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#156142 - 10/20/11 03:06 PM ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points?
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
Anybody not like the ThermaRest NeoAir? Based on Glenn's feedback, I'm tempted to return my (new) BA Insulated AirCore and save myself 21 ounces. I'll try it out in store first, but I want to know what potential dealbreakers I should be looking for.

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#156146 - 10/20/11 03:24 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I have the short one, and I dont have any complaints out of it. I've read about people having problems with them being loud if you move around, but I haven't noticed any issue like that. I've only used it a few times, but so far I dont see any downsides. All my experience with air mattresses before my neoair had been with the cheap pool float type. As we all know, you can almost never get ALL the air out of those. The neoair is nothing like those, and deflates very easily.

I was going to point you in the direction of the the "sleeping cold in my WM ultralite" thread, but I see you've already posted there. I really dont have any experience in the colder weather with the pad, so I can't really say anything on that topic.

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#156152 - 10/20/11 03:42 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: james__12345]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I got one two years ago and returned it, extremely disgusted. (If you insist on buying one, get it from REI!)

(1) I could not get comfortable on the thing. No matter how hard I tried (and I tried for 4 months!), I could not find the sweet spot between having my hip bone on the ground and having the pad too hard.

(2) The horizontal tubes meant that I was forever rolling off the thing.

(3) While the pad is theoretically rated at 32*F, I started getting cold at 40*F. To get it down to the mid 20's F you'll need at least a Thermarest Ridge Rest on top of it, which means that any weight saving has gone out the window.

For a similar price and weight, I now have a custom Climashield insulated (to R5) air pad, mummy style, (60" x 20" x 3.5") pad from KookaBay. 12.8 oz. and $150. The custom insulated pads are not shown on the KookaBay website; you'll have to email Bender, the owner, directly. There's a contact form on the website.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#156154 - 10/20/11 03:55 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3886
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Well, thanks to the generosity of Glenn, I can let you know what I think pretty soon smile

I did give it a test on the floor last night for a bit. I found it pretty comfy. I'll know better in a night or two when I get a chance to use it outside.

I'll also be testing a piece of single layer bubble foil on top of it to see if it adds any extra warmth. The bubble foil is 22.5" x 65" and weighs about 5oz.
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"You want to go where?"



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#156156 - 10/20/11 04:42 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
I have three seasons in with my short edition NeoAir. Biggest trick is not overinflating it--it requires less air than a traditional mattress with lengthwise tubes, or a self-inflator.

Every time I pack the tiny thing, I crack up at how little pack space it requires.

I've used it down to the low-20s so far and have been fine. With all that said, mattress comfort and temperature range are a very personal thing. If you sleep cold, I'd look at the new 4-season NeoAir.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#156160 - 10/20/11 06:17 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Rick_D]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1726
Loc: Napa, CA
We're huge fans. Never used it in really cold weather, but I got one for my wife because her zrest wasn't quite enough.

She fell in love with it.

I tried hers one afternoon for nap, came home and immediately bought one for myself. We won't use anything else.
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#156169 - 10/20/11 07:43 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: james__12345]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Only down side is people not wanting to spend the $$$ for one. I slept next to a guy a few years ago who had a new BA and I was using my NeoAir for the second night I believe, his was quite noisy. I do not notice any noise, whatever noise it had went away in a short amount of time. You may find some used ones on Backpacking Light in the appropriate forum there. A few are cropping up now, I imagine they are wanting the next latest and greatest. I've used my short on dry, sand into the single digits with a 15F degree bag. On cold or frozen ground you would need at least another pad if not a winter type mattress altogether.
Duane

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#156176 - 10/20/11 09:29 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I have a NeoAir and really like it; I prefer the short (48") model and put my empty pack under my lower legs. Having tried both the NeoAir and BA Insulated Air Core at colder temps (down to around 30), I found the the NeoAir could go about 10 degrees colder than the BA IAC before I'd start losing heat through it. I also found the crosswise baffles of the NeoAir are more comfortable (for me) than the lengthwise baffles of the IAC.

But, if you are comfortable on the IAC, I wouldn't be in any hurry to replace it if you have other changes that would produce better weight savings for the same expenditure. You would just need to be aware of the temperature limits, and add a closed-cell pad to the BA IAC below those limits.

