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

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: small vs reg on 02/07/2012 00:19:08 MST Print View

I got a regular, haven't sent the small back yet, I am trying to decide which one to keep. The regular is 12.7 oz. It is significantly wider at the hips... the taper begins below there, as opposed to the small where it starts tapering at the shoulders. 5.5 oz is a big savings if I keep the small, but oh man is the regular luxuriously comfortable.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Re: small vs reg on 02/07/2012 00:31:22 MST Print View

Thanks. Photos?

Ideally high-up central on the Xlite laid flat, seeing as you have both can you put the small ontop of the regular and get camera as high as possible and central? Measurements with a ruler too?

My Xlite small is now in the UPS drop-box, just too minimalist for my 'ole bones.

Edited by nigelhealy on 02/07/2012 00:42:58 MST.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
I bought Neoair small on 02/07/2012 01:30:39 MST Print View

I searched for the Xlite size/weights, much (all???) of the Xlite's weight savings is down to taper. That taper on the regular and the large is probably not as significantly impacting comfort than it is on the small, a little bit of taper like on the Prolite when around the foot end isn't that major a loss.

Returning my $104 Xlite small and bought a Neoair Small $65. $39 in my pocket but R reduced.

I am wondering though, the Women's Xlite looks the superior product, its got the same MSRP of $159, but claims same weight and claims improved R , if its not so tapered at the hips, to befit a female shape, it might be the best Xlite there is?

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: I bought Neoair small on 02/07/2012 12:08:05 MST Print View

The women's version is a bit shorter. Choices, choices...

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
FWIW on 02/10/2012 12:07:32 MST Print View

I've now returned two X-Lites for being leaky. The first deflated nearly completely in three hours. The second one was better, but was deflated after 48 hrs - a slow leak. My concern with the slow leak was that it would turn into a fast leak with use.

Be sure to give any X-Lites you purchase a thorough testing before taking them on a trip!

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
hmmm, well I currently still only own a Prolite 4 on 02/10/2012 23:05:08 MST Print View

My trusty Prolite 4 is the only mat I currently own.

All Seasons, it packed too big but otherwise fine, sold it (for what I paid for it)
Xlite Small, it tapers too aggressiely, sent back for full refund
Neoair Small, ordered it in 50% sale looks like the seller was lying about stock, probably don't have it, so I'm not paying for it (if they debit my CC).

So there are smatterings of more comparative reviews online, here's showing the taper of Xlite Women's vs Xlite Regular vs Xtherm Regular Women's vs Xlite Regular vs XTherm Regular

Now I actually want basically the Xlite Regular, just the lower inches cut off, no tapering higher up. That looks to me like the Xlite Women's ? Its also warmer and a weight between the Xlite Small and the Xlite Regular.

As to Xlite's leakiness, well I think manufacturing issues will be more frequent initially, just lean on a decent supplier and rely on your previous mat til you find one which doesn't leak?

... I'm still leaning on my Prolite 4, not even the Prolite Plus....

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions on 02/10/2012 23:15:17 MST Print View


What did you think of the NeoAir All Season, in terms of comfort? The Medium lists at 18 oz, but that 4.9 R-value looks pretty nice.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Neoair All Seasons comfort on 02/11/2012 00:22:01 MST Print View

I rated the Neoair All Seasons perfect on *sleeping* comfort, could not fault it, very comfortable, not slippy, although it did take a few nights to find the "just right" inflation between too-hard sleeping, yet if I made it "just right" sleeping I'd then hit ground with my bum when I sat up for breakfast cooking. In the end I would alter the inflation between the 3 modes (sleeping, sitting up and using with a chair). I later bought a Thermarest Lite Seat to replace the foam folding mat I'd used for years to help with the sitting part, place under the mat where I was sitting, rather than reinflate the mat.

The All Seasons reflection of the body heat back to oneself is real. That has given me confidence in the general principals Thermarest are using with baffles and reflective material.

I didn't find it crinkly noisy particularly, and it is less noisy than the Xlite I just tried for 5mins and returned.

Why I sold it was it packed large, and I got a buyer who offered what I paid for it and I had the Xtherm around the corner and didn't need backpacking warmth for a while.

Also for me, from a total-camping-experience perspective, I owned the Trekker Chair, and loved it with the Prolite and tried it with the All Seasons and that didn't work out at all well, the All Seasons valve in the chair was poking my shoulder. The All Seasons and the Trekker Chair also don't get along in my tent with a low roof, the doubled-up All Seasons underneath meant I was a couple of inches higher inside my tent and the rocking to the side of such a thick base was trickier to get comfortable.

In the colder conditions you have the All Seasons, having a chair is part of hours in the tent, for me at least. I had in my mind's eye extending a generally good working system into colder conditions.

I didn't sell the All Seasons for any reason related to comfort sleeping on.

