Mar 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm #1314388
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
My new (last year) Prolite reg. weighs 4 oz. more (I previously wrote 10 oz. difference by mistake)than the NeoAir Xlite so I'm relenting and going back to the NeoAir. (I had the original NeoAir and returned it for several reasons.)
Much as I like the ProLite I just can't see carrying an extra 10 oz. around, especially when my coming TT Moment DW is a few ounces heavier than my former Moment single wall. I need that lighter mattress to offset the slightly heavier Moment DW and still lighten my load several ounces.
Besides the damage to my checking account is there any reason I should Not get the Neo Air Xlite??
I have reversed my decision and gone with the Thermarest Prolite regular. Ease of inflation. no noise, and small weight difference made the decision for me. Plus the fact that Cascade Designs gave me a FREE Prolite reg. when my ancient Thermaest LITE delaminated. Couldn't pass that up.
On the other hand… (hee, hee)Mar 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm #2082579
@anarkhosLocale: Colorado, Wyoming
I cant stand the idea of babying my sleeping pad, so thats a reason. Im super paranoid about it rupturing and if/when i get mine I'll be using a gg foam pad underneath.Mar 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm #2082580
@billreyn1Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
Mine lasted 1850 miles to the finish on my AT hike last year and is still going strong.Mar 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm #2082585
delMar 13, 2014 at 6:22 pm #2082592
@dmusasheLocale: Pacific Northwest
Reasons for not choosing a NeoAir XLite:
Crinkly and noisy (like sleeping on a doritos bag)
Needs to be babied (not a problem for some people)
Possible concerns about reflective insulative material delaminating with use
Very narrow useable width (the sides buckle badly, giving you only about 18-19" of useable pad width)
No longer rectangular (though some see this as a worthwhile weight reduction)
You already know all the reasons one might choose an XLite, so there's no need to cover the pluses here…Mar 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm #2082595
Neoair is great to me. It's very comfortable and I have had no problems with dudability, even using it under a tarp.Mar 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm #2082598
Trying to crunch the numbers, to see where the 10 ozs are. Are you using the Prolite Plus?
If so, I'm a side sleeper and have found that the regular Prolite size small has been great for me as a side sleeper and it's only 12 oz (they advertise 11). I never had a problem with my legs or feet getting cold but I could throw them on my pack if that issue ever came up.Mar 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm #2082600
I had the original NeoAir and eventually sent it in for warranty replacement due to the 'deflation effect' issue prone to first gen NeoAirs. CD sent me an Xlite as the replacement and I haven't looked back. Noisy – yes, but uber comfy for any sleeping style. I am a shorty (5'7") so the regular is plenty large and I haven't found myself rolling/sliding off. No problems with the reflecting material delaminating yet (2 years). I have a LuxuryLite cot (now owned by CD too) that I picked up before lightening up and I still use it for car/Scout camping on occasion, but someone asked me recently which I prefer and I had to say the NeoAir as the cot allows for more airflow underneath which isn't ideal for the shoulder seasons that I usually backpack in. My 2 cents (get the Xlite) ….Mar 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm #2082614
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Mine is a couple years old. It is a small and weight 7.53 ounces.
I don't think it is noisy. But when using it I am asleep.
No leaks in mine, even in deserts. But I often bring a thin foam pad for under the NeoAir, which is extra weight.
No delamination (yet?)
It is the same width at the top as most my foam pads.
I am very happy with it. I am getting to old to sleep on foam pads, so I have to say it is luxurious, much more comfortable than a self-inflating pad, which I tried but didn't care for after trying a NeoAir.Mar 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm #2082618
@oystersLocale: South Australia
Thinlight pad underneath solves the durability problem, though adds weight back in.
