NeoAir Xtherm vs. BA IAC...
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Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
NeoAir Xtherm vs. BA IAC... on 12/08/2012 07:49:50 MST Print View

Hey guys...Can anyone who has owned/used both compare/contrast/review the NeoAir Xtherm vs the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core?

Is the NeoAir worth twice the price (current available prices)??

TIA
-Mark in St. Louis

ps...I currently use an older Thermarest TrailPro Plus (I think that's the model...2#12oz!...but rather warm/comfortable)

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
worth it on 12/08/2012 07:57:59 MST Print View

it's hard to tell someone if it's worth it for them, but the xtherm does offer a few advantages (price not being one of them)

the r rating of 5.7 is more winter worthy than the 4.1 of the BA and ~ 40% lighter to boot, so you have to "weigh" :) the advantages to see if it's worth the extra coin

I'm purchasing a xtherm this winter as I've had great luck w/ my neoair (and my wife's neoair) and need a winter-ish r rated pad

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
NeoAair Xtherm vs. BA IAC on 12/08/2012 08:07:38 MST Print View

I have the small, original NeoAir, for some reason, the way the tubes run, makes it more comfortable than my older, regular LE. If nothing else, get it for the comfort level. I was letting some air out when I went to bed because of my shoulders, but now I leave it fully inflated. Like the rest of our gear, it doesn't work for everyone. Cascade Designs had some defective NeoAirs like the other companies pads. They do have great Customer Service as I have been on the receiving end a few times. I'm wanting a Xtherm later for winter snow camping, maybe when REI has a sale this Spring, missed out on the EB sale.
Duane

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: NeoAair Xtherm vs. BA IAC on 12/08/2012 08:19:18 MST Print View

The only negative the Xtherm has for me is the tapered design. I prefer the rectangle shape of the older NeoAirs and the BAIAC. Not a deal breaker though. Other than that, the Xtherm is the bees knees. The BAIAC is a great pad though. I used one for 3-4 years, it's just too heavy compared to what is available now days.

Ryan

Todd Ler
(Toddler) - F

Locale: PNW
Xtherm on sale on 12/08/2012 08:55:36 MST Print View

20% off at campsaver

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Pad Size? on 12/08/2012 09:13:59 MST Print View

I know I should just suck it up and spend the money once. Always had good luck with my Thermarests...

I'm a side sleeper...other than the gram counting...do people prefer the L over the Reg?

I've got a L lined up for $130.

TA
-Mark

Thomas Getty
(tomgetty)

Locale: South Bay
BAIAC on 12/08/2012 09:43:30 MST Print View

I've had the BAIAC for a year now and I think it's good value for the price. I've had it out over a dozen nights in temps from mid 50s to low 20s. In the lower 20s I felt cold- paired with a BA 15 degree down bag. While the pad is rated down to 15 degrees I'd say it's more like 20-25. I'm also a side sleeper and think it's comfortable. No issues there. If I had one wish for this pad it would be an R value at 5+ and 8oz less weight.

I'm 5'11" and first purchased the long version of the BAIAC. Mistake. The regular pad is more than enough for me. The weight on my BAIAC is right at 28.7oz with the stuff sack and repair kit. The material feels thick enough to hold up well, which I can't exactly say about the NeoAirs that I've played around with. Early reviews (3+ years ago) of the BAIAC showed common defects of leaks. I have not had this issue.

Overall, the deals on the BAIAC are pretty good (<$60) for what you get. The BA QCore pad also gets good reviews which I'm tempted to purchase, or perhaps wait for the new QCore super light series this 2013 spring:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=66931

Loren Baginski
(Bags4266) - F
Add a pad! on 12/08/2012 09:59:36 MST Print View

Just another thought, use your 3 season pad along with a Gossamer 1/8 or 1/4 inch foam pad on top. Cheaper, just a little more bulky.

Edited by Bags4266 on 12/08/2012 10:00:35 MST.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
My pad... on 12/08/2012 10:31:34 MST Print View

^^^I'm trying to lose weight with a new pad...my current pad is super comfortable but 1#6oz more than a L NeoAir Xtherm!

