If you’re going backpacking this year, then the last thing you want to take with you is a heavy air mattress. Some mattresses are as heavy as 6 pounds. Fine if you’re just staying in one place with your family. But if you like to travel lightly, and you’ve got to take care with every pound you put in your backpack, then you need to take a closer look at lightweight air mattresses. And that is exactly the reason why today we’re going to discuss the Thermarest Neoair Xlite vs Xtherm air mattresses.
I’ve seen a lot of questions of people who have the old Neoair mattress. And they were wondering if they should upgrade, and if yes: which of the two new versions from Thermarest they should pick.
Also: other people might be going backpacking and camping out in nature for the first time. And in that case you should also carefully consider which air mattress you’re taking with you.
It can make the difference between a relaxing hiking trip and one where you’ll get exhausted without enjoying your vacations.
Neoair Xlite vs Xtherm
Both air mattresses are from the company Thermarest. Which means that they share many similarities between each other. For example, they both have a mummy shape. And they’re available in different sizes: regular and large. Although the Neoair Xlite is also available for kids in a small edition.
Here are some other similarities between the Neoair Xlite and the extra mattress:
- Tapered design (for reducing weight)
- No-slip fabric (so your sleeping bag stays put while you sleep)
- Inflates in 2 minutes
- Includes a sack for easy transport
- Repair kit included
- 2.5 inches thick
- Dimensions (regular): 72 x 20 inches
- Large is 25 by 77 inches
So if you’re deciding between taking a regular air mattress that you might have lying at home, and one of these backpacking mattresses from Thermarest – you’re better off picking the backpacking mattresses from Thermarest.
However, not every backpacking trip is done under the same conditions, so you want to get the perfect mattress for your trip, right? That’s why in the following paragraphs we’ll discuss what makes each of these two air mattresses different. And which mattress you should buy for which type of backpacking trip.
So, let’s find out!
What I like about the Thermarest Neoair Xlite: weighs just 12 ounces – perfect for light travelers
This is the main advantage of the Thermarest Neoair Xlite. As the name suggests, it’s the lightest air mattress in the Thermarest series. Its weight is just 12 ounces, and if it’s fully deflated – it fits into the size of a 1 litre water bottle. So is very easy to take with you.
If you’re the type of backpacker, who values simplicity and minimalistic, Then the Thermarest Neoair Xlite is a solid air mattress for you. It weighs less than virtually every regular air mattress out there, and even less than the Thermarest Xtherm.
As far as warmth goes, the mattress offers good warmth for its size. It’s perfect for 3 season alpine Adventures, as the reflective permaculture technology make sure that radiant heat gets trapped inside the mattress. The triangular coremetrics construction provides stability and ensures that heat loss is minimised. The R-value of the mattress is 3.2.
Click here to check the price of the Thermarest Neoair Xlite mattress on Amazon.
What I like about the Thermarest Xtherm: great for winter camping
As you would expect the Thermarest Xtherm air mattress is a mattress that is built for warmth.The way it does this is by using the same proprietary reflective thermal capture technology for trapping heat within the mattress. And the triangular coremetrics construction ensures that heat loss is minimised. This works the same as in the Neoair Xlite mattress. However, the reason that the Thermarest Xtherm mattress is warmer than the Xlite is because there is an extra padded layer of warmth. This layer is added between the mattress and the floor. So there will be less heat loss if you’re sleeping on cold floors.
The rest of mattress is basically the same as with the Xlite.
Click here to check out the price of the Thermarest X therm mattress on Amazon!
Here’s what to base your Neoair Xlite vs Xtherm decision on:
So, you’re going backpacking this year, and you’ve decided that you want to pack lightly. The first thing to do in this scenario is to get a lightweight air mattress. As we’ve talked before, some air mattresses go as high as 6 or 7 pounds. This simply is too much if you want to cover long distances everyday.
Getting a backpacking mattress from Thermarest will be a solid choice in any case. Here is which mattress I recommend you get based on your trip:
- Are you planning to do most of your backpacking in winter? Then it’s better to pick the Xtherm.
- Or do you want to go backpacking all year round? That is better to pick the Neoair xlite, because the Xtherm can get very hot in summer.
- Is your motto: the lighter, the better? Then pick the Neoair Xlite.
That’s basically it for the Neoair Xlite vs Xtherm mattresses.
Thermarest Neoair Xlite vs Xtherm conclusion:
I’m sure by now you have a clear idea of which mattress works better for which backpacking conditions. If you happen to have any questions, please leave a comment explaining your situation.
Quick recap: do you value light travelling and backpacking? Then both mattresses are good choices. If you want to trade a couple of ounces for more warmth and isolation, go for the Xtherm air mattress. However, if you’re not planning on hiking in winter, it’s better to pick the Neoair Xlite air mattress.
P.S. Can’t decide between the Thermarest Neoair Xlite vs Xtherm? Then choose the Neoair Xlite – it’s more versatile and if you happen to go camping in winter: you can always get a small isolation pad. Check out the Thermarest Neoair Xlite air mattress here!