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Don H
09-03-2010, 09:05
Has anyone had a chance to use the Neo in colder weather such as what you would expect in mid March beginning a thru? I looking at either taking the Neo with an R value of 2.5 to start next year's thru or using the Women's Prolite rated at R 2.8.

bulldog49
09-03-2010, 10:56
Has anyone had a chance to use the Neo in colder weather such as what you would expect in mid March beginning a thru? I looking at either taking the Neo with an R value of 2.5 to start next year's thru or using the Women's Prolite rated at R 2.8.

What do you mean by "cold weather"?

If it cold enough to snow, you should take along a closed cell Therma Rest to use with a Neo Air.

10-K
09-03-2010, 11:25
Last year in NY I used mine.. It was in the mid-teens in the mornings and there was 6-12" inches of snow in most places.

No problem. Paired it with a Mont Bell SS 20* bag and a pair of lightweight long underwear and a wool cap.

Stayed plenty warm.

skinewmexico
09-03-2010, 11:32
I'd probably throw in a Thinlight pad from Gossamer Gear until it warmed up some.

Kerosene
09-03-2010, 14:07
Has anyone had a chance to use the Neo in colder weather such as what you would expect in mid March beginning a thru? I looking at either taking the Neo with an R value of 2.5 to start next year's thru or using the Women's Prolite rated at R 2.8.I doubt that you'd notice the difference between an R-value of 2.5 vs. 2.8. If those are your only two options then I'd opt for the more comfortable and lighter NeoAir. For temps below freezing I would recommend a thin closed cell pad, but I have not yet tried my NeoAir short by itself below freezing, as 10-K has.

Luddite
09-03-2010, 14:15
I'd probably throw in a Thinlight pad from Gossamer Gear until it warmed up some.

Do those thinlight pads really do much?

malowitz
09-03-2010, 14:22
I used a NeoAir starting March 20th this year. I sweat every night in my 20 degree WM bag. I also used a thinlight under the NeoAir for my whole hike to try to protect it. I developed a hole in the NeoAir before Caratunk, ME and the repair didn't hold.

In the cold weather, inflate before bed. Let the air volume contract as it cools and add a few more breaths before going to sleep.

Dogwood
09-03-2010, 16:01
I've used the NeoAir mid length(60 inches long) in what I consider cold weather(about 3*) with a piece of Tyvek underneath it. If you want more insulation check out POE's insulated pads or, might I suggest, if you are an especially cold sleeper, you combine the NeoAir with a closed cell foam pad like SkiNewMexico suggests. The colder it is the more I like to be insulated from the ground so I opt for a thicker insulating pad to be used in conjunction with the NeoAir as the temps plummet.

Gossamer Gear has a line of light wt closed cell foam pads in various thicknesses(different R-Values) and sizes which are meant mainly for insulation, although there are some hikers who use these pads as their sole sleeping pad yr round. You can also combine more than one insulating pad to achieve an even higher R-value.

The one thing I have noticed with a short pad with a decent R-Value, like the NeoAir Shortie, is when using this length of inflatable pad in cold weather by itself, I can feel a noticeable difference in insulation where the pad ends, which is why I go to the med length in winter or during very early/late shoulder season. I'm a tall guy(6'4"). Of course, if you only use the reg(full) length or you are able to curl up into a fetal position as you sleep staying entirely on the NeoAir this is not an issue.

I also do as Malowitz suggested just before I go to sleep. A few more puffs. That's another thing I do like about the NeoAir. You can adjust(fine tune) the insulating value(air insulates!) and comfortabilty by inflating it a bit more or less as conditions and personal choice demand.

Don H
09-03-2010, 22:48
One thing I'm questioning is if the heat reflective properties of the Neo really work.
What I mean by "cold weather" would be nights in the 20s which you would typically see in GA in early March.

trailangelbronco
09-04-2010, 00:59
I woke up in the Sawtooths last Sunday morning with 26 degree temps and a layer of snow on my tent, and was toasty warm in my 20 degree bag and neoair underneath.

