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Is there an alternative to Thermarest's NeoAir?

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Is there an alternative to Thermarest's NeoAir?

Old 03-04-11, 09:35 AM
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irpheus
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Is there an alternative to Thermarest's NeoAir?

Hello Bikers,

Wow, the sun is shining here in Denmark where I live and the snow that more or less has covered the country for the last more than three months is rapidly fading away. Also the temperatures are higher - to me it is magnificent :-) - maybe it means that spring is coming and biking is rapidly becoming a warmer possibility.

To that end I'm gathering the last pieces and have become interested in the NeoAir mattress, however, it's a bit too expensive for me. I hope there's a similar alternative and if one of you knows of this I'd appreciate hearing about it ...

Greetings,

Jesper

P.S.: If it can also be an environmentally friendly alternative then even better ...
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Old 03-04-11, 10:56 AM
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There are lots of alternatives, but I don't know of any that are a close match feature wise.

What do you want to spend and which features do you need?

A few possible choices are:
Cheapest is a roll up foam pad ($15 US)
There is the Thermarest Z Lite folding foam pad ($30-40 US)
There are the Big Agnes Air Core models (starting at about $45 US)
There are a host of thermarest self inflating pads as well as a lot of clones. The Prolite is a nice one (starting at about $60 US)

The self inflating thermarests were my favorites before I went to the NeoAir.
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Old 03-04-11, 11:01 AM
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Exped, a German company, has mats similar to Big Agnes. You might find those in outdoor shops in Denmark. The NeoAir wins for overall comfort and weight.
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Old 03-04-11, 11:15 AM
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I have an Exped pad, self inflates, because the air chambers are filled with open cell foam plugs.
they offer 2 other models , insulation : polyester batting or down, those now have a pump built in.
advantage: those pack smaller, weigh less.
Made in Asia, [like so much] Outdoor Research in Seattle distributes them over here.

https://www.exped.com/exped/web/exped...n?openframeset
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Old 03-04-11, 11:27 AM
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For less money, you must give up either light weight, comfort or small packing size. Decide which of these matters least to you and look for mats that do the other stuff.

My Neoair was worth the sacrifice. I sleep on my side and never slept better outdoors than on it.
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Old 03-04-11, 12:14 PM
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I bought an Exped Down Mat two years ago. It slept fine but weighed a lot. Last year I bought a Neoair when they came out. It sleeps just as fine but weighs a pound less and packs into less than half the space. Seriously. It matters to me and is well worth the expense. It sleeps much better than the $40-$100 alternatives, and it packs much better than the Exped and Big Anus.
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Old 03-04-11, 02:19 PM
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Good to know the snow is melting and temps are rising. I'm cycling to Denmark (Copenhagen) in a few weeks time.

A UK firm called Alpkit do some very good sleeping mats and are well priced too. www.alpkit.com I have this one, it packs up really small and weighs 500grams, very comfortable and all for 40
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Old 03-04-11, 02:31 PM
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Here's a killer deal on a NOS Pac Outdoor Equipment mummy pad. Weighs 8oz more than the 14oz NeoAir, but packs to the same size, at about 1/3 of the price. They're pretty nice, but not as nice as the NeoAir I'm sure.
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Old 03-04-11, 10:41 PM
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If you want light weight warmth, you can't beat a closed cell foam pad. You can't spend more than $30 without really trying, and you get something that weighs less than 98% of the inflatable foam pads out there.

For seriously cold weather, you might need some more insulation from the ground, but if you're planning on camping out in weather that cold, you had best already know what you're doing.

The one place closed cell foam pads are really lacking is comfort. They don't have much loft, so they don't compress much underneath you. You can try and remedy this by digging out a small hip divot before pitching your tent, but I've never actually found it to work well. I've also heard good things about Tylenol PM as a 'ground softener'. I've never had much trouble, but I'm young and flexible.
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Old 03-04-11, 11:31 PM
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The thermarest prolite 4 works well in all condition, including snow. We've used these now for several years for bike trips, backpacking and ski trips.



The tent is in the blue bag, sleeping bag in the yellow and thermarest in the orange one. The water bottle is for scale. They all go in a drybag type rack pack.

Last edited by Doug64; 03-04-11 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 03-05-11, 03:31 AM
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Hi All,

& thanks a lot for replying. In reading your replies I realize I should have been more specific in wording my question: It is so that I already have a Thermarest Prolite4 large, however, my lower back has a "deep curve" so it is more pleasant for me to sleep on a somewhat thicker mattress.

