Apr 19, 2011 at 10:42 am #1272510
I find both comfortable there both in my price range my
Questions is the r value on the exped is higher and from what I've heard the neoair is over rated on the r value anyway so which would you guys choose ?Apr 19, 2011 at 10:45 am #1726606
I dont own a neo-air, but from what I have gathered the listed R-vaule for the pad seams to be pretty accurate. I know many people use then in conjunction to a thing foam pad for winter camping.Apr 19, 2011 at 10:50 am #1726607
I had / have both. The NeoAir was good to about 38F and then I felt some conductive heat loss. The Exped has been used down to 26F and I was a little too hot using just silk weight underwear and a Golite quilt. The insulation makes a world of difference. One company is either overstating the R-value or one company is understating the R-value. Given that there is no international standard methodology for testing for R-value of sleeping pads (there should be – EN, are you listening?), we really can only compare real world use of both pads.Apr 19, 2011 at 11:02 am #1726609
From the reviews it's looking like the exped is a better bet for me seeing as i would like to be able to use the pad down to 20 without the bulk of a extra foam padApr 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #1726623
I'd say the listed r values are very close for both, 2.5 for the neo and 3.1 for the expedApr 19, 2011 at 11:52 am #1726637
Close only counts in Horseshoes and shaking uncontrollably at 3 in the morning because your NeoAir's warmth is way overstated.Apr 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm #1726645
I would expect the Exped to be a little warmer w/ a slightly higher r value, that shouldn't surprise anyone
most folks (not all) are finding freezing pretty close to the comfort limit of the neo (myself and my relatively cold sleeping wife included), I'd say that's pretty darn close for a 2.5 r value- w/ the 3.1 of the exped I'd expect it to be comfortable closer to the low to mid 20's- w/ some variation based on sleep system, weather and individual metabolisms obviouslyApr 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm #1726651
D GBPL Member
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
Just bought one of these over the weekend with my REI dividend.
What are you synmaters doing for inflation? inflating by mouth? How about storage? The instructions say to store unrolled with the valves opened but the air does not really escape unless you roll the pad up to let air out and then you end up with the insulation a little compressed.
Thanks!Apr 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm #1726655
I am using my mouth to inflate. I store mine under my bed with both valves open.Apr 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm #1726667
"most folks (not all) are finding freezing pretty close to the comfort limit of the neo (myself and my relatively cold sleeping wife included), I'd say that's pretty darn close for a 2.5 r value- w/ the 3.1 of the exped I'd expect it to be comfortable closer to the low to mid 20's- w/ some variation based on sleep system, weather and individual metabolisms obviously"
If you find the Neo Air that warm, then I would not be surprised that you find the Symat warm to 20F. My point is that there is not a 0.6 R-value difference between the two pads. I would not be surprised if it is closer to 1.5R in comparison testing.Apr 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm #1726673
Kyle MeyerBPL Member
@kylemeyerLocale: Portland, OR
I've been warm below freezing on a Neoair, and have slept warm on snow with it and a torso-length Ridgerest. I use an American Medical Kits emergency blanket as a groundcloth which may have something to do with it, though. If the difference between the Neoair and the Neoair trekker is R0.5, it's a fair bet that a second aluminized layer underneath likely helps in a similar capacity.
Dual use as a groundcloth and additional warmth. Cut down to 2' x 6', you're looking at roughly 1 ounce.Apr 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm #1726679
D GBPL Member
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
Do you first try to get as much air out of the pad before storage?Apr 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm #1726714
Hi Daniel – no, I simply open the valves and lay it flat. The air will work its way out but the insulation will remain uncompressed.Apr 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm #1726722
@foxnichLocale: North Georgia
I hiked last weekend on the Art Loeb trail in Western NC. The second night it was 35 degrees, and my Neo Air did fine. I was a little chilly, but honestly I was cold on my Big Agnes IAC at that temp.Apr 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm #1726731
David said "If you find the Neo Air that warm, then I would not be surprised that you find the Symat warm to 20F. My point is that there is not a 0.6 R-value difference between the two pads. I would not be surprised if it is closer to 1.5R in comparison testing."
ahh- OK- we're on the same page now, no experience w/ the new synmat, so it's possible there is that much of a gap in r valueApr 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm #1726800
Well went to rei and pulled the trigger on a synimat :)Oct 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm #1794628
"If you find the Neo Air that warm, then I would not be surprised that you find the Symat warm to 20F. My point is that there is not a 0.6 R-value difference between the two pads. I would not be surprised if it is closer to 1.5R in comparison testing."
