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Neoair robust enough to shove into pack?
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Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Neoair robust enough to shove into pack? on 05/04/2012 21:31:02 MDT Print View

I'm a "trad" backpacker trying to get up to speed in the hurly-burly world of LW backpacking. Mike Clelland says in Ultralight Backpackin' Tips that, "One of the nice things about a (heavier) inflatable sleeping pad is that it takes up very little room in the pack, unlike a (lighter but bulky) closed-cell foam pad, [...]"

As a trad backpacker I have habitually shoved everything into stuff sacks, and then shoved them into the pack. But Clelland's suggestion to just push the gear into the pack is something I'd like to try. Is the Neoair (my latest big-ticket acquisition) tough enough to be treated roughly?

Edited by JackElliott on 05/04/2012 21:33:54 MDT.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
how rough do you want to be? on 05/04/2012 21:43:58 MDT Print View

We've carried our NeoAirs in our packs for the last couple of years--about 250 miles worth of hiking. They go right in the bottom of the pack, next to our sleeping bags. Everything else goes on top. Obviously, we don't put anything sharp down there...but we don't coddle them.

So far, so good, No leaks, and a very nice sleep!

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Should be fine on 05/04/2012 22:16:27 MDT Print View

I shoved my Neoair Large (rolled up) into my bag for over 4 months straight last year on the A.T and other than an internal baffle failure - didn't have a single problem. I just shoved it in (not in a stuff sack) and away I went. Just don't shove it against your sharp pointy items like a stove or spork and you should be good to go.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
NeoAir robust enough to shove into pack? on 05/04/2012 22:45:39 MDT Print View

I feel it is an important piece of gear like a stove and should be treated as such. I have a Granite Gear stuff sack to store it in as I had read how delicate they were, before they even came out. Surprise, they are doing well. I don't sleep very good even at home, so any time I can spend asleep at night is great.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Stuff sack on 05/04/2012 23:20:23 MDT Print View

Neoair stuff sack= 0.4 oz
I'll carry 0.4 oz over the aggravation of trying to patch a leak on the trail any day.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Neoair robust enough to shove into pack? on 05/05/2012 08:22:35 MDT Print View

I have never used a stuffsack w/my NeoAir and haven't had a problem. Other than reasonable care w/what is next to it, the only precaution I take is the valve position - The part of the valve that's inside the pad looks like it could wear thru the fabric eventually if not careful.

But again, I haven't had problems nor have I heard of any issues w/this part of the pad.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
I'll give it a shot on 05/05/2012 10:33:44 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. It's interesting to see how gear and techniques have changed since my early days a la The Complete Walker.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Neoair robust enough to shove into pack? on 05/05/2012 13:08:46 MDT Print View

My pack has an internal sleeping pad pocket, and my inflatable insulated pad (KookaBay, not NeoAir) gets folded and put there. I therefore don't have this problem. During the few months I had a NeoAir (before returning it), the folding and pad pocket worked just fine.

I have a friend who rolls her sleeping bag around her pad before stuffing it into her pack. This might be the best way to protect your pad without the additional weight/expense of stuff sacks. Of course, with this setup you'd want a waterproof pack liner of some sort to keep the sleeping bag dry.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Spring Rolls on 05/05/2012 17:02:32 MDT Print View

"I have a friend who rolls her sleeping bag around her pad before stuffing it into her pack"

Me likee.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

NeoAir on 05/05/2012 22:26:55 MDT Print View

I've almost always just stored my NeoAir directly in my pack, sometime with a hair elastic to keep it rolled up and other times with nothing. I place it at the bottom with my sleeping bag and I've never had a problem thru lots of use.

I think the logic of carrying the 0.4oz stuff sack to prevent leaks is a bit weak. The sacks are normally just thin silnylon that is weaker than the pad fabric is...if there's real trauma it's just going to be cut too. I haven't done the study, but I bet virtually no leaks are caused while the pad is in the pack and the ones that are, are due to negligence (ie. packing an axe/knife right on top). Virtually all leaks I've ever seen arise from improper care when inflating or using the pad, or selecting a pokey spot to camp. Stuff sacks are a pain to use. They add weight, time and complexity. A hair elastic (or nothing) + reasonable care is a better approach.

Edited by dandydan on 05/05/2012 22:30:38 MDT.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: NeoAir on 05/06/2012 09:52:32 MDT Print View

I'm not worried about punctures, I'm worried about abrasion.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
neo on 05/06/2012 13:42:11 MDT Print View

I fold my neo into thirds (length wise) and then roll tightly and put a hair band around it, comes out to roughly the size of a can of coke, it resides near the bottom w/ my sleeping bag

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Yes. on 05/06/2012 21:06:26 MDT Print View

With in reason. If you are shoving your down sweater and shelter in there too, you should be fine. Don't put it in with exposed crampons, axe, stakes, etc. Duh! Neo Air material is pretty tough. (The valve may be the weakest link.) Personally, I fold and roll mine...I suspect it occupies less space this way.