Review: Thermarest NeoAir X-Lite

I’ve spent hundreds of nights in the outdoors over the past 20 years. In that time, I’ve had many poor nights of sleep on substandard pads, from the vintage folding foam jobber that I used as a boy scout, through various brands of air mattresses that all seemed to weigh a ton and never hold air through the night.

Lying down on Therm-a-rest's the NeoAir X-Lite, my first thought was “this might be nicer than my bed at home.” To be fair, almost anything feels good after 10-plus miles on the trail, but this is one of the best backcountry sleeping experiences I’ve had.

While ultra-light and great for backpacking, this mattress downs even the best car-camping competition. On my first inflation, I was skeptical that I would be able to return the pad to its factory-packed size without Herculean effort. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it easily expelled all air on the first roll attempt, and then fit right back into its miniature stuff-sack.

Smaller than a one-liter water bottle and weighing in at just 16 ounces, the NeoAir X-Lite is a true winner.