Thermarest is, without a doubt, the biggest high-end sleeping pad manufacturer in the outdoor market, and it has a very wide range of products. But in this article, I will focus on its two most popular models, Thermarest NeoAir XLite vs XTherm.
In summary, Thermarest NeoAir XLite weighs less and it offers 4 different sizes (small, regular, large, and regular wide) whereas XTherm only offers two sizes (regular and large). Small is for ultralight camping (weighs only 8 oz), Wide Regular is for those who want an extra room on the pad. Thermarest NeoAir XTherm on the other hand offers better insulation and it’s made of more durable material while packing down to the same size as XLite, its only con is it weighs 3 oz heavier than NeoAir XTherm.
Specs: XLite vs XTherm
|Thermarest NeoAir XLite||Thermarest Neoair XTherm|
|Weight||12 oz / 340 gr||15 oz / 425 gr|
|Dimensions||72" (Length) x 20" (Width) / 183 x 51 cm||72" (Length) x 20" (Width) / 183 x 51 cm|
|Thickness||2.5" / 6.3 cm||2.5" / 6.3 cm|
|Packed Dimension ||Ø 4.1" x 9" / 23 cm x 10 cm||Ø 4.0" x 9" / Ø 10 cm x 23 cm|
|Fill Material||Polyester, Polyurethane||Polyester, Polyurethane|
|Top Material||30D rip HT Nylon||30D rip HT Nylon|
|Bottom Material||30D rip HT Nylon||70D Nylon|
|Check Prices||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
Detailed Comparison: Thermarest NeoAir XLite vs XTherm
All the specs I use in this article are the specs of regular versions of the sleeping pads, but even if you’re a big fellow looking for a large size sleeping pad, you can still use this guide, the differences between Thermarest NeoAir XLite vs XTherm are the same for both regular and large sizes.
Weight & Packed Size
Thermarest is most backpackers’ favorite sleeping pad brand because the weight department is where it shines the most. And for our comparison, XLite (12 oz) is the winner in the weight department, the difference is not big though, XTherm (15 oz) is only 3 oz heavier.
They’re also much lighter compared to their alternatives on the market (I’ll get into this below).
|For the packed size comparison of XLite vs XTherm, there is almost no difference at all both sleeping pads pack down to approximately Ø 4″ x 9″, which is perfect for backpackers it’s roughly the sizes of a 1L water bottle.|
One big difference between XLite and XTherm is, NeoAir XLite offers 4 different sizes (small, regular, large, and regular wide), NeoAir XTherm on the other hand only offers the two standard sizes (regular and large).
|Thermarest NeoAir XLite||Thermarest NeoAir XTherm|
|Small||8 oz / 47″ x 20″||–|
|Regular||12 oz / 72″ x 20″||15 oz / 72″ x 20″|
|Large||1 lb / 77″ x 25″||1 lb 4 oz / 77″ x 25″|
|Regular Wide||15 oz / 72″ x 25″||–|
Small size XLite’s dimensions are, 47″ x 20″ x 2.5″, it has the same width and thickness as the regular model but it’s much shorter (25″ shorter to be exact), this version weighs 8 oz and packs down to 9″ x Ø3.5″, it’s made for ultralight campers and toddlers.
If you’re not familiar with the sleeping pads, there is a term that helps us to understand how warm a sleeping pad is, and it’s called the R-Value.
As you might guess, the higher this number gets the more warmth sleeping pads provide.
For our comparison, Thermarest NeoAir XTherm is the winner in the insulation department with an R-Value of 6.9 (which can keep you warm down to -15 ºF). NeoAir XLite, on the other hand, has an R-Value of 4.2 (it can keep you warm down to +15ºF)
One way to see how efficient a backpacking sleeping pad is, looking to the Warmth to Weight Ratio. If a sleeping pad has a high number that means, this pad provides this warmth with a low weight.
|Best Use||R-Value||Weight||Warmth to Weight||My Review|
|Thermarest Neoair XLite||Backpacking||4.2||12 oz||0.35|
|Thermarest Neoair XTherm||Backpacking||6.9||15 oz||0.46|
|Sea to Summit Comfort Plus||Backpacking||4.0||29.8 oz||0.09||Review|
|Sea to Summit Comfort Plus SI||Backpacking||4.1||34 oz||0.12||Review|
|Exped SynMAT||Backpacking||2.9||15.4 oz||0.22||Review|
|Exped SynMAT Winter||Backpacking||5.2||17.8 oz||0.29||Review|
|Thermarest Mondoking||Car Camping||7.0||4 lbs 6 oz||0.10||Review|
|Exped Megamat||Car Camping||9.5||6 lbs 3.7 oz||0.09||Review|
As you can see in the list Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Provides the highest Warmth to Weight Ratio on the market, that’s what makes it unique among the cold weather backpackers.
Thickness is an important factor for comfort, especially if you’re a side sleeper. Both Thermarest NeoAir XLite and XTherm are 2.5″ thick. They don’t have the biggest cushion in the outdoor market but still, it’s good enough to get a good night’s sleep.
