As we transition from winter to spring, it’s time to dust off your camping gear. For some of us, however, that gear has been useful even through the colder months. But winter camping is sometimes intimidating to new campers, especially as it requires gear that stands up to the elements.
One of the important items I keep in my year-round camping stash, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Max sleeping pad, is excellent to have along with you on a winter (or shoulder season) camping trip.
The sleeping pad utilizes ThermaCapture technology (a proprietary reflective coating that radiates heat back to your body and prevents heat loss) and Triangular Core Matrix construction (that utilizes two stacked layers of triangular baffles to create a stable surface while minimizing heat loss) together to keep you warm, without adding a lot of bulk. The pad measures 2.5 inches thick, giving it stability and comfort, and it all packs compactly into a water bottle-sized package.
One of the important elements in judging whether a sleeping pad can hack cold conditions is its R-value, which reports on an insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. The higher a pad’s R-value, the better it will insulate you from cold surfaces. Sleeping pad R-values range from less than 2 (minimally insulated) to 5.5 or more (very well insulated. The NeoAir XTherm Max sleeping pad has an R-value of 6.9.
A WingLock valve maximizes air flow and makes it easier to inflate and deflate the pad quickly. An included pump sack is key in saving your breath when you’re inflating the sleeping pad. A repair kit is also included, because it’s always helpful to be prepared.
The NeoAir XTherm Max sleeping pad comes in regular, large, and regular wide sizes, and lists from $219.95-$259.95 (depending on the size you choose) on the Cascade Designs Therm-a-Rest site.