Therm-A-Rest Xlite pad review

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Thermarest NeoAirTm XLite®

Editor: Cameron


Basic Description:

This is the lightest weight NeoAirTm that Thermarest has designed. This pad uses their new Patent-pending Triangular Core MatrixTm construction that helps make this pad one of the most comfortable I have slept on. It has a very warm and yet light weight reflective layer that helps maintain body heat and conserve warm air. Think of it as a space blanket, or the same principal as one. Body heat that is generated is not wasted, but is reflected back towards you, to help you stay warm.

Just the Facts:

– R-Value of 3.2, perfect for early to mid-season hunting
– 12 ounces, was 11.5 on my scale without stuff sack
– 20”x72”x2.5” Although the pad is 20” wide at the head and shoulders it is tapered towards the foot area, I have had no issue while using mummy bags but it is narrower towards the bottom of the pad. It also has rounded corners on all 4 as well.
– Made in Seattle Washington, USA


Story:

Last year you may remember that I used and tested the NeoAirTm All Season pad, which is warmer and heavier than this pad. From my current usage of the XLite® this pad is as comfortable, almost ½ pound lighter and almost as warm. For most guys cutting a few ounces from a variety of things is a huge accomplishment, but with this one pad guys could easily cut ½ pound off their pack weight. Most pads on the market are over 20 ounces for backpackers so that weight reduction is easily achievable.

You may be asking yourself, how do they get this pad so light? Well, let me spell that out for you. They are using the most advanced insulation design and process in the industry. They also have this pad in a mummy cut and round off the corners to shave even more weight. I would guess this shape saves about 2-3 ounces from a traditional square pad. Lastly they are using 30d nylon for the top and bottom which is a lighter weight than their 70 d nylon and 75d polyester used on the All Season pad. All that adds up the lightest pad on the market for its R-Value, you may have remembered in my review last year that I figured how many ounces a few competitors’ pads took to reach one R-Value. So let’s see how the XLite® matches up.

Exped Synmat UL – 16.2 oz/ 3.1 = 5.23
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core – 24 oz/ 4.1 (Estimate) = 5.85
Thermarest NeoAir™ All Season – 19 oz/ 4.9 = 3.88
Thermarest NeoAirTm XLite® – 12oz/3.2=3.75

So as you can see the XLite® is the most efficient pad I have listed here and I cannot find any other pad on the market that beats its rating.

The last important point with this pad is comfort. I am a real fan of horizontal baffles and this pad is just as comfortably as the All Season. The XLite® is 2.5” thick and I have nothing to complain about in terms of comfort. If I had to choose between the All Season and the XLite® for all my hunting and scouting needs it would be the XLite® hands down. I might choose the All Season for a later season hunt if I knew the temps were going to drop. But, if I had the XLite® and a hunt like that came up I would just buy a Thermarest ZLite small to add to the XLite®. The two when put together are within a couple ounces of the All Season and would provide the 4 season warmth needed for later season hunting.


What they could do better:

This pad is the best I have used, there is nothing they could do better. I will caution people that toss and turn in the middle of the night or are used to bigger pads, this is a mummy shaped pad and that should be considered. I will be using this pad with a bivy so that keeps me in place and I sleep on my back anyways and don’t move until morning.


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