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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad Review

We’re really excited about Therm-a-Rest’s new NeoAir UberLite which is yet another excellent product innovation from the most trusted name in sleeping pads. Weighing less than 9 ounces (0.56 lbs. or 255 g.), the UberLite is ridiculously light, compact, and comfortable. It’s also the quietest pad in Therm-a-Rest’s backpacking line, which is nice because noisiness has been a common complaint among NeoAir pad users in the past. With an R-value of 2 and minimal insulation, this is the pad you’ll find in our packs on summer outings when we don’t expect temps to dip below freezing. If you find yourself backpacking often in sub-freezing temps, you’ll likely want to stick with a 3-season or 4-season pad, such as the NeoAir XLite or XTherm.

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Quick Specs

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite

Lightest sleeping pad for summer backpacking

Price: $230

Weight: 8.8 oz.

R-Value: 2.3

Thickness: 2.5 in.

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Above-average comfort
  • Very small packed size
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not warm enough for sub-freezing temps
  • Less durable

For hikers whose main priority is keeping pack weight to an absolute minimum without sacrificing the comfort of an air pad, there’s no better option than the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite. It’s very comfortable, has a tiny packed size, and best of all – it’s ridiculously lightweight. 

The UberLite achieves this low weight with a couple of clever design choices. For one, it cuts down on thickness by a half inch versus the other NeoAir pads. It’s also not as insulated as many others – with an R-value of 2.3, the UberLite is best for summer adventures. But the biggest weight savings comes from the thin material the UberLite is constructed with. You’ll want to be careful with it to avoid punctures – make sure to always clear sharp rocks and pokey sticks from under your tent and bring repair tape just in case. 

Senior Gear Analyst, Casey Handley, took the UberLite on her thru-hike of The Long Trail where it performed beautifully and kept her pack weight low for the challenging climbs of Vermont. A year later, she took the same pad on her thru-hike of the Colorado Trail where it didn’t fare so well. It ended up with multiple tears, punctures, and a leaking valve. Moral of the story – your mileage may vary with this pad. 

On the brightside, punctures and tears are relatively easy to patch with repair tape, and the WingLock Valve is replaceable. So the UberLite could be well-worth the durability tradeoff for the weight savings as long as you’re prepared when problems arise.

Though it requires a little more diligence, the UberLite is exceptionally light, very comfortable, and ridiculously small when packed. If shaving ounces is your number one priority, the UberLite is the way to go.

Full review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite

What We Like

  • Extremely lightweight and compact -The UberLite is the lightest and most compact full-size air pad on the market, and that’s a very big deal in our book. In fact, no other pad even comes close to the size and weight of the UberLite. Having a super minimal pad is awesome when we’re trekking over mountain passes, and we still get all the luxurious comforts of a cushy air pad when we get to camp. Also, no longer do we have to deal with small torso-length pads. We can easily justify the full-length UberLite, and even the wide/long model is ultralight.
THERM-A-REST UBERLITE WIDE/LONG VS. NEMO TENSOR WIDE/REGULAR PACKED SIZE
THERM-A-REST UBERLITE WIDE/LONG VS. NEMO TENSOR WIDE/REGULAR PACKED SIZE
  • Supportive and comfortable – The layered, triangular baffles of the UberLite make it feel very stable and supportive without any bulges or cold spots. Also, you can easily control the firmness of the pad with a quick twist of its valve.
  • Quietest NeoAir model – A key benefit of eliminating the heat-reflective layer from this pad is that it’s significantly quieter than other NeoAir models. Light sleepers have been bothered in the past by the crinkly, crunchy sound of the XLite model in particular. We’ve tested dozens of sleeping pads, and they all make some noise. There’s really no getting around it. But the UberLite is much quieter than most pads, which makes it easy to get sound backcountry sleep in peace.
  • Trusted brand with great warranty – Therm-a-Rest is a trustworthy company that stands behind the products they make. We’ve had the pleasure of touring their facilities in person, and it’s honestly a pretty impressive setup. Whenever we’ve had issues with Therm-a-Rest products (very rarely), they’ve been gracious and accommodating, offering to repair or replace damaged or faulty products. Read more about their warranty program and you’ll feel just as confident buying from them as we do.
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What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive – This pad is definitely expensive, but for the extra bucks, we think it’s well worth it if you plan to put the UberLite to good use. For a top-of-the-line ultralight backpacking pad that’s as comfy and quiet as the UberLite, the premium price seems worth it to us. The UberLite is our go-to summer backpacking pad and likely will be for years to come.
  • Not good for sub-freezing temps – The lower R-value of the UberLite makes it a better choice for summer backpacking trips, when you won’t expect to encounter sub-freezing temperatures. If you’re looking for more insulation on shoulder-season trips, consider the NeoAir XLite, and if you want an even warmer pad for 4-season trips and chilly sleepers, consider the NeoAir XTherm.
  • Less durable than some pads – The UberLight saves weight by using 15-denier nylon on it’s top and bottom, which is half the density of the fabric used in the XLite. To ensure it holds up over time, users should take care to protect their pad and always carry the included patch kit just in case. To us, the lack of rugged durability is a downside for the UberLite, but not a deal breaker. Almost any air pad will get punctured by a sharp rock or stick, so we’re always careful when we set up to sleep. Always use a groundsheet or tent floor for any air pad to avoid punctures, and check the ground for sharp objects.
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  • Valve design not as good as some pads (slower deflation) – One feature we wish the UberLite had was a better valve system. The valve on the UberLite isn’t terrible, but it is a bit outdated. The key downside with this valve design is that it takes longer to deflate because you have to squeeze all the air out of the pad before folding it up for storage. Many new pads have a dump valve, which allows all the air to escape quickly with zero squeezing. That makes folding and packing much easier. Also, an ultralight pump sack would be very nice addition to this pad for quick, effortless inflation. Still, while we wish the UberLite had an updated valve system, this isn’t enough of a downside for us to consider it a dealbreaker.
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Bottom Line

We absolutely love how light, compact, quiet, and comfortable the Therm-a-Rest UberLite is. This is the pad you’ll find in our packs for all our summer outings. The main question to ask yourself with this pad is: how often do you backpack in sub-freezing temps? If the answer is rarely, this might be the perfect pad for you.

For 3-season or winter coverage, check out the NeoAir XLite and XTherm models, which are also exceptional pads. Or consider using a Z Lite Sol in conjunction with your UberLite for a versatile sleep system that can be beefed-up or stripped down depending on how cold your trip is likely to be.

The UberLite is our top pick for summer backpacking trips. For more of our favorite sleeping pads, check out our list of the 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads.

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More nformation

If you enjoyed this review, you’ll probably like the CleverHiker Gear Guide as well. Here are some popular resources to check out.