The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

A Government-esque U-Turn

Remember how I said that I wasn’t interested in the Neo-Air?

Remember how I gave lots of reasons why I didn’t want one?

Remember how I got serious gear envy when I saw Mick’s in the flesh?

Sitting next to me just now is my very own Neo-Air :-)

Absolutely tiny and allegedly only 260g (a weight claim that I will of course check when I get home).

I’ve never tried a short mat before, but having questioned a lot of people about short-mat-sleeping (thank you to those who submitted to my obsessive questioning!), I thought that I would give it a go. I may find that it’s not for me, but I can’t knock it until I’ve tried it, so try it I will.

The other reason why investing in the dinky Neo-Air was a bit of a flier was the number of reports of problems with the short length. However, it seems universally to be the case that problems show themselves immediately. I blew mine up at about 5pm yesterday and it’s still firm. I take that to be a promising sign.

A report will follow after first use (either a smug report or a ‘anyone want to buy a pre-tested Neo-Air? Short is not for me’).


  1. Ooh, excellent! Good move, I reckon.

    I used to hate short mats, but now I use the 2/3 ones and I honestly find they're absolutely fine as long as I have something to rest my feet on. For that I use my 2 little sit mats, just to keep them off the groundsheet during the night.

    I'm sure you'll like the NeoAir :)

  2. Gear Monster!

    You really wanted the full length version, didn't you? Don't you love your lower legs?

    They are the ones who propel you up the mountains. How can you abandon them to cold, cold, hard groundsheets?

    Heartless! That's what you are! Hearless!

  3. I'm just under six feet (no I'm not dead yet)and find the medium NeoAir to be perfect. It is a bit narrow though and you have to learn to rotate inside the bag when turning rather that just rolling over onto your side, bag and all.

    The size and compactness are the winning features The only downside would be getting a puncture in the early stage of a long backpacking trip. There is nothing left for cushion or insulation if that happens and good luck finding the leak!!

    I think extra care in selecting and clearing the site, laying a ground cloth and bathtub floored tent for the NeoAir is the best insurance.

    Other than that... "Enjoy!" As they say here in California!

  4. Gayle - try putting your backpack at the foot of the Neo-air and your lower legs & feet should be well insulated and comfy. That's what I do and it works fine. If the pack's damp I put a stuff sack or waterproofs on top to stop the down sleeping bag getting wet!

    Good luck!

  5. My .. how we laughed when we read this .....