The week before my last backcountry trip of the year, I went to Outdoors Oriented for a visit. I needed a few things for my trip. I was also looking for some items to test out for my blog and Jamie, the stores owner, was kind enough to provide me with one of his tester NeoAir Trekker Thermarest mats! I was stoked. It was so tiny and I was curious to see how comfortable it would be compared to my current thermarest mat?
When I arrived at Bon Echo I set up my tent and the took the NeoAir Trekker out of the box. Even now, I could see huge difference compared to my original thermarest mat. The size different was very noticeable. My current mat would not fit in the cubby of my boat, but had to go on top which gave it the disadvantage of possibly getting wet. Although it looks like it is not waterproofed, inside the green wrapper, is a plastic trash bag to keep it safe, but there is always the option of it still getting wet. Putting the NeoAir Trekker in my cubby of my boat, didn’t guarantee it would stay dry but it was much safer that on top of the boat and it was just more compact and easier to carry in general. Something very important when going into the backcountry with a 12′ kayak.
I took the NeoAir Trekker out of the carry bag and spread it out on the tent floor. The material reminded me of a balloon and I was very worried it was fragile. I hope it didn’t pop when I got on it! lol. One of the main differences with this mat compared to my original one is that my original mat is self inflating. It doesn’t actually inflate the entire way, but with a few simple puffs, it is very firm and ready to use. The NeoAir Trekker needs to be fully inflated manually. So, inflate I did!
It didn’t take too long, but I was still a bit winded when I finished. I twisted the cap closed and put the mat inside my tent where I would be sleeping on it.
Another big difference with that mat compared to my original one is that it is separate tubes of air all the way through. I’m not 100% sure if this is for any specific reason, but it didn’t really make it feel any different. Now that the mat was inflated, I could really feel that latexy type feeling of it, just like a balloon, and I was more concerned than before of it’s durability. I put my sleeping bag on the mat and continued setting up the site, anxious to see what sleeping on it would be like.
Nightime eventually came and it was time for bed. I was pleasantly surprised at the comfort of the NeoAir Trekker mat and surprised it didn’t make a squeaking sound when I would roll over due to the way the mat felt by hand. I had a great sleep and was very comfortable on the new matt. It was possibly slightly more comfortable than my other matt, but there wasn’t a huge difference.
There was a huge difference though in packed size and that was enough for me to want to get one of these mats. Next summer, I will definitely be purchasing one to replace my current mat. Not for any other reason except than it folds up really small and I can carry it much easier than the original one I have.
I hope you enjoyed my post and it may have helped you somehow in your search for the perfect sleeping mat. If you have any questions, comments or issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.