Why We Chose The Therm-a-rest NeoAir Topo Luxe: Cushioned, comfortable, smart valve system, and surprisingly lightweight
Therm-a-rest’s NeoAir line of mats includes a bunch of options all designed to suit backpackers. In other words, they’re made for people who want something lightweight and packable.
It was the NeoAir Uberlite – which was and still is the lightest inflatable mat ever made – that managed to make it into our last Outdoor 100 product guide. This time, the new Therm-a-rest NeoAir Top Luxe is our choice; a mat that Therm-a-rest say is the thickest airpad in their collection.
Who Is The Therm-a-rest NeoAir Topo Luxe For?
This should suit a specific type of backpacker; one who doesn’t want a heavy weight to carry but then also likes a fairly luxurious amount of comfort. For instance, they might find the 250g NeoAir Uberlite too minimalist but then, at the other extreme, will find the car camping-oriented Therm-a-rest Basecamp too cumbersome at 1.14kg.
That said, this would also be an appealing option for any car or van campers that want a comfortable mat that won’t take up a load of room in the boot when it’s not in use.
Materials and Designs
Considering this offers a whopping four inches of elevation off the ground and the fact that it’s rectangularly-shaped rather than tapered, it’s actually surprising that this weighs as little as 650g. That’s by no means cumbersome. For perspective, OEX’s ‘ultra-lightweight’ Traverse mat weighs 400g more but only offers 2.5 inches of comfort (it does only cost £25, in fairness to OEX!).
“This offers a whopping four inches of elevation”
The secret is in its use of Therm-a-rest’s Triangular Core Matrix construction which involves two stacked layers of triangular baffles. No bulky and heavy foam here. To ensure it’s still able to block cold convection from the ground, there’s a Thermacapture Lining which, to put it simply, bounces your body heat back to you.
It’s not a winter-rated mat though. The R-rating is 3.7 which is three points short of the all-season pass mark. Still, it’s definitely capable of serving you in all but freezing conditions.
The shell fabric is a 50D (top and bottom) polyester knit. That’s pretty tough, you won’t have to worry too much about anything tearing into it. It’s also quiet as well so if you tend to move about in your sleep, you won’t drive your tent buddy mad.