If you do decide to go for the NeoAir, take a look at the "all-season" model - the R factor is about double the regular NeoAir (and the BA IAC), and I think it's still a few ounces lighter than the IAC. Then your decision between regular and all-season models comes down to the question: "how often will I be camping below 30 degrees?" If the answer is "only once or maybe twice a year" then I'd go with the regular and add a closed cell pad if needed.

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#156184 - 10/21/11 09:05 AM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Glenn]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
Glenn

That's what grabbed me here. I can save 15 ounces for the additional investment of about $80 if I return my brand new Big Agnes Insulated Air Core to REI. However, they only seem to carry the regular NeoAir - it only has an R value of 2.5, compared to 4.1 for the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core or 4.9 for the All Season NeoAir. Comparatively, I can save a pound on a tent for about $200, or about 5 lbs on a pack for about $200. Really, it's an opportunity to not get stuck in a sunk cost on the Insulated Air Core.

Thanks for all the help...
Steadman

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#156187 - 10/21/11 09:58 AM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Can they special-order the all-season NeoAir? My local outfitter (not a chain like REI) doesn't routinely stock the Neoair line because the bulk of their customers opt for the less expensive Thermarest self-inflater line. However, they very willingly special-ordered my regular Neoair a couple years ago, and an All-season a couple months ago. They combined it with a routine order, so there was no shipping.

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#156188 - 10/21/11 11:17 AM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I've had temps dip into the 20s and been fine on the regular NeoAir. Adding a ccf to it would take it lower.

I've hiked with people who've had BAIC pads so noisy you could hear them across the camp - set us all to giggling about it every time one poor lady rolled over. The vertical baffles aren't comfortable for me. I prefer a flat pad.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#156193 - 10/21/11 01:56 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
They're quite new and it might be they can't yet supply the volume REI requires. BackcountryGear lists them as available, so they're at least out. No way to test in-store, though (unless you live in Eugene).

I'm dubious about the BA insulate Air Core being nearly R-5. Mine doesn't seem any warmer than the standard NeoAir, and is not as comfortable.

p.s. How is it the regular is six inches longer than the medium--same width--and weighs a scant one ounce more? Seems unpossible.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By Steadman
Glenn

That's what grabbed me here. I can save 15 ounces for the additional investment of about $80 if I return my brand new Big Agnes Insulated Air Core to REI. However, they only seem to carry the regular NeoAir - it only has an R value of 2.5, compared to 4.1 for the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core or 4.9 for the All Season NeoAir. Comparatively, I can save a pound on a tent for about $200, or about 5 lbs on a pack for about $200. Really, it's an opportunity to not get stuck in a sunk cost on the Insulated Air Core.

Thanks for all the help...
Steadman


Edited by Rick_D (10/21/11 02:01 PM)
_________________________
--Rick

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#156270 - 10/24/11 02:34 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Steadman]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
I have two a regular and a short they were both gifts to me and I adore them as they have changed the way i sleep in the backcountry. My only complaint is that I just recently found that despite using the utmost precaution while using these pads my regular has developed a slow leak which on my last trip left me reinflating pretty much every 2.5 hours. Upon returning home I found the leak is in the seam where the top and bottom layers are welded together. Not quite sure how to go about repair yet as returning pad is not an option.
_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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#156273 - 10/24/11 04:41 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: Samoset]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Samoset,

Send the pad directly to Cascades Designs. They will replace the pad. I sent them a platypus on October 14 and got the replacement today.

You might want to mark the leak.

_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#156279 - 10/24/11 09:44 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: ringtail]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Although I can't stand the NeoAir, I will say that MSR/Cascade Designs has outstanding service. If the leak is at the seam, that's a defect, and they will replace your pad!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#156310 - 10/25/11 08:20 PM Re: ThermaRest NeoAir - bad points? [Re: OregonMouse]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Although I can't stand the NeoAir, I will say that MSR/Cascade Designs has outstanding service. If the leak is at the seam, that's a defect, and they will replace your pad!


Originally Posted By ringtail
Samoset,

Send the pad directly to Cascades Designs. They will replace the pad. I sent them a platypus on October 14 and got the replacement today.

You might want to mark the leak.



Thanks I sent cascade designs an email concerning the pad yesterday. And I got a responce this morning. To send pad in for warrenty inspection if they find its due to defect they will repair or replace the pad. Otherwise they charge twenty bucks to patch the pad. I will update post pending results.
_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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