Thermarest NeoAir XLite NXT Sleeping Pad review: Engineered wizardry

It is hard to tamp down my excitement the first time I see the new Thermarest NeoAir XLite NXT sleeping pad. After all, it boasts some amazing features and yet is roughly the size of a 1L water bottle. Which is especially notable since it also comes with a pump sack, stuff sack and field repair kit.


When I pull the Thermarest NeoAir XLite NXT sleeping pad from the box it feels paper thin. If Thermarest didn’t have such a strong reputation I might be skeptical about its durability. I fumble briefly with the pump sack as I connect it to the sleep pad valve. However, it mounts snugly and I am able to start filling it immediately. I notice with the larger three-inch profile it does take a little longer to fill than other sleeping pads. However, once I lay down I realize instantly it is worth it. The deeper profile keeps me from feeling the roots and uneven ground lumps that normally protrude through most sleeping pads.

Photo Credit: Thermarest

After just a few minutes of laying on the NeoAir XLite NXT I realize it is by far the most comfortable sleeping pad I have used. I observe it is significantly quieter as well (remarkably 6x quieter). Although they’ve made vast improvements, I’d love to see even further noise reduction in the future. I am using the large size even though I am just under six feet tall, and the 25-inch width gives me plenty of shoulder room. I find that when sleeping on my back it keeps my elbows off the ground too.

Normally, I am a back sleeper, yet even when I roll to my side it is still comfy. I discover that I don’t touch the ground through the pad like other sleeping pads. It is especially gentle on normal sleeping pressure points like hips and shoulders. I didn’t have the opportunity to test it in colder weather, but many others attest to its all-weather performance. Personally, I love that it comes with a WingLock valve so I can adjust it while in use for the perfect comfort level!

Packing the NeoAir XLite NXT is a breeze. Once I open the valve and apply gentle pressure the air dispels without refilling. It refolds easily and within a few moments I have it secure in its stuff sack and back in my hiking pack. I appreciate how small and lightweight it is while also delivering exceptional features.


The Thermarest NeoAir XLite NXT is loaded with features and improvements! With enhanced internal construction the NeoAir is 83% quieter than previous models. Something even the deepest sleepers can appreciate. Additionally, it is constructed with a thicker three-inch horizontal baffled structure. Thus, delivering maximum comfort and support while still maintaining minimal weight (13 ounces for the regular) and packing size.

Photo Credit: Thermarest

Impressively, the ThermaCapture technology and Triangular Core Matrix construction reduces convective heat loss while radiating body heat. This means it delivers 4.5 R-value insulation for year-round conditions so you can use it for most any adventure. Together, you get a high-performing and ultra-packable sleeping pad!

The Thermarest NeoAir XLite NXT comes with a WingLock valve. This allows for rapid deflation and fast one-way inflation, while also allowing for the ability to adjust and purge air for micro-adjustments for customizable comfort. Furthermore, it comes in four sizing options (regular short, regular, regular wide, and large) to fit various body sizes and types.


Honestly, I’m not sure how they managed to design all of these features into such a small and lightweight sleeping pad. In essence, the Thermarest NeoAir XLite NXT is impressive. It is some sort of engineering wizardry! It boasts upgrades in comfort, heat regulation, noise reduction, performance, and packability while still being ultralight. With four sizing options you get the versatility to pick a sleeping pad that is perfect for your sleep system. Simply put, the NeoAir XLite NXT is one of the finest ultralight air sleeping pads for year-round backcountry adventures.

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