-Mark

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: NeoAir Xtherm vs. BA IAC... on 12/08/2012 10:33:23 MST Print View

In my opinion (and many others) the BAIAC is COLD to sleep on. Period.
Bender cut one open to show his insulation vs the IACs and it was sad to see how little PL was in there. Ive been cold in mine numerous times. IMO its colder than my original Neo for sure.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: NeoAir Xtherm vs. BA IAC... on 12/08/2012 10:41:06 MST Print View

For what it's worth, the coldest temp my old BAIAC saw was 18 degrees. It was warm in conjunction with a WM Ultralite 20. Weird.

Ryan

Thomas Getty
(tomgetty)

Locale: South Bay
WM Bag on 12/08/2012 11:42:47 MST Print View

^^Ryan- your 20deg WM bag has insulation all the way around, right? My BA down bag relies totally on the pad for insualtion with the bottom sleeve.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: WM Bag on 12/08/2012 12:03:46 MST Print View

True, but me laying on top of that down insulation renders it completely useless. I suspect it's one of these "Your mileage may vary" kind of things. I was warm, but if you'd been there you might have been an ice cube.

Ryan

Thomas Getty
(tomgetty)

Locale: South Bay
^ on 12/08/2012 13:27:12 MST Print View

^How much do you inflate your pad?

I like a firm support so mine is usually about 90%+ and I've been cold in the 20s. Some have mentioned letting more air out to make it warmer.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
NeoAir Xtherm vs. BA IAC on 12/08/2012 14:09:31 MST Print View

NeoAir Xtherm

I have had three of the BA IAC pads over the years, and took one down to 17 F for two nights in the Sierra. I felt the cold through it.

I have the Xtherm (as does my son) and have had it to -8 F with a sleeping bag and to 0 with a quilt. I just used it last night with a quilt at a low of 9 F. I use the large size as the regular is too small to stay on when using the quilt. (Which is why my son has one now;-)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: NeoAir Xtherm vs. BA IAC on 12/08/2012 16:22:16 MST Print View

Ray,
I just got the XTherm, thanks to the great Eddie Bauer sale. Anyways, since you didn't say anything about it, I assume that the Xtherm was warm enough when you had it down to those temps? What clothes did you wear?

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Bummer... on 12/08/2012 16:41:47 MST Print View

Well, I waited too long and missed out on Altrec's sale price on the Xtherms...sigh...have to keep my eyes/ears open for the next sale I guess. Man, I wish I had grabbed one during the EB sale!

-Mark

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
All Season? on 12/08/2012 18:14:41 MST Print View

Has anyone used the NeoAir All Season? Weighs about 4oz more than the Xtherm...???

TIA
-Mark

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: BAIAC on 12/08/2012 19:33:10 MST Print View

Thomas:

devils advocate here... You dont feel that for 28 ounces your baiac should at least keep you as warm as your bag rating? You said you used a 15* bag as were cold at ~20*. For 28oz worth of pad you should at least be able to take your bag to what it was rated for. OK so maybe extreme cold its different but 15* aint that cold.

"I had one wish for this pad it would be an R value at 5+ and 8oz less weight."

-like, say, the xtherm? Basically you just said your pad is not warm enough and too heavy.



Also, letting air OUT of your pad will make it colder, not warmer.

think: thin down vs. puffy down.



Also, also, NEOs are thin, but not weak. There has not been the puncture troubles many thought would come up. Sure, they do puncture... so do car tires. but there isnt a problem with that happening under normal use.

...Not trying to be an ass.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Answers on 12/08/2012 21:07:44 MST Print View

Hey Travis,

Yes it has been very warm. In fact this morning when I opened the valve to let the air out with my body weight helping I was surprised at how fast I was getting cold once I touched the ground. It is pretty amazing and I look forward to seeing how low I can push it.

I always wear a long mid-weight baselayer at those temps, but no jacket or down sweater yet. Here is a thread that shows some pics of the pads and what my son and I used. Yesterday was the same quilt and baselayers for me. (Helley Hansen Warm series)

http://tinyurl.com/atyuf8x

I plan on using it with one quilt, two nested quilts, a 0 F bag, and the same bag nested with a quilt depending on how the winter goes. At some point I expect to have to go to my R-10 down pad.

Yes I have a lot of use with an All Season too. Read about it here:

http://tinyurl.com/akr8fev

It is more comfortable as far as lying on it and is almost as warm but it does weigh more.