I'm not entirely sure though that durability IS a problem with the latest generation now that they have sorted out construction details. The fabric really isn't much different to the latest Prolites. If something is going to puncture an Xlite, its probably going to puncture a Prolite as well. Having had plenty of minor piss me off leaks in older generation thermarests, the prolite and Xlite that I have are amazingly durable in comparison. I've only just started using a thinlight underneath the Xlite, but I only ever really used a piece of plastic grounsheet underneath before and underneath the prolite, and after almost 10months use in 23 countries in the last couple of years I haven't had a problem yet. Plus plenty of use in Australia where the thorny prickles can be amazing…
A puncture patch for the Xlite weighs nothing and is good insurance.
Just sit down on the ground where you intend to put your pad. If its covered in spiny thorns your rear end will tell you not to put your pad there! Haha.Mar 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm #2082620Mar 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm #2082630
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
I was surprised at how quiet the new X-Lites are — I'd read a lot about the alleged "potato chip bag crinkling" noise, but in practice, once the pad was fully inflated, it was SILENT, even for a rotisserie sleeper. To my shock and amazement, after we changed pads for the second night of our trip, both my husband and I agreed that my Synmat UL was much noisier than his X-Lite. Now I wish I could trade my Large Synmat UL for a Large X-Lite…grrrrrrr.Mar 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm #2082633
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
Eric, knowing what little of your personality you've expressed here, I'd highly recommend you look at the XTherm instead of the XLite. Sure, it's a warmer pad, but that's not the key difference in my book.
Having used both pads (I had an early XLite two seasons ago and switched to an XTherm for all of last season, including winter camping), I find them both to be excellently comfortable and quality pads. But the 70D bottom on the the XTherm, compared to the 30D on the XLite, is really worth the price difference (assuming you've already decided to shell out the cash for a NeoAir in the first place). The weight gain is minimal–I already carried a 1/8" CCF pad for protection, which I no longer need–, and the bottom fabric is impressively robust so far. Keep in mind that if you have a 2013 or newer ProLite, you were using only 50D fabric.
I realize that it's an extra 2.5-3.0 oz depending upon the production batch, but I think that it's weight and money well-spent.Mar 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm #2082634
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I have tried almost every inflatable out there, and hated them all.
They are not quick to blow up or pack up, they also are like putting all your eggs in one basket.
I prefer the Klymit x-frame and a CCF pad in addition, usually 1/8th or 1/2 below.
Its super fast to blow up, and super durable. Not as comfy though but more comy than CCF.Mar 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm #2082639
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Just switched from a Prolite Plus to an Xlite myself. Comfort is excellent, appreciate the weight savings, but am falling prey to the paranoia of a puncture (as others have said, just as likely with other pads like the Prolite Plus), so just purchased a roll of FloorMuffler carpet underlayment as protection, which adds back 3 oz, darn it.Mar 13, 2014 at 9:50 pm #2082665
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
I've spent about 40 nights on my XLite. Had the first generation model since right when they came out, so mine was one of the first off the line. It has gotten a lot quieter, and I have not babied it at all. It goes inside my tent, hammock or directly on a lean-to floor, and has been nothing but fantastic for me. I
I recently got an XTherm as well and spent about a week in it… It is just as good but noticeably slower to inflate/deflate. Plenty warm on its own even down to 0°F.Mar 14, 2014 at 1:27 am #2082694
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
for comfort/weight/warmth, the neo air xlites and xtherms are hard to beat. As a tarp user, I usually put a thin CCF as a groundpad and extra protection under mine, which double functions as back support in my frameless packs. I use to carry a 3-4 oz GG nightlight pad. That I could sleep on it at all made me feel like I was getting away with something, but now I have something as good as the xlite for a few more oz that is actually comfortable to sleep on, and I'm definitely getting away with something. Man, I kind of feel that way about all my ultralight gear now. A six oz two person tarp?! What?! We're spoiled, I used to think my one and a half lb mid was light.Mar 14, 2014 at 6:20 am #2082715
Eric, your original question was "is there any reason I should Not get the Neo Air Xlite??"
None I can think of. I could go on about how much I like mine, but that isn't what you asked.Mar 14, 2014 at 6:36 am #2082720
Chad “Stick” PoindexterParticipant
@stickLocale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
I love the NeoAir design in general, and for me, they are my favorite.
