Expert Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLight Sleeping Pad

Published on 06/09/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2020.
Sam Stephenson, Camping Expert
By Camping Expert Sam Stephenson

All photos by Sam Stephenson

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2020.

My take

The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir UberLight Sleeping Pad is a great option for those prioritizing weight and packability over comfort and warmth.

About the sleeping pad I own

  • Model: 2020 Therm-A-Rest NeoAir UberLight Sleeping Pad
  • Size: Regular

Test conditions

  • When I bought it: February 2020
  • Days tested: Over a dozen nights on the trail
  • Pack: 2020 Granite Gear Crown2 60
  • Total pack weight: 25lbs
  • Used for: Backpacking, thru-hiking, etc
  • Where I’ve used it: Jackson, Wyoming; National Parks in Utah
  • Seasons I’ve used it in: Summer, fall

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 150lbs
  • Experience: 13 years of hiking and backpacking

How it performs


What I was looking for

When I was initially shopping for this pad, I was looking for something that would be very lightweight and packable. In my opinion, this is the most lightweight and packable sleeping pad on the market today. I was mostly looking to drop a little weight in my pack and downsize my kit, and this pad was a really good step in helping me do that.

Why I chose this gear

I decided to buy this pad because it fit all the criteria that I was looking for. It was very lightweight, and it was from a brand that I knew and trusted. Another pad that I was considering at the time was the Sea to Summit Etherlight XT Insulated. While that is also a great pad, it is not near as lightweight as the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir UberLlight, which is what I was looking for.

What I love about it

  • Weight: As I mentioned before, this is the lightest sleeping pad on the market at a mere 8.8oz in size regular. The pad is made from a very delicate 15D Nylon. This lightweight and thin material is a big reason why it is so light.
  • Packability: The packed size of this pad in size regular is 6in x 3.6in. This size is incredibly small and could almost just fit in my pocket. Packing this thing inside my pack for backpacking is so easy that I don’t even notice it’s there.
  • Shape: This pad is a traditional mummy shape, so it is wider at the head and more narrow at the feet. I actually prefer this shape because it can fit in some of the ultralight tents out there. For example, the Gossamer Gear The One Tent has a tapered floor plan that is only 21 inches wide at the foot end. A pad like this will have no problem fitting in a tent like that because of the mummy shape.
  • Features: The unique “Winglock Valve” works really well, and I have become a big fan of it. It makes inflating and deflating the pad very easy.
  • Backpacking: This is a perfect option for people who want a lightweight pad for backpacking. Because of how packable it is, backpackers will have no problem fitting it in a pack.
  • Thru-Hiking: This is a great option for thru-hikers to consider because of its size and weight. That being said, it only has an R-value of 2.3, so those who are looking for more warmth may want something else.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Durability: This pad is made of 15D Nylon which is very thin and delicate. It is not going to be the most durable pad for everyone. From my experience, I have had to be very careful with it to make sure it doesn’t get popped.
  • Insulation and R-Value: With an R-value of 2.3, this pad is ideal for two-season use. Warmer temperatures are mostly what I used this pad in. When temperatures started to drop, I feel the chill come up underneath me.
  • Comfort: This isn’t the most comfortable pad I have ever used. It is only 2.5 inches thick, and the baffles on it are not very supportive. While it is comfortable enough to sleep on, there are definitely more comfortable options.
  • Noise: This pad is pretty well known for being noisy. Every time I have to adjust while I am sleeping, it sounds like I am sleeping on a bag of chips.
  • Car Camping: While this is a good option for backpackers and thru-hikers, if one is in the market for a pad primarily for car camping, I would not recommend this one. If one is car camping, weight, and packability are not as big of a factor. There are good car camping pads that are far more comfortable and more durable too.
  • Mountaineering: For those who are looking for a good mountaineering pad, I don’t think this is the right one. It won’t likely be warm enough or durable enough for those excursions.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this gear was a backpacking trip I went on in Wyoming. I was doing some bigger miles and wanted something as lightweight as possible. What this pad really unlocked for me is backpacking with almost no concerns about the space that my pad will take up. It could easily fit anywhere I want it to. It could even get lost in my pack.

Value for the money vs. other options

For the price, I think there are better options out there. The kind of backpacking that I mostly do requires a little more warmth, and I prefer pads that are a little more comfortable as well. For example, a pad that I prefer is the Nemo Tensor Insulated. For a very similar price point, one gets a much warmer pad that is far more comfortable in my opinion. For those who prioritize weight, however, just know that the main tradeoff here is that the Nemo Tensor weighs about twice as much as the Uberlight.

Final verdict

Ultimately, I would recommend this pad to people who are shopping for a new pad with weight and packability as their top priorities. But for those who prioritize comfort and warmth, I would get a different pad.

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