Unfortunately my old sleeping mat passed away shortly before I left on my cycle. I had always thought that it was pretty light weighing at around 1kg, albeit not the most comfortable at only 2cm thick. So I was shocked when I was told about the NeoAir. This claims to only weigh 260g yet inflates to 6.3cm thick! To good to be true I hear you say, that’s definitely what I was thinking, I had to check several websites and go to a shop before I believed it.
Okay, so the weight and thickness are both unbelievable but how small does it pack up because it has still got to fit in my panniers. Expecting something with that depth to be quite cumbersome I almost didn’t want to find out because I wanted it that bad. Yep you guessed it it’s the size of a water bottle, could this sleeping mat get any better? Now I was expecting to have to part with a small fortune in order to get this mat, as top trekking gear normally is through the roof. No. I parted with an astonishingly reasonable £60. Done and dusted, once more the fact that it was a proper Therm-a-Rest meant that I could rely on it to perform wherever I chose to take it.
I chose to go for the ¾ length model as I decided I wouldn’t need it to cover my ankles and feet. With it being so thick it doesn’t self inflate however it does only require about 10 large breaths and its inflated, very efficient. It is without doubt the most comfy camping mat I have slept on, despite feeling slightly flimsy it has coped with camping on rocks and sharp stones very well and has never deflated during the night. It was a good feeling after a hard day in the saddle knowing I would be having a comfortable nights sleep…can’t beat it.
PROS: Comfortable, Lightweight, Small pack size, Easy inflation.
CONS: Not the cheapest sleeping mat, Not the most rugged have heard reports of them bursting although I have not experienced this.