I started with the original and loved it. Most comfy of any other pad (to me). Lighter than others. Packed small.
2+ years later it developed a slow leak and I ended up going with an XLite. I went with the large to make up for the cut corners (my biggest/only hang up with them). It is 2 oz heavier than my original Neo, but I will admit, I have come to like the width at the torso, so I am ok with it.
However, the NeoAirs are hot for me in the summer time (think 80+ F nights) so I have went with a small ProLite 3. It is 5 oz lighter than the XLite, and for me, just as comfy, but not as hot.
I also have a ProLite 4 (regular) and it is a great pad, but too heavy… comfy wise, it's great. I also have a regular size REI Lite Core 1.5, which is the same pad as the ProLite 4…
I also have an Exped Synmat 7 and I don't find it to be comfy at all, but it's my warmest pad. I can't sleep on it though so it is my loaner pad.
I bought a Static V and found it to be the most uncomfy pad I have tried. There were just so many things wrong with that pad… I sold it.
So now my go to for colder hikes is the XLite, and warmer trips is my ProLite 3. I am a happy camper…
As far as durability, no doubt some of the other mentioned pads are more "durable", however, IMO, an air pad is an air pad, and any of them can pop. If someone plans to use an air pad in the field, it is their responsibility to make sure that they use it correctly (like any other piece of gear). Take a moment to clear the ground of anything sharp, and carry a repair kit, that's all there is to it. If I want a durable pad, I will stick with ccf. If I want a comfortable pad, I will go with my XLite.
As for noise, yep, the Neo's generally make some crinkling noise, however, I personally do not notice it because I am sleeping like a baby on mine… However, that doesn't mean that others are asleep, so they may notice it (although not for long cause once I pass out I am still…so no crinkling). But to be fair, I have spent a number of nights listening to others roll around on their (something other than a NeoAir) pads, and guess what, they can be loud too… The best way to get by noise is to sleep way away from others, use ear plugs, take some sort of sleep aid, or all 3.
My opinion, go with the XLite and don't look back! :)Jul 16, 2014 at 2:45 am #2120148
@andyjarmanLocale: Edge of the World
Left my Xtherm packing sack behind and just stuffed the pad in the bottom of my backpack. Ripped it in two places with one inch rips – it was rubbing against something in the pack. Patched it with some heavy duty gaffa/duct tape, the patches are still there two years later!
Lessons learned – Xtherm fabric is thicker than Xlite but it is still pretty vulnerable, the packing sack they come with is very necessary for protection from friction with other gear, DUCT TAPE RULES!Jul 16, 2014 at 4:12 am #2120152
@dandruLocale: Down Under
Just recently spent over a week in a thorny prickly area with no problems, but I had a Tyvek groundsheet under the tent. I was told to take a foam mat because I'd get a puncture for sure but that didn't happen.
My only gripe is blowing the large mat up but the comfort is worth it, on a long distance hike I'd be taking a foam mat.Jul 16, 2014 at 4:30 am #2120154
@dougpgreenLocale: North Carolina Piedmont
Haven't seen this addressed. I am a back sleeper with fairly broad shoulders. When I tried sleeping on an xlite, which is 2.5 inches thick and 20 inches wide (or other 20 inch wide inflatables) I find that I am uncomfortable with my arms dropping that far to the ground level. It is something about the way it makes my elbows hit. On a prolite 1 inch thick open cell foam pad the drop is less so the narrow width doesn't bother me as much. If I went with an xlite large to get the width it weighs as much as my pro lite. This is of course a very personal issue specific to my sleep style and perhaps to my specific anatomy.Jul 16, 2014 at 6:21 am #2120170
Doug, I'm in the same camp. I switched to inflatables mainly for the less bulk. Worked myself up to a large NeoAir. Can't stand it. Arms off the side kill my shoulders by morning. I went back to using a Ridgerest, or an older Thermarest Prolite. I have always been a good sleeper. I am comfortable on a ccf pad, but the inflatable is more so.Jul 16, 2014 at 7:01 am #2120176
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
" I find that I am uncomfortable with my arms dropping that far to the ground level. "
It is an entirely personal matter, of course, but IMHO (and a lot of people's) the "right" way to use an Xlite is as follows. Lie on it and reach over and open the valve a bit. Slowly let the air out until your hip (the lowest point that supports the most weight) is barely off the ground no matter how you turn, but never touches. Close valve. Vary as needed and to taste. If your hip is ever too cold – more air.
