Apr 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #1301493
I do lots of 3-season bike camping and hiking, where weight is a priority but not the #1 priority. Comfort is important because I am a side sleeper, as well as packability (especially when doing bike trips). I currently have a prolite regular, which I like in terms of weight and packability, but it really sucks in terms of hip pain when sleeping on my side. Should I move to a neo air? Another company? Bonus if its under $100, even used!Apr 9, 2013 at 11:05 am #1974442
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, FWIW, the NeoAirs are generally as comfortable as sleeping at home. Caveat, just not quite as wide (though the wife says they are wider…wonder why?)Apr 9, 2013 at 11:06 am #1974443
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Yes, it's worth it.
I, too, sleep on my side (actually both side, back, toss 'n turn). Won't trade my NeoAir for any other pad (except other NeoAirs!). Just got an Xtherm for cold weather, but my Xlite works fine in most temps I've been in.
The weight, for comfort and warmth it provides, can't be matched by anything else I've used.
Unfortunately, I just sold my original Large or you'd be in luck! Check out Gear Swap for good deals.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:06 am #1974444
I think the majority of people find the thicker air mattresses such as the neoair, exped, big agnes, etc. more comfortable; but not everyone. Some don't like that they can leak and some don't like to spend time and effort blowing them up.
Is it worth the price? Only you can decide that. Look for sales or used stuff on Gear Swap for lower prices.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:08 am #1974445
just Justin WhitsonMember
For some, it's a world of difference. I got a Big Agnes AirCore insulated pad for about 65 dollars on clearance brand new. I'm not sure where I got it from, it was either backcountry or backcountrygear i believe–either way it was awhile ago.
But yes, it's quite possible to get a higher quality air type mattress for well under 100 even new. The Big Agnes one is a bit heavy, and i don't always bring it for that reason, but when i do i certainly appreciate it a lot.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:27 am #1974452
And you all feel that the manual inflation of it all hasn't been a chore after long days?Apr 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #1974453
Nope. It only takes a minute or two. Its not my favorite in-camp activity, but not loathsome by any means.
However, some of those pump sacks ARE loathsome!Apr 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #1974454
I had two and both leaked (although were replaced without issue). Great fun midway through a 7 day trip, I must tell you.
And yes – the blowing up does suck.
What shelter are you using? A thick pad can reduce the usable space of your shelter.
Very noisy pads!Apr 9, 2013 at 11:40 am #1974455
I don't use manual inflation. I blow it up with my mouth.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:43 am #1974457
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
I freaking love mine. I'm a side sleeper and middle-aged. It can be tough on rocky ground. I sleep like a baby on a Neo Air. And it's not only light but also compact. No problems on durability.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:44 am #1974458
Ben, that IS manual inflation. :)
I feel there's a joke I'm missing.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:47 am #1974460
I love mine. It is a great piece of gear, and the most comfortable pad I have used. Weight, comfort, and packed size are all top notch. They are a bit crinkly but that never bothered me a bit. When I shared a tent my companions if asked always said it didn't bother them either.
I guess I am full of hot air because inflation is only 18 full deep breaths or a few more less deep ones and is easily accomplished in 60-90 seconds. Very much no big deal.
My first original model one did develop a big bulge where my sunscreen and Deet soaked arm rested, but it didn't fail completely and was still usable for the remaining weeks of the tour. It was out of warranty, I had no receipt, and I didn't even remember where I ordered it from, but Cascade Designs still replaced it with the newer xLite model. I have heard of other pads of the older original model having the same problem, but the new models seem to not be prone to that.Apr 9, 2013 at 11:48 am #1974461
Durability and noise were my other concerns, but reading through the forums it appears like those fears are somewhat overblown.
If I were to go the Neoair route, which one would be best for the kind of situations I described above? If it helps, I am a mere 5'7".Apr 9, 2013 at 11:51 am #1974463
If you're a side sleeper, it's totally worth the added comfort for the added cost.
