Mar 13, 2010 at 8:30 am #1256427
I recently went on an overnight hike in Joshua Tree National Park. Temp was down to the low 30's — with moderate wind and humidity. I used my new Thermorest NeoAir pad for the first time.
My beloved MontBell No. 3 down bag (32F) has always kept me comfy to 32F. But this time, I felt cold! Not deathly cold, but noticeably cold — enough to be woken repeatedly through the night. I wore silk long underwear as always and my bag was zipped up nice and snug. But I felt the cold permeating through — hard to tell from where exactly, but permeating through!
Over the years, I've "graduated" from blue foam pad to self inflating pad and now for the first time, the air pad. I am wondering if the NeoAir is the culprit?!?
What are your experiences with the NeoAir versus a self-inflating pad in the temperature department?Mar 13, 2010 at 8:40 am #1586024Mar 13, 2010 at 8:44 am #1586026
Ben, I've had the same experience as you. I love my NeoAir, but it's a summer pad. My last trip w/the Neo was down into the upper 30s and I froze, despite the fact that all my other sleep system was the same… and I even added a down jacket a couple nights, something I never do! The R-2.5 is questionable for the Neo IMHO. And in those temps, I'd want a true R-4+ anyway.
Yup, pad was the culprit. Summer trips only. I know several people have posted that they've been fine in the teens, but they've either frozen all their temperature sensors, or overcompensated w/rest of sleep system, or they're just way cooler than you and I ;)Mar 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm #1586204
Thanks for your feedback!
In your opinion, what type of CCF pad would you put underneath the NeoAir for 30F temp? One of the thin GG ones or a full blue foam or something in between?Mar 14, 2010 at 1:12 am #1586227
What's worked for me is a fully inflated neoair, BPL measured this at 3.0, plus a GG 1/8" pad for about R3.4. I've had this down to the mid-20s with a 20F bag and been very comfortable.
The R-value of the neoair is very dependent on how much it is inflated so if you're cold add some air.
Ben, sounds to me like you were pushing the comfort limits of both bag and pad with predictable results.Mar 14, 2010 at 7:05 am #1586243
How much temp boost do you think I can expect by adding a 1/8th" GG pad?Mar 14, 2010 at 7:47 am #1586248
"what type of CCF pad would you put underneath the NeoAir for 30F temp? One of the thin GG ones or a full blue foam or something in between?"
I used mine with a Ridgerest and had it down to the teens comfortably. But that combo weighed more than my new Bender Newbie DAM, and the DAM is way toasty and comfortable!Mar 14, 2010 at 8:04 am #1586251
Ben, sounds like we had similar experiences. On a recent trip on the SHT I had both my BA Lost Ranger and my Montbell #3 (long story on why I was carrying two bags…) and my NeoAir. On two successive nights the temps went to 37 degrees. I was cold in the BA Lost Ranger and OK in the Montbell. I don't think the combination would have worked well in the low 30's.
I do have the GG 1/8 pad but of course didn't bring it on this trip!
By the way, I am also a HUGE fan of my Montbell No. 3!!Mar 14, 2010 at 9:56 am #1586289
"How much temp boost do you think I can expect by adding a 1/8th" GG pad?"
My guess is about 5-8F. But just a guess. I've also used the neoair on snow with a 3/8" pad down to about 13F.Mar 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm #1586363
Thanks again, everyone. I will be reverting back to a self-inflating pad. Sigh.Mar 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm #1586392
Don't want to check out Bender's DAM's?Mar 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm #1586395
You know, I've never looked into it. Thanks for the reminder.Mar 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm #1586397
Ben, What type of shelter were you using?Mar 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm #1586399
@rosierabbitLocale: Pacific Northwest
Ben – the same thing happened to me last week. I used a short Neoair with a 1/8" ccf pad under it, and another one over it as a sandwich. Temps got down to high 20's. I was just cold enough in my 20 degree quilt that I kept waking up. So I moved the bottom ccf to the top with the other one. It was a little better, but not much.
I was really disappointed that I couldn't get the Neoair to be a 4-season pad with a little help from the ccf's, but there it is. However, I did only have the Neoair semi-filled for comfort, and I didn't know about Nia's idea to fill it full. I decided to give up on having just one pad for year-round and have ordered a DAM from Bender's KookaBay. The really cool part was being able to get one 24x60x2.5. So I'm getting something a little wider and a foot longer to help with the comfort, since I'm already springing for warmth. It should come any day now, and I am REALLY excited!Mar 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm #1586403
I was inside a dome tent — with silnylon floor.
