Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Packs To The Size Of Your Nalgene Bottle

Minimalist air mattress packs to the size of a one-liter Nalgene bottle and provides nearly as much warmth as a bulky pad stuffed with goose down.


For the past month, rumors circulated among the outdoor-gear cognoscenti about this ultra small mattress pad. Now the rumors are true.

Indeed, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mattress, announced officially on July 17, 2008 is now touted as the “world’s lightest, most advanced three-season air mattress.” Manufacturer Cascade Designs Inc. cites the inflatable pad as approximately three times warmer than any other uninsulated air mattress on the market.

Thermarest Neoair ultra compressible backpacking mattress padThe NeoAir Mattress is Therm-a-Rest’s first foray into the un-insulated air mattress

NeoAir Specifications

NeoAir pads come in four sizes, but the smallest iteration — which measures 20 × 47 inches unrolled and packs to the size of the aforementioned Nalgene bottle — will weigh a scant 9 ounces or less than the average trail-running shoe.

Tested via ASTM International standards, Therm-a-Rest garnered an R-value thermal resistance measurement of 2.5. According to Doug Jacot, the Therm-a-Rest business director, comparable un-insulated inflatable air mattresses often register an R-value of less than 1.

So how does NeoAir work? Therm-a-Rest engineers developed an air-bladder technology — the “Triangular Core Matrix” — which is a welded-nylon grid of chambers that, according to Jacot, increases the number of individual air cells by 10 times when compared to a traditional air mattress.

This minimizes air movement within the pad and the resulting convective cooling.

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.