If you’re looking for one sleeping pad that can keep you warm and comfortable for most of the year, the Therm-a-Rest XLite is it. The XLite boasts an unmatched warmth-to-weight ratio, packs down incredibly small, and is durable enough to last through many seasons of regular use.
MEASURED WEIGHT: 12 oz.
ULTRALIGHT – The XLite is among the lightest pads on our Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads list, and it has one of the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any pad on the market. The XLite is our top pick for adding a lot of comfort to your backpacking setup while keeping weight to an absolute minimum.
WARM– With an R-value of 4.2, the XLite is much warmer than pretty much every sleeping pad in its weight category. Many comparable pads have an R-value around 3 or 3.5. We trust the XLite to stay comfortable in temperatures down to about 25℉. If you want a little more warmth, check out the women’s version which has an R-value of 5.4. The women’s version weighs the same amount (12 oz.), but is slightly shorter (66 in.). The Therm-a-Rest XTherm is another great option for sub-freezing trips, but it’s slightly bulkier and weighs about 3 oz. more.
COMPACT – When packed, the XLite is about the size of a 32 oz. Nalgene. We also love that the stuff sack is slightly oversized so you don’t have to work too hard to get the pad packed up.
NOT AS NOISY AS PREVIOUS VERSIONS – If you’re familiar with the NeoAir line of backpacking sleeping pads from Therm-a-Rest, you probably know about the crinkle sound they make. We’re happy to report that the latest version of the XLite (and XTherm and UberLite for that matter) is noticeably less noisy than the previous model. Like most air pads, the XLite will still make some noise when you shift around on it. But it will lessen over time, and some sleeping pad noise is unavoidable in our experience
DURABLE – Therm-a-Rest pads have always been known for top-notch construction, and the newest model of the XLite upholds that standard. Therm-a-Rest also prides itself on how easy it is to field repair their pads on the off chance that something does go awry. Their valve style can easily be replaced and the XLite comes with a patch kit for repairing unexpected punctures in the field.
PUMP SACK INCLUDED – Following the trend of most modern backpacking pads, the XLite now comes with a pump sack. This makes it much quicker and easier to blow the pad up, so you don’t have to spend energy blowing it up by mouth after a long day on the