But if you’re a side sleeper and if you’re overweight, I recommend going for a sleeping pad that is at least 3″ of thick. Because when you lay on your side you go deeper, closer to the ground compared to regular sleepers (since the weight concentrated on a narrow area for side sleepers). And if you’re also overweight you can even feel the ground.
But if you’re a regular sleeper, both XLite & XTherm offers great (and equal) comfort for a backpacking sleeping pad.
XLite & XTherm are backpacking sleeping pads, but if you’re a car camper or in any other way if weight is not big issues for you, then I strongly recommend Thermarest Mondoking & Exped Megamat, you can check out my review about them, both offer a bed like comfort, but the trade-off here is the weight and the packed size.
It might be the first time you see that someone talking about sound for sleeping pads, but believe you me, it’s very important, especially if you’re a light sleeper.
The sound is not an issue for self-inflating and foam sleeping pads, they don’t make any sound when you lay on them. But air sleeping pads do, and the main reason is, most of the sleeping pads have a special kind of film between the top and bottom layers to increase the insulation.
And that film makes a crinkly sound when it moves. And for our comparison XTherm is the winner in this department, to be fair, they both make a little bit sound, but XTherm sounds less.
Also you can check this video out to listen the sounds of Neoair XTherm and XLite:
First things first, both sleeping pads are air sleeping pads. Air sleeping pads are light and comfortable but they have a disadvantage. They’re the most fragile type of sleeping pads.
If the rip is small it can usually be fixed (both Thermarest NeoAir XLite and XTherm come with a repair kit), but once air sleeping pads are damaged big, there is no way to fix them, you just need to purchase a new one.
So, in order to avoid this situation, high-end air sleeping pads are generally made of high denier fabric. But the higher the denier of fabric the more the weight. Luckily Thermarest strikes the perfect balance there.
For the XLite vs XTherm comparison, the top material of both sleeping pads is 30D rip HT Nylon, but for the bottom, XTherm’s is made of 70D Nylon while XLite’s bottom material is 30D rip HT Nylon
Damages mostly happen at the bottom sides of sleeping pads since that side is facing the ground, that is why XTherm has a higher denier bottom fabric. Therefore Neoair XTherm is the clear winner when it comes to durability.
Also, 70D Nylon is considered as a very robust material for air sleeping pads, here is a quick table of other alternatives on the market, so you can get the idea:
|Top Fabric||Bottom Fabric||My Review|
|Thermarest Neoair XLite||30D Nylon||30D Nylon|
|Thermarest Neoair XTherm||30D Nylon||70D Nylon|
|Sea to Summit Comfort Plus||30D Nylon||40D Nylon||Review|
|Exped Synmat HL||20D Polyester||20D Polyester||Review|
Note: If you’re thinking of using your sleeping pad in damp or wet conditions as well, Thermarest sleeping pads are not TPU laminated, in that case, I would recommend Sea to Summit Comfort Plus (more comfortable) or Exped Synmat (Packs down the smallest) for you, they’re both TPU laminated (waterproof).
Since both sleeping pads are Thermarest, there isn’t any difference in the features department, but in case you’re not familiar with the features they offer, I will briefly explain each one of them.
The Winglock Valve is the new and improved valve system of Thermarest, thanks to its new design, it’s more durable, inflates 3 times faster, and also with Winglock it’s very easy to deflate the sleeping pad.
Thermarest includes a durable pump sack to save your breath, and to be more convenient the pump sack also features drawstrings to be used as a normal bag for storing your gear.
The pump sack only comes with the Winglock model though, if you decide to go with the classical model and still want the pump sack, you need to purchase it separately.
If you’re not new to outdoor adventures, you might know that inflating your pad with your mouth is bad for your sleeping pad, since breath contains moisture it causes mold in the pad after a while. But you don’t need to worry about that with Thermarest sleeping pads, even though if you go with the classic valve, you can safely blow your pad with your mouth, Thermarest valves’ prevents the moist coming into the pad.
Sizes of Thermarest Neoair XLite and XTherm
Thermarest NeoAir XLite Sizes
|Weight||8 oz||12 oz||1 lb||15 oz|
|Dimensions||47″ x 20″||72″ x 20″||77″ x 25″||72″ x 25″|
|Packed Dimension||9″ x Ø3.5″||9″ x Ø4.1″||11″ x Ø4.6″||11″ x Ø4.6″|
|Prices on Amazon||Price||Price||Price||Price|
Thermarest NeoAir XTherm
|Weight||15 oz / 425 gr||1 lbs 4 oz / 566 gr|
|Dimensions||72″ (Length) x 20″ (Width) / 183 x 51 cm||77″ (Length) x 25″ (Width) / 196 x 54 cm|
|Packed Dimensions||Ø 4.0″ x 9″ / Ø 10 cm x 23 cm||Ø 4.5″ x 11″ / Ø 11 cm x 28 cm|
|Price on Amazon||Price||Price|