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YocumRidge

Leaky Thermarest repair

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I have a Thermarest NeoAir that is great: comfy, weighs 9 oz and packs to nothing. The only problem it does not stand abuse and is easily torn, at least in my hands.

Duct-tape is generally good for emergency repair that lasts for a few hours.

The universal Thermarest repair kit I tried is slightly better but the end result is the same, the mattress deflates - it's just a matter of time.

 

How do you guys repair these?

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I have had really good luck repairing them. I put it in the tub to find the hole (typically I sit on it to really force the air around and out), or holes, mark it with a sharpie, let it dry out. Then I use that rubber cement stuff put on a solid (be very liberal) amount of it and let it 3/4 dry then I take a piece of that repair material and put it on it and add more of that glue stuff to top it all off. Then let it sit for a day or two and it should work.

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I have a "in the field" repair job using regular seam seal that has lasted 7 years.

 

Your repair kit should work better. Maybe the material used is not good for adhering to glues? Maybe you have another small hole? (try the tub trick)

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Can't speak specifically for the neo air, but I've used the repair kit on my regular style thermarests with great results. The tub trick works wonders for finding those tiny leaks, and the repair kit does it's job admirably.

 

I agree with the above poster in that you may have another hidden hole somewhere, assuming you patched your thermarest effectively alreeady.

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This confirms my suspicions about the NeoAir. I'm a gear junky...especially if it's lighter or better than what I already have. I hopped on the NeoAir at REI and couldn't immagine it standing up to much abuse, so I passed on it. My Prolite 3 is pretty light and much more robust...I've never had a leak yet. Thanks for the post!

 

 

 

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There's conflicting info on which patch kit to use on NeoAir. (Full disclosure: I've only done the "research" at REI.) That is, Cascade Designs sells a "universal" repair kit that is said in one place to work on NeoAir and in another, to not work on it. I have a Prolite, and it has seemed somewhat flimsy (2 small leaks already despite being handled carefully) and it would seem the Neo has perhaps sacrificed too much in the weight vs durability equation. You might consider sending it back to Cascade, as well. They used to have a flat fee of $20 to fix mattresses; also, you coudl explain it seems to pick up holes easily and they might send you a new one gratis if they decide yours was brand-new defective.

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I had a leak in an older Trail something Thermarest, and the repair kit I used involved heating a pot and using it as an iron in order to get the glue to soak in better. Did you try that with the repair?

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I have always used small pieces of nylon as patches and regular barge cement to fix air mattresses. The key is clamping or putting weight on the patch overnight to make sure it is well adhered.

 

Proper gluing is also key. Most cements require that you apply glue to both surfaces and let dry for a while. If you don't do this, the glue will not hold.

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Cascade designs does not recommend the universal repair kit for the NeoAir pads, the ultralight repair kit is the one you are looking for.

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Cascade designs does not recommend the universal repair kit for the NeoAir pads, the ultralight repair kit is the one you are looking for.

 

Good to know. Thanks.

 

I might fiddle some more and see if I can locate more hidden tears like Gene and others suggested.

 

The universal kit for NeoAir is just a sticky fabric patch (kind of like a duct-tape, but more civilized) and as such did not put much confidence in me.

 

So, a rubber cement is some variety of barge? I do like the idea of cements but am not sure if they are applicable to NeoAir because its fabric is so thin.

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If none of the patches work I'd just send it back to Cascade Designs and ask them to quote for repair.

 

They've been pretty good to me. Sent them a 10 year old thermarest ultralight that had some delamination problems and they sent me a brand new prolite 3. Another time I sent them a 14 year old thermarest with some puncture holes (probably due to broken glass from my car accident) and they sent me a new trail lite.

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For small holes I've been very successful with seam grip, and larger ones using a scrap of pack cloth and seam grip. I fixed a few in the field, just had to wait a while before going to bed.

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try a z-rest, it never pops, it's lighter than any thermarest, and you can drag it around and sit on it anywhere around camp.

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Layton is right on with that advice.

I am a big fan of the ridgerest.

Not being a tall man myself I use the extra long and it affords me a double layer on the upper body when needed.

As Layton said, you cand drag it around, sit on it anywhere and I personally have never woken up to it being flat. The same can never be said for the Thermarest.

Save the Thermarest for the Winter trips.

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Buy a new one from REI.

 

Return leaky one to REI a few days later.

 

Rather than be blatantly dishonest and take advantage of a store's generous return policy, we could be ethical about it and pay Cascade Designs $10-15 dollars to repair the problem. If it's irreparable, they often will give you a new pad for free... a much better way to interact with a company's warranty/return system than scamming REI.

 

As climbers, we can perpetuate each other's dirtbag ways, or perhaps we can perpetuate better practices.

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If I'm not sleeping on snow or car-camping then I just bring a foam pad. Ridge rests or z-rests (or whatever) are also easy to cut to desired length. Mine are trimmed down to about 36". Your pack, extra clothes, etc. can be used under the legs.

 

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Buy a new one from REI.

 

Return leaky one to REI a few days later.

 

Rather than be blatantly dishonest and take advantage of a store's generous return policy, we could be ethical about it and pay Cascade Designs $10-15 dollars to repair the problem. If it's irreparable, they often will give you a new pad for free... a much better way to interact with a company's warranty/return system than scamming REI.

 

As climbers, we can perpetuate each other's dirtbag ways, or perhaps we can perpetuate better practices.

 

For the record I was joking. The only time I will push the limits on what is ethical in regards to the REI return policy is when it involves a crappy REI brand piece of equipment. In which case I end up spending more money on a good piece of gear.

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Buy a new one from REI.

 

Return leaky one to REI a few days later.

 

Rather than be blatantly dishonest and take advantage of a store's generous return policy, we could be ethical about it and pay Cascade Designs $10-15 dollars to repair the problem. If it's irreparable, they often will give you a new pad for free... a much better way to interact with a company's warranty/return system than scamming REI.

 

As climbers, we can perpetuate each other's dirtbag ways, or perhaps we can perpetuate better practices.

 

For the record I was joking. The only time I will push the limits on what is ethical in regards to the REI return policy is when it involves a crappy REI brand piece of equipment. In which case I end up spending more money on a good piece of gear.

In no way is REI ethical, I use to work there; however, always strive to be ethical yourself if you can, and meet the challenge--I haven't.

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