Franco
09-04-2010, 02:45
Don
Starting with the Neo Air /ProLite comparison , I have them but never slept on both at the same time ... so hard to compare but I agree with Kerosene that you are not going to find one "warmer" than the other. Hard to quantify a 10% (more or less) difference but if I gave you a hat that was 10% warmer than the one you have , would you notice ?
Thermarest gives the Neo Air an R2.5 rating. Going by BPL's tests that is achieved at 80% inflation , and that is what many do (for comfort)
R 2.5 is roughly a comfort rating down to 32f. If it works under that for you great, if it does not , well it was not designed to do that nor TR claims that it does...
Franco

ChinMusic
09-04-2010, 02:45
I woke up in the Sawtooths last Sunday morning with 26 degree temps and a layer of snow on my tent, and was toasty warm in my 20 degree bag and neoair underneath.

I had a couple 27 degree mornings last month in Yosemite. IMO that is MUCH different than a GA March. The ground was warm when I went bed. I suspect it was for you as well.

Tipi Walter
09-04-2010, 09:42
I developed a hole in the NeoAir before Caratunk, ME and the repair didn't hold.


That about says it all.

malowitz
09-04-2010, 11:54
That about says it all.

I don't think it says it all. It was so comfortable I bought a brand new one just for the 100-miles and the end. First one went over 2000 miles. Nothing else out there feels as comfortable.

Kerosene
09-04-2010, 12:10
Nothing else out there feels as comfortable.I agree, especially if you're an inveterate side-sleeper. However, all but the NeoAir Large are only 20" wide, which means that your elbows will be off the pad if you sleep on your back. The NeoAir Large (http://www.rei.com/product/781098) is 25" wide, 77" long, weighs 19 oz, and costs a whopping $170.

Country Roads
09-04-2010, 13:50
I used a regular neaoir in Mid-april at just above freezing and combined it with a 1/4 Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad; nice and warm. I definitely would use a thicker closed cell pad along with the Neoair with temps into the low 20's though. Otherwise, I have used just the Neoair to the low 40's with a 30 Degree rated bag with no issues. The reflect stuff does seem to work; if you move your leg to a different area of the pad, it will feel cooler for a few moments and then adjust to your body heat.
I do use a ground cloth under the pad even in my tent, to avoid punctures. That would make the insulation value of it useless, which is also a reason to carry a thin pad too on a long hike. You might not be cushioned, but you would stay decently warm.

mudhead
09-04-2010, 13:57
I don't think it says it all. It was so comfortable I bought a brand new one just for the 100-miles and the end. First one went over 2000 miles. Nothing else out there feels as comfortable.

I wondered if you felt you got your $ worth and bought a new one. Thanks for posting that. Pretty spendy, but sound like they have value.

Don H
09-04-2010, 14:14
Do you use the foam pad under or on top of the Neo?

4eyedbuzzard
09-04-2010, 14:20
If you buy the neoair from LL Bean and it breaks, simply tell them you're not satisfied and they'll replace it free.

10-K
09-04-2010, 14:26
If it's so cold you're going to be needing an extra pad with the neoair you'll probably also be carrying some warmer clothing.

You can wear some of that warmer clothing while you sleep and forget about carrying the extra pad.

Dogwood
09-04-2010, 16:40
If you buy the neoair from LL Bean and it breaks, simply tell them you're not satisfied and they'll replace it free.

Same with REI and Backcountry!

Dogwood
09-04-2010, 16:51
I'm with Franco. I don't think you will notice that much difference in INSULATING R-Value ALONE when comparing an R-Value of 2.5 and R-Value of 2.8!

If you were to include other aspects than it becomes a different comparison story.

BTW, it's not just the heat reflective properties of the materials of the NeoAir that give it its R-Value of 2.5 but by the simple fact that 2.5" of air in the thickness of a fully inflated NeoAir contributes a lot to insulation from cold.

I always place a closed cell foam pad under an inflatable pad when opting for this combination. I almost always use less than a FULL length inflatable pad Just seems to stay put better that way.

