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Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions
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Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions on 01/19/2012 22:29:31 MST Print View

I got my Neoair Xlite small in the mail today from I thought I'd post up a few pics and some initial thoughts.

Weight: I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box and weighed the pad and it came out to 8.3 oz, which is pretty close to the 8 oz spec. Then I unrolled it, and the stuff sack, patch kit, and product literature fell out! I was even more pleased when I re-weighed it. Total weight for the size small: 7.2 oz!

Size: It is the same length as the old Neoair small, but feels narrower because of the tapered design. I find that with NeoAirs I have to put my Kookabay pillow on top of the pad since they are so thick, and this takes up a fair chunk of the length of such a short pad. If you don't do this, you might not notice a difference since your hips will be on a wider part of the pad.

Noise: It is definitely a bit more crinkly than my old NeoAir, but doesn't bother me at all.

Warmth: I laid down on the floor on both my old NeoAir and new XLite a few times and couldn't really tell much difference. This is a pretty bad test though and I doubt I could tell the difference between 2.5 and 3.2 R value with such a simple test.

Fabric: The fabric on the old NeoAir is totally opaque. In contrast, the new Xlite fabric is partially see-thru. You can easily see the internal baffles and reflective layer inside the pad.

Valve: The valve has been relocated to the edge of the pad on the seam between the top and bottom panels with a tapered plug.

Some pics:


Overall I am pretty pleased. It is both 20% lighter and 20% warmer than the original. I am torn whether I should offset some of the weight savings by exchanging it for a regular size, since the small is pretty minimal with the tapered design and my pillow.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Xlite on 01/19/2012 22:35:23 MST Print View

Cute pad

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
uh on 01/19/2012 23:27:06 MST Print View

Cute, Dan..

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Xlite on 01/20/2012 08:32:24 MST Print View

Hi Andrew,

About how quickly does the XLite deflate when packing it up? Would you guess it takes about the same amount of time as the old NeoAir?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Xlite on 01/20/2012 11:18:49 MST Print View


It's slightly faster to inflate/deflate than the NeoAir due to the reduced volume of the tapered shape. The valve is the same size as the old one. The small definitely blows up fast.


Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions on 01/20/2012 11:20:56 MST Print View

A NeoAir that comes with a stuff sack and patch kit? Unpossible!

Thanks for the info--sounds quite promising.



Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
durability on 01/20/2012 11:38:25 MST Print View

What are your thoughts on how the durability of the pad will compare to the original?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Durability on 01/20/2012 12:40:51 MST Print View

It's hard to say from my very limited use, but the fabric feels very similar to the old NeoAir. With a little bit of care I have had zero punctures/leaks with the old one, and don't expect any with this version either.

I ordered a regular size from Backcountry, I'll post pics of that one too when it shows up. It looks like it will be a lot wider at the hips than the short size, since the taper doesn't start until the hips.

Stephan Doyle
Re: Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions on 01/20/2012 12:43:31 MST Print View

That's a lot of taper on the short size. Then again, 7.2oz…

I might just need to accidentally puncture my original. Just, ya know, so I have an excuse…

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
Neo X on 01/20/2012 16:52:20 MST Print View

Thanks for the review. I will be geting one this year.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Neo Air XLite First Impressions on 01/20/2012 17:02:40 MST Print View

On my list for sure as soon as REI gets them in stock.
Thanks for the INFO..

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Free shipping on 01/20/2012 17:03:27 MST Print View

My wife wanted a Patagonia shirt that was on Backcountry. But it lacked just $2 for free shipping. I just needed one more little something to tip it over. Hmmmmmm....

So I got a reg length XLite!

I am so bad!

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: free shipping on 01/20/2012 19:23:54 MST Print View

Nice work Stephen! I think most of us have been guilty of that before. Let us know what you think when you get it. (I mean the XLite, not "get it" from your wife for ordering the pad.)

William Brown
(MatthewBrown) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge Mtns
Re: Re: free shipping on 01/21/2012 04:34:59 MST Print View

Stephen. The exact same excuse,(Ahem) I mean logic, I use when buying from online retailers. Shoot, you proabably saved at the minimum $7.50 on shipping. Good call. ;)

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
What's a repair kit for? on 01/21/2012 12:24:51 MST Print View

My original small NeoAir had a pin hole that even in my bathtub was hard to pin point the exact spot. I returned it and Cascade Designs sent me a new one. How are you gonna fix a hole in the field? It would have to be pretty visible, can you imagine trying to hold down a partially inflated pad in a lake or creek?


Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: pinhole on 01/21/2012 14:44:44 MST Print View

You are right Duane, the hole would have to be visible to the naked eye... I doubt you could submerge the pad in a lake and find it. Also, the Neoair has no foam inside like most other sleeping pads so if it leaks and you can't find it you are SOL. This is why I also carry a Suluk46 24"x74"x1/8" foam pad. It protects the neoair from pointy stuff on the ground, adds about R0.3 warmth, provides pack frame support and if the Neoair does leak I can sleep on it only and be OK for a night or two.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

XLite on 01/21/2012 15:45:28 MST Print View

"How are you gonna fix a hole in the field? It would have to be pretty visible, can you imagine trying to hold down a partially inflated pad in a lake or creek?"

Rub a little soap - ie. Campsuds - on the suspected area and you'll be able to see the bubbles. Even if you have to do the whole pad, it's not that bad.

"the Neoair has no foam inside like most other sleeping pads so if it leaks and you can't find it you are SOL"

The NeoAir still provides some insulation value if it's totally flat. The regular NeoAir is about R 1.0 when it's flat and the NeoAir Xtherm is about R2.5 when flat.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: empty r value on 01/21/2012 16:44:47 MST Print View

Dan, do you know how they increased the insulation value of the Xlite vs the Neoair? I had assumed they added extra baffles, but the baffles look the same to me. From your comment it sounds like you think they increased the efficiency of the reflective barrier? I am surprised that radiative losses are high enough to provide R2.5 equivalent insulation.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Pads on 01/21/2012 17:00:44 MST Print View

That's the Xtherm that is R 2.5 when it's flat. The Xlite is probably a tiny bit better than the regular maybe R1.1 or R1.2 when flat.

I'm not sure what changes they made. I think the Xlite still has one reflective layer like the original NeoAir, while the Xtherm has 3. Perhaps they made the baffles a bit smaller on either side of the reflective layer.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions on 02/06/2012 22:19:52 MST Print View

did you exchange small for a regular? I just got my small and am returning, even pushing my head to the pillow to pull my torso further up, its too narrow by at least an inch at the hips.

I might go regular to get the width back at the hips.