Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad Review

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite Sleeping Pad Review

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad, weighing 8.8 oz is currently the lightest weight full-sized inflatable sleeping pad available today. With an R-value of 2.0, it’s suitable for use by ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers in warm weather, above 40-50 degree F, although you can extend its temperature range by stacking it on a closed cell foam pad. While the UberLite looks like Therm-a-Rest’s three season NeoAir XLite and four season NeoAir XTherm sleeping pads, it’s made with lighter weight fabric and less insulation to save weight. While this does reduce its durability, the UberLite is also the quietest and least crinkly sounding sleeping pad in the NeoAir product family. That fact alone, may make it worth upgrading to for existing XLite and XTherm owners who want a lighter weight summer sleeping pad.

NeoAir UberLite Specs

The NeoAir UberLite is available in three different lengths and widths: a 47 x 20″ small size weighing just 6 oz, a 72 x 20″ regular size weighing 8.8 oz, and a 77 x 25″ long and wide size that weighs 12 ounces. Depending on your preferences and goals, all three sizes are pretty attractive in terms of weight and comfort.

Size Small Medium Large
R-Value 2 2 2
Weight (Standard) 6 oz 8.8 oz 12 oz
Weight (Metric) 0.17 kg 0.25 kg 0.34 kg
Width (Standard) 20 in 20 in 25 in
Width (Metric) 51 cm 51 cm 63 cm
Length (Standard) 47 in 72 in 77 in
Length (Metric) 119 cm 183 cm 196 cm
Thickness (Standard) 2.5 in 2.5 in 2.5 in
Thickness (Metric) 6.4 cm 6.4 cm 6.4 cm
Packed dimension (Metric) 15 cm x 8 cm 15 cm x 9 cm 19 cm x 9 cm
Packed dimension (Standard) 6 in x 3.3 in 6 in x 3.5 in 7.5 in x 3.7 in
Top fabric type 15D ripstop nylon 15D ripstop nylon 15D ripstop nylon
Bottom fabric type 15D Nylon 15D Nylon 15D Nylon

Perhaps even more impressive, is the fact that many of the UberLite pads shipping now are even lighter weight than their spec. For example, the regular 72″ sized pad that I’ve been using only weighs 8.2 ounces, which is 0.6 ounce below the official published product weight.

The air chambers inside a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Sleeping Pad
The thin plastic air chambers inside a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad.

Sleeping Pad Construction

The NeoAir UberLite and its popular sibling, the NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad are almost identical in design. They have the same dimensions and the same tried and true Therm-a-Rest stick valve. Both pads’ baffles are oriented horizontally and the sides are welded shut. Both pads are also treated with a fungicide to prevent mold from growing inside when you blow them up by mouth.

The biggest difference between the two pads is the weight of the exterior fabric used and the insulation they contain. The UberLite is made with a 15 denier nylon top and bottom, while the heavier XLite is made with a 30 denier high tenacity ripstop nylon, making it more durable and puncture resistant.

While the UberLite is made with a lighter weight fabric, I haven’t experienced any durability issues it. But like any piece of ultralight gear, you do need to respect it by avoiding contact with rough surfaces including pointed sticks and stones, gravel, and splinter-rich shelter floors. I always put some kind of liner under an inflatable sleeping pad to protect it, be it a tent floor, a piece of window wrap, or a bivy sack.

The NeoAir Uberlite rolls up smaller than a 1L Nalgene Bottle
The NeoAir UberLite rolls up smaller than a 1L Nalgene Bottle

The UberLite also has less insulation than the XLite, which explains why it has an R-Value of 2.0 vs. the XLite’s R-Value of 3.2. The crinkly aluminum lining that Therm-a-Rest uses in the XLite and the cold-weather NeoAir XTherm pads has been removed in the UberLite.

With an R-Value of 2.0, the UberLite is about 25% less insulating than a foam pad like the Therm-a-Rest Zlite (R Value = 2.6) in its ability to insulate your body from the ground.  That’s not much insulation and you could be shooting yourself in the foot if you switch to the UberLite. In fact, the best way to use the UberLite might be in combination with a thin foam pad like a Gossamer Gear Thinlight (1/4″ or 1/8″ thick ) or a Therm-a-Rest Zlite in order to combine the comfort it offers with the increased insulation provided by the foam.

Inflation and Deflation

It takes me about 30 breathes to blow a regular 72″ NeoAir UberLite up.

The UberLite is scored into thirds so that it folds up compactly when deflated. I usually roll mine up once to get all the air out, and then a second time to roll it up along the thirds to make it as small as possible before packing it away.

Comparable Inflatable Sleeping Pads

Make / Model Length Weight R-Value Price
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite 72″ 8.8 oz 2.0 $180
Big Agnes AXL 72″ 9.6 oz Unrated $140
Klymit V Ultralite SL 72″ 11.9 oz 1.3 $100
Big Agnes Green Ridge 72″ 12.6 oz 1.5 $39
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite 72″ 12.0 oz 3.2 $170
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite 47″ 6.0 oz 2.0 $140
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite 47″ 8.0 oz 3.2 $130
Therm-a-Rest Prolite S 47″ 11.0 oz 2.4 $80
Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest SOLite 48″ 9.0 oz 2.8 $20
Therm-a-Rest ZLite Sol 51″ 10.0 oz 2.6 $35
NEMO Tensor UL 48″ 9.0 oz Unrated $130

Recommendation

The Therm-a-Rest UberLite is a cool sleeping pad, in more ways than one, and I’m sure a lot of ultralight backpackers will buy it because it’s so lightweight. However, with an R-Value of 2, it’s important to understand that the UberLite doesn’t have enough insulation for use in cooler spring or autumn weather unless you augment it with a foam pad to bring up its R-Value. If you backpack and camp in three season weather and can only afford to buy one NeoAir pad, you’d be better off buying a 72″ Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (R-Value = 3.2). It’s less expensive and a better value for that purpose.

It’s ancient history now, but Big Agnes came out with a full size air mattress called the AXL Sleeping Pad in 2018 (link to review), which weighs just 0.8 ounces more than the UberLite. Big Agnes doesn’t publish R-values for this pad today, although they’ll likely be forced to next year when the new sleeping pad R-value standard rolls out. I mention this pad because it is more comfortable than the NeoAir UberLite, less expensive, and even quieter to sleep on.

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Last updated: 2019-02-11 16:15:35

Disclosure: The author received a pad from Therm-a-Rest for this review.

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Author: Philip Werner

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