Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad Review

thermarest neoair uberlite sleeping pad

For many years now, Therm-a-rest has been well known in the backpacking community for making great sleeping pads. The NeoAir XLite sleeping pad has been consistently one of their most popular products, because of it being lightweight, comfortable, and a good R-value. The company most recently has come out with another version, the NeoAir UberLite sleeping pad. It’s the lightest, full-length inflatable pad on the market today. This sleeping pad is perfect for thru-hikers to even the weekend section hiker who wants to try to reduce their base weight. For this review, I have tested it on multiple backpacking trips. Here is my overall experience with it.

Price

The NeoAir UberLite is competitively priced to other similar inflatable pads like the Big Agnes AXL Air Pad. Click the link provided to see the most current price.

Specs

(Regular Size Tested)

  • Weight: 8.8 oz

  • R-Value: 2

  • Dimensions: 72 x 20 x 2.5 in

  • Top Fabric: 15D ripstop nylon

  • Bottom Fabric: 15D nylon

  • Packed Size: 6 in x 3.5 in

neoair uberlite sleeping pad

Weight

The NeoAir UberLite is extremely lightweight. This is no doubt the biggest selling point for this inflatable pad and it is what really motivated me to buy it. It weighs in at only 8.8 oz — that’s 3.2 oz less then the NeoAir XLite. The lightweight design comes with two trade-offs, though. Therm-a-rest used lighter and less durable fabric and reduced the amount of insulation, which keeps you warm at night, in it’s design.

Packed Size

The UberLite sleeping pad packs down incredibly small, to the approximate size of a soda can, at 6 by 3.5 inches. Because of this, it’s very easy to find space for it in your pack. However, like most pads, rolling it up and trying to get it to fit into the stuff sack can still be a pain at times.

packed size of uberlite sleeping pad

Comfort

The UberLite air pad is very comfortable. With it being 2.5 inches thick, it allows you to change sleeping positions at night without bottoming out. Also, Therm-a-rest has a twist valve where you can easily let air out to adjust the firmness of the pad for added comfort. The one thing I did notice is that the outer fabric is a little slippery so during the night the pad can move on you if you’re camping on an incline.

Warmth

Despite removing some of the insulation to make it lighter, the NeoAir Uberlite air pad still has an R-value rating of 2. Therm-a-Rest uses a two layer triangle baffle system to help minimize heat loss. Even with that system the air pad is limited to warmer weather backpacking, when you don’t expect temperatures to dip below freezing. If you are planning trips in the shoulder season, where you can experience colder weather, consider the NeoAir XLite, and for winter trips, consider the NeoAir XTherm.

thickness of the uberlite sleeping pad

Durability

With any type of ultralight gear, the durability of the product inevitability takes a hit. With the UberLite sleeping pad it is no different. It’s constructed with only 15 denier nylon fabric. For comparison, the heavier XLite pad is made out of 30 denier nylon fabric. This by no means should be considered as a deal breaker. Instead it should just mean that you need to take extra care when using it. Campsite selection and using a tent footprint can go a long way to protect it from rocks, sticks, and other sharp objects on the forest floor. Also, since the pad is less durable, make sure to always bring the patch kit that comes with it.

I used this pad on both a 3 day and a 6 day backpacking trip. On both of those trips I didn’t experience any durability issues despite the light weight fabric. So, the UberLite has shown a measure of toughness on the trail.

Noise

One of the biggest Achilles heels to Therm-a-rest’s sleeping pads has always been that they are very noisy when you shift your body around at night. They make a crinkle sound that can be down right annoying. The good news is that Therm-a-rest has eliminated the heat-reflective layer from the pad, which has made it quieter for a better sleeping experience.

Ease of Inflation & Deflation

The UberLite sleeping pad uses a simple twist valve to inflate and deflate the pad. It takes about 29 breaths to fully inflate it. To deflate the pad it take about 2 minutes from opening the valve all the way to putting it into the stuff sack. Compared to other sleeping pads, the UberLite takes a little more time to inflate and deflate. This is because the air valve restricts the rate of air going in and out. This problem will be fixed in February of 2020 when Therm-a-rest updates the valve design on all it’s sleeping pads to increase inflation and deflation times.

In my experience with this pad, the time it took to inflate and deflate it was not really a huge issue. Sure their are better valve designs out there, but this type of system seemed adequate to me.

uberlite sleeping pad

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Not as noisy as the NeoAir XLite pad

  • Comfortable

  • Durable (considering it’s so lightweight)

  • Packs down small

Cons

  • Takes a little time to inflate and deflate

  • Low R-value

  • Price

Verdict

The NeoAir UberLite sleeping pad is a very impressive piece of gear. The pad is incredibly lightweight and surprisingly durable despite being made from very thin material. Also, the comfort is on par with other inflatable sleeping pads on the market. For those reasons and more, this pad should earn a spot in your pack on those warm weather backpacking trips. You will certainly find it in mine.

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