What is the Best Camping Air Mattress or Sleeping Pad? 2

Reviewed by:
On May 20, 2014
Last modified:September 25, 2015


Simply put, this is the sleeping pad that most campers and outdoors experts recommend. If you are looking for a good night sleep when camping this it the product that will facilitate that. It has a very good R-value, protecting from the cold ground and it also offers the best comfort for this weight. Lightweight hikers and campers adore this one. I will rate it 5 stars, and please check below, in the fuill review, why I chose to give it this rating.

Oh boy.

Now this is a task – choosing the best camping sleeping pad or sleeping mattress.

I actually feel kind of nervous getting into this, since I am a camping enthusiast, and I know that the choice of sleeping gear can make or break a trip.

So, I took my time with this one and what you’ll read in the next couple of minutes is actually a fruit of a couple of days of work and research.

I read tons of materials, reviews, contacted people I know and people online and, let me tell you, the decision was not easy.

It is my estimate that Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad coming from cascade designs is the best sleeping pad on the market today.

I am an aged camper, but I wanted to make this review as unbiased as possible so I’ll primarily deal with what other people are saying – the actual users of this product.

But first things first – let’s see what the company is saying:

The features:

Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad

  • the fabrics used and the tapered designed make this model the lightest in the collection (NeoAir collection)
  • it is lighter (over 14%) than the original NeoAir model
  • scientifically designed to recycle body heat (using dual air pockets to trap more heat)
  • the best possible support and stability you could get from a sleeping pad – utilizing patent pending Triangular Core Matrix design
  • special materials of low density make this pad the most compact in the series – packs to a size of a water bottle

See more pictures – on Amazon

Ok, you might be thinking; they are making it, of course they’ll say good things about it.

I am thinking the same.

That’s why we’ll spend the most of our time in this review looking at what the actual users are saying.

Let’s get to it. Let’s look at the PROs and CONs.

The PROs as per the users of Thermarest NeoAir Xlite:

  • extremely lightweight and holds heat great
  • really like how thick this thing is…full 2″
  • holds air like a champ…no leakage whatsoever, worth every dime…
  • didn’t use a sleeping bag, so this pad was the only thing between me and the ground…I was so warm that I thought I had a fever before I realized it’s the pad that’s trapping the heat, and I was at 10,000 feet…
  • This thing is so light and packs so great that I stopped even looking at the new pads coming out. I am an ultra-light hiker, and this is just perfect for my needs…
  • Inflates very quickly and easily
  • Great support, sturdy and firm…
  • It’s hard to find a light sleeping pad for a side-sleeper. I’d used about half a dozen of pads before I got my hands on this one, just what I needed…
  • I’ve just got mine and have been testing it at home; I don’t like any surprises on the road. So far, this thing is everything they are saying it is…
  • A whole level or two above my other pads when it comes to comfort
  • The best of the best, it is pricey, but it’s well worth it…
  • So comfy, I am loving the sides that kind of fold around you…it gives me a feeling of stability I’ve never had with my previous cheaper pads. I used to feel like I am always hanging from the edge, not anymore…
  • Since I switched to a bivi bag instead of a tent, I went from a full length mat to this pad, and so far it’s everything I hoped for…
  • Simply an amazing product…
  • It gets so warm with this pad that I actually had to remove layers during the night; I am not sure I understand the technology, but I don’t really care as long as it keeps me warm…

Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad

The CONs as per the users of this pad:

  • The noise…I hate the noise…it cracks and squeaks as I move…the noise subsided after a month or so, not completely but just enough that it doesn’t bother me…
  • I expected the Xlarge to be wider…
  • I have a feeling that it’s fragile, so I am taking extra precautions against punctures…

My resume:

As you can see, this sleeping pad received 49 out of 50 in my Overall Quality Rating, which puts it in top 2% of sleeping pads.

See what people that bought it had to say about it (Amazon.com link)



It is one of the priciest sleeping pads, but it’s also one of the least expensive ones.

Bear with me for a second while I explain this brain-dribble of a statement.

To make something like this, you have to go above and beyond. I have a friend who actually works in a factory that makes sleeping pads and mattresses, and I talked to him about this product.

I cannot mention names and brands here, but he told me that he was certain that his company has much higher price margins…

He talked about the materials used, attention to detail needed to make something this light and compact, and still sturdy and durable…he went on and on…

That’s why I choose this product to be the champion among camping sleeping pads, especially if packing light or ultra-light is important to you.

In my book, a solid 5 star product.

So, What’s the best camping air mattress that you have tried ?

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James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at BestAirMattressGuide.com
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of BestAirMattressGuide.com.

2 thoughts on “What is the Best Camping Air Mattress or Sleeping Pad?

  1. Reply Jocelyn Jul 21,2015 5:18 am

    hi, James. Thanks for the great article. Appreciate your work. I’m looking for a double sleeping pad and came across Alp Velocity and Lightspeed Outdoors. Do you have an opinion about which one is better? Thanks!

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