you looking for lightest, cushiest, warmest, or something else?

If I were facing temps in the 40s and up I'd take a NeoAir. If I were going cooler I'd probably just grab a DownMat, but I might go for a womens trail pro or

Aaron Goldzimer
(goldzim) - F
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 16:45:16 MDT Print View

I think the NeoAir would be warm enough, and of course I'd like any extra comfort and lower weight and space.

My main concerns include

(a) having to inflate it (I don't know how much of a pain that would be - but it's nice at the end of the day just to be able to put the pad down and close it off and crash);

(b) durability (my TorsoLite seems fine - but all the old Therm-a-rests I had back in the day seemed to go flat by just looking at them!);

(c) the width issue (I'm 6'1/2", 180-195 lbs.).

So I just don't know whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa.

Thoughts? :)


Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 17:02:22 MDT Print View

Ok, so:
a) inflating... ahhh, who cares? Not sure if you've seen the thread, but also as regarding your

c) I wanted a wider pad, so got the large NeoAir. Felt the length was unnecessary, so cut it shorter and re-sealed it. Works great. Otherwise, if you're comparing a regular size NeoAir vs regular Prolite, widths are equivalent and non-issue. Nice thing about the shorter wide pad is I don't have to blow it up as much (as the full length). I've discovered that people have different tolerance levels for things, though. I'll gladly take the time to blow it up for the added comfort and reduced weight.

and backwards to (b) and durability. I have some ancient thermarests that still don't have holes in them. If you use them reasonably, you won't get holes. Don't use them next to campfires. Don't use them on sharp pointy rocks. Common sense stuff. If you're going to be around a bunch of cactus, you might want to bring a thin closed-cell pad for underneath? But I've used my NeoAir on dirt, rough-ish wood floors and in tents with no issues.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus?" on 10/09/2009 17:41:26 MDT Print View

Today's Thermarests still claim to be self-inflating, but with all the aggressive die cutting they do to the foam, they are nothing like the older versions, which inflated fully within a minute or two; you only had to put a puff or two in them to make them rock-solid.

With the new Prolite and Prolite Plus Thermarests, you still have to blow the things up - just like you did with last year's Prolite 3 and 4.

The only real difference between the same size Neoair and Prolite, as far as inflation goes, is the amount of time it takes you to blow up a pad that's one inch thick (Prolite) vs. 1.5 inches thick (Prolite Plus) vs. 2.5 inches thick (Neoair).

Edited by wandering_bob on 10/09/2009 17:42:19 MDT.

Ken Ross
(kross) - MLife
Re: Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 19:05:59 MDT Print View

I used a NeoAir for three weeks over the summer, switching from a ProLite Plus. I too was initially concerned about durability and the potential P-I-T-A of having to blow it up every night. I had no problems with durability issues and gradually gained more confidence in it. Surprisingly, inflation wasn't that big of a deal. As others have noted, you have to blow up the ProLite too and deflating and rolling the NeoAir in the morning is easier than with the ProLite. The width was adequate for me. I used it down to upper-30s and never felt cold. I haven't gotten rid of my ProLite yet (and probably won't) but generally reach for the NeoAir nowadays because it is lighter, more compact, and I find it more comfortable for my aging bones.

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
re: NeoAir on 10/09/2009 20:06:11 MDT Print View

I don't need to completely inflate the NeoAir - I'm more comfy when it doesn't resemble a trampoline. Last outing was a car camp at Mono Hot Springs, the weekend everything got snowy, windy and cold - I was surprised to find that I was warm enough to actually sleep (when not being kept awake by the roar of wind shaking the sugar pines) and in the morning the digital thermometer said lowest temp was around 25F. I think that I was not really what you would call toasty, but on the lower edge of acceptable. Did not have my foam pad with me.

I was never comfortable on the 1.5" Thermarest 'self inflatable' mattresses. Most of my time is spent in a hammock with an underquilt these days. The NeoAir is part of a long range plan to go alpine....

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
NeoAir Snowcamping Newbie on 10/09/2009 21:20:17 MDT Print View

I recently, for the first time, found myself snow camping on Mt. Hood (Oregon), not really thinking that I would run into that much snow at one of my favorite sites. 15 inches.
The weather was gorgeous, clear with temps in the 50-60 range and in the mid 30s at night. I was therefore sleeping on top of 15 inches of snow, on my Thermarest NeoAir "shorty". That's basically sleeping on ice! I use my pack under my legs. This was a first for me.
It took me a while to figure why, heavily clothed in my Western Mountaineering Summerlite, I was still chilly.
My butt was especially cold and I did have some 1/8" closed cell padding along. Not really figuring it out at 3 in the morning, I slid the doubled up pad (now 1/4" thick)under my backside. Wow! Instant warmth! I've read about this issue and really got a lesson in the practical aspect of sleeping on snow and ice.
The point is that the 2.5 inch NeoAir, having lost some of its inflation pressure, probably only had about a 1/2 inch loft under my butt. It seems to loose inflation as it chills in contact with the ground/snow. I inflate it hard long before bedtime so it can cool down and then again just before hitting the rack. Just as a point of information, I weigh 160 pounds.
I will be taking a torso length, closed-cell pad with me on the next trip out. The "experiment", I think, will lead to a more comfortable, warmer and better sleep for me.

Edited by ftm1776 on 10/09/2009 21:22:58 MDT.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 22:19:00 MDT Print View

I think the biggest issue is comfort. If the NeoAir is as comfortable (or more comfortable) to you, then I would get it. It is much lighter. However, comfort is a personal thing. I really like the NeoAir, but my wife doesn't. I switched from a closed cell foam system to the NeoAir, while she switched from the old ProLite to the newest one. For me, it is the first time in a very long time that I added weight to my pack, but I think it is worth it.

Aaron Goldzimer
(goldzim) - F
Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/09/2009 22:52:20 MDT Print View

Thanks, everyone. So there doesn't seem to be a "width" issue, then? I thought there were a couple issues there - (a) that, since the sides were less stable, the width is not really effectively 20 in; and (b) that the height means that, if you drape over, it is much more problematic than when on a 1.5" in....

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

My View on 10/10/2009 11:39:52 MDT Print View

I love the NeoAir. Compared to the Prolite (which is more fair comparison), it's more comfortable, lighter, warmer and packs way smaller. The NeoAir wins in all the important catagories, except for price. Having to inflate the NeoAir isn't an issue for me. I was previously using another 3.5" thick self inflate-able mattress, so the NeoAir seems easy compared to that. Also, you make back most of the time you spend blowing it up when you deflate it because it's much easier that trying to squeeze air out of self inflating foam.

Compared to the Prolite Plus, I would still pick the NeoAir and just add a thin closed cell pad underneath to boost the total R-value. This setup would be at least as light and more comfortable.

I don't find the width of the NeoAir to be a problem.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Any consensus yet on NeoAir vs. ProLite Plus? on 10/11/2009 13:20:07 MDT Print View

The width if the NeoAir can be an issue if you sleep on your back. Most people don't notice if their arms drop an inch to the ground at their sides such as with a Prolite, but a 2.5 inch drop is just a tad awkward IMHO. I would go with a Large NeoAir if that's a consideration (and I would shorten it and just use my pack under my legs), but comfort wise, the NeoAir wins hands down for me.