Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite field test – celebrated ultralight sleeping pad with comfortable 6.4 centimetre thickness in the test

aktualisiert am: January 28, 2021 in: ,
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Probably the most popular ultralight sleeping pad is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite*. When the first NeoAir version was released, it was a revolution: it was the lightest ultralight sleeping pad with the smallest pack size.

Since then, Therm-a-Rest has continued to maintain and improve the ultralight sleeping pad. Find out in the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir test everything you need to know about the ultralight sleeping pad like: Weight & Pack size, comfort, durability and for whom the NeoAir XLite is particularly suitable >>

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Diagonal
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Diagonal

You’re in a hurry? Click here to go directly to the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Mat

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite

Weight: 434 gram incl. Pack sack and pump sack (reweighed)
Isolation/R-value: 4.2
Material: 30D rip HT nylon and polyurethane
Valve:
Winglock valve: Screw-on and lockable
Pack size:
23 x 10 cm
Sizes:
183 x 51 x 6.4
Thickness:
6,4
Scope of delivery:
pump bag, transport bag, repair kit
Extras:
Excellent insulation and extra thick
Range of use:
3 to 4 seasons

* Werbung - Aktualisierung am 2022-08-10, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen, Bild:Amazon

You don’t have to do without comfort: thanks to the thickness of 6.2 cm, even side sleepers can sleep comfortably. The R value of 4.2 shows: The sleeping pad is fully suitable for three-season use (for winter use there is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm*).

Ultralight sleeping pad comparison with Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite bottle
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison with Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite bottle

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Experience

One thing up front: the ultralight sleeping pad rustles and is quite loud. How this works out in practice and what else there is to consider, you will find out in the NeoAir XLite test.

Weight and pack size

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite really deserves the name ultralight sleeping pad: Featherlight 434 grams (weighed by itself) brings the Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad on the scale. Weighed I have the Isomatte in the size Regular including pack bag, pump bag and the repair set..

All sizes of the Sea-to-Summit Ultalight are listed at the end of this review. It is best to choose the size that is very close to or equal to your height.

Ultralight sleeping pad test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Weight
Ultralight sleeping pad test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Weight

When it comes to packing size, minimalism is also the order of the day: With a mere 23 x 10 cm in diameter, the backpack or the handlebar roller is hardly burdened. The size is roughly comparable to a 950 milliliter bicycle bottle.

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite in a pack sack from top

Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Small Pack Size
Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Small Pack Size

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite in the pack from below

Bikepacking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite
Bikepacking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Inflate & Deflate

You can inflate the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite either by mouth or with the pump bag. The pump bag is already included in the scope of delivery.

What are the advantages and disadvantages? And how long does it take to inflate? How quickly and easily can you deflate the sleeping pad afterwards?

Inflation: The generous lying surface with 183 cm length and the stately thickness of 6.4 cm want to be inflated. How long does it take? With the pump bag, I need 12 shocks. The Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad is inflated in less than a minute. That’s fast and anyone can do that easily – even after a long outdoor day on the bike or hiking 😉

Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Valve Winglock
The improved Winglock valve on the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite – test passed

I have never inflated the ultralight sleeping pad with my mouth. The reason for this is as follows: when the ultralight sleeping pad is inflated by mouth, moisture and bacteria get into the pad. This can lead to mold growth. The use of the pump bag avoids this risk.

After getting up the next morning, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is then deflated: to do this, simply unscrew the Winglock valve, then fold and roll the ultralight sleeping pad. Afterwards, you can quickly stow them away again in the included pack sack. It’s quick, easy and works really well. Once the valve is opened, the remaining air can also escape easily. Now the Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad has its tiny pack size again and can disappear in the handlebar roll or backpack.

Processing & Quality

The Thermarest NeoAir XLite is really well made. With careful handling, the sleeping pad should last well for several years on the trail and many hundreds of nights.

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Detail
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Detail

As with any sleeping pad, the Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad should not be placed directly on the ground in the open: A small sharp stone or branch could quickly damage the air mattress.

Therefore, use the Therm-A-Rest ultralight sleeping pad in a tent or with another ultralight pad. Then you hardly have to worry about possible damage. A repair kit is already included in the scope of delivery just in case. I’d take that with me all the time, too.