Hope the new pad works out for you! Don't forget to update us.Mar 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm #1586424
"The really cool part was being able to get one 24x60x2.5"
I went for the 3.5" thickness since it weighed the same as the 2.5" pad (for normal width). The extra inch really gives me sleeping comfort! It's better than a sleep number bed!Mar 15, 2010 at 4:26 am #1586558
@rcarverLocale: Southeast TN
I find mine plenty warm sleeping on the ground. I recently had it out it the smokies for a two night trip. The night time temps where in the upper 20's. I used just the Neo Air on top of a peice of Tyvek which is my ground sheet, under my spinntwin. The second night I was even camped on snow. I had my concerns regarding using the Neo Air in the winter, but it has been fine for me.Mar 15, 2010 at 4:44 am #1586560
there are too many factors at play here to be able give a broad answer as to the neoair's capabilities . Factors can include whether the individual is a Cold sleeper vs Warm sleeper? What was his/her bag rating? What were you wearing to sleep? I've taken a neoair down to 24 degrees while wearing primaloft and sleeping in a 25 degree quilt. If i wasn't wearing the primaloft, i'd probably freeze my Ass off. If I was naked, but in my zero degree bag, and just my neoair, i'm sure I could have done just fine in a mid 20's night. I think the only thing we can give a broad answer to, is the question as to what temperature we can expect heat loss through the neoair, regardless of what system you have on. I think and recall people saying mid 40's…and I feel that is pretty spot on
Ben, i see you already listed your neoair on the gearswap…dont give up on it so soon! Have you thought about supplementing it with 150 weight wool undies? a down vest? or even getting a silk liner for your bag? Adding clothing supplementation to your gear, might equal the same weight difference between a neoair and a traditional self inflating pad. But instead you get the benefit of more clothing options.Or even better, get a 2.2 ounce 1/8 CCF to boost the rating of the neoair. A kookabay DAM probably is the lighter, and warmer substitute, but man, you can't beat that Neoair comfort. I think the Neoair horizontal baffles provide more support and overall comfort, while the Vertical baffles seen in kookabays and big agnes do a better job cradling your body and arms onto the pad, keeping you on the pad throughout the night. For me personally, the horizontal baffles are more comfyMar 15, 2010 at 6:47 am #1586575
this is pretty on par w/ the previous threads that have been posted- obviously a lot of variations in folks experiences- which I guess is to be expected.
I've had good luck w/ the Neo down to about 30 (30 degree bag, supplemented w/ warm clothing), probably more telling is so has my wife (30 degree bag/similar clothing)-she tends to sleep colder than I do
I've invested in a couple of 1/8" thinlights for those trips where there is a strong likelihood of being freezing or below- 2 oz isn't too bad a hit for a little insurance and they make great sit/kneeling pads :)Mar 15, 2010 at 7:40 am #1586583
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
My experience with the Neo-air is about the same. I really loved it on paper but in the field it just didn't cut it and I didn't want to add back bulk and weight to compensate for it. I will keep with my down mat and wait….comfortably and warm…for a bit more.Mar 15, 2010 at 8:03 am #1586589
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
Not sure why there's so many negative experiences with the NeoAir. I have had the thing in the low 20F range without getting cold – and I am always, always the first one to get cold. I do usually take along a 1/4" GG evazote to put down under it, but have had one incident where I left it behind and had the same result.
I sleep with a 3 season quilt rated around 25-30F and supplement with a jacket and heavier base layer when needed.Mar 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm #1586935
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
The first time I used the Neo on the snow I definitely felt chilled by the 24F night, but that was because I took no other ground insulation. Now that I know better I pack along two GG Thinlight pads and haven't slept cold since. The trick is to put the pads on top of the Neo so that your body heat doesn't radiate into the air chambers, which will then be sucked away by the snow. Also, I wear merino wool layers and BPL insulated pants and pullover in the bag. Seems to work for me!Mar 15, 2010 at 10:30 pm #1586941
Question — which side is the "reflective barrier" anyway? I laid the pad with the silver side down / yellow side up. I assume that's the correct way?Mar 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm #1586948
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
I've always used it Limon side up. (Limon is what Thermarest thinks it is, looks mostly green to me.)
And I always put the foam on the bottom, to keep the pad from poky things and from sliding around.Mar 16, 2010 at 8:38 am #1587038
The reflective barrier doesn't have a side. It is in the middle of the pad; think emergency blanket sandwiched between the yellow and silver sides. Also, there was a post a while back by Richard Nisley with detailed charts comparing a NeoAir w/different CCF pads and a bag… I think a GoLite Ultra 20? At any rate, a Neo and CCF isn't warm enough for cooler temps, IMO. Esp. something like a thinlight that adds an R-value of less than 1. Down mats are great for colder weather…
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