For example your butt will hit the ground when you sit up which turns out to be quite useful for more than one reason. Anyway I find this perfect for my tastes, and it even solves to a certain degree for me the perennial issue of finding a perfectly flat spot. Before this I have used torso-lenght CCF pads for a very long while and have spent over a decade lying down on prospective campsites first (not so good when it is raining or already wet) to test if there is some unseen slope that will bother me. I haven't tried this yet to my knowledge, but I imagine you could get a level sleep even on very angled ground, within reason. So that problem solved as well. I just eyeball the flatness of the campsite now.
So back to the main issue that was mentioned, yes, if the thing is as tight as a trampoline and you are on your back you elbows are going to be kind of low. Though I am a side sleeper I noticed this as well when lying on my back with it fully inflated. With the cushy inflation, for me at least, not at all. In fact I will go further than that. During one of the past few time I used an Xlite this way I decided that it could turn me into a back sleeper. For me lying on my back in the semi-deflated mode with my elbows on the side is some kind of paradise, and the elbow drop then become perfect. I started with a small, and still use it if it will be very warm, but since I am currently using a very boney pack I decided to see what giving my knees and feet a break after all these years would be like. So I cut a regular Xlite down (highly recommended if you are short btw, and only takes a few minutes to do the mod), and with my heels just curving over the end, OMG it is the most comfortable thing I have ever laid on, including my bed. Waves of pleasure sweep over me and the decades of using a pad as a minimalist exercise in necessary evils seem redeemed. I mean I even tried a freakin' "Van Peski" hip donut a few times for pity's sake. Ah, redemption at last!
I also find for myself that the deflated mode also completely solves for me the rolling off the edge issue – if become more of a cradle. I'm not huge, so a lot of folks might still need the 25 inch one, even deflated. It also complexity solves the leg drop issue for the small. So if you like the semi-inflated mode everything is rosy.
Now on the occasion where it is cold enough to need it, you can use a bit more air, right up to fully inflated if you are in the arctic (hyperbole warning).
I do know there are a few folks who don't like it deflated and need it to be a trampoline. Sucks to be you I guess if your elbows are an issue. Otherwise, do try it at least once before you give up on the xlite.Jul 16, 2014 at 10:14 am #2120221
I switched my summer pad from a Prolite Plus to an X-Lite last year. I found all of the concerns I had when I bought it to be non-issues for me:
I find little to no "crinkly / noisy" sound at all. Not any more noise than any other inflatable I have slept on.
The only "babying" that I give it is the Tyvek groundsheet that I have always used as a floor anyway.
After 20+ nights on it… No holes or indications that the reflective insulation material is de-laminating.
I got the long/wide, so the width is great for me and the sides don't buckle at all when I am in a lying position. At one pound, this is the first pad I have ever owned that I didn't feel guilty about going size large on.
There just isn't enough cushion on a CCF Pad or a Pro-lite for my old bones anymore. I just feel like I deserve better than the Pro-lite offers, if I am going to carry the extra weight of an inflatable sleeping pad.
I have a Downmat UL7 that I was thinking of using year-round (even in the summer), since it is so comfortable. Because of how pleased I am with the X-Lite, the Downmat remains strictly my winter mat now.
The only honest criticism I can offer on it is the dog-gone price tag. Every time I run into the "price guilt" of an item that makes my trips drastically better, I just remind myself that my wife spends over $100 to get her hair cut and highlighted and, wahlah, guilt free once again. Give it a try. It worked when I bought my Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags too!
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