Dec 8, 2012 at 6:49 am #1296854
Hey guys…Can anyone who has owned/used both compare/contrast/review the NeoAir Xtherm vs the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core?
Is the NeoAir worth twice the price (current available prices)??
-Mark in St. Louis
ps…I currently use an older Thermarest TrailPro Plus (I think that's the model…2#12oz!…but rather warm/comfortable)Dec 8, 2012 at 6:57 am #1934004
it's hard to tell someone if it's worth it for them, but the xtherm does offer a few advantages (price not being one of them)
the r rating of 5.7 is more winter worthy than the 4.1 of the BA and ~ 40% lighter to boot, so you have to "weigh" :) the advantages to see if it's worth the extra coin
I'm purchasing a xtherm this winter as I've had great luck w/ my neoair (and my wife's neoair) and need a winter-ish r rated padDec 8, 2012 at 7:07 am #1934008
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I have the small, original NeoAir, for some reason, the way the tubes run, makes it more comfortable than my older, regular LE. If nothing else, get it for the comfort level. I was letting some air out when I went to bed because of my shoulders, but now I leave it fully inflated. Like the rest of our gear, it doesn't work for everyone. Cascade Designs had some defective NeoAirs like the other companies pads. They do have great Customer Service as I have been on the receiving end a few times. I'm wanting a Xtherm later for winter snow camping, maybe when REI has a sale this Spring, missed out on the EB sale.
DuaneDec 8, 2012 at 7:19 am #1934011
The only negative the Xtherm has for me is the tapered design. I prefer the rectangle shape of the older NeoAirs and the BAIAC. Not a deal breaker though. Other than that, the Xtherm is the bees knees. The BAIAC is a great pad though. I used one for 3-4 years, it's just too heavy compared to what is available now days.
RyanDec 8, 2012 at 7:55 am #1934019
20% off at campsaverDec 8, 2012 at 8:13 am #1934024
I know I should just suck it up and spend the money once. Always had good luck with my Thermarests…
I'm a side sleeper…other than the gram counting…do people prefer the L over the Reg?
I've got a L lined up for $130.
-MarkDec 8, 2012 at 8:43 am #1934039
I've had the BAIAC for a year now and I think it's good value for the price. I've had it out over a dozen nights in temps from mid 50s to low 20s. In the lower 20s I felt cold- paired with a BA 15 degree down bag. While the pad is rated down to 15 degrees I'd say it's more like 20-25. I'm also a side sleeper and think it's comfortable. No issues there. If I had one wish for this pad it would be an R value at 5+ and 8oz less weight.
I'm 5'11" and first purchased the long version of the BAIAC. Mistake. The regular pad is more than enough for me. The weight on my BAIAC is right at 28.7oz with the stuff sack and repair kit. The material feels thick enough to hold up well, which I can't exactly say about the NeoAirs that I've played around with. Early reviews (3+ years ago) of the BAIAC showed common defects of leaks. I have not had this issue.
Overall, the deals on the BAIAC are pretty good (<$60) for what you get. The BA QCore pad also gets good reviews which I'm tempted to purchase, or perhaps wait for the new QCore super light series this 2013 spring:Dec 8, 2012 at 8:59 am #1934044
Just another thought, use your 3 season pad along with a Gossamer 1/8 or 1/4 inch foam pad on top. Cheaper, just a little more bulky.Dec 8, 2012 at 9:31 am #1934051
^^^I'm trying to lose weight with a new pad…my current pad is super comfortable but 1#6oz more than a L NeoAir Xtherm!
-MarkDec 8, 2012 at 9:33 am #1934052
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
In my opinion (and many others) the BAIAC is COLD to sleep on. Period.
Bender cut one open to show his insulation vs the IACs and it was sad to see how little PL was in there. Ive been cold in mine numerous times. IMO its colder than my original Neo for sure.Dec 8, 2012 at 9:41 am #1934055
For what it's worth, the coldest temp my old BAIAC saw was 18 degrees. It was warm in conjunction with a WM Ultralite 20. Weird.
RyanDec 8, 2012 at 10:42 am #1934064
^^Ryan- your 20deg WM bag has insulation all the way around, right? My BA down bag relies totally on the pad for insualtion with the bottom sleeve.Dec 8, 2012 at 11:03 am #1934072
True, but me laying on top of that down insulation renders it completely useless. I suspect it's one of these "Your mileage may vary" kind of things. I was warm, but if you'd been there you might have been an ice cube.
RyanDec 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm #1934101
^How much do you inflate your pad?
I like a firm support so mine is usually about 90%+ and I've been cold in the 20s. Some have mentioned letting more air out to make it warmer.Dec 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm #1934107
I have had three of the BA IAC pads over the years, and took one down to 17 F for two nights in the Sierra. I felt the cold through it.
