NeoAir Pad -- Too Cool??
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Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
Re: Re: NeoAir Pad -- Too Cool?? on 03/15/2010 09:03:46 MDT Print View

Not sure why there's so many negative experiences with the NeoAir. I have had the thing in the low 20F range without getting cold - and I am always, always the first one to get cold. I do usually take along a 1/4" GG evazote to put down under it, but have had one incident where I left it behind and had the same result.

I sleep with a 3 season quilt rated around 25-30F and supplement with a jacket and heavier base layer when needed.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: NeoAir Pad -- Too Cool?? on 03/15/2010 23:12:23 MDT Print View

The first time I used the Neo on the snow I definitely felt chilled by the 24F night, but that was because I took no other ground insulation. Now that I know better I pack along two GG Thinlight pads and haven't slept cold since. The trick is to put the pads on top of the Neo so that your body heat doesn't radiate into the air chambers, which will then be sucked away by the snow. Also, I wear merino wool layers and BPL insulated pants and pullover in the bag. Seems to work for me!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
NeoAir Pad -- Too Cool?? on 03/15/2010 23:30:25 MDT Print View

Question -- which side is the "reflective barrier" anyway? I laid the pad with the silver side down / yellow side up. I assume that's the correct way?

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
Re: NeoAir Pad -- Too Cool?? on 03/15/2010 23:52:20 MDT Print View

I've always used it Limon side up. (Limon is what Thermarest thinks it is, looks mostly green to me.)

And I always put the foam on the bottom, to keep the pad from poky things and from sliding around.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: NeoAir Pad -- Too Cool?? on 03/16/2010 09:38:07 MDT Print View

Hi, Ben-
The reflective barrier doesn't have a side. It is in the middle of the pad; think emergency blanket sandwiched between the yellow and silver sides. Also, there was a post a while back by Richard Nisley with detailed charts comparing a NeoAir w/different CCF pads and a bag... I think a GoLite Ultra 20? At any rate, a Neo and CCF isn't warm enough for cooler temps, IMO. Esp. something like a thinlight that adds an R-value of less than 1. Down mats are great for colder weather...

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
neo on 03/16/2010 09:48:09 MDT Print View

^ I agree for cold/"winter", but he was in temps in the low 30's that can be pretty typical "summer" temps where I'm hiking and it appears that many (but certainly not all) are comfortable at those temps w/ the NEO

unfortunately probably the only way to know for sure is being out in those temps, for Ben (and others) it clearly was a no go, for others not a problem

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: neo on 03/16/2010 10:34:48 MDT Print View

Thanks again, everyone -- always helpful to read about your experiences.

I noticed that most all of you who felt the Neo "worked" also donned on extra layer(s) of clothing. The places where I hike tend to have nighttime temps in the low to mid 30's even in summer. Thus, my preference is a set up that will keep me warm to the low 30's without needing an assist (i.e. just bag + pad + silk long johns). I treat my insulation clothing as "insurance" in case a freak storm pushes temps below freezing. In other words, I don't want to treat my insulation jacket as part of my standard sleep wear. YMMV, of course.

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
Neo on 03/16/2010 15:21:51 MDT Print View

Ben, You got the wrong MB bag, lol. I started with your bag, couldn't stay warm at 30, sent it back. Bought the #2 ULSS, waaay warmer than the 5 degrees rated, at least for me. Love the bag. But I have a BA insulated air core, and it too only works by itself to about 30, below that I need more insulation and I drag a torso cut shorty ridge rest along.

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
Re: Re: neo on 03/16/2010 15:30:29 MDT Print View

"I noticed that most all of you who felt the Neo "worked" also donned on extra layer(s) of clothing. The places where I hike tend to have nighttime temps in the low to mid 30's even in summer."

Not me. I put on a jacket last weekend when the temps dropped into the low 20s not because I was cold underneath, but because I kept rolling and the quilt gapped right at the small of my back. I don't normally have that issue but I was sleeping on a slope and I think it had me trying to make too many adjustments in my sleep. In the hammock I never have that issue at all so never resort to extra layers. (Neo Air works great in a double layer hammock, too.)

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Ground Temperature on 03/16/2010 19:07:26 MDT Print View

I've often wondered how much a factor ground temperature is. I suspect it's significant. It's certainly another variable that helps explain the wide range of opinions on the NeoAir and other pads. Soil and duff can retain a lot of heat. If you camp on a spot that was baked in sunlight all day you're going to sleep much warmer than on a spot that was in shade all day, assuming other factors are equal. The conductivity of the soil is also important. Bone dry duff isn't going to conduct heat nearly as efficiently as dense, moist soil.

G

Edited by swearingen on 03/16/2010 19:08:58 MDT.

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
Re: Ground Temperature on 03/16/2010 19:11:07 MDT Print View

In a hammock, I use the NeoAir on air and nylon. On the ground, I've camped on sand, a couple times on grass, and once on duff. No noticeable difference, low temps ranging 24-33F.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Ground Temperature on 03/16/2010 22:31:31 MDT Print View

Thanks, Lori.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Good DAM news on 03/27/2010 22:28:27 MDT Print View

I got to test-drive my KookaBay DAM last night. I was in pretty much the same conditions as a few weeks ago - about 5 feet of snow, temperatures in the low 30's and upper 20's, same SMD Wild Oasis, same clothing, same quilt. I was warm the whole time, and I was more comfortable with the extra length and width.

As for the DAM itself, it takes a little longer to inflate (I counted 5-1/2 squishes with the BA pump) than a regular air pad, and it worked even better once I got smart enough to use the little coupler that came with the DAM. I followed Bender's advice to deflate it by lying on it and opening the valve. That worked better than trying to roll the air out of it. Once most of the air was out from my weight lying on it, then it took just a few more moments to roll out the rest of the air. Definitely a great invention and a happy solution to my personal frustrations with the neoair in winter.

jeffrey bennett
(jollygreen)

Locale: Near the bottom
Dam weight on 03/28/2010 09:20:06 MDT Print View

Whats the wieght on those DAM pads.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
DAM weight on 03/28/2010 12:17:34 MDT Print View

Mine weighs 18.4 oz, and it measures 60x24x2.5, mummy style. It's double the weight of my neoair short, but I had already decided I wanted something longer, somewhere in the 13 oz range, and wishing I could find something a bit wider. This KookaBay one is all that, plus the down, so I figure I've really only increased the weight about 4-5 oz.,including the pump at a little over an ounce. Didn't somebody once say another pound or so wouldn't even be noticed? Dr. J, I think?!!!!

If you contact Bender and tell him the specs you want and ask for the price and weight, he'll tell you.