If it were simply a smaller packed size, I'd have kept it for sure.

Having now seen what Thermarest is doing in making the 15% lighter, by basically taking an aggressive taper, I'm more inclined to say the All Seasons has resumed interest.

I'm really not sure what I want to buy next, I'm just jaded with Thermarest, their innovations this last year seem to be coming with too many compromises, like "too easy" innovations, an aggressive taper is a dumb idea to save weight. I am thinking of a short Prolite (square) and a short Neoair (square, in a sale) and just use them in combination, that covering me for situations like if camping and the Neoair leaks I still got the Prolite, but I'm far from sure. If I get the Neoair Small I ordered then it will adjust my plans vs if its not delivered.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions on 02/11/2012 01:11:53 MST Print View

@Dan - I have to differ with you on this: "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."

I am curious, where did you get that info/conclusion from? Reflective barriers, as I recall, require an "air gap" in order to have proper effect.

Lay on 3 space blankets, then lay on 3 translucent sheets of plain mylar and you will notice little difference (except in areas where there may be sufficient gap of dead air space in order to allow for some reduction in radiant heat loss).

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
noise on 02/12/2012 10:49:20 MST Print View

I had the chance to handle a xlite briefly yesterday at LL Bean. I also owned a regular neoair for a long period of time.

Based on what I could see, the fabrics between old and new feel very similar, but the newer xlite is very very transparent, allowing me to see all the reflective baffling. I'm not sure how this speaks to durability, but it's definitely a different material. There was a lot of reflective baffling, an observation I could make through both visual and auditory means. Which brings me to my next point...the thing that really stuck out to me was the noise level. I never had any complaints of crinkling or noise with my old style rectangle neoair, but the new xlite crinkled like crazy. I could hear all the different stiffer reflective layers inside, with their dorito chip bag like properties. However, the xlite I handled was partially deflated, which might speak to another problem (like Stephen Barber's situation). I'm thinking that when the xlite is fully inflated, it will crinkle less. No I didn't want to inflate a public mattress at a LLBean with my own mouth :) But the crinkle reminded me of house-wrap tyvek, but to a smaller degree. If it normally crinkles as loud as it did when partially inflated, I can seriously see this disturbing people's/partner's sleep.

Now the interesting thing about the partial deflating...
All the mattresses at the LLBean (about 15 total, from all sorts of makes/models) were fully inflated, except for the xlite. The only conclusion I could draw was that the xlite had a leak, and that its's deflated status wasn't intentional, given how the store presented all its other mattresses.

I'm kind of disappointed in the whole experience, and will hold off for a while for thermarest to sort out any potential problems. If im not mistaken, I think thermarest changed the neoair's fabric at least once, and addressed many of the exploding baffle issues in the earlier models. Wouldn't surprise me if the xlite improved over the next coming months.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 02/12/2012 10:55:15 MST.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Tested mine out on a great overnighter on 02/12/2012 13:28:46 MST Print View

I am happy to report that my new Xlite regular had an excellent first run out. Temp was about -3 overnight, and I was warm and comfy. The noise did not bother me or the 3 other people in the shelter I slept in, and hardly any slipping either. No leaks, and I inflated it firm. No bivy, just ground cover.

This is the best sleeping pad I have ever used, and I currently own a POE Peak Oyl Lite, Big Agnes IAC, and generic foam pad. Plus in the past I have owned a few generic self inflating pads in my traditional days.

I should also add that I move in my sleep, often will start sleeping on my back and then wake up on my side.

@Konrad: I am a skeptic myself, and agree with you to an extent. But you are leaving an important point out of your analysis of Therarest improving the old Neoairs. It is entirely possible that they learned from their mistakes. Only time will tell if/when they make improvments to the Xlite, of course. But then again, it is also entirely possible that the old Neoair improvements were done on purpose to sell more pads (New! Improved! Capitalism! Hooray!), and that they will do the same with the Xlite and Xtherm. It would not surprise me in the least if in a few months they come out with the XXlite, which is 15% lighter than the Xlite, and has an R value of 4.5 plus comes in camo colors. Regardless, I am so happy with my Xlite that I doubt that I am not going to be buying another mat until either it breaks or I put at least 100 nights on it.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Tested mine out on a great overnighter on 02/12/2012 19:13:51 MST Print View

Cesar, glad you had a good outing with the Xlite Regular.

What would you do *IF* your Xlite had a leak? What was your backup?

I'm thinking these Xlite must be complimented by something else, either a thin CCF in warmer weather or another warmer mat in colder weather. That is actually my interest for coldest conditions, not putting all one's eggs in an Xtherm basket but an Xlite plus something else which you vary through the year. That will reduce chance of damage to the Xlite and hopefully be the least $$$ overall through the seasons. Unfortunately this safety idea comes with a weight penalty. For example my Prolite 4 apparently weighs 24oz, adding an Xlite small 8oz takes it to 32oz total vs an Xtherm 15oz. So I'm not quite sure still.

