Author Topic: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?  (Read 2777 times)

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Offline Rick.in.AZ

Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« on: October 20, 2012, 10:51:10 am »
Another gear question from me...

I have a ~15 yr old 3/4 lenght Thermarest pad. It works and holds air fine.  It has been stored uncompressed, so still fully inflates.

But I read about these new neoair pads - much thicker, cushier, warmer, lighter......but spendy at $130-$200.

Does anyone have experience with both the old and the new?  Are the neoair pads worth the upgrade cost.
This is for 11 weeks TransAm next summer (and likely other shorter rides in the future).

Offline newfydog

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 12:11:58 pm »
Yes, thay are way better.  When I was young I could sleep on anything.  Now my aching body loves the neo-air.

I would have never believed it, but this little two ounce inflator is worth it too, especially if a few people can share it.

http://www.tahoemountainsports.com/product/camp-tek-microburst

Offline staehpj1

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 04:47:10 pm »
The regular thermarests like the Prolite 4 are good, but yes the NeoAir is much better.  They are substantially lighter, pack much smaller, and are much plusher.


Offline John Nelson

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 07:18:28 pm »
I think you need to figure out how much pad thickness you need to be comfortable. I have found that one inch isn't near enough for me. I find 2.5" thickness much more comfortable. You don't really know until you sleep on it. It's nice to go to a store that allows you to inflate the pad and lie on it for a good long while. Or better yet, take it camping and bring it back if you don't like it (REI allows this).

Offline dombrosk

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 05:50:09 am »
Another option to consider: the Exped SynMat.  After years on several models of thermarests I switched to one of these a few years ago.  If you're in the AARP age bracket, and especially if you like to sleep on your side, this might be a good option for you.

Offline Eastman

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 12:47:07 pm »
^^^What dombrosk said.  I have the Exped Downmat 7 and it gives me the comfort I want.  I happily carry it on the bike or on my back.  Well worth every dollar.

Offline rifleman3353

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 01:41:36 pm »
My neo air is 20" by47" by 2.5" thick.It weighs about 11oz.If u toss and turn all night like I do it like laying on a bag of potato chips.Crunch,crunch,crunch

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 03:14:49 pm »
Good inputs.  I looked up the Exped SynMat, and while it is cheaper, it is MUCH heavier.  Yes, I am in the AARP age group (56), but i sleep on my stomache or back more than on my side, and prefer a firm matress. But I will admit that while the 1 " thermorest I have now is OK, it's not super comfy.

Guess I'll be watching to see if someone put's the Neoair's on sale. If not, watch for another REI 20% one item in the spring.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 09:32:27 am »
You can find extensive reviews of the Neoair lines at many backpacking sites. They are highly regarded.
On Ride Idaho 2012, I visited with three guys from the midwest who have made careers of bike touring. They each have three complete kits: credit card, supported and ultralight. Ride Idaho is a supported tour but they had brought the minimalist kits since they'd be taking off on a self-contained trip after ending Ride Idaho. The minimalist kits had to fit completely inside their Bob waterproof bags. They had all recently purchased Neoair units and were enthusiastic about the comfort and ease of inflation. They also liked the reduction in mass and size.

Ride Idaho is 6 mights of camping. I asked them about the Neoairs at the end and they had no negative comments.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 09:55:47 am »
They each have three complete kits: credit card, supported and ultralight. Ride Idaho is a supported tour but they had brought the minimalist kits since they'd be taking off on a self-contained trip after ending Ride Idaho. The minimalist kits had to fit completely inside their Bob waterproof bags.
Sorry for taking this off topic, but...
I have to wonder why anyone would use a bob trailer (13.5 pounds) and a Dry Sak (2.75 pounds) to carry ultralight kit.  In backpacking ultralight is generally defined as under 10 pounds base weight.  Cyclists may tend to stretch that range a bit higher, but I'd still think an empty Bob trailer and Dry Sak would already be outside of the ultralight range by some definitions without even adding any gear.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 10:07:21 am by staehpj1 »