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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Pads and Air Mattresses > Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Pad > Owner Review by Michael Pearl

THERM-A-REST NEOAIR XTHERM
BY MIKE PEARL
OWNER REVIEW

February 26, 2018

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Pearl
EMAIL: mikepearl36ATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season, learning to be a four-season backpacker and year-round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

IMAGE 1
Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest
Country of Origin: Built in the USA of the finest US and global materials
Manufacturer's Website: www.thermarest.com
MSRP: US$199.95 - $239.95

Listed Weight: 15 oz (430 g)
Measured Weight: 15 oz (427 g) Pad Only
17.5 oz (498 g) Pad, Inflation Sack and Stuff Sack

Color: Vapor (light gray top and dark gray bottom)
Available Sizes: Regular and Large
Size Reviewed: Regular

Listed Dimensions: 72 x 20 x 2.5 in (183 x 51 x 6.4 cm) length x width x thickness
Measured Dimensions: Confirm Listed
Listed Packed Dimensions: 9 x 4 in (23 x 10 cm)
Measured Packed Dimensions: 11 x 4.5 in (28 x 11 cm) Although I can get it smaller if I try.

Materials:
- Top Fabric: 30D rip HT nylon IMAGE 2
- Bottom Fabric: 70D nylon
- Core: nylon

Accessories:
- Stuff Sack
- Inflation Sack
- Repair Kit

Other Features:
- ThermaCapture - a proprietary reflective coating radiates heat back to the body and prevents heat loss
- Triangular Core Matrix - patented technology utilizes two stacked layers of triangular baffles to create a
stable surface while minimizing heat loss
- R-Value: 5.7

The Xtherm is an inflatable sleeping pad made with a high insulating R-Value. The Xtherm is designed to provide comfort and insulate from the hard and cold ground. It has a twist close valve stem toward the top of the pad. The pad is inflated and deflated through this valve. The Xtherm comes with an inflation sack that attaches to the pad by a small hole at the bottom of the sack.

When I was new to winter camping the need for such a sack was unknown to me. I learned that in winter conditions this can create condensation inside the pad. The warm breathe inside the pad surrounded by cold air outside the pad can create condensation inside the pad. This condensation can then freeze inside the pad. This is not at all desirable when sleeping outside in freezing temperatures.

FIELD USE

I have used the Xtherm for three winter seasons. I also used it on a one week summer hike. This was only because it is slightly lighter than my summer inflatable sleeping pad. However it was much too warm to comfortably sleep on in summer temperatures. The Xtherm is now solely a cold weather pad for me.

I have comfortably slept with the Xtherm in temperatures from 30 F (-1 C) down to -10 F (-23 C). I have uncomfortably slept on the Xtherm (that one summer week) in temperatures from 45 to 55 F (7 to 13 C). This pad does an amazing job of insulating from the ground as well as trapping body heat. Additionally it is comfortable to sleep on. It is soft yet supportive sleeping on my back or side. When lying on my back however I sometimes find it a little narrow. There is not enough room for my arms to be on the pad when at my sides. I deal with this a few ways. When it's really cold I sleep with extra clothes, hot water bottles, my daytime clothes or other things I want to protect from freezing. I will place the soft items at my sides for my arms to rest on. Other times I tuck my hands under my hips, put them in my pockets or cross my arms over my chest. In these positions my arms don't fall off the sides of the mat. Then I eventually fall asleep and my arms usually end up in a less insulated spot. This has never ruined a night's sleep but can be mildly annoying.

The only other negative and again mild annoyance is that the Xtherm can be noisy. When the Xtherm is unrolled, rolling or moving on the pad makes a crinkling noise. This doesn't bother me as I am already partially awake when repositioning myself during the night. However I am sometimes worried about disturbing my tent or bunk mates. No one's ever complained to me directly but when talking gear sometimes there are comments that it's noisy.

The warmth and comfort alone make it easy for me to overlook these two issues. Add in the inflation sack and the Xtherm can crinkle all it wants. I mentioned briefly in the previous section and here's why I like it. The inflation sack quickly and easily attaches to the inflation value. First it eliminates the chance of ice build up in the pad from my warm breath condensing and then freezing. This would make warming my sleeping bag harder when starting with an icy pad. It would also increase the weight of the pad with the build up ice. Additionally I don't have to huff and puff to inflate the bag. The end of the inflation sack that is not attached to the pad has a wide opening. Fully opening this end helps expand the sack, quickly closing the end traps air in the sack. Then rolling the sack down toward the pad pushes air into the Xtherm. Since becoming proficient at trapping the air I can now inflate the Xtherm in about 3 minutes and 10 - 12 sack-fuls of air.
IMAGE 3 IMAGE 4
The Xtherm deflates easily with a turn of the valve. I do this while still lying on the pad inside my sleeping bag. My weight on the pad helps push most of the air out. I fold it in half and roll it from bottom to top squeezing any remaining air out. Then I roll the pad with the inflation sack and it easily slides in the amply sized stuff sack. Rolled up and in its stuff sack the Xtherm can be squeezed into my pack taking up very little space.

SUMMARY

IMAGE 5The Therm-a-Rest Neoair Xtherm is a very comfortable and extremely warm air mattress. I use it for late fall, early spring and all my winter camping. If the temperature is going to more than a handful of degrees below freezing I pack the Xtherm. I have never had a cold back side when sleeping on this pad. I have however experienced the opposite and been too warm when using it in warm weather conditions. The Xtherm runs a little narrow in its width; because of this I have adapted some different sleeping techniques. I have learned ways to sleep to keep my arms off the uninsulated ground. The other thing I have learned to do when using the Xtherm in a group setting is apologize. As I change sleeping positions regularly the Xtherm lets everyone know by making crinkling noises. The less than sound sleepers sigh when I tell them I am using an Xtherm. However these two minor (to me) annoyances are greatly outweighed by Xtherm's major strengths. This is an excellent cold weather sleeping pad.

THINGS I LIKE

- R-Value, this pad is warm!
- Weight, for its size and R-Value it's very lightweight
- Comfort, able to dial in firmness by adjusting inflation
- Inflation sack, no need to breathe into pad to inflate minimizing moisture build up

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

- Noisy, the Xtherm makes lots of "crinkling" sounds when changing sleep positions
- Narrow width, chest fits fine but little room for my arms by my sides

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Cascade Designs gear
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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Pads and Air Mattresses > Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Pad > Owner Review by Michael Pearl



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