Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pads
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May 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm #1498826Jim MacDiarmidBPL Member
Okay, 2 votes from 6 footers for the short pad. I'm 5'10", and if the pad were an inch longer, I could sleep with my head on it w/o my knees going off the end. I think I'll get the short pad and use a combination of bubble wrap in a stuff sack and my platypus as a pillow to keep my sleep pad under 10oz.May 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm #1498836Michael DavisMember
@mad777Locale: South Florida
I haven't yet pulled the trigger on a neoair, so I don't know how slick the surface is.
The POE Max Thermo that I use has a reasonably rough surface as does the Montbell pillow. I guess there is just enough friction between to two to hold them together. It also helps that I only half inflate both the pad and the pillow.May 3, 2009 at 6:57 pm #1498863Michael FogartyBPL Member
While browsing my local REI today, what appears to my surprise but a Neo-Air on display. I give it a quick look over, and do notice right off, that it is very noisy. (crinkly)
Next, I'm thinking yeah, all they probably have is the display, but no, they actually have 2 regulars, lying on the rack.
Soooo, yep, I grab one. Used the 20% off coupon deal too. I figure, with REI's return policy, if I don't like it, I can always return it.May 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm #1498865
Phew, 19 pages. Folks must be excited about this pad.
Re all the comments about comfort, sleeping on a firmer foam mat *is* something you can used to. Whereas those inflatable pads never get lighter.
…admittedly I had to sleep on the floor at home for a few months first, but hey, my nightlite feels like a cloud now ;)May 3, 2009 at 7:26 pm #1498873Jonathon RogersMember
@signet77Locale: East TN
I purchased the NeoAir to replace my Z-lite and used it for the first time this last weekend. This is in the East TN Appalachians and the low was only 48 so not much of a cold weather test, but wow was it comfortable. I had my best backcountry rest in a long time. Glad I made the switch…with that and the MLD Duomid I've finally gotten to a ~10 pound base weight.May 3, 2009 at 11:20 pm #1498911
"…admittedly I had to sleep on the floor at home for a few months first, but hey, my nightlite feels like a cloud now ;)"
Adrian: I'm just curious… ^ fact or fiction? If fact, would you care to elaborate on this endeavor?May 3, 2009 at 11:54 pm #1498916
Fact :) Like many others I'm sure, I didn't sleep that well on the Nightlight, not helped by usually sleeping on my side. Tried an inflatable (Torsolite) but was no good as a pack frame, and fragile to boot. Just doing weekend trips of 2-4 nights wasn't going to be enough to get used to a foam pad, or at least not very quickly. So when at home I switched to sleeping on the (carpeted) floor, which attracted much comment from friends and cohabitants, _but_ meant I didn't notice any difference when sleeping out on the foam pad – fantastic.
…18 months on I haven't missed the bed, took it down to give me some more room to clutter with gear. I think it really is just a matter of what you're accustomed to, I sleep like a log, and never wake up stiff or uncomfortable. I'm not a glutton for punishment, eg I take warmer gear than I need partly for safety but also because I like being warm. I just don't think the human body inherently needs a soft springy mattress to sleep on. Of course, I don't think it does any harm either. And it makes it easier to fit in in the (un)real world ;)May 4, 2009 at 12:16 am #1498918
"…I sleep like a log, and never wake up stiff or uncomfortable."
Gotcha. I was picturing a hardwood floor for some reason – probably because that is all I have here. I have thought about doing that, and even tried a few times, but couldn't make it past the first night(s). I think it just depends on who you are and your physiological sleep tendencies. My wife can sleep anywhere and has fallen asleep on the floor while watching a movie, or during after-dinner conversation with guests and doesn't wake up if she falls off her pad while in her sleeping bag. I can't even fathom that. My sleep 'account' (if you will) just has too fragile a balance to allow me to mess with it too much. I think if I stayed up for 3 days in a row, I could probably sleep on the floor. I used to use a ridgerest for a number of years, but would choose rather choice places to sleep and pile up sand or leaves under me.
Cheers to you for running the gauntlet there.
Maybe if I'm ever a refugee or lodging in a foreign prison, I'll try it again. Otherwise, I might have to fire myself again for being late to work after an ill-mannered sleep. I usually get rehired pretty quickly though, since I'm the only one working for my company full-time.
