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]

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Smug Mick and the Neo-Air

Our campsite on Friday night was within three miles of Ma-in-Law’s house. Had we diverted from Ogden water, it would barely have added any distance to the route to have a bed in a dry house for the night. But, Mick had his new Thermarest Neo-Air to try out…

…And was he smug about that Neo-Air? Oh yes!

Even though it’s the Medium sized mat, at 5’6” long, it packs up into a tiny package and is is noticeably lighter than the Pro-Lite 3 that he was using before (and that I’m still using). Despite these attributes, I was adamant that I didn’t want one.

Then Mick inflated it, and there it was lying next to my Prolite 3, and suddenly all of the reasons why I didn’t want one flew out of the window and I had serious gear envy.

Mick was smug; very smug indeed, but he was also an absolutely gentleman and was quite insistent that he swap with me.

I couldn’t possibly have stolen the first use of his new mat though, so he had a very comfy night. I didn’t have a noticeably uncomfortable night (well, except for the usual bruised ribs where my bony elbow dug in), but the gear envy remained.

I wants one!

 Image088 Even Ma-in-Law has a go on the Neo-Air



  1. Hi to you both
    I am just back from the Quantocks where I was using said Neo-Air (also medium ) for the first time. It really is excellent and packs so small, however I seemed to want to check the ground more under the tent for sharp objects. I am sure it is as tough as my ordinary mat but having spent the money I suppose I was being ultra careful !
    Bill W (Backpackers Club - we met at AGM)


    Funny, I was thinking about the NeoAir today. I drifted off to wooden bothy sleeping platforms, and wondered about waking up to a splinter-punctured mat. The fact it never happened with my previous air-filled mats didn't stop me getting concerned. Hey ho.

  3. You must get one! They're absolutely the bee's knees :)

  4. I really thought that I was going to buckle and buy one today. Somehow, I resisted, but I'm not discounting the possibility of doing battle with the M25 and M1 tomorrow to go home via Stoney Stratford so that I can pick one up on the way.

    As to the toughness of it, Mick and I did ponder, as we had the Prolite and the Neo-Air side by side, how much flimsier the Neo-Air really is. Is it just that the foam adhered to the Prolite gives it a tougher feel? If you feel the material that's sealed around the outside, does the Neo-Air feel remarkably thinner?

    We might have pondered further, except it was about 8pm by then and sleep suddenly came upon me!