Jan 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm #1284389
I got my Neoair Xlite small in the mail today from Backcountry.com. I thought I'd post up a few pics and some initial thoughts.
Weight: I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box and weighed the pad and it came out to 8.3 oz, which is pretty close to the 8 oz spec. Then I unrolled it, and the stuff sack, patch kit, and product literature fell out! I was even more pleased when I re-weighed it. Total weight for the size small: 7.2 oz!
Size: It is the same length as the old Neoair small, but feels narrower because of the tapered design. I find that with NeoAirs I have to put my Kookabay pillow on top of the pad since they are so thick, and this takes up a fair chunk of the length of such a short pad. If you don't do this, you might not notice a difference since your hips will be on a wider part of the pad.
Noise: It is definitely a bit more crinkly than my old NeoAir, but doesn't bother me at all.
Warmth: I laid down on the floor on both my old NeoAir and new XLite a few times and couldn't really tell much difference. This is a pretty bad test though and I doubt I could tell the difference between 2.5 and 3.2 R value with such a simple test.
Fabric: The fabric on the old NeoAir is totally opaque. In contrast, the new Xlite fabric is partially see-thru. You can easily see the internal baffles and reflective layer inside the pad.
Valve: The valve has been relocated to the edge of the pad on the seam between the top and bottom panels with a tapered plug.
Overall I am pretty pleased. It is both 20% lighter and 20% warmer than the original. I am torn whether I should offset some of the weight savings by exchanging it for a regular size, since the small is pretty minimal with the tapered design and my pillow.Jan 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm #1827027
Cute padJan 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm #1827042
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
Cute, Dan..Jan 20, 2012 at 7:32 am #1827152
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
About how quickly does the XLite deflate when packing it up? Would you guess it takes about the same amount of time as the old NeoAir?Jan 20, 2012 at 10:18 am #1827235
It's slightly faster to inflate/deflate than the NeoAir due to the reduced volume of the tapered shape. The valve is the same size as the old one. The small definitely blows up fast.
AndrewJan 20, 2012 at 10:20 am #1827237
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
A NeoAir that comes with a stuff sack and patch kit? Unpossible!
Thanks for the info–sounds quite promising.
RickJan 20, 2012 at 10:38 am #1827246
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
What are your thoughts on how the durability of the pad will compare to the original?Jan 20, 2012 at 11:40 am #1827268
It's hard to say from my very limited use, but the fabric feels very similar to the old NeoAir. With a little bit of care I have had zero punctures/leaks with the old one, and don't expect any with this version either.
I ordered a regular size from Backcountry, I'll post pics of that one too when it shows up. It looks like it will be a lot wider at the hips than the short size, since the taper doesn't start until the hips.Jan 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #1827270
That's a lot of taper on the short size. Then again, 7.2oz…
I might just need to accidentally puncture my original. Just, ya know, so I have an excuse…Jan 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm #1827378
Thanks for the review. I will be geting one this year.Jan 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm #1827388
@creachenLocale: East Bay
On my list for sure as soon as REI gets them in stock.
Thanks for the INFO..Jan 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm #1827389
My wife wanted a Patagonia shirt that was on Backcountry. But it lacked just $2 for free shipping. I just needed one more little something to tip it over. Hmmmmmm….
So I got a reg length XLite!
I am so bad!Jan 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm #1827468
Nice work Stephen! I think most of us have been guilty of that before. Let us know what you think when you get it. (I mean the XLite, not "get it" from your wife for ordering the pad.)Jan 21, 2012 at 3:34 am #1827565
@matthewbrownLocale: Blue Ridge Mtns
Stephen. The exact same excuse,(Ahem) I mean logic, I use when buying from online retailers. Shoot, you proabably saved at the minimum $7.50 on shipping. Good call. ;)Jan 21, 2012 at 11:24 am #1827715
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
My original small NeoAir had a pin hole that even in my bathtub was hard to pin point the exact spot. I returned it and Cascade Designs sent me a new one. How are you gonna fix a hole in the field? It would have to be pretty visible, can you imagine trying to hold down a partially inflated pad in a lake or creek?
DuaneJan 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm #1827748
You are right Duane, the hole would have to be visible to the naked eye… I doubt you could submerge the pad in a lake and find it. Also, the Neoair has no foam inside like most other sleeping pads so if it leaks and you can't find it you are SOL. This is why I also carry a Suluk46 24"x74"x1/8" foam pad. It protects the neoair from pointy stuff on the ground, adds about R0.3 warmth, provides pack frame support and if the Neoair does leak I can sleep on it only and be OK for a night or two.Jan 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm #1827776
"How are you gonna fix a hole in the field? It would have to be pretty visible, can you imagine trying to hold down a partially inflated pad in a lake or creek?"
Rub a little soap – ie. Campsuds – on the suspected area and you'll be able to see the bubbles. Even if you have to do the whole pad, it's not that bad.
"the Neoair has no foam inside like most other sleeping pads so if it leaks and you can't find it you are SOL"
The NeoAir still provides some insulation value if it's totally flat. The regular NeoAir is about R 1.0 when it's flat and the NeoAir Xtherm is about R2.5 when flat.Jan 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm #1827796
Dan, do you know how they increased the insulation value of the Xlite vs the Neoair? I had assumed they added extra baffles, but the baffles look the same to me. From your comment it sounds like you think they increased the efficiency of the reflective barrier? I am surprised that radiative losses are high enough to provide R2.5 equivalent insulation.Jan 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm #1827802
That's the Xtherm that is R 2.5 when it's flat. The Xlite is probably a tiny bit better than the regular NeoAir…so maybe R1.1 or R1.2 when flat.
I'm not sure what changes they made. I think the Xlite still has one reflective layer like the original NeoAir, while the Xtherm has 3. Perhaps they made the baffles a bit smaller on either side of the reflective layer.Feb 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm #1835577
did you exchange small for a regular? I just got my small and am returning, even pushing my head to the pillow to pull my torso further up, its too narrow by at least an inch at the hips.
I might go regular to get the width back at the hips.Feb 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm #1835611
I got a regular, haven't sent the small back yet, I am trying to decide which one to keep. The regular is 12.7 oz. It is significantly wider at the hips… the taper begins below there, as opposed to the small where it starts tapering at the shoulders. 5.5 oz is a big savings if I keep the small, but oh man is the regular luxuriously comfortable.Feb 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm #1835613
Ideally high-up central on the Xlite laid flat, seeing as you have both can you put the small ontop of the regular and get camera as high as possible and central? Measurements with a ruler too?
My Xlite small is now in the UPS drop-box, just too minimalist for my 'ole bones.Feb 7, 2012 at 12:30 am #1835623
I searched for the Xlite size/weights, much (all???) of the Xlite's weight savings is down to taper. That taper on the regular and the large is probably not as significantly impacting comfort than it is on the small, a little bit of taper like on the Prolite when around the foot end isn't that major a loss.
Returning my $104 Xlite small and bought a Neoair Small $65. $39 in my pocket but R reduced.
I am wondering though, the Women's Xlite looks the superior product, its got the same MSRP of $159, but claims same weight and claims improved R , if its not so tapered at the hips, to befit a female shape, it might be the best Xlite there is?Feb 7, 2012 at 11:08 am #1835797
The women's version is a bit shorter. Choices, choices…Feb 10, 2012 at 11:07 am #1837438
I've now returned two X-Lites for being leaky. The first deflated nearly completely in three hours. The second one was better, but was deflated after 48 hrs – a slow leak. My concern with the slow leak was that it would turn into a fast leak with use.
Be sure to give any X-Lites you purchase a thorough testing before taking them on a trip!
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