By Ross Fenion
I spend a lot of time sleeping outdoors and a good chunk of that time with just a sleeping bag separating me from the elements. Until now I have used the standard sealed foam roll mat to insulate me from the ground. I had a couple of weekends away coming up in a winter that had forgotten to end so I decided to take a chance and invest in the NeoAir Xlite from Therm-a-rest.
My first impression when I unwrapped the mat was one of concern it felt like plastic coated tin foil and I was convinced that it would burst or puncture first time out, thankfully I was very wrong!
I opted for the small version as I wanted to save space and only really wanted a mat for my torso. I wasn’t disappointed when packed down the mat is about the size of a small coke can, but within 20 breaths I had a sturdy mattress that easily supports my weight.
I sleep on my side and don’t move much but I was pleased to find I woke up still on the mattress; which was still fully inflated. I do not treat my outdoor equipment nicely: I leaned on the mattress with my elbows, slept in unclear woodland with roots and branches, and it stayed inflated and comfortable for the three nights I was out.
I cannot recommend this mat enough it packs down impressively small and provides an excellent nights sleep even on uneven ground and frozen conditions