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jimmy benson
(biggyshorty) - F
Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 11:50:34 MDT Print View

Hi all,
I do lots of 3-season bike camping and hiking, where weight is a priority but not the #1 priority. Comfort is important because I am a side sleeper, as well as packability (especially when doing bike trips). I currently have a prolite regular, which I like in terms of weight and packability, but it really sucks in terms of hip pain when sleeping on my side. Should I move to a neo air? Another company? Bonus if its under $100, even used!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 12:05:16 MDT Print View

Well, FWIW, the NeoAirs are generally as comfortable as sleeping at home. Caveat, just not quite as wide (though the wife says they are wider...wonder why?)

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 12:06:08 MDT Print View

Jimmy,

Yes, it's worth it.

I, too, sleep on my side (actually both side, back, toss 'n turn). Won't trade my NeoAir for any other pad (except other NeoAirs!). Just got an Xtherm for cold weather, but my Xlite works fine in most temps I've been in.

The weight, for comfort and warmth it provides, can't be matched by anything else I've used.

Unfortunately, I just sold my original Large or you'd be in luck! Check out Gear Swap for good deals.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 12:06:45 MDT Print View

I think the majority of people find the thicker air mattresses such as the neoair, exped, big agnes, etc. more comfortable; but not everyone. Some don't like that they can leak and some don't like to spend time and effort blowing them up.

Is it worth the price? Only you can decide that. Look for sales or used stuff on Gear Swap for lower prices.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 12:08:32 MDT Print View

For some, it's a world of difference. I got a Big Agnes AirCore insulated pad for about 65 dollars on clearance brand new. I'm not sure where I got it from, it was either backcountry or backcountrygear i believe--either way it was awhile ago.

But yes, it's quite possible to get a higher quality air type mattress for well under 100 even new. The Big Agnes one is a bit heavy, and i don't always bring it for that reason, but when i do i certainly appreciate it a lot.

jimmy benson
(biggyshorty) - F
re on 04/09/2013 12:27:17 MDT Print View

And you all feel that the manual inflation of it all hasn't been a chore after long days?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: re on 04/09/2013 12:30:26 MDT Print View

Nope. It only takes a minute or two. Its not my favorite in-camp activity, but not loathsome by any means.


However, some of those pump sacks ARE loathsome!

Edited by T.L. on 04/09/2013 12:31:29 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 12:30:38 MDT Print View

I had two and both leaked (although were replaced without issue). Great fun midway through a 7 day trip, I must tell you.

And yes - the blowing up does suck.

What shelter are you using? A thick pad can reduce the usable space of your shelter.

Very noisy pads!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Manual inflation on 04/09/2013 12:40:10 MDT Print View

I don't use manual inflation. I blow it up with my mouth.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 12:43:01 MDT Print View

I freaking love mine. I'm a side sleeper and middle-aged. It can be tough on rocky ground. I sleep like a baby on a Neo Air. And it's not only light but also compact. No problems on durability.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Manual inflation on 04/09/2013 12:44:39 MDT Print View

Ben, that IS manual inflation. :)

I feel there's a joke I'm missing.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
NeoAir on 04/09/2013 12:47:31 MDT Print View

I love mine. It is a great piece of gear, and the most comfortable pad I have used. Weight, comfort, and packed size are all top notch. They are a bit crinkly but that never bothered me a bit. When I shared a tent my companions if asked always said it didn't bother them either.

I guess I am full of hot air because inflation is only 18 full deep breaths or a few more less deep ones and is easily accomplished in 60-90 seconds. Very much no big deal.

My first original model one did develop a big bulge where my sunscreen and Deet soaked arm rested, but it didn't fail completely and was still usable for the remaining weeks of the tour. It was out of warranty, I had no receipt, and I didn't even remember where I ordered it from, but Cascade Designs still replaced it with the newer xLite model. I have heard of other pads of the older original model having the same problem, but the new models seem to not be prone to that.

jimmy benson
(biggyshorty) - F
durability and noise on 04/09/2013 12:48:58 MDT Print View

Durability and noise were my other concerns, but reading through the forums it appears like those fears are somewhat overblown.

If I were to go the Neoair route, which one would be best for the kind of situations I described above? If it helps, I am a mere 5'7".

Edited by biggyshorty on 04/09/2013 12:49:31 MDT.

matthew rangel
(MRangel) - F
It's worth it! on 04/09/2013 12:51:39 MDT Print View

If you're a side sleeper, it's totally worth the added comfort for the added cost.

"They are noisy" is a myth. Once you lie down on it, it is not noisy. When I want to set up, I fold it in half and tie a string around it. It is not noisy.

Inflating it with the "Instaflator" is best and takes less that a minute without wasting a breath. Available at Leslie's Pool supply for a buck. Toss out the stuff sack and just roll it up in the Instaflator for packing.

If you are worried about durability, get the "all season" Neo. The XTherm is by far the best overall but too expensive. I lucked out when I found one at an REI used gear sale. Repairs were super easy and it works like new!

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: It's worth it! on 04/09/2013 12:55:37 MDT Print View

""They are noisy" is a myth. Once you lie down on it, it is not noisy. When I want to set up, I fold it in half and tie a string around it. It is not noisy."

I toss a lot. The sucker (s) was (were) noisy. Or perhaps I am living a myth!!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: It's worth it! on 04/09/2013 12:59:54 MDT Print View

>Or perhaps I am living a myth!!


Or, you're a living myth! ;)



Re: noise - some mind it, some don't. Simple as that.

Edited by T.L. on 04/09/2013 13:07:46 MDT.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Manual inflation on 04/09/2013 13:01:52 MDT Print View

Travis...its a bad joke when you have to explain it. I knew what he meant (I think), but "manual" means using your hands to do it. Slow day here. Yes, I'm a nerd.

Edited by alexdrewreed on 04/09/2013 13:03:00 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Manual inflation on 04/09/2013 13:06:08 MDT Print View

I figured I was missing something. Don't write it off as a bad joke. Just consider me a bit slow today. :)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price on 04/09/2013 13:09:35 MDT Print View

I've found that people either love the NeoAir or hate it. I'm definitely in the latter category. I never could find the sweet spot between where my hip bone (when on my side) wasn't on the ground or the mattress itself wasn't blown up too hard. I toss and turn a lot at night, and every time I got anywhere near the edge of the pad, it basically "bucked me off." No more horizontal baffles for me!

For any sleeping pad, I suggest a trial of several nights on the floor at home while you can still return it--a hard floor, not a carpeted one. Yes, a lot of "established" tent sites are that hard.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/09/2013 13:12:47 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Is a thermarest "Neo-Air" actually worth the price difference? on 04/09/2013 13:38:20 MDT Print View

I guessing a Neoair doesn't work well as a pack frame. What do you folks use as a pack frame? Or does the Neoair work ok if you slightly inflate it? I've currently got a Prolite Plus that works well as both a sleeping pad and pack frame but it weighs 24 oz and I wouldn't mind being able to lose some weight and retain the comfort.

Adam