STICK
09-04-2010, 22:38
Great thread! I am looking forward to using my Neo in some cold weather! I want to get one of the GG Thinlight pads but was trying to figure out if I should get the 1/4, 3/8, or the 1/8. Of course I want the 1/8 cause it would weigh less, but I would like to be able to get to say 10* with the set-up, so maybe he 3/8...

And in my opinion, this is the most comfortable pad I have laid on. IMO, it is definitely worth the $$$, however you can usually find a deal and at least save a few $$$. I did get mine from REI though, so I have that too...

IronGutsTommy
09-04-2010, 22:53
id use the eggshell under the neo to protect it from the ground.. an eggshell cant pop so u definitely want that on bottom of the pricey but worth it neo

Stir Fry
09-05-2010, 07:14
Do those thinlight pads really do much?

In a word, "Yes". If you are on the ground you would notice even 1/8 inch of closed cell padding. People swim in 50* water with 1/8 inch wet suit.

BrianLe
10-06-2010, 08:09
Like Malowitz, I used a neo air for my AT thru this year; unlike him, however, mine never developed a leak, and I plan to use the same one on the CDT next year; if so, might be interesting to see just how many thousands of miles I can manage to get on this same pad leak-free ... (I've never had an inflatable leak on me, FWIW).

I used two thinlights in the cold; I started from Springer on Feb 25th; lowest temps got into the upper teens, and I too was using a 20F rated WM bag at that point (swapped later to a 32F rated bag). Given not a lot of "competition" for sleeping spaces, I slept mostly in shelters.

I had a 1/8" thinlight and a 1/4" thinlight, just rolled those two together and put them in plastic strapped to the outside of my pack. My recollection is that the best cold weather combination was to have the 1/8" thinlight on bottom, and the 1/4" thinlight on top of the neoair, but I always had at least the 1/8" thinlight on bottom --- to protect from leaks. I also had 1/3 of a trifold GG nightlite pad that I used as a sit pad and to go under the neoair at night where the thinlight didn't reach (I used a size "regular" neoair).

The nice thing about two thinlights is that once I got into Virginia (I think Pearisburg) I mailed home the 1/4" pad and just kept the thinner and lighter thinlight for physical/puncture protection. FWIW, I just got into the habit every morning of brushing any debris off the thinlight as I rolled it up, suspecting that a great way to develop a leak is to allow sharp particulates to embed themselves into the ccf of the thinlight.

I make no claims as to how my use might compare to "normal" (whatever that is), but I found the system to work well. The one reason I might consider a different pad would be to switch to a torso length neo air to save a bit of weight and bulk (more overall gear and weight to carry on the CDT next year ...). But I sort of doubt that I will, given that I already own the size regular.

Don H
10-06-2010, 08:24
I bought a GG Thinlight 1/4" full length pad to go under the Neo for cold weather, when it warms up I'll send it home.

Trailbender
10-06-2010, 08:30
I don't think it says it all. It was so comfortable I bought a brand new one just for the 100-miles and the end. First one went over 2000 miles. Nothing else out there feels as comfortable.

I just used a Ridgerest blue pad for my thru. The sides are a bit shredded from being strapped on the bottom of my pack, but I don't have to worry about it losing its effectiveness. I have always just preferred dead simple gear in the woods. My stove is a bent piece of sheet metal I put an esbit tab on.

Don H
10-06-2010, 08:31
In another 20 years you'll understand why us old guys need extra padding!

Tipi Walter
10-06-2010, 11:21
Has anyone had a chance to use the Neo in colder weather such as what you would expect in mid March beginning a thru? I looking at either taking the Neo with an R value of 2.5 to start next year's thru or using the Women's Prolite rated at R 2.8.

The obsessive love affair with the Neoair continues. But come on guys, it's not sold as a winter pad, and yet people try to take it out in the winter and use all sorts of multipad configurations. BrianLe uses 4 pads? Two thinlights and a GG nightlite pad ALONG with the Neoair? Phew, just get a Prolite Plus at 3.8R and use it as a single pad and be done with it. Or one of the Exped downmats.