The NeoAir XLite is made of 30D strong nylon. The material has proven to be extremely suitable for ultralight sleeping pads: it is very light and resistant at the same time. For this reason, the strength of 30D is used in many ultralight products.

Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Logo
Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Logo

Lying comfort & Sleeping comfort

The Thermarest NeoAir XLite comes up trumps when it comes to lying and sleeping comfort: The lying surface is really big at 183 cm (size: Regular).

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite View
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite View

The NeoAir XLite offers a full 6.3 cm in thickness. This means that even I, as a side sleeper, can sleep perfectly well on the Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad. This is true both when I’ve turned left, when I’ve turned right, and for various uneven surfaces. Sleeping on the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is really restful.

Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Air Mattress
Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Air Mattress

What about the lying comfort? The Neo air xlite becomes narrower towards the bottom. This saves weight once again. The regular width is 51 cm. with 183 cm height, I have exactly the right space on the NeoAir Xlite. However, the sleeping pad should not have been narrower.

Thermal & Insulation performance

What about the insulation performance of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite? The ultralight sleeping pad has an R-value of 4.2. This makes the XLite a fully-fledged 3-season sleeping pad.

I have no doubts about the limited winter suitability. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite should also prove itself in slightly sub-zero temperatures. My estimation: up to -5 degrees you should be able to sleep comfortably on the sleeping pad. Provided, of course, that the rest of the sleeping system, consisting of Ultralight sleeping bag and Ultralight tent, is matched to the ambient temperature.

Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Thickness
Trekking Mat Test Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Thickness

Example of a recommended sleep setup:

Background information: How is the isolatiosleitsung achieved with the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite?

In the NeoAir series, the air chambers have a triangular shape. Of these, two layers lie separately on top of each other. This is where the heat is stored. The separating layer provides additional stability.

Additional heat reflectors are used: inside the ultralight sleeping pad there are several aluminium vaporised separators. These are designed to reflect heat back to the body. At the same time, however, the aluminum reflectors are also responsible for the rather loud rustling noise of the NeoAir XLite.

Brief summary of the insulation system:

  • Separate air chambers
  • Multilayer aluminum vaporized heat reflectors

Durability

I have already confirmed the high quality workmanship of the NeoAir XLite. By now you know about the material used: 30D strong nylon is used. A material and a material thickness which has already proven itself with other ultralight sleeping pads. So to speak, a good ratio of weight and reliability.

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Top
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Top

The long-term test is still pending. My assessment of the durability of the Thermarest NeoAir XLite: with appropriate handling, several years and several hundred nights on the Therm-a-Rest mattress should be quite possible.

For comparison: The Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat I have now three years in use and completely without defects. The Sea to Summit sleeping pad uses the same material with the same thickness (30D nylon).

Available sizes

  • The Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad is available in different sizes. In the shops linked below, you can choose the respective size
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite

Small: 119 x 51 at 230 grams
Regular: 183 x 51 at 340 grams
Regular Wide: 183 x 64 at 430 grams
Large: 196 x 64 at 460 grams

* Werbung - Aktualisierung am 2022-08-10, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen, Bild:Amazon

What do you think of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite? Feel free to write me your questions, your opinion or a suggestion on the topic.

The trekking air mattress presented here does not suit you? In the article Ultraleicht Isomatten Test & Vergleich – you will find the great practical test and comparison of many recommended ultralight sleeping pads. In the article there is also an extensive guidebook. You will learn many important aspects to consider when buying an ultralight sleeping pad. I keep the article up to date on a regular basis.

Geschrieben von Michael Luplow
Hallo, ich bin Michael, Bikepacker, Abenteuerfan und der Mensch hinter Bikepacking-Adventures. Die Idee für bikepacking-adventures.com entstand direkt hinter dem Fahrrad-Lenker! Nämlich als ich auf einer Fahrrad Tour von Deutschland nach Istanbul war. Hier geht es um Abenteuerreisen mit dem Fahrrad und um Bikepacking auf allen Kontinenten dieser Erde! Du möchtest mehr wissen oder hast Tipps? Schreib mir einfach!

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