October 10, 2012 Posted by Josh in Gear Reviews

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Mattress

We like to consider ourselves experts when it comes to minimalism.  So when it came time to select a sleeping pad, we made no exceptions.  We searched the interwebs high and low and read crazy amounts of reviews and specification breakdowns.  Then we came across the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Mattress.  A sleeping pad that compresses to the size of a Nalgene Bottle?  Seriously?!  Without hesitation we had to try this pad... 

Before becoming Vagabloggers, we lived in Southern Utah and the surrounding red rocks and proximity of Zion National Park made it mandatory to become avid backpackers.  We'd been using traditional roll-style sleeping pads and needless to say, they're always awkward.  Do you pack it on the inside of the pack and rack your brain trying to figure out how to manipulate the rest of your gear around it?  Do strap it to the outside of the pack and have it poking out and generally in the way?  Then there's the international travel factor.  Who wants to be traipsing around some foreign country with a sleeping roll hanging off their pack looking like some kind of goober?  Certainly not us 😛  The NeoAir was truly the answer to all those problems.  It packs down small enough to fit anywhere quite conveniently, not to mention it's light as hell.  Need all the nitty-gritty info and specs?  Here's your link to Thermarest's page.


The Pros:

  • The Size, Of Course!  Not many other sleeping pads can attest to the compressed size of the NeoAir (literally about the size of a 32 oz. Nalgene Bottle) and match the price and comfort.
  • The Weight: This is definitely one crazy light pad.  It comes in 3 sizes and the weights are as follows: Lite=1 lb.,  Regular=1 lb. 4 oz., Long=1 lb. 10oz.  I opted for the Long and in hindsight, really wish I would have gone with the Regular.  Not sure what I was thinking there. 
  • The Comfort: At 2.5 inches thick, this is the cushiest pad I've ever slept on.  Inside it has a "Triangular Core Matrix" meaning it has over 100 cells inside to provide some serious cush without compromising stability or warmth.  We find ourselves staying on many guest beds through CouchSurfing and I swear, this pad is more comfortable than almost all of them.  We never shy at the opportunity to simply throw our mats out on the floor - not to mention it's super comfy in a tent in the woods as well 🙂


The Cons:

  • The Noise:  Ok, I have to mention this.  Many of the reviews complained about the crunchy sounds this pad tends to make while tossing around during sleep and before it's arrival, I was expecting to sound like I was rolling around on a bag of Malt-O-Meal cereal at night.  It really wasn't that bad.  In fact it's not all that bad at all, just certainly noisier than your standard Therm-a-Rest pad.
  • The Inflation:  Again, this one isn't so bad.  It definitely takes a bit longer that many other pads to fill the entire 2.5 inch thickness, as air is the only true padding in this pad.  The only times I find it to takes overly long or to be incredibly difficult are when I'm at the top of some peak and out of breath from the altitude and the preceding hike.  But then again, I just have to remind myself how damn small this thing is and everything's ok 😀


Do We Recommend It?

YES INDEED.  I don't plan on using any other sleeping pad any time soon.  Meisha is actually currently using a different pad from REI.  She gets jealous of my NeoAir every time we use them.  We hope to replace her pad with the NeoAir as well very soon. 


Where Can You Buy It?

Right here on our website!  As always, we comb Amazon for the best deals and save you the time by providing the link below.  We also get paid a small commission when you purchase via the link below, so if you found this review helpful, we'd appreciate you helping us in return 😉

Click to share thisClick to share this