We purchased two of these pads after trying out Therm-a-Rest ProLite pads. We wanted more comfort (the ProLite is a little on the thin side), so we upgraded to the NeoAir.
The NeoAir looks and feels much like an inflatable pool cushion. It is just about as thick, so you don’t feel rocks and roots; and you have to blow to the point of hyperventilation to fill the thing up (you may want to invest in a NeoAir Pump Sack to fill the thing up).
Also like a pool float, the NeoAir appears vulnerable to punctures. The material feels thin and flimsy, but the pads have not punctured during backpacking trips in Australia, kayaking trips in the Bahamas, and camping in the Great Smokey’s. Maybe the concern is unwarranted.
Good things about the NeoAir are its thickness when inflated (gets you above the bumpy stuff), the thermal insulation (at sub-freezing temperatures, we haven’t gotten cold from the ground), and its small size and weight when packed away. It is, however, very sensitive to temperature fluctuations — as things cool at night, you will lose air pressure in the mattress.
Negatives are my concern over punctures (again, maybe unwarranted) and the high cost. We paid about $200 for each of our large NeoAir pads, although the cost has now dropped to around $140.
Overall, the NeoAir is a winner, having solved the issues that drove us to give up eating for a month so we could afford to buy two of them.
An update on these sleeping mats, made on September 18, 2015:
We have added more miles to these mats: kayaking for three weeks through the Bahama’s Exuma Cays, kayaking on lake Mojave, kayaking on Lake Powell, and backpacking for five days through the Emigrant Wilderness. The mats have continued to work without any failures, rips, or tears.
The mats tend to loose some of their inflation during the night, which is probably as much a result of nighttime temperature change as any valve leakage; but we have never lost enough inflation to make contact with the ground.
These remain the best mats we have used to date.
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