Thermarest NeoAir First Impressions

I received my new NeoAir in the mail today. My first impressions are outstanding. Read on for the gory details

I was surprised at how small the package was the came in the mail. Upon opening, the NeoAir comes nicely packed in minimal packaging and is about the size of a water bottle.

Here's a shot next to my iphone showing the scale.

After unpacking the mattress comes tightly rolled from the factory. I took a photo, as I thought I would never see my NeoAir look like this again 🙂

However, it is surprisingly easy to re-roll into this tight package even after being inflated. I unrolled the bundle and blew up the pad.

When inflated it takes on a slightly wavy shape to it.

I ordered the short model – which is quite generous in length. I've been accustomed to my Gossamer Gear Torso pad for some time now, and this new length feels down right luxurious. I can't imagine why anyone would want the regular length unless they are snow-camping.

The thickness of this mattress is what blew me away – it is a whopping 2.5  thick. Here's a few side shots:

The weight test? The specs say 9 oz for the small and 14 oz for the regular. My scale showed it at 8.9 oz after being deflated.

The comfort test? On my hardwood floors at home – down right staggering. I think it's more comfortable than my bed. The thickness feels like a crazy luxury and I can't wait to field-test it.

My current sleep solution is the Gossamer Gear Torso Pad, which while functional and very light at 4.7 oz (including the extra insulation pad) isn't exactly a comfortable nights sleep – but I've gotten used to it. The ultra plush comfort is certainly going to give me a good reason to re-think my sleep solution and consider a 5 oz gain for a better nights sleep. Although the weight penalty might be higher, as my Torso Pad currently doubles as a my packs back-pad eliminating weight from my GoLite Jam. 

16 thoughts on “Thermarest NeoAir First Impressions

  1. Pingback: Take my breath away: The new NeoAir and some other stuff « Lighthiker’s World

  2. brett Post author

    robin – of course – link away. that’s what this internet thing is all about 🙂

  3. Pingback: Final prep and gear highlights… «

  4. mcd

    I just ordered mine yesterday. Can’t wait to try it out! Glad to hear good reviews of what appears to be a slightly revolutionary mattress design

  5. brett Post author

    David – I haven’t used mine enough yet – the jury is still out for me. My friend Nigel recently completed the TGO – 10 days across Scotland and he and his wife both used Neo Airs. I’ll ask him to post his thoughts on his blog at

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  7. Peter

    Seems an interesting piece of gear. A number of reviews mention that it is noisy, however. What’s your experience?

  8. brett Post author

    noise? what noise? i sleep with earplugs in and pop a couple of tylenol PM before i tuck in for the night. i wouldn’t even hear a bear rustling around my tent.

    but yes it’s very noisy fabric, so i could see that could be a problem for some people. just not for me 🙂

  9. sam

    would you suggest putting this pad inside of a hammock to increase comfort and help with insulation?

  10. brettm

    hey sam – i’ve never used a hammock, so not sure how well that would work. it’s awfully crunchy and loud (sounds like a bag of chips) and it may keep you up at night moving on it more in a hammock. i’d lean towards a lighter more flexible foam pad for a hammock if it were me…

  11. Peter and Katrin

    Hi Brett,

    We just finished the West Coast Trail (my first multi night hike – I’m a kayaker) and the Neoairs were wonderful, warm and the most comfortable pad I’ve used! No problem with noise. We found them more ‘form fitting’ when slightly under inflated.
    They looked delicate but seemed quite robust but I brought some repair patches just in case.

    We used your gear list as a guide for our hike. No where close to your UL weight but still a big help. We’ll be much lighter next time!

    Cheers, Peter

  12. Peter and Katrin

    Hi Brett,

    I will post some pics this weekend. We had phenomenal weather. No rain for 5 weeks before our trip and no rain during. If it was really wet I would consider bailing at Nitinat going N to S. I’m 55 with a G2 knee brace so slick boardwalks and submerged roots aren’t that appealing!

    We hope to do it again next year with my kids. Hopefully my pack weight will go from 45 lbs (2L of water) to 30 lbs.

    The speed record was just broken by Gary Robbins from North Vnacouver – 10 hrs 8 min. i know it is legit as he is my hygienist’s trainer.

    You would need almost perfect weather and low tides to maximize your beach running.

    Cheers, Peter

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