Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Review

Editor: Randy
Overall Rating: Excellent [rating: 4.5 /5]

Basic Description:

A three season, revolutionary lightweight sleeping pad.
Just the Facts: This lightweight, inflatable sleeping pad has one of the very best insulation to weight ratios of any pad I’ve used. Therm-a-Rest achieved this remarkable insulation/weight ratio by designing a revolutionary reflective barrier and special Triangular Core Matrix baffle construction that doesn’t contain any insulation, yet it is approximately three times warmer than any other un-insulated air mattress on the market. In simple terms, the Core Matrix is a welded-nylon grid of chambers that increases the total number of air cells by 10 times when compared to other traditional air pads. The aluminized urethane film material that holds the Core Matrix together reflects heat back to your body while deflecting the cold air from the ground. To top it off, the NeoAir  is only 2.5” thick and can be rolled up so small that you could fit it inside your Nalgene bottle. It comes in a yellow/silver color (Limon) and looks a lot like it should be used as a floating air mattress for your swimming pool instead of a reliable piece of outdoor gear. For me, when you have to spend days of hardcore time out on the mountain saving vital storage space in your pack and reducing the overall weight you are carrying becomes extremely important. My regular size NeoAir is 72” long and weighs only 14 oz! You can’t beat that!
To inflate the NeoAir it takes slightly more effort than inflating one of my self-inflating mattress’, but I didn’t find this issue an inconvenience at all and can have my pad inflated to my desired comfort level in just a couple of minutes. Deflating the mattress is just as simple…. All you do is open the valve, lay on the mattress and squeeze out as much air as possible. I like to fold my mattress in thirds lengthwise and then roll it up from the end opposite the valve to push any remaining air out.  Rolling up my NeoAir actually reminds me of folding up a “Space Blanket” as it makes a unique “crinkling noise.”


I’ve  tested my NeoAir under the toughest of backpacking conditions going on three years now. I’ve had it in the sweltering heat of Utah’s rugged desert terrain, on the tundra of the Northwest Territories, and in the numbing cold of rocky, high alpine mountain passes hunting goats at 12,000 feet. I can honestly say that I’m a huge fan of the NeoAir and wouldn’t trade it for any thing else and I own multiple sleeping pads! I just love how small it compresses and yet inflates to create a mattress that does not seem to leak, seep moisture and reflects heat. The coating on the material does seem to attract fine grains of sand in desert terrain but it sweeps off easily with your hand. I have been very careful with the ultralight material, afraid that I might puncture a small hole, as I always utilize a tent floor or ground cloth to sleep on. If you are a die hard backpack hunter or mountaineer you just can’t beat the NeoAir sleeping pad.


Star Rating Per Category:

Functionality: [rating: 5/5]
Value: [rating: 5/5]
Ergonomics: [rating: 5/5]
Durability: [rating: 4/5]


The only improvement I can suggest is that Thermarest could widen the width of the pad just slightly in the shoulder area.

Therm-a-rest NeoAir sleeping pad Review
  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability