Hands-on Gear Review

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season SV Review

A great pad for those who prioritize comfort over weight savings, though we still prefer Therm-a-Rest pads without the SV system.
By: Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 4, 2018
Price:  $160 List  |  $140.65 at Amazon - 12% Off
Pros:  Warm, durable, comfortable
Cons:  Heavier and not as warm as NeoAir Xtherm
Manufacturer:   Therm-a-Rest
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 27
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Weight and Packed Size - 30% 5
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Ease of Inflation - 10% 9
  • Durability - 10% 7
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Our Verdict

The Therm-a-Rest Neoair All-Season SV is a warm and comfortable pad. Its rectangular shape gave our side sleeping testers more room to roll around than the mummy-shaped Neoair Xtherm. It has an impressive R-Value of 4.9, but weighs more than our Editors' Choice award winner. We'd love this pad even more if it didn't have the Speed Valve system, as this design adds weight with what we feel is a minimal impact on inflation speeds.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Performance Comparison


This pad isn't as warm and is heavier than our Editors' Choice, the NeoAir Xtherm. Why choose this pad over the Xtherm? It's rectangular, has a larger surface area, and has the controversial Speed Valve system. While the Speed Valve makes it very easy to deflate the pad, we don't feel that it makes a significant improvement in inflation speed. Therm-a-Rest isn't oblivious to the learning curve presented by their Speed Valve system. To help users properly inflate their Speed Valve pads, they created this short video tutorial. We recommend checking it out if you own a pad with this system, or if you're considering purchasing one.



This pad is thick and comfortable  with smooth horizontal baffles.
This pad is thick and comfortable, with smooth horizontal baffles.

Comfort


The All-Season is a rectangular winter pad in Therm-a-Rest's NeoAir series. Its shape gives you more space at the head and feet, which many testers find more comfortable than the mummy shapes of other pads like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm. The rectangular shape of the All-Season was especially appreciated by side sleepers whose feet often roll off of tapered pads. Edge collapse felt minimal, especially when compared to the thicker Exped DownMat 9 which presents the sleeper with a whopping 3.5 inches to roll off of. Another advantage of the boxy shape is that it is easier to balance your pillow.

More importantly, our testers loved this pad's relatively flat sleeping surface. Consistently, our testers found that the flatter a surface is, the more comfortable it is. If unplanned bivvies on rocky terrain are more your style, less rigid air cell pads liked the REI Co-op Flash All-season Insulated is a better option. We found the All-Season nearly as comfortable as the NeoAir Venture. Both feature a similar design, but the baffles on the All-Season are quite noisy and sound like you're sleeping on tin foil. When bundled up tight, our sleeping bags provided quite a bit of noise dampening. But on warmer nights, the sound was intrusive to the sleep of some.

With a pack volume of 2.8 Liters  this pad will take up as much space in your pack as about 2 and a half beers  without weighing you down or dehydrating you.
With a pack volume of 2.8 Liters, this pad will take up as much space in your pack as about 2 and a half beers, without weighing you down or dehydrating you.

Weight and Packed Size


Tipping the scale at 22.8 oz, the All-Season is considerably heavier than the XTherm and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite. For this reason, the vast majority of our testers reach for those pads on weight-conscious trips. What comes along with those extra ounces is more square inches to sprawl and less likelihood of sliding off the pad onto the cold ground. Additionally, the speed valve system adds some weight.

As you can see in the photo below, this pad packs small, but it's still larger than most other NeoAir pads. However, relative to most of the pads in the review, this one is about average in size.

2.5 inches thick with an R-Value of 4.9 thanks to a matrix of baffles and reflective material  the Neoair series pads remain one of our favorite designs.
2.5 inches thick with an R-Value of 4.9 thanks to a matrix of baffles and reflective material, the Neoair series pads remain one of our favorite designs.

Warmth


With an R-value of 4.9, the Therm-a-Rest All Season is among the warmest pads we tested. Although not quite as toasty as the XTherm, it's still a good choice for winter use. One of the warmest pads we reviewed was the Exped DownMat 9, which boasts a toasty R-Value of 8. The DownMat weighs 13 oz more than the All-Season SV and takes up substantially more space in a backpack.

It takes a lot of air to inflate this thick pad. Make sure to watch the instructional video before trying to blow up this pad  or you'll end up blowing a lot of hot air in vain.
It takes a lot of air to inflate this thick pad. Make sure to watch the instructional video before trying to blow up this pad, or you'll end up blowing a lot of hot air in vain.

Ease of Inflation


To speed valve or not speed valve? Our testers prefer the older Therm-a-Rest twist valve system. It's durable, easy to use, and doesn't leak. The SV system, on the other hand, requires an instructional video to learn how to use, you have to close it just-so to prevent leakage, and it adds weight to the pad. The SV system doesn't make inflation significantly faster in our opinion, and just isn't worth the weight or confusion. This pad also has the twist valve found on other Therm-a-Rests for fine tuning the firmness. The real "speed" in the SV system is in the deflation process. Just unclip the Speed Valve on your friend's pad and they'll be on the ground in under a second.

Durability


The All-Season uses a durable 75-denier polyester and 70-denier nylon that makes it more than sufficiently durable for extended use and abuse. The material is bomber. Our testers have logged more than 365 nights on one of the old All-Season pads without any leaks or tears. In past reviews, our testers had problems with the SV system leaking, though our current test model holds are just fine. It's important to make sure you close and fold the speed valve properly, as shown in the video.

Our testers get pretty light-headed inflating so many pads. We feel the SV system isn't an improvement on the traditional Therm-a-reset twist valve.
Our testers get pretty light-headed inflating so many pads. We feel the SV system isn't an improvement on the traditional Therm-a-reset twist valve.

Best Applications


The All-Season is a great all-purpose pad for year-round use. It may not be the highest performing piece of equipment due to its heavier weight, but it's comfortable and warm. If you want one comfortable pad that you can use year round, then this pad is a top contender from roadside sleeping to high alpine bivies.

Value


At $160 this pad is less expensive than the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm and the superlight Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air. The All-Season is more spacious than both the aforementioned pads, so if you find yourself falling off smaller mummy shaped pads, the sleep you'll get on the All-Season will be worth the cash.

A rectangular shape is more comfortable for side sleepers than mummy shaped pads.
A rectangular shape is more comfortable for side sleepers than mummy shaped pads.

Conclusion


True to its name, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season provides year-round warmth. The boxy design is more comfortable than the weight saving mummy shape of similar pads. It has a flat surface that is a dream to sleep on, but some testers complained that it is too noisy. We just hope that Therm-a-Rest will bring back the old non-SV inflation system.

Matt Bento

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Most recent review: May 4, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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