For now, I'll try the Neo-Air short on my next trip and hope to be happy about the 9.4 oz. comfort keg.May 4, 2009 at 12:25 am #1498920
Sorry, log was poorly choosen word – I just mean I sleep well, I'm not a heavy sleeper. I think a hardwood floor is too bigger step. Carpet with underlay didn't feel too bad, not as hard as the nightlite on firm ground – I didn't sleep badly even the first few nights.
But thing is, if the stats are right the Neoair is getting pretty close to the R-value/weight ratio of a foam pad anyway (compare the ridgerest + neoair on the thermarest site). So for winter at least, where you might carry two pads anyway, it's not like you're sacrificing much. And depending on which foreign prison you're in, it might be fairly cushy anyways.May 4, 2009 at 12:37 am #1498921
…yeah, so I hear; so I hear.
Most carpets have at least a 1 cm foam pad underneath and are over wood framing, which has a bit of cush as well, so I guess that is not all too outside the realm of feasibility.
Speaking of flooring -> I may try some tile underlayment foam as a thin pad. The material I have access to has reflective mylar laminated to one side of 3mm thick mediumish density closed-cell foam. I'll put a scrap on the scale here when I get a chance and calculate the weight, then cut a pad out and see how it fares. I've noticed that it rolls up to a very snug size.May 4, 2009 at 1:15 am #1498923Nate MeinzerMember
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
Adrian said " by usually sleeping on my side. "
Am I to understand that you trained yourself to not sleep on your side in your bootcamp experience of sleeping on the floor? If so, wow, way to go. And if not, wow, way to go even more!May 4, 2009 at 2:30 am #1498926Miguel ArboledaBPL Member
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Wow! Twenty pages on this topic! This is one serious issue that perhaps hasn't been properly addressed until now!May 4, 2009 at 3:26 am #1498928
>Am I to understand that you trained yourself to not sleep on your side
No, that was the alternative, since it does make a hard surface more comfortable (and it was near-required for my other experiment of sleeping without a pillow, currently on the back burner). Did try it, but it made me snore badly (can't have that in prison), and once I was used to the foam pad side sleeping felt fine.May 4, 2009 at 9:49 am #1498976Jim MacDiarmidBPL Member
edit: Question below answer quickly by basegear cs. Isn't a problem.
I just ordered myself a short NeoAir from Basegear using their 20% deal. I do wonder if I'm just being 'soft' for wanting a luxurious air mat instead of a thin foam pad. After all, we go out into the wilderness to get back to the basics, right? Then I remember I'll also be carrying a goretex rain jacket, a silicone impregnated nylon tent, titanium stakes, carbon fiber trekking poles, and any other number of modern conveniences, and I feel less guilty. I have enough trouble sleeping with all the nightmares about getting eaten by a bear or two that indulging in a more comfortable sleeping pad is worth it.
In all seriousness, I have one other question; I emailed customer service regarding this, but while I wait to hear back, perhaps someone else can answer this.
What if try out the NeoAir at home and decide it's not for me? It's too short or too crinkly, etc. I know from experience that inflatable pads are near impossible to re-roll perfectly once used even one time, so has anyone returned a NeoAir and found that to be an issue; i.e. not returning it in new, unused condition? Does it come shrink-wrapped, and by breaking the seal, you've rendered it unreturnable? I don't know how else you'd try it though. It'd be like asked someone to buy shoes w/o trying them on. Hopefully, basegear will get back to me on this soon, but if anyone else has experience with this, please fill me in.May 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm #1499077Lynn TramperMember
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I too trained myself for sleeping on the ground by sleeping on the (carpeted) ground at home. It was sooo worth it, as no matter where I go in the world I will always be comfortable. Heck, if the motel bed is too soft/smelly etc…, I can always find a patch of ground to lie down on. I also used to be a side sleeper with a pillow, and now I'm a back sleeper who is happiest without a pillow. Most of the year I just use a torso-sized RidgeRest (4oz/120g) and sleep great.
NeoAir?? I might get one for my partner who can only sleep well on a full length 25oz DAM…then again maybe not depending on the upcoming review.May 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm #1499080Dan CunninghamMember
@mn-backpackerLocale: Land of 12,000 Loons
I think sleeping on carpet or the natural ground simply desensitizes you so that you can sleep horribly uncomfortable all the time. :)May 5, 2009 at 9:27 am #1499169Nate MeinzerMember
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
Got mine yesterday from Basegear (ordered it Saturday and came standard free shipping here on Monday).