"They are noisy" is a myth. Once you lie down on it, it is not noisy. When I want to set up, I fold it in half and tie a string around it. It is not noisy.
Inflating it with the "Instaflator" is best and takes less that a minute without wasting a breath. Available at Leslie's Pool supply for a buck. Toss out the stuff sack and just roll it up in the Instaflator for packing.
If you are worried about durability, get the "all season" Neo. The XTherm is by far the best overall but too expensive. I lucked out when I found one at an REI used gear sale. Repairs were super easy and it works like new!Apr 9, 2013 at 11:55 am #1974464
""They are noisy" is a myth. Once you lie down on it, it is not noisy. When I want to set up, I fold it in half and tie a string around it. It is not noisy."
I toss a lot. The sucker (s) was (were) noisy. Or perhaps I am living a myth!!Apr 9, 2013 at 11:59 am #1974468
>Or perhaps I am living a myth!!
Or, you're a living myth! ;)
Re: noise – some mind it, some don't. Simple as that.Apr 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm #1974469
Travis…its a bad joke when you have to explain it. I knew what he meant (I think), but "manual" means using your hands to do it. Slow day here. Yes, I'm a nerd.Apr 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm #1974473
I figured I was missing something. Don't write it off as a bad joke. Just consider me a bit slow today. :)Apr 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm #1974474
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I've found that people either love the NeoAir or hate it. I'm definitely in the latter category. I never could find the sweet spot between where my hip bone (when on my side) wasn't on the ground or the mattress itself wasn't blown up too hard. I toss and turn a lot at night, and every time I got anywhere near the edge of the pad, it basically "bucked me off." No more horizontal baffles for me!
For any sleeping pad, I suggest a trial of several nights on the floor at home while you can still return it–a hard floor, not a carpeted one. Yes, a lot of "established" tent sites are that hard.Apr 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm #1974486
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I guessing a Neoair doesn't work well as a pack frame. What do you folks use as a pack frame? Or does the Neoair work ok if you slightly inflate it? I've currently got a Prolite Plus that works well as both a sleeping pad and pack frame but it weighs 24 oz and I wouldn't mind being able to lose some weight and retain the comfort.
AdamApr 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm #1974496
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
I have been a huge fan of the exped mats for a few years now. I have had 2 hip surgeries and I sleep just fine on the synmat UL 7. I bought a downmat to help with some colder temps and I think I'm actually going to like it even more (only had it out on one trip so far)
My dad is using my old exped and big Agnes bag and the first time I got him back out on the trail (after a 20 year hiatus) he wouldn't get out of his tent…just called to us as we were eating breakfast "wow…this is more comfortable than my bed at home…I'm just going to stay here a while…"Apr 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm #1974552
> "it really sucks in terms of hip pain when sleeping on my side."
That would make it "worth it" to me to try the NeoAir, which I recently picked up and had a great night's sleep on this past weekend.
And a $1 Instaflator saves all the huffing and puffing.Apr 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm #1974607
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Late chiming in. The NeoAir has been the most comfortable for me. I'm a side sleeper and toss and turn. I think it is the direction the tubes go, not so much the pad itself. I have the original small and just received a XTherm regular for winter use, saving me 1.5 lbs. on that one item alone over my old Xped DAM9. They are surprisingly warm in cold temps too. Squish down small and are light. I ordered a Instaflator for my XTherm, the cheapest inflator and looks like a great alternative to other means. No batteries and double use as a stuff sack.
DuaneApr 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm #1974609
Chad “Stick” PoindexterParticipant
@stickLocale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
For me, yes. I love my NeoAirs… although, I wish that they still made the older Original version…Apr 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm #1974634
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
Adam, you could just add a dedicated pad/frame to your pack and still save weight over a Prolite Plus.
But, no, I don't imagine a NeoAir would work well as a frame. I think the key is getting enough air pressure so the pack doesn't collapse under a marginal weight. I don't think that's really possible without some kind of self-sealing valve. Then again, I've never tried it.
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