Therm-a-Rest Neoair X-Lite (2013)

Therm-a-Rest has long dominated the inflatable mat world, but it has innovated more in the last few years than ever before with its NeoAir range. This flimsy-feeling but superlight mat doesn’t self-inflate (which doesn’t really matter) but it offers high levels of comfort with a small pack size, and the X-Lite has had its corners sanded off into a mummy shape to save weight and bulk. It’s thick, so it certainly gets you off the ground; and the laterally slung air chambers are comfy and keep both the mat in position in the tent, and you in position on the mat when on a surface that’s uneven lengthways. Uniquely, a women’s version is available, with an extra layer of reflective material to increase warmth. There is one drawback: the noise! A casualty of the lightweight material used, the Therm-a-Rest Neoair X-Lite crackles annoyingly like a crisp packet even when inflated. Many will shrug this off, but you do need to consider it. Another negative is the valve, which is a simple screw affair. On a premium mat, which requires puff to a high pressure, you’d expect a valve that allows you to shut it off while you close it without air whooshing out. Other mats feature it; this should too.

Dimensions (LxWxD) 183x51x6.3cm
Warmth range 3-season, temp n/a
Alternative sizes short (199cm); long (196cm); women’s
Weight (with stuffsack) 333g (346g)
Repair kit / pump? yes / no
Insulation lateral double-decked triangular core air channels
Website www.cascadedesigns.com

Verdict

Premium in price, but flawed; the weight and pack size make the Neoair X-Lite a valid addition to Therm-a-Rest’s range, but it’s not one of the best.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine April 2013