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Red River Gorge - Spring 2012
Red River Gorge - Spring 2012

Cascade Designs Neoair

29-Jan-2010
By Larry Amkraut

Therm-a-Rest-NeoAir-Close-Up.tif20 x 47 inches, 9 oz. $119.95 | 20 x 66 inches, 13 oz. $139.95. | 20 x 72 inches, 14 oz. $149.95 | 25 x 77 inches, 19 oz. $169.95 | www.cascadedesigns.com | 4 Stars

 

Thirty years ago Cascade Designs revolutionized sleeping outside with their Therm-a-Rest air/foam pads. Now they've done it again with an air mattress. Everyone knows that an air mattress is comfortable, but allows convective heat loss, making them just about worthless in cold temperatures. The Neoair is different because a series of baffled chambers prevents the air from moving around, and a reflective space-blanket-like coating reflects body heat. The Neoair is three times warmer than any other air mattress, has an R-Value of 2.5, and is almost as warm as Cascade Designs' Ridgerest pad (R-value 2.6), the standard high-altitude foam pad.

Since the Neoair achieves its warmth without down insulation, you don't need the bulk and hassle of a pump and can blow it up by mouth, without worrying about saturating the insulation. The pad has a slight crinkly sound as if you were moving on rice paper.

Cascade Designs calls this a three-season pad, but I used it comfortably down into the 20s. It is also durable. When I wasn't looking, my 4-year-old boy, Ari, and my 5-year-old daughter, Sasha, decided it was a beach toy. They placed it by the couch, climbed up to the couch's arm and repeatedly jumped high into the air, knees tucked in, yelling Cannonball! as they landed on the gossamer mattress. Bottom line, good as new, no leaks or punctures.

In short, the Neoair delivers the comfort of a foam pad at half the weight and bulk.

  • Un-insulated air mattress with nearly the warmth of a foam pad.
  • Super light and packs to nearly nothing.
  • Internal baffles reduce convection.
  • Revolutionizes air mattresses.

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