As we attain a certain maturity, the little things seem to weigh a lot larger on our admittedly shrinking minds. A good night’s sleep is near the top of that list, and the more difficult the journey the more important this is. Enter the NeoAir All-Season.
Therm-a-Rest has developed its NeoAir series into three different models, and we’ve used the standard limon-colored model with great success. On the flip side, we’ve heard from friends about the occasional leaking unit, but in our experience that’s kind of par for the course when it comes to air pads, no matter the make or model. You just have to live with a certain malfunction rate. Buy it where you can return it, test it before you use it (you don’t even have to sleep on it, just inflate it and stack some weight on it overnight), always carry a patch kit (and read the instructions at home!), and finally, if conditions are going to be hobbit-assed nasty, double up with a second foam pad like our current fave, the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite.
OK, enough with the caveats. The NeoAir All-Season is the warmer version, increasing the R-value (how well it resists heat flow, or protects you from cold surfaces) from 2.5 to 4.9, with a corresponding weight increase from 14 to 19 ounces for a regular (20x72; also available in medium 20x66 and large 25x77). All models are 2.5 inches thick, and the packed size is roughly equivalent to a quart bottle. The extra five ounces is an easy decision to live with when the going gets Russian-gulag epic.
The All-Season is definitely warmer and super-comfy, thanks to the cross-wise orientation of the baffles. One great thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about the moisture in your breath compromising the insulation, because it has a kind of space-blanket reflective cell construction instead of being down or synthetic based. This saves weight, too. Comfy, warm, light, the NeoAir All-Season is the way to go when the going gets...er, epic! Assuming no malfunctions the remainder of this season, the All-Season will soon get Denali Approved and make the next trip up the big rock.
Hits: Comfortable. Comfortable. Comfortable. And light!
Misses: Risk of popping or leaking, so test it right away, and know how to use the patch kit.
MSRP: $139.95 medium; $149.95 regular; $169.95 large, stuff sack included
Buy It($127.95-$169.95 at Amazon.com)
Looking for more Denali-approved gear? Check out GearFlogger.net.