I have the Xtherm (as does my son) and have had it to -8 F with a sleeping bag and to 0 with a quilt. I just used it last night with a quilt at a low of 9 F. I use the large size as the regular is too small to stay on when using the quilt. (Which is why my son has one now;-)Dec 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm #1934132
I just got the XTherm, thanks to the great Eddie Bauer sale. Anyways, since you didn't say anything about it, I assume that the Xtherm was warm enough when you had it down to those temps? What clothes did you wear?Dec 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm #1934137
Well, I waited too long and missed out on Altrec's sale price on the Xtherms…sigh…have to keep my eyes/ears open for the next sale I guess. Man, I wish I had grabbed one during the EB sale!
-MarkDec 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm #1934165
Has anyone used the NeoAir All Season? Weighs about 4oz more than the Xtherm…???
-MarkDec 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm #1934179
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
devils advocate here… You dont feel that for 28 ounces your baiac should at least keep you as warm as your bag rating? You said you used a 15* bag as were cold at ~20*. For 28oz worth of pad you should at least be able to take your bag to what it was rated for. OK so maybe extreme cold its different but 15* aint that cold.
"I had one wish for this pad it would be an R value at 5+ and 8oz less weight."
-like, say, the xtherm? Basically you just said your pad is not warm enough and too heavy.
Also, letting air OUT of your pad will make it colder, not warmer.
think: thin down vs. puffy down.
Also, also, NEOs are thin, but not weak. There has not been the puncture troubles many thought would come up. Sure, they do puncture… so do car tires. but there isnt a problem with that happening under normal use.
…Not trying to be an ass.Dec 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm #1934191
Yes it has been very warm. In fact this morning when I opened the valve to let the air out with my body weight helping I was surprised at how fast I was getting cold once I touched the ground. It is pretty amazing and I look forward to seeing how low I can push it.
I always wear a long mid-weight baselayer at those temps, but no jacket or down sweater yet. Here is a thread that shows some pics of the pads and what my son and I used. Yesterday was the same quilt and baselayers for me. (Helley Hansen Warm series)
I plan on using it with one quilt, two nested quilts, a 0 F bag, and the same bag nested with a quilt depending on how the winter goes. At some point I expect to have to go to my R-10 down pad.
Yes I have a lot of use with an All Season too. Read about it here:
It is more comfortable as far as lying on it and is almost as warm but it does weigh more.Dec 8, 2012 at 8:44 pm #1934201
Ray…Seems like a pretty strong review.
What do you think of an All Season L @ $127? Subjectively, is the Xtherm worth the premium???
The All Season saves 1#3oz over my current pad, the Xtherm another 5 oz.
-MarkDec 9, 2012 at 7:39 am #1934259
Personally, now that I have used the XTherm I may never take the All Season out again.
The reason I gave my son the regular size instead of selling it was because he likes snow camping and the XTherm is lighter than his 60" BA IAC. So the XTherm is now his all-year pad. It will work just fine in summer too.
Some things that the All Season has going for it that makes it appealing is it's shape (some folks don't like or wan't a tapered/muumy shape) and the material on top feels nicer to lay directly on for quilt users. Not quite as plastic-y feeling.
The money issue is up to you. What is a 5 oz savings and the extra warmth worth?Dec 9, 2012 at 9:24 am #1934276
@rivrfoxLocale: Western Slope, Colorado
I was going to start a thread but I'll post here for now. I have the regular and I am usually a stomach sleeper. In relation to the BA IAC, why not also consider the Exped UL7 Downmat?
Xtherm Initial thoughts: Light & not that noisy! Potato chip bag crinkle will probably mellow with use & does not seem to be an issue.
Narrow at the shoulders. This pad seems like it would do best with a quilt that has a pad attachment. My arms don't have much room so they easily fall off if not awkwardly placed. As a back sleeper, this would seem to be less of a problem. Side sleeper seems better too yet still narrow. I wish they would have made these pads all at 25 inches or the option of a regular/wide.
Haven't tried this out in the field. Ideally, I would have bought a large and cut it down to size. I am now trying to figure out what to do with this…keep it/test it, try to upgrade to the large & modify, trade it for a Exped UL downmat 7, etc.
Comments welcome…I need to actually test this outside to give proper feedback.
edit: I bought this where only the small & rgular are sold.Dec 9, 2012 at 11:18 am #1934299
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
If you havent used it in the field, why not take it to the retailer you bought it from, or if you got it online, the nearest who sells them, and exchange it for a large and pay the difference?
I got our local gear shop to agree with that when the XLite Women's came out, to trade for my wife's unused regular.Dec 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm #1934321
I ended up buying the All Season Large FWIW. The comments re: shape and 2 pads next to each other made me consider the impending inclusion of my wife and 7yo on short backpacking trips…I think 2 All Seasons will work well in that regard.
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