Or here's a thought: Save a little bit of money and get a higher R value Prolite Plus at 17oz and 3.8R. It's probably even more durable. Or really save a bundle of money and go with a 3.4R Trail pad at 15oz. BTW, what the heck happened with the Thermarest Toughskin pads? Did Cascade Designs pull another quick one on me and dump another one of their pads? And just a short time after bringing it out on the market?

Odd Man Out
10-06-2010, 11:58
just get a Prolite Plus at 3.8R and use it as a single pad and be done with it. Or one of the Exped downmats.



I like the idea of multiple pads because of multi use and versatility. A thin closed cell foam give extra insulation when needed, protection of inflatable, someplace set your gear/butt when it's wet outside, structure to a frameless pack, backup if inflatable leaks, etc... Plus you are not stuck with one heavy inflatable when the weather warms.

BrianLe
10-06-2010, 15:50
"BrianLe uses 4 pads? Two thinlights and a GG nightlite pad ALONG with the Neoair? Phew, just get a Prolite Plus at 3.8R and use it as a single pad and be done with it. Or one of the Exped downmats."

It's about multi-use and flexibility, plus perhaps some "backup", plus to be fair --- the 1/3 section of a Nightlight torso at maybe 1.1 oz is primarily used as a sitpad so I think it's pushing it to say "four pads" when for the most part I'm carrying two, with one of those a 2 oz 1/8" thinlight pad.

As Odd Man Out says, multiple pads add flexibility. I'm also not sure how a prolite plus at 3.8R would compare to the warmth of the system I used. But I do know that it's listed at 24 oz and 1.5" thick, vs. the Neo Air alone is 2.5" thick. Neo Air is listed at 14 oz, so for the most part what I'm carrying is about 16 oz of padding (all according to the REI website, my own scale gets the combo at closer to 17 oz). And I can flexibly add a 3.5 oz 1/4" thinlight pad when conditions suggest that, and still be carrying less weight than the Prolite Plus.

Also, should I ever develop a leak, at least I have some padding under me with my system.

I'm not suggesting that it's optimal for everyone, but it worked fine for over 2000 miles this year with nary a leak, and kept me warm enough down into the upper teens. As metabolisms and sleeping bags and various other factors vary, YMMV (a lot) as to what ambient temps such a system might keep you comfortable at, of course.

BrianLe
10-06-2010, 15:54
Hmm, reading Tipi's post again, I see that he lists the prolite plus at 17 oz. To compare apples-to-apples, I'm looking at the size regular of both prolite plus and neo air, both 20" x 72" pads, and at least REI's website lists the former at 24 oz. My experience is that such listed weights tend to err on the low, not the high side, FWIW.

Don H
10-06-2010, 16:33
Tipi must be referring to the ProLite Plus small which weighs 17 oz.

STICK
10-06-2010, 21:54
The obsessive love affair with the Neoair continues. But come on guys, it's not sold as a winter pad, and yet people try to take it out in the winter and use all sorts of multipad configurations. BrianLe uses 4 pads? Two thinlights and a GG nightlite pad ALONG with the Neoair? Phew, just get a Prolite Plus at 3.8R and use it as a single pad and be done with it. Or one of the Exped downmats.

Or here's a thought: Save a little bit of money and get a higher R value Prolite Plus at 17oz and 3.8R. It's probably even more durable. Or really save a bundle of money and go with a 3.4R Trail pad at 15oz. BTW, what the heck happened with the Thermarest Toughskin pads? Did Cascade Designs pull another quick one on me and dump another one of their pads? And just a short time after bringing it out on the market?

The comforts just not the same though...

Just sayin...

JonnyWalker
10-06-2010, 23:11
Both setups weigh about the same. The prolite is more effecient and easier to use in the cold. The neoair has the ability to send home almost half its weight in the summer and is most likely a bit more comfortable. Both seem to be quality options and I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Don H
10-07-2010, 05:48
The Neo is a full length pad at 14 oz plus 4 oz for a GG long pad for a total of 18 oz. Compare that to the ProLite Plus Small R3.8 at 17 oz. Difference is one is a full length pad and the other is a short.