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Gear Review: Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad

09.10.18

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Gear Review: Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad

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Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Specs

  • R-Value: 3.2
  • Weight: 8 oz (small), 12 oz (regular), 16 oz (large)
  • Width: 20 inches (small/regular), 25 inches (large)
  • Length: 47 inches (small), 72 inches (regular), 77 inches (large)
  • Thickness: 2.5 inches
  • Packed size: 9 x 3.3 inches (small), 9 x 4 inches (regular), 11 x 4.5 inches (large)
  • Fabric: 30D rip HT nylon

Where to get it

The Bottom Line: The Thermarest NeoAir Xlite is an excellent sleeping pad at an extremely low weight. Though it's more expensive than many other pads, its high comfort, small size, and weight make it practically a necessity for ultralight backpackers and campers.

The NeoAir Xlite packs very small. Photo by Ethan Rambacher.

The NeoAir Xlite is not cheap. Coming in at between $130 and $200, it may be beyond the budget of some casual campers. However, investing in good gear often pays off in the end, and this is definitely fantastic gear. The pad is extremely comfortable and quite thick considering its small packed size; it is about an inch and a half thick when inflated. With an R-value of 3.2, it is also quite warm. (If warmth is an important factor for you, take a look at the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm, which is aimed more at cold-weather users.)

The pad comes in several sizes, from the largest pad for tall hikers to the extra small for ultralights and children. I am about 6 feet tall, and I use an extra small (20 x 47 inches) to save weight. The XS is only 8 ounces, yet is long enough for me to rest my hips and shoulders comfortably. If that sounds uncomfortable to you or if you sleep in much colder places, the XS is not for you. But if you want to save weight, consider going to the half length pad.

The pad inflates with a small nozzle near the head end, which screws in to seal. It takes no more than a minute to inflate the XS. After a night of camping the pad will deflate very slightly, but not enough to disrupt your sleep. You probably won't even notice.

The pad comes with a small stuff sack - and this one is actually big enough for the pad! The pad is easy to deflate and roll up. The XS is smaller than a 1-liter water bottle when packed!

When looking for a sleeping pad, I want comfort, light weight, a small packed size, warmth, ease of use, and ideally a low price. This pad checks all the boxes except the last. If you are willing to invest in good quality gear, then the Thermarest NeoAir Xlite is the sleeping pad for you.

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