Author Topic: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability  (Read 1077 times)

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Offline Rick.in.AZ

Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« on: August 26, 2013, 03:02:40 pm »
Planning for Trans AM - REI has Neo air on sale this week, but the guys there told me not to use one due to reliability risk.  They said to use a foam pad or Z rest.

The price is right, and affordable for me, but I don't want a crisis half way thru an 11 week Trans am trip.

Are the sales guys over reacting?
Should I just buy one and not worry?


Offline John Nelson

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 03:47:18 pm »
I don't know, but I just bought a NeoAir on sale at REI yesterday. If it fails in the first year, you can return it. I have heard of some failures of the NeoAir, but not many. A guy I was riding with two summers ago had a NeoAir burst some internal seams after he fully inflated it and left it in his tent on a hot summer afternoon. Here's how he reported it:

My Thermarest Neo-air popped, more like exploded. I filled it in the evening with usual 60 lung fulls of air. The next morning I left it inside the tent. Thermal expansion caused two of the baffles inside to blow with a loud pop.

The NeoAir has been through a few iterations of technology over the years. I'm not sure which version he had.

By the way, you used the term "self inflating pad" in the subject of this thread. The NeoAir is not self-inflating.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 05:28:28 pm by John Nelson »

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 05:23:51 pm »
Thanks John.  Good input.
I realize the neo isn't technically self inflating, but it's closer to that than a traditional air mattress.
If I get one (likely), I'll remember to NOT leave it inflated in the sun!
 :)

Offline indyfabz

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 02:16:02 pm »
Does Therma Rest no longer maek the ProLite 3? It's self-inflating and has been very reliable for me.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 05:06:36 pm »
Yes, ThermaRest still makes the ProLite. But the NeoAir is 2.5 inches thick vs. 1 inch for the ProLite. The NeoAir is also 4 ounces lighter, packs smaller and has a greater R value. The ProLite, however, is less expensive. The extra thickness of the NeoAir is essential for me to be able to sleep. One inch just isn't enough. I'll gladly exert the extra effort to blow up the NeoAir.

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 12:08:39 am »
Well, I went ahead and bought it.  I also picked up a set of REI "Gotham" panniers to replace my aging REI "Explorer" panniers that are coming apart after 15 years of commuting.  I figure that they should be fine, and at $63 a steal.

So now I am pretty much set, unless I decide to replace my Trangia alcohol stove (unlikely).  I just have to wait for June.  I had hoped to go this year, but my boss said no, project is too important. So next year...

Offline PeteJack

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 12:02:25 pm »
i took a Neo Air on my Northern Tier tour this year. The first time I used it it deflated in about 1/2 an hour. So I traipse into Boston where REI replaced it. I then used the replacement perhaps twenty times without problems. The NeoAir is supremely comfortable and I don't slip off it, a problem I had with self inflating Thermarests. The last time I used it fairly close to home the pad was half deflated in the morning. I wrote and complained to the manufacturer and they wanted me to send it back but by the time I'd got their reply REI had replaced the Neo Air with an XLite version. We'll see how that works out.

I've toured with a ZRest. It insulates well but you feel every pebble under you
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 12:04:40 pm by PeteJack »

Offline indyfabz

Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 04:01:47 pm »
I'll gladly exert the extra effort to blow up the NeoAir.

I don't mind blowing things up. In fact, I bought a BA Air Core for a trip in OR last year after I broke my collar bone. I wanted the extra 1.5". 20 deep breaths inflates it nearly full. But the second time I inflated it--the first day of Cycle Oregon--I watched a small hole open right before my eyes. Nothing I did damaged the mattrerss. The only other time it had been opened and inflated was in my house. I am glad I had the patch kit as there was no source to replace it and temps got below freezing the first four nights. Eventually brought it back to REI for replacements. I used it on a 3-day this spring, but I don't fully trust it.

I have had my ProLite for years. No problems. Next week I am heading out for 6 days. I am going back to the tried and true.