Gear Review: Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Air Mattress
Size: Regular or Large
Weight: 15 oz (Regular)
Summary: The Thermarest Xtherm has the greatest weight-to-warmth ratio of any sleeping pad on the market. It is a comfortable, packable, durable, lightweight, and warm sleeping pad. It will quickly become your go anywhere, do anything sleeping accessory.
Therm-A-Rest started making sleeping pads back in the 1970’s. With decades of experience in this important backcountry niche, it’s easy to say that this outstanding company knows what they are doing. That’s why they totally hit a home run with the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm Sleeping Pad.
I have had a sleeping pad in my quiver of gear for countless years. It’s a vital component for any adventure where you plan to sleep in the great outdoors. Almost every sleeping pad I have ever owned has been built by Therm-A-Rest. Some may say I’m a bit biased in my review. Others might just agree with me that I do my research and buy the best thing on the market, which is why I ended up with the Thermarest Xtherm.
The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xtherm is the best four season sleeping pad on the market. It is ultra-lightweight, durable, comfortable, packable, and warm. This award winning sleeping pad has the greatest warmth-to-weight ratio on the market. On the official website, they claim that the Xtherm has “More warmth per gram than any other air mattress in the world.”
Many people don’t realize that a sleeping pad is supposed to keep you comfortable and warm. The Xtherm does both. Officially the Xtherm boasts a R-Value of 5.7 with a weight of only 15 oz (for the Regular Size Xtherm). I used to pair my old air mattress with a bulky foam pad during winter camping trips, but no longer have to do that anymore with the Xtherm.
The Xtherm is so warm because of its innovative design. Reflective ThermaCapture layers trap radiant heat while the Triangular Core Matrix minimizes head loss. These unique designs give the lightweight Xtherm four-season warmth that works.
But the brilliance doesn’t stop there. The NeoAir Xtherm features horizontal baffling. This supports stability of the pad and helps it to stay put once it’s in the tent. Once inflated the pad is 2.5 inches thick which helps to pad against the majority of things you don’t want to sleep on.
The exterior material consists of 30d Rip Nylon on top and 70d Nylon on the bottom. I wish I could tell you more about these materials, but I can’t. They seem to be durable and the top fabric is soft, I don’t slip around too much, and it doesn’t bug my face when I’m not tucked into my sleeping bag. That’s a bonus.
When I did my research on what sleeping pad to purchase, I was immediately attracted to the Xtherm, but I shied away at first. When inspecting the uninflated pad it is super loud and crinkly. My initial impression was that I would not be able to sleep if I moved at all (or my tent mate wouldn’t sleep at all). Not the case. Once inflated, the pad is actually very quiet. Some people report that the pad requires a bit of a break in period and then quiets down. Either way don’t get scared at how loud it is right out of the box.
And when it’s in that brand new box, it looks so small and tiny. I remember thinking how small it is now, but will I ever be able to make it that small again. Yes I can. It’s easily packable down to the size of a 1 liter nalgene bottle every time. Very impressive.
My deflation technique takes a few minutes, but it works. I fold the mattress up to increase air pressure then press out as much air as a I can. Then with a closed valve I roll the pad up length wise (toe to head). When I get close to the end, I open the valve up and push out the remaining air. Then I fold the Xtherm in thirds length wise – this is the tricky bit. Finally I carefully roll the Xtherm up and throw on a trusty Voile strap to keep it cinched down. Packs down to Nalgene size every time.
Another big bonus of the Xtherm is that it is easy to inflate. There is one valve located near the head. It unscrews with a few twists and then there are several inflation methods. You can use a pump or a stuff sack. Or because Therm-A-Rest is awesome you can use your breath. That’s right, unlike other down or synthetic air mattresses, the inner works of the Xtherm are coated so that condensation will not create mold inside your sleeping pad. This is a major selling point! Inflation is quick and simple. Takes a few minutes and about 20 deep breaths – a few more at altitude.
The Therm-A-Rest Xtherm comes with a stuff sack and repair kit. Therm-A-Rest has a good warranty that you can read about online. Or if you puncture your sleeping pad (which happens to every sleeping pad eventually), it’s easy to fix with the repair kit as long as you have it with you. Here’s a video showing how to fix a sleeping pad.
Now are there any places where the Xtherm wouldn’t be my go-to pad? Yes. I would want to pair the Xtherm with a foam pad on any expedition or winter camping trip with below 0 temps. This is just for personal comfort. I would not want to use the X-therm as padding in a ski rescue sled – not that I ever want to do that. I would not want to use the Xtherm as a float to sun bath on a lake. All silly reasons to not use the Xtherm, right? It’s pretty perfect.
The Xtherm comes in a few options. The Regular XTherm as seen in the photos in this review is a mummy shape. I opted for the Regular size (instead of the Large) which is 72 inches long even though I am 74 inches. I figured I saved weight and I never sleep fully extended anyways. There is also a Xtherm Max which is the fully rectangular pad. This could have been a good purchase, but the mummy shape shaves weight and saves space.
I give the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm air mattress a double thumbs up and I foresee using this pad on every adventure I go on for a long time. The price is worth it. Thanks to Therm-A-Rest for making an awesome product. Looking forward to see where their innovative ideas go next.
Not sure the Xtherm is the right pad for you? Explore the rest of Therm-A-Rest’s NeoAir family to find lightweight and warmer weather sleeping pads. But at the end of the day, buy Therm-A-Rest. It rocks.
Official Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm Specs For Size Regular From CascadeDesigns.com:
Color – Vapor
R-Value – 5.7
Weight – 15 oz / 430 g
Width – 20 in / 51 cm
Length – 72 in / 183 cm
Thickness – 2.5 in / 6.3 cm
Packed Dimension – 9 x 4 / 23 x 10
Top Fabric Type – 30d Rip Nylon
Bottom Fabric Type – 70d Nylon
Country of Origin – USA*Built of the Finest US and Global Materials
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