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Sleeping pads? Neo, Exped, ect.


chris54
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Its time to replace the thermarest trail lite sleeping pad I own. Thinking of going to a Neo air style or an Exped. They look much more comfortable but less durable.

Any thoughts?

 

Pro or cons to these pads.

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I've never tried the Exped, but I did try a Neo Air in the store once. I didn't find it comfortable at all after lying on it for a good 5-10 minutes.

 

It seemed the same to me as a regular thermarest, so I just bought a cheap one instead of shelling out the big bucks for a Neo Air.

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I have the regular Neo Air and have been using it for about two years. I've really like it so far. I use it for pretty much all my overnight climbing trips. I've used it on snow and it seems to be reasonable warm. I'm a side sleeper, and its been really nice to have it when sleeping on rocks. It's really comfortable. It won't be as warm as an Exped, but its not bad. I was concerned about the durability when I first got it, but mine has held up. If you're careful not to put it next to anything sharp in your pack and avoid pointy rocks, I don't see it being a problem. Get the little patch kit for it, as I've seen this work for people that have had leaks. Worst case you spend a night sleeping on a rope if you can't repair a leak.

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Find the Exped Downmat 9 positively luxurious..warm and comfortable in winter and great for warmer temps as well. I haven't seen any durability issues with it.

 

I have the original model where you used the stuff bag to inflate the pad, then the sack doubles as a pillow. It's a huge pain in the ass to inflate with the sack so I just bring a stability ball pump to inflate it, I don't even bother to bring the supplied stuff sack. Partner of mine has the newer model and the built in pump works much better and is relatively quick.

 

It's a fairly bulky and heavy pad, but if you want more comfort you have to expect to pay for it.

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I picked up the Neo Air All Season a few weeks ago and have been impressed with it so far. 19 oz for a regular, with an R value of 4.9 and beefier 75d fabric to resist punctures. The new Neo Airs also have a great non-slip coating on them that's a huge improvement from previous years.

 

I slept well on mine at home a few nights, will test it out on the snow this weekend.

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I just picked up an Exped Synmat UL7. I think it's 16oz with patch kit in the full size 20 x 72 x 2.8, with an R value of 3.1. Half the weight of my old thermarest, and twice the thickness. Slept on it for a week in Vegas, very comfortable!

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A partner discovered a leak in his Exped down mat on day 1 of a 6 day trip in early season North Cascades. He was bumming. I'm a fan of the evazote foam pads (yellow or gray, not blue). On the comfort scale it's not too cush, but it's light, a good insulator, and will never deflate. For extended trips on snow I pair it with a Thermarest Prolite 3.

 

I used to be a RidgeRest fan, but once I started camping on snow I discovered that all the surface topography of that design works great for catching snow. Then you wind up sleeping on top of a bunch of little puddles. Same with Z-Rest. The yellow foam pad doesn't have this issue since it's totally flat. You can just brush any snow or wipe any liquid off that lands on your pad.

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I have one of the first gen neoair pads and I like it a lot. Has held up for 2 years and probably 75+ nights without any leak issues. I'll throw my bivy pad from my pack under it if it's really cold out. Best space/warmth/weight combination I found out there.

 

If one of these does start to leak, a bit of seam grip and you're good to go. I've bought two neoair pads from the REI garage sale for $10, fixed them with seam grip, and gifted them to friends to use. The deal was too good to pass up and a good way to do it on the cheap.

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I just picked up an Exped Synmat UL7. I think it's 16oz with patch kit in the full size 20 x 72 x 2.8, with an R value of 3.1. Half the weight of my old thermarest, and twice the thickness. Slept on it for a week in Vegas, very comfortable!
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Another vote for the Exped Synmat UL7 if I'm carrying an inflatable pad. I couldn't stand sleeping on the NeoAirs; the sound drove me nuts. The UL7 is super comfortable and quiet. In winter I add a ridgerest or a hardman pad.

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The sound from the neoair is annoying, but the neoair is the only pad I can sleep through the night on. I had an exped for years and have used most of the others (big agnes, thermarests of all sorts, etc) as well. The problem I had with the exped was that the baffles run lengthwise. I'm a side sleeper and even with the pad inflated tight, my hip would hit the ground (as the pad lost pressure from the cold ground at night). I haven't had that problem with the neoair and I think it's because the baffles run widthwise. With that said, I recently punctured my neoair.

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