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April 11, 2016 Comments (0) Adventure, Camping, Hiking, Photos, Reviews

NeoAir Xlite Review

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Overview

The NeoAir XLite is by far the smallest bedroll I have used and with a whopping 180 CAD price tag it should be a top performer in many areas. Luckily this pad did not disappoint with 12oz weight for the regular size and a 16oz weight for the large it is small and light. Boasting a 3.2 R value it is not only light but warm. The model tested for this review was the 2015 Large size model which has been updated with a new softer fabric which provides less noise then previous models. With patented technology like Triangular Core Matrix TM, and Radiant Heat Technology it provided exceptionally well

 

NeoAir Xlite

NeoAir Thickness

NeoAir Xlite

NeoAir Xlite

Pros Cons
Weight- 12 oz for regular  Price- Expensive price tag at 180 CAD
Comfort- 2.5 inches thick when inflated  Noise- Despite new fabrics it still has a fair amount of crinkling. More noticeable if your a restless sleeper
Pack Size- No bigger then a 1 L water bottle  Set Up- Takes significantly longer (about 25 breathes) to inflate pad compared to self inflating Foam Pads. Note: using a electric pump decreases time but increases weight due to taking the Pump. Using a inflation bag usually increases the time
Warmth- Despite small size has a 3.2 R value  Durability- Is constructed with 30 denier nylon but can still be punctured by sticks or rocks especially if laid directly on the ground.
Warranty- Backed by Cascade Designs Limited Lifetime Warranty

First Impressions

As soon as you pick up the box it comes in your surprised by the size. This reaction is especially evident if your use to self inflating foam pads or even simple rolled up foam. The box is no smaller then a loaf of bread and no bigger then 1 L water bottle. Once you remove it from the box its hard not to notice the thinness of the fabric however. With a 30 denier nylon fabric it is durable despite its thinness but still if your use to foam or self inflating pads you might be concerned with this.

Warmth

With a reasonable R value of 3.2 and thermasrest innovations like Triangular Core Matrix and Radiant Heat Technology it is plenty warm enough for three season use. Inflating to 6.3 cm it keeps you more then high enough off the ground and when paired with a good sleeping bag it can guarantee a warm nights sleep. Depending on your size you may want to opt for the larger version to ensure you have adequate ground cover. At over approximately 190 cm tall the Large size was more then large enough. However if your concerned about a few grams of weight go with the regular size.

Comfort

6.3 cm thick was more then enough to prevent any contact with the ground. If your a side sleeper you will love this. While sleeping on your side you can expect no contact with the ground (depending on inflation) and customizing your desired firmness is easy. Simply inflate the mattress fully then lay on it and release a small amount of air until its your desired firmness. If your a restless sleeper the noise may be an issue. There is noticeable crackling when moving however it was not an issue for this reviewer.

 

NeoAir Xlite firmness test

NeoAir Xlite firmness test

Size and weight

When its said to be no larger then a water bottle they are not kidding. When fully deflated and ruled tight it will be one of the smallest pieces of gear in your pack and if a good nights sleep is important to you it is a non compete with other gear. Weighing only 460 grams for the regular and packing down to the size of a water bottle it is impressively small and light.

Tips

If you want to extend the life of this product it is advised to not use it directly on the ground. If used in a tent it is always good practice to comb the tent area for sticks or rocks which may puncture it or even your tent. Another tip to extend the life of this product or if intending to use in cold climates a pump sack or electric pump will be key. This prevents the vapours from your breath from getting inside the NeoAir and freezing which may cause damage or the life of the product. We have opted to use the Big Agnes Pumphouse (approximately 25 CAD) for inflation purposes rather then the expensive and heavier electric pump sold by thermarest. It takes about the same amount of pumps to inflate it as breaths (25 or so) but does take a little bit longer then blowing it up via breath. However the pump house can also be used as a stuff sack, shower, pillow case or bucket so it is not simply a one use piece of gear.

Also if your concerned about the crinkling nice during an extensive field test we realized the noise was significantly reduce the more the bed role is inflated. When inflated to near max capacity almost no noise was noted during minor movements on the pad. So fear not if you are worried about noise and like a firm mattress you should be ok!

NeoAir Xlite deflated beside Big Agnes Pumphouse

NeoAir Xlite deflated beside Big Agnes Pumphouse

NeoAir Xlite inflation with Big Agnes pump house

NeoAir Xlite inflation with Big Agnes pump house

In conclusion the NeoAir Xlite is an impressive product. Allowing a comfortable warm sleep with out a large or even moderate pack size it is a recommended buy despite the noise it produces or the price tag. If taken care of it is a piece of gear you will have for a long time

 

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