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NeoAir Thermarest...new product

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NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby markskor » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:46 pm

Went to REI today and looked at the new NEOAIR...really hoping I would like what I saw...went prepared to buy...especially after Eric talked about it so highly here earlier.
Tried both versions - the Short version...Said 11 oz and $120. - slightly longer was 14 oz and $140.
Initial store impressions:
Rolls up very small - less size than a regular 32 oz nalgene...nice
Took me a good 25 puffs to get it up...bit of a pain.
Seemed very thin/ fragile - thought dangerously so. (easily pop-able?) field fix questionable....especially if punctured down in the tube area. One sharp twig and...
Color is yucky yellow.
Crinkley noise when moving around...irritating
Ok comfort, but not outstandingly so for the $$.
YMMV...

No sale...Think I will stick to my shorty Prolite 4.
Mark
Mountainman who swims with trout



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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby ERIC » Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:34 pm

markskor wrote:Went to REI today and looked at the new NEOAIR...really hoping I would like what I saw...went prepared to buy...especially after Eric talked about it so highly here earlier.
Tried both versions - the Short version...Said 11 oz and $120. - slightly longer was 14 oz and $140.
Initial store impressions:
Rolls up very small - less size than a regular 32 oz nalgene...nice
Took me a good 25 puffs to get it up...bit of a pain.
Seemed very thin/ fragile - thought dangerously so. (easily pop-able?) field fix questionable....especially if punctured down in the tube area. One sharp twig and...
Color is yucky yellow.
Crinkley noise when moving around...irritating
Ok comfort, but not outstandingly so for the $$.
YMMV...

No sale...Think I will stick to my shorty Prolite 4.
Mark


Well, shucks. On paper it looks really promising. :confused: I'm not a fan of the color, either - but I knew that going in from seeing photos. I can live with the 25 puffs to blow it up (might be less for me since I'm a young buck :whistle: ), and I kinda expected more inflation work considering how small it packs up. A little more disappointed to hear about the "crinkley noise" when moving around. But I'm most disappointed to hear that it might be seriously fragile. For such a pricey pad, that's the rub for me. I'm not gentile in my sleep.
Welp, this gives me an excuse to make an REI trip (like I needed one). Still want to have a look-see for myself.
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby hikerduane » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:01 pm

I ordered and recieved within a week, the short, just weighted it, 8.7 oz. I got it thru a small dealer in Carson City, Sporting Rage. Cascade Designs guarantees it for life. What I did not expect, the patch kit is extra, I guess I will have to pick one up. Nothin but money.:) I get to test it in a few weeks on a group trip to the Lost Coast. It is crinkly, off yellow color at least for the small size. If it is as comfortable as my 27 oz. LE, I will save 18 oz. A Granite Gear stuff sack is about a third of an oz. so I will be at 9 oz for this thing.
Piece of cake.
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby markskor » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:21 pm

Eric,
I knew nothing about the NeoAir before seeing it for first time today, other than you touted it quite highly previously, (admittedly I may have bad-mouthed it then as an expensive, $120, air mattress), but respecting your opinion, decided to give it a fair evaluation. In truth, I really wanted to be the first one on the block to have one…hoping it to be the latest/greatest thing since sliced bread.

I do have Prolite 3 short too (lightest – regular, thick-skinned, thermarest pad)…so I did some homework, comparing specs with the NeoAir short, (both 47/20 inches), as I do not like a long/full length pad - overkill and I also use at night/roll it up inside for protection while hiking, a ½ inch, closed cell, blue, ensolite pad.

(See Cascades Designs web site): Google Thermarest

While on paper, I agree that the NeoAir seems to have a slight edge – (weight, R-value, thickness, and rolled size), but the noise factor bothered me, the color sucked, and the thin wall construction scared me – to me, it looks too easily punctured/ harder to repair, but I could be wrong…again. I would hate to be 20 miles in and have to find out the hard way. I know duct tape will easily repair a small puncture in a regular thermarest in the field. For me, might have to wait for an extensive, 2-week, field report…time will tell. I am hard on gear too, plan a long trek this summer…just not willing to be the first one to take the risk.
Mark
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby hikerduane » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:45 pm

With a lifetime guarantee, I'm hoping it stands up, I'm hanging onto my receipt. Over on Thelightweightbackpacker, Jason, an MSR employee said it was the most comfortable pad he had ever slept on. Of course, he had high praises for the MSR Hyperflo also. It gets folded in thirds length wise, then rolled up if you follow their procedure. Seems any weak spots would develop along the folds, plus it is only supposed to take a couple minutes to seal leaks by rubbing some stuff over the hole. Sounds easy enough. I inflated mine this last week when I got it, easier and quicker to inflate them my Exped DAM9. Deflating takes a procedure I see though, but I quickly accomplished that, but slower than a normal pad due to being folded in thirds and getting most of the air out before rolling it up.
Piece of cake.
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby ERIC » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:01 am

markskor wrote:Eric,
I knew nothing about the NeoAir before seeing it for first time today, other than you touted it quite highly previously, (admittedly I may have bad-mouthed it then as an expensive, $120, air mattress), but respecting your opinion, decided to give it a fair evaluation. In truth, I really wanted to be the first one on the block to have one…hoping it to be the latest/greatest thing since sliced bread.