Very impressed so far. As comfortable as an AirCore and warmer. Used it with no under or overpad down to 40 or so. Crinkly noise was very mild–don't know what all the hoopla about that is about, but then again I"m using a Tyvek bivy these days. Worked fine in my chair kit, but that introduces another problem–chair kit weighs more than the mattress now!May 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm #1499220Monty MontanaBPL Member
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Mike W, last week when I was snow camping with the Neo I also used a BPL dual chamber pillow with no problems chasing it around the tent throughout the night. The reason for that, I think, is that it has a kind of flocked surface and it stayed in place pretty well. I have found that the single chamber pillows tend to squirt out from under my head, especially when fully inflated. For the 27g or so of weight it was well worth it for a good night's sleep!May 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm #1499305Nick TruaxBPL Member
@nicktruaxLocale: SW Montana
Ive had my med sized neoair for about 2 weeks of backcountry use in Deschutes NF , east of the Sawtooth in Boise NF, Craters of the Moon NM and now in the Bridger-Teton NF. Actually, both my lady and I indulged in the new CD product with no complaints thus far.
We both are side sleepers and found that even with adequate deflation for our hips to sink, temps into the lower 20's have not bothered us. Granted, its been on ground and not on deep snowpack. We both have WM 32 degree bags and often sleep in a modest layer of capilene2 when the temps drop. The neoairs replace my 3/4 prolite4 and her full length CD trail comfort. She is very grateful for the savings in weight(over a lb!) without sacrificing comfort or much for warmth. And I saved a few ounces (according to specs-no scale here on the road)while garnishing enough length to leave my wet pack outside and stretch out if need be (I'm 5'10).
As for the crinkling, nothing to be bothered by and I am a light sleeper. The non-slip bottom tends to slip though, esp as the mat is deflated some. Nothing major but they move a bit none-the-less.
And we both like the nozzle placement on the bias as opposed to on the side- it allows for easy fine tunining if inflation wasn't sufficient the first time around.
James Mac- no shrink wrap on ours and we happened to get ours at REI as to avoid any problems if they did not live up to the hype-which they have thus far..hope urs works out!
PS 20 forum pages before a BPL review, madness I say!May 5, 2009 at 9:49 pm #1499320Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
20 forum pages shows the enormous interest on this mat. Having just had a quick look at the VERY detailed review, I think it was worth waiting for it !
(good one Roger and co)
FrancoMay 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm #1499324Ashley BrownMember
> Having just had a quick look at the VERY detailed review, I think it was worth waiting for it !
I don't know about VERY detailed. The measurement of actual R value was certainly welcome, and it seems to spec. The repair trial was good too.
The rest though was nothing more than sleep reports from 3 users (and Roger only spent 1 night on it apparently). I'm not criticising the review, but just noting that the main complaint was the narrowness of the pad… which the owners in this thread have experienced directly themselves, and no one seems to have found it a significant issue.
I think the width will bug me (I don't like my arms slipping off the pad) but there are some easy work-arounds, and there are very few pads where my arms will actually stay on throughout the night. In fact, I don't think it's possible for my arms to stay on any 20 inch pad, simply because I don't lie completely still.May 6, 2009 at 12:34 am #1499354Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
Well OK, I will amend that "VERY detailed" comment to not that well detailed but the most comprehensive review I have seen so far…
Now Ashley, what you should do is buy the Large version (63 cm wide) , cut it down to 175 cm , then report the weight and comfort of that.
Don't forget to take some pics of this mod as it progresses.
FrancoMay 6, 2009 at 12:42 am #1499356Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
…May 6, 2009 at 12:43 am #1499357Ashley BrownMember
Haha, yes I *should* buy a large version and hack it up with a knife. I should also buy a ULA circuit and cut an entry panel in it to create the perfect panel-loading travel and hiking pack I've been looking for. But alas, I'm all talk and no action ;-)May 6, 2009 at 2:48 am #1499369Rod LawlorBPL Member
Don't worry Ashley,
Just get them both shipped to me, and I'll do the mods for you. All care but no responsibility!! I'm very gung-ho when it's someone else's gear I'm working on.
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