The Thermarest Neo Air has been one of the most talked about products recently, but what makes it so special and why all the hype? The main features the NeoAir are the reflective aluminised barrier which reflects body heat and reduces heat loss along with the Triangular Core Matrix technology which is a welded-nylon grid of chambers that increases the number of individual air cells. This minimizes air movement within the pad and the resulting convective cooling.
The other main selling point of this mat is it’s size, when deflated the NeoAir takes up the same amount of room as a 1 litre water bottle. The NeoAir has an R-value of 2.5, which is slightly warmer than the ProLite which has an R-value of 2.2, but not quite as warm as the BaseCamp which has an R-Value of 6.2 . This means the mattress should be warm enough for 3 seasons but not quite up to preforming in very cold conditions. (The R Value is a measure of thermal resistance, so the higher the value the warmer you’ll be at night)
The other thing that struck me about Therm-a-Rest NeoAir was the fact unlike most thermarests, it is not self inflating. The good thing is it doesn’t take much effort to inflate and only takes a few minutes. The mattress is easy to deflate by opening the valve and putting weight on it, which forces most of the air out. Then you fold into thirds length ways and start to roll it up, pressing out any excess air as you go.
The material used in this neo air feels very thin but also quite strong and thus shouldn’t have any problem coping with use over the years. My main criticism of the material is that it makes a crinkly noise which could become very annoying especially if you’re a light sleeper. It also has a slightly sticky feel to it which combined with the horizontal baffles prevent you from slipping off in the middle of the night.
Overall the the Thermarest Neo Air is a great, lightweight, small warm and comfortable mattress.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pros
- Very Light
- Extremely Compact
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Cons
- Noise made by material
- Not Self inflating
- More expensive than other Matresses
Here’s a table with all the figures, so you can easily compare the size and weight of the various models.
|Weight||1 lbs 3 oz/550 g||14 oz/410 g||13 oz/370 g||9 oz/260 g|
|Rolled Size||11 x 4.5 in/28 x 11 cm||9 x 4.0 in/23 x 10 cm||9 x 4.0 in/23 x 10 cm||9 x 3.3 in/23 x 9 cm|
|Thickness||2.5 in/6.3 cm||2.5 in/6.3 cm||2.5 in/6.3 cm||2.5 in/6.3 cm|