My apologies if I led you to believe it was the best thing since sliced bread. That wasn't my intention, and since the NeoAir hadn't been released yet, I couldn't have substantiated such a claim anyway. In that other thread, I was merely defending the NeoAir as possibly being a legit product (on paper) that some HST members might be, or already were, interested in. That was in response to your assertion that I might have posted the article as humor, though I agree some of the other products in that article were pretty ridiculous :p

markskor wrote:Eric,
Where do you find this stuff?
IMHO, out of all this eclectic mélange of "new products" offered here, there is nothing shown that I would want to carry solo backpacking. Well, maybe that heated coat might come in real handy…20 miles in.
Does makes good reading though…much like the recent editions of Backpackers magazine…Humor right?
Gotta love our leader!
Mark
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby markskor » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:50 am

Eric,
Just another prime example of what makes this a great forum… (All thanks to you, BTW).
We all want the best, lightest, most advanced gear possible…here we actually try it, use it hard, compare it, and report back …all honestly giving our own individual opinions as real mountain users. (This is opposed to some phony, manufacturers, money-driven, advertising reports so often seen in many of today’s publications)
I would rather have/read a real user’s report telling of any and all possible red flags before purchase (suspiciously never found in most print ads), from somebody I respect, than put any faith in what somebody, who I do not know, tells me.
Whether or not we finally agree about the value of any new piece of gear, at least I know I am getting the straight poop, not some advertising executive’s fantasy ploy.

Bottom line here, the jury is still out for me on the NeoAir. Some seem to like it…maybe so, but at least I come away with hard facts... we all share true feelings concerning gear, something we all feel strongly about.
Mark
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby calipidder » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:55 pm

I'm really looking forward to receiving mine (currently backordered with REI). I was fortunate enough to see an early prototype of this pad over four years ago, and I know they've gone through many, many iterations of the prototype since then. First, it was perfecting the 'insulation' technology. Then, it was finding the right balance of durability and weight for the outer material.

When I saw the prototype, felt it in my own hands, I was blown away and have been impatiently waiting for it since then. I've been making due with old pads since I knew this was coming. As a woman with sensitive hips (they are often sore from running, and a badly padded night of sleep only makes the problem worse), my sleeping pad is one area of my gear set that I have been unable to cut weight. I need a thick pad under me. The neoair is finally allowing me to make a big dent in my base weight by providing that thickness at a significant weight savings over comparable pads. That's worth a lot of money to me (okay, I'm spending my REI dividend on it, but whatever...)

I hope it lives up to its public, and my own personal, hype.
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby hikerduane » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:59 pm

I was able to use my small for four nights over on the Lost Coast with some fine folks from NorthCA Hiking, a Yahoo group, a few post here now and then.

First couple nights, definitely a difference using it on the postitive side. I sleep very poorly anywhere. The first two nights, one at Richardson Grove, waiting to begin our trip, I fell asleep faster, slept a little longer than usual. Meaning, I woke up after 1:00 AM, and fell back to sleep which usually takes another hour or two. I tossed and turned three or four times, where I usually roll from one shoulder to the other 10 or twelves times maybe when I have to roll due to pain. I topped the pad off before retiring as hot air cools when inflating this pad quite a bit. I noticed all four mornings, that the pad is deflated/softer quite a bit from the previous night, not sure if it is all cooling of the air that was used to inflate it. The last two nights, I was not as comfortable as the first two, but still better off then when I use my Thermarest LE, 3/4 pad which weights 27 ozs. versus the 9 oz. for the small NeoAir. I notice the pads is softer in the morning by about five of the tube rows, if you want to call them that. I can lay with two arms on the pad to get it back to close to the evening firmness as an illustration of its morning volume. To roll it back to factory packaging configuration takes a few steps. I open the valve, roll from the bottom, making flat folds, then when I have the pad getting firm again, lay on it or use my arms to roll the air out, then repeat. I could go on but you get it. A procedure to get it folded back up, the only other negative besides the price. If you have shoulder/hip issues, this should help, if not, you are going to be tickled with its weight and comfort. Since I work out of town, I want to try something this weekend when I get home. I want to get the air temp in the pad stabilized then put some weight on it to check for leaks, or do this in a tub to check for leaks.
Piece of cake.
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby Rosabella » Thu May 07, 2009 8:08 pm

I just got a NeoAir and am really looking forward to trying it out. I tried to find one at the Seattle REI but they were out and back-ordered. I had the same answer when I tried to order it online. I found one (surprisingly) thru Amazon – sold thru a company called backcountry.com. The stuff sack is ordered separately, and when the box came in, I thought they had only sent the stuff sack…. It’s amazingly light.

I got the medium size, and inflated it here at home. REALLY comfortable… at least on my kitchen floor. I see what you mean, Markskor, about it seeming fragile, but we’ll see. As far as the color…. I really don't mind it. However, I’m a little concerned about Hikerduane’s comment about it deflating overnight, I guess we'll see about that too. Anyway, I’m pretty excited about trying it out!
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby rlown » Thu May 07, 2009 8:32 pm

i'm looking forward to your reports on wear and tear for the NeoAir. For me, i like a full length, thicker padding.. I roll around alot at night when not looking around for bears.. :retard:

I like to replace my sleeping pad system every 4 years or so, depending on use and care. The repair kits last maybe a year (glue wise), and that's the last thing you need in the backcountry; a deflated bed...
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Re: NeoAir Thermarest...new product

Postby BSquared » Fri May 08, 2009 7:17 am

Me three: keep us posted, all you NeoAir users! About the only really substantial thing I can see to save weight on for the upcoming JMT ramble is the pad, now, so I'd really like it if the NeoAir comes through! As several people have observed, the reviews at REI and elsewhere have been equivocal, but they seem to be selling like hotcakes (or perhaps they just take a long time to make), because they're out of stock virtually everywhere.

BTW, I've ordered a number of things from Backcountry.com, and they seem quite reliable. YMMV, of course.
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