I have considered the Exped downmats but one of the qualities I really like about the Prolite4 is its balance between softness and support. My assumption is that the Downmats are relatively (much) more soft than the Prolite4 (they are not available in Denmark as far as I know), however, if one of you have compared the downmat to the Prolite4 or similar I'll be interested in your observations.

As I don't rest as well on some of the thicker thermarests I thought that it could be a solution to place a NeoAir or a similar mattress below the Prolite4. In this way weight would not increase too much and the Prolite4's qualities could be kept....

Thus, weight is important and also a thickness around 5 cms.

Hope this makes it clearer....

Enjoy your day :-)

Jesper
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Old 03-05-11, 07:04 AM
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Sorry to dump on Jesper's thread here. I've been eyeing a neo air but worry that it will be hard to inflate after the end of a long day on the road?
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Old 03-05-11, 07:33 AM
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try REI they sell there own brand
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Old 03-05-11, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by reed523 View Post
Sorry to dump on Jesper's thread here. I've been eyeing a neo air but worry that it will be hard to inflate after the end of a long day on the road?
I think mine is a regular (20X72) and it take 15 deep breaths and less than a minute to inflate. It is pretty much a non issue to me. The large is a lot bigger and would take a bit more effort.

That said I have heard folks complain about it. They must be less full of hot air than I am
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Old 03-05-11, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by irpheus View Post
As I don't rest as well on some of the thicker thermarests I thought that it could be a solution to place a NeoAir or a similar mattress below the Prolite4. In this way weight would not increase too much and the Prolite4's qualities could be kept....
Based on that I would say that you probably don't care about insulation properties since the prolite 4 will provide them and could go with any of the non insulated inflatables. By the way maybe a 3/4 length one might be sufficient. Do you have any place nearby that you can try a few options out in the store?
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Old 03-05-11, 10:06 AM
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I have a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core mattress. It's the coffin-shaped one - extra long. I've used it on three multi-week tours. It is more comfortable than my old thermarest (not the Neo Air - a "traditional" 3/4 length Thermarest.) No leaks so far. It packs very small and is light. It takes me 2 minutes of easy blowing to blow it up. I'm very happy with it.
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Old 03-05-11, 12:50 PM
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I thought about switching, but something I love about the Thermarest is being able to turn it into something to sit on in the evenings with the Chair Sleeve.
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Old 03-05-11, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by elduderino12 View Post
Good to know the snow is melting and temps are rising. I'm cycling to Denmark (Copenhagen) in a few weeks time.

A UK firm called Alpkit do some very good sleeping mats and are well priced too. www.alpkit.com I have this one, it packs up really small and weighs 500grams, very comfortable and all for 40
Do you find this mat warm enough? I was looking at it but it only has insulation in the middle of the mat. The head end and the legs aren't insulated at all. I know that uninsulated air beds can be very cold.
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Old 03-05-11, 02:34 PM
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i second alpkit,
https://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?...ategory_id=253

i just bought their little nipper, only a touch smaller then their adult small pad, a good bit cheaper...and has a warmer rating ! ( i am a bit of a gram weenie ! )

great customer support, and a great pad.

also, youtube various pads you might find, there are some good reviews there.
to me, the neo air is a bit noisy !

Last edited by gavtatu; 03-05-11 at 02:37 PM. Reason: adendum
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Old 03-05-11, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by freebooter View Post
Do you find this mat warm enough? I was looking at it but it only has insulation in the middle of the mat. The head end and the legs aren't insulated at all. I know that uninsulated air beds can be very cold.
I've only used it the once so far and I usually find my down bag keeps me plenty warm enough. I'm off on a two week tour soon, so I'll have chance to test it properly and I'll take note of the insulation.
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Old 03-07-11, 01:31 PM
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Hi - thanks again for your replies and suggesting a European manufacturer. Makes me wonder if any of you knows a European retailer like REI? Preferably in Germany but the UK will also be fine.

Spring - greetings

Jesper
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Old 03-07-11, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I have a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core mattress. It's the coffin-shaped one - extra long. It takes me 2 minutes of easy blowing to blow it up.
I used a non-insulated B.A. long, rectangular Air Core for two months straight this summer. It took me about three minutes to inflate it, and it was the longest three minutes of my day. It also took a while to deflate it in the morning. But, it was VERY comfortable.
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