The Xtherm being made of tougher stuff, I think will be less likely to puncture and less need for something adding to protect it but even so..... what would you do if an Xtherm failed??? If you were bringing it specifically because it is cold you could get in serious trouble.

I'm still thinking the same basic idea, I ordered but likely won't get, a Neoair Small.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Tested mine out on a great overnighter on 02/13/2012 00:30:42 MST Print View

Your hypothetical is answered in much the same way most gear failure hypotheticals are answered: I'd improvise.

For one, a deflated Xlite has some R value to it, I think I saw someone on here say it is R 1 flat. So there is that. Next, I would gotten up, put my boots on, gone outside and collected natural material to make a nest with under my flat mat. Moss, leaves, reeds, grass, pine boughs, etc. Next, I would lay down another ground cover on top of the nest. I happened to have an extra garbage bag with me I could have used, plus I also had my sit-pad, which is a piece of foam mat that also doubles as the back support in my pack. So the foam pad would be like a mini-torso pad.

Then I would get home, find my receipt, and contact Thermarest and demand a replacement Xlite.

I am assuming in the above that there is a mystery leak, not a puncture. If it was a puncture, I would just fix it, as I always take a repair kit with me. If I caused the puncture, well then I ought to be more careful. If one of my friends camping with me caused the puncture, well they just bought themselves a damaged Xlite, and they owe me a new Xlite.

If I were going on a thru-hike, I'd still take my Xlite. If there was a problem, I'd either fix it, or hike to civilization and buy a foam mat (maybe buy two if it was cooler out). All sporting goods stores here have foam mats, even when camping is not in season.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
REI Dividend time on 03/24/2012 22:29:55 MDT Print View

I just took advantage of the REI 20% sale and yearly dividend. Last year I completely outfitted my daughter for snow boarding (all from REI) so this year I got a "free" Neo-Air XLite plus some other stuff. I opted for the regular size. So far I have tried it in my living room and it seems large enough. With the stuff sack it weighs 13oz. I will leave it inflated tonight to see if it holds up.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: REI Dividend time on 03/24/2012 22:41:07 MDT Print View

yeah I was in my local REI yesterday and touched an Xlite regular. A decent size. I'm waiting to see a bit more side-by-side as the new range comes out, the women's Xlite for example, a bit shorter and a bit warmer, and interested in the taper shape.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
How much should it weigh? on 09/05/2012 15:42:52 MDT Print View

Listed weigh is 320g/11 which is weird anyway, as 11 oz is 312g, not 320.

So,is it supposed to be 312g or 320?

[edited because I said my Xlite wms was too heavy, it turns out it's a regular in a wms box]

Edited by Tjaard on 09/06/2012 09:02:02 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Weight on my wms one is high on 09/05/2012 15:52:23 MDT Print View

> My new Xlite wms is heavier than listed. 338g/11.8oz. Listed weigh is 320g/11 which is weird anyway, as 11 oz is 312g, not 320.

> So,is it supposed to be 312g or 320? Debating whether I should send it back to REI for an exchange, and hope I get one that is 5% lighter than list weight?

What if you assume the gram reading is the accurate one? 320 grams is 11.3 oz, which rounds to 11 oz. I often wonder whether, since grams is the finer measurement, we should not believe the number of grams is more accurate that the weight in ounces.

Gary Yee

Locale: NW Montana
Womens Xlite measurements on 09/13/2012 09:56:07 MDT Print View

Could you please verify the length and width measurements for the womens xlite. I'm 5',7" and am trying to decide between the regular and the womens.

Alasdair Fowler
(MessiahKhan) - F

Locale: Newcastle, UK
"Thermarest NeoAir XLite First Impressions" on 02/15/2013 06:16:24 MST Print View

I haven't used it out in the field yet, but I have recently bought the Women's version of the X-Lite. I'm 6'1" & about 175lbs. From just testing it on the kitchen floor, I can say it feels very comfortable and is plenty long enough for me. I can fit my feet and head on if I sleep with my legs slightly bent (I'm a side sleeper) or I can stretch my legs out if I have my head off the end, which I would normally do as I would have a stuff sack up top as a pillow.

The width is also fine, although I don't think I would want it any narrower, so I probably did right in not getting the small. The main reason I went for the women's is that I sleep very cold, so wanted the extra R value.

Have to say though it feels like luxury after using the Z-Lite on the PCT last year, up until Mount Shasta, where I also added a Klymit Inertia x Lite to help my weary hip and shoulders. I quite like the Klymit Inertia x Lite, but it doesn't add much heat if you are using the sleeping bag as a quilt like I did. I'm hoping this NeoAir XLite is going to work better with a quilt when I try it out in a couple of weeks up in Northumberland. :)