Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, takes up very little space in your pack
Cons: Not very durable, not very warm
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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
|Price||$142.46 at Backcountry|
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|$64.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Lightweight, takes up very little space in your pack||Superior warmth, small packed size, light||Lightweight, warm for the weight, packs small, comfortable, versatile||Great value, wide, reasonably light||Lightweight, affordable, great warmth adding supplement|
|Cons||Not very durable, not very warm||Narrow, expensive||Expensive, edges not as stable as other pad designs||Low R-value, thinner than some||Breaks down over time, dimples gather dirt and moisture|
|Bottom Line||This is one of the lightest and most compact inflatable pads on the market||A true jack of all trades sleeping pad with a highly effective updated valve system||This model boasts a big weight savings, is comfortable, and provides great all around performance||This pad boasts an excellent value in a light and compact package||An effective pad that offers decent three season warmth in a very lightweight package|
|Rating Categories||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Klymit Static V2||Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...|
|Weight and Packed Size (30%)|
|Ease of Inflation (10%)|
|Specs||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Klymit Static V2||Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...|
|Weight||8.8 oz||18.2 oz||16 oz||17.5 oz||14 oz|
|Thickness||2.5 in||2.5 in||2.5 in||2.5 in||0.75 in|
|Claimed R Value||2.3||6.9||4.2||1.3||2|
|Length||72 in||72 in||72 in||72 in||72 in|
|Width||20 in||20 in||20 in||23 in||20 in|
|Packed Volume (L)||0.9 L||1.8 L||1.8 L||0.9 L||1.8 L|
|Breaths to Inflate||18-20||15-20||15-20||12-14||0|
|Type||Air Construction||Air Construction/Baffled Insulation||Air Construction/Baffled Insulation||Air Construction||Closed-cell foam|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Uberlite has a huge advantage over the Z-Rest and the other foam pads in our review. Among the inflatable pads, it's bested by the massive Nemo Tensor and the dual-chambered Sea-to-Summit Comfort Plus Insulated. Both of these pads are wider than the Uberlite and more stable on the sides, though the Comfort Plus weighs three times more than the Uberlite. For the minimalist who has a strict weight budget and sticks to it, this pad will add comfort to your kit without going over your weight limit. Compared to the more insulated offering from the NeoAir series, the Uberlite is much quieter and doesn't crinkle when you roll around on it.
Weight and Packed Size
The Uberlite is king when it comes to weight and packed size; only the Big Agnes AXL Air comes close at 12.9 oz. The Uberlite is almost five ounces lighter and packs down a little smaller - around the size of a beer can.
To improve the warmth of the Uberlite and stretch it into truly three-season use, you'll want to double up with a foam pad like the Thermarest Z-Lite. This foam pad will increase the R-value and protect your Uberlite from sharp rocks and pointy sticks, with a weight penalty of an additional 14 oz.
An R-value of 2.3 is impressive for an eight-ounce pad, no doubt. For the strictly summertime fastpacker, you won't find a better, more comfortable option. For the alpine lite climbing of the Sierra summer, this is a perfect option, sleek and packable, plus you can put a little more between yourself and the rocks by flaking out your rope and putting your pad on top. For mountaineering with multiple bivvies on snow and Ice, The NeoAir Xtherm with its R-value of 6.9 is your best bet for warmth and weight savings from an inflatable pad. Just remember to bring your repair kit, since a popped sleeping bad can lead to an uncomfortable or even dangerous night out.
Ease of Inflation
Remember the ancient times when we all used to just blow up our air mats with perfectly adequate power of our lungs, and it worked, and no one complained? The Uberlite brings us back to those simpler times, and after unscrewing the 2-way valve, we were able to inflate the Uberlite with 18-20 deep breaths. If you hate blowing up your mattress, you can purchase a pump sack from Thermarest, adding another three ounces to your load, and in the opinion of our testers, not really making it any easier on yourself.
This pad is constructed from nail-bitingly-thin 15 Denier nylon. We didn't manage to puncture during our "average" use while slumbering on flat granite or bedding down in the pine duff with the occasional pinecone thrown in, but did we agonize! This puppy has got some thin skin, and we highly recommend putting down a ground tarp, a rope, a space blanket, or anything to protect your comfy prize. It includes a patch kit; never leave it behind.
This isn't a budget option. You could get an equally or even better night's sleep on the REI Co-op Flash, but you're going to be carrying more than twice the ounces and taking up twice as much space in your pack. For the dedicated fast packer, a decent night's sleep on a sub-ten-ounce pad is worth the price.
We're always impressed with the balance of lightweight and comfort from the folks at Thermarest, and the Uberlite is no exception. While the Neoair Xtherm retains its status as our top choice because of its three-season warmth and versatility, the Uberlite earns its place in our packs for long summer days warm summer nights on the go.
— Matt Bento
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