Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

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Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby Alana84 » Fri 10 May, 2019 7:06 pm

Hi,

I’m thinking of purchasing the above sleeping pad in the women’s version ( r value 3.9) to continue to lighten my base weight. I currently have a Prolite Plus which is ok. Could be lighter and I wish it didn’t take up so much room in my pack.

My main concern is how easily it may puncture, and then how would any subsequent repairs hold up. Of course I would be careful with it but I’m wondering if it did puncture, how long would the repair last? Also, are there any issues with the baffles blowing out?

I can get it from a US site for $185 AUD (using a parcel forwarding service) which seems like a great deal and worth considering.

I’d appreciate any experience you have to share.
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby andrewa » Fri 10 May, 2019 8:00 pm

Not the answer that you are after, but, despite one major baffle failure with an Exped mat, I still do like my Exoed UL Downmats 7 in small size. ( I have a variety if mats, which we use as a family, and the Exped UL are my “go to” ones for cold weather/snow comfy camping).

The reason for responding is that the fabric in these is very lightweight - probably couldn’t be much lighter . The mat is quite light, comfy, very warm, and very compact. I’m 6’, but am quite happy on a small mat, as I mostly sleep on my side, and my feet can rest on something else, if needed, or just tuck up onto the mat. I’m not sure why people buy bigger mats .

I did get a puncture a few years ago, and, after finding it, easily resolved it with some plastic tape, and then, more permanently with some double sided Ventura tape, and outer proofed nylon/cuben.

If you can find the leaking point, any mat is easy to repair. Maybe have a look at the nylon on the Exped UL stuff vs your TR NA XL, and compare. Yes, you need to be careful with them, but, so be it.

Hopefully there’s something useful for you there!

A
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 10 May, 2019 8:10 pm

I think it will be fine as long as you take reasonable precautions. Its 30 denier nylon which is fairly tough.

Despite what the marketing photos show us.. Dont use it on grass, dirt, rock or by a fire.

Keep it tent only and you should be fine.

I use a 20 denier Nemo tensor which is alot more fragile and in aprox 30 trips ive had one punture. the repair continues to be fine a year later.

Repairing punctures on the trail is very challenging unless you have a large hole thats easy to spot. The most common, small holes, are often impossible to find on the trail. I dont bother carrying a repair kit, as Andrew mentioned tape can get you by. You can usually just wake up a few times during the night and blow it up again due to the slow air release of small holes.
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby Alana84 » Fri 10 May, 2019 8:24 pm

Thanks Andrew. I appreciate your feedback. I’ve had a quick look at the down mats and whilst they seem very warm, they are a little bit more in cost than the xlite (from US) and a bit heavier. The outer material is likely similar though so I’m glad to hear your repair has been successful.

Thanks
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby crollsurf » Fri 10 May, 2019 9:41 pm

Get the Xlite. It is the benchmark for good reason, just look after it and you wont have a problem. I've had 1 for years now , it's comfort level is second to none but some would disagree.

If you are a cold sleeper, the Xtherm might be a better option.

Nemo and Big Agnes are also challenging the Xlite these days and I'm sure they will end up as great options but at this point in time, they are yet to fully prove themselves in regards to durability.

STS also have some nice durable offerings. You can test run them locally. The important thing is that your hip doesn't touch the ground because you will end up cold on the hip.

Long haul ultralighters go for a CCF foam mat so maybe try a Kmart mat and see how you go first.

The extra weight of a blow up mat is good weight v CCF in my reckoning.

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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby Equivocator » Wed 15 May, 2019 8:42 am

I carry a EVA15 Foam (think gossamer gear thinlight https://www.gossamergear.com/products/thinlight-foam-pad) I bought from Clarks Rubber and cut to rough shape to use as a strong ground sheet (and sit pad at lunch.)
I've had over 250 nights on that, plus the Xlite, now and no leak or failure yet.

I've got 2 holes (and a Seam split) in my Exped UL Pillow over that same time. Given that it's taken care of better than my pad (it sits in my sleeping bag, so even more protection) I'm happy with the durability of my xLite.
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby Alana84 » Wed 15 May, 2019 9:20 am

Thanks for the comments from everyone. I definitely think I’ll grab one. Might wait a while and see if I can find one second hand.
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby ribuck » Tue 28 May, 2019 2:06 pm

I have over 100 nights on my XLite, and recently got my first leak. It wasn't a puncture, but was a split that developed on the edge where I fold the mat lengthwise as part of the rolling-up process. I fixed it with the official NeoAir patch kit, and it hasn't given any further problem.
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Re: Durability of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Postby Orion » Thu 30 May, 2019 11:03 am

I used to use a Prolite Plus and loved it. But the light weight and tiny pack volume of the XLite seduced me. It took me some time to get used to sleeping on it as it seemed less stable. And I need a bigger pillow which is sometimes an issue.

Durability is poor. I learned the hard way that I had to baby the thing. Never again will I use it outside a fully enclosed tent. And now I panic whenever there's a little bit of detritus on the tent floor. Leaks can be hard to find in the field. They can be hard to find at home. Slow leaks seem to occur too easily in my opinion. And replacing this expensive item periodically is rather painful.

I tried to go back to my Prolite Plus but discovered that my body had softened and now demanded a 6cm thick cushion. So now I'm stuck. Run away while you can! :-)
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