Trekking Blog for ultralight and outdoor – Trailblaze

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir first impression

April 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The NeoAir mattress is another of this year’s innovative products from Therm-a-Rest. Its arrival on the market has been awaited with a considerable degree of anticipation in the ultralight scene, although date of delivery has been delayed in Germany and is now stated to be mid-May.

therm a rest neoair 1 300x200 Therm a Rest NeoAir first impression

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir is the lightest air mattress in the world. It weighs only 254 grams/14 ounces (weighed), making it a viable alternative to various other ultralight pads such as the Bozeman Mountain Works Torsolite, the Prolite 3 or the popular Artiach Light Plus.

therm a rest neoair 2 2 150x150 Therm a Rest NeoAir first impressiontherm a rest neoair 6 150x150 Therm a Rest NeoAir first impression


The NeoAir offers a good R-value of 2.5, three times greater than that of a normal air mattress. This makes it suitable for night-time temperatures at around freezing point. If temperatures are lower than this, Therm-a-Rest recommends combining the product with something like the Z-Lite Mat. This enables an R-value of 3.8 to be realised.

This extremely good thermal resistance value has been achieved by incorporating two developments, both of which have patents pending, into the NeoAir. These are the R2 barrier, basically a kind of foil which reflects heat back to the body and coldness back to the ground, and insulating cells which minimise convective cooling.

The NeoAir is extremely compact when packed whilst also providing a very good cushioning height of 6 cm. This represents a further advantage over self-inflating mats.

therm a rest neoair 5 300x225 Therm a Rest NeoAir first impression

The NeoAir gives the impression of being a high-quality product despite its ultralight weight. This is particularly true of the outer sleeve. In the enclosed instruction leaflet, Therm-a-Rest draws particular attention to the lightweight nature of the materials and indicates that the NeoAir needs to be handled accordingly.

Repairing a hole should take less than two minutes, This requires the Fast&Light Repair Kit, which must be purchased separately.

I was also very interested to see how long it would take to get the NeoAir ready to lie down on compared to my (much loved) BMW Torsolite. It took me about 45 seconds and 11 blasts of air to inflate the NeoAir, although 1 minute and 15 seconds were required to return it to the pack size. I consider these timings to be good.

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Weight (gr.) Dimensions (cm) Pack size (cm) R-Value
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir S 254 119x51x6,0 23x9 2,5
Comparison BMW Torsolite 247 81x46x2,5 20x10 3,5

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir is already available via Backpackinglight.co.uk in England for those ultralight hikers who are unable to wait.

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Trekking Blog for ultralight and outdoor – Trailblaze