I found a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Medium sleeping mat for sale at The Outdoor Shop and collected it from the local corner shop on Friday. Based on my use of the Prolite 3/4-length mat in the past, I had decided that the small (47”) was too small. The regular (72”) too long for me, as that was similar to the Insul Mat I had been using, and the end usually disappears under my rucksack at the foot of the Akto. The medium, at 66” (5.5’) sounded just right. The weight is quoted at 370 grammes, exactly the same as the quoted weight on the Prolite 3/4 mat. The Insul mat is 570 grammes. When I swapped the mats out, my backpack suddenly had much more space.
As the website had stated that a stuffsack was not provided, I had taken along the Prolite 3/4’s sack. The NeoAir only took about 3/4 of the space.
Upon unrolling the mat in my tent, the instructions and stuffsack were found.
In the morning, I compared the re-rolled NeoAir with my 2 litre Camelbak, and above that, the Ajungilak Air Pillow.
On Saturday morning, my feet felt cold. I put this down to the vent being open into the prevailing (cold) breeze. Other than that, I had slept comfortably, and the mat had stayed put. Some other people have reported that theirs have softened overnight. I didn’t have that problem on either night.
To repeat the experiment, I closed the vent at on end. Yet on Sunday morning, around 2am, I could feel the temperature dropping, and pulled on a pair of socks. Checking the Silva ADC, the temperature during the night had dropped to 4.5°c. That isn’t that cold, as I have been out in lower in the same bag.
Next time that I am out, I will use my Blizzard bag as an insulating mat, to see if I can stop heat being leached out of the NeoAir to the ground. I didn’t want to try that on the Saturday night, in case it was just the cold breeze coming through a vent that was causing it. I carry this bag anyway, in case of emergency, so it isn’t an extra weight to carry to assist the NeoAir – which would kind of defeat the purpose of a sleeping mat advertised (on the box) as a 3 season mat.
Other than that, I had a great couple of nights sleeping, and even got some dream time logged. But you really don’t want to hear about that.