I happened across this older thread because I was researching the Synmat UL (which looks awesome….might get one – mostly to try vertical baffles and the wider outer tubes). Kinda fun to look back on these comments in light of the State of the Market article now out.
Depending on the level of inflation, the Synmat tested at R 2.7-3.8 (R 3.25 average) while the NeoAir tested at R 1.6 – 6.1 (R 3.85 average). We can see that at an average level of inflation, both mats are warmer than claimed, with the NeoAir being warmer than the Synmat UL. Perhaps David had the NeoAir under inflated, as that really drops the R-value. The NeoAir R-value does vary with inflation level quite a bit, which might actually be a good thing because you can top it off for cold nights, or let air out when it's warm.Oct 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm #1794630
I own both and I notice that the Exped is noticeably warmer, in my opinion a much better pad. Living in the desert I deal with punctures and in my opinion the Exped holds up a little better. I like that it comes with a stuff sack and repair kit also.Oct 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm #1794634
I guess the other question is 'does it really matter?', because both pads are clear 3-season pads (as opposed to 4-season pads or summer pads). I've used my NeoAir down to 20F many times and even slept on snow with it 2-3 times. I could tell I was losing some heat on the snow, but my bag kept me warm enough to sleep through the night. When not sleeping on snow, I've never really noticed losing a large amount of heat thru the pad. My point is that for normal 3 season use, either pad is going to be warm enough and there's probably more salient deciding factors.
I like that the Synmat supposedly measures a couple cm's wider in real life, and I like how it's got the larger tubes along the edges. Supposedly the material feels nicer too, which isn't a big deal but it's nice.Oct 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm #1794635
Another former Neoair user that votes for the Exped, hands-down. The UL7 is quieter, warmer, easier to stay on due to the raised edges, and less slippery.Oct 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm #1794636
If 'quieter, warmer and less slippery' aren't worries for me, do you still recommend the Synmat over the NeoAir for it's shape (ie. slightly wider, larger tubes on the outside) or do you find this doesn't make much of difference. My primary concern is how comfortable I am.Oct 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm #1794640
Best sleep I have had in backcountry! I have owned Big Agnes ins. air cores, Neo Air, and sold off a Kooka Bay pad that was over-kill and overweight for my needs and I haven't regretted getting rid of any of them after using the Exped this summer.Oct 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm #1794646
Thanks Robert. I'll probably put one of these on my birthday list (or Christmas list if that doesn't work out).
I've been sleeping on my NeoAir small this summer, and I'm starting to think that the short pad thing is hurting my back and I need to go back to full length. I think what happens is that eventually at some point in the night I wind up sleeping on my back (because I roll around quite a bit) and when I sleep on my back with my legs dropping off over the end of the pad, it bends my back backwards a bit and then it gets sore and after that I'm sore and don't sleep well for the rest of the night. When I use the same pad to sleep in my car, I pile up clothes under my feet to raise them up and I always sleep great in the car….so I think it's the drop off that is hurting me, which is a big change from what I've been believing all along (that a short pad was working just as well).Oct 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm #1794651
Dan, No problem. The problem with all gear is how subjective it is to everyones experiences with it. Like you mentioned, for 3 season hiking, either one will work, but for me it was an easy choice. There have been some that have mentioned that they like the horizontal tubes of the Neoair as opposed to the vertical tubes of the UL7, but again that is a personal preference. Best of luck on whichever way you go!Oct 25, 2011 at 3:00 am #1794694
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I bought the Neoair to replace two Pads.
1. A Neoair Regular, userd for about 20 nights from summer in tents to winter in snow holes (with CCF) and was alway warm and comforable but I kept rolling off it and found it a bit too narrow.
2. Kookabay R 6 Mummy Pad, used a handul of time, very comfy but again a bit too narrow and my head and feet kept falling off the Pad.
I havent used the Synmat in the field yet so cannot comment on the wamth but I have test slept on it at at home and its far more comfortable than the Neoair or Kookabay mummy and I dont roll off.
Below this is how I plan to use it for both situatios.
1. 3 Season, I will use it with a 1/3 lengh of Z lite and the same size of Car Windscreen insulation (wieght about 40g)
2. Winter, Full lenght Z lite with 2/3 of Car Winscreen insulation (80g)
My new system will be slightly heavier and bulkier than my old one but allows more so for Pad damage or unexpected temperature decreases.
I always like to carry 1/3 CCF with me all year round to keep my backside warm at lunch time so thats no weight penalty.
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