Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Thermarest pads - are Neoairs that much better?

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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).

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.

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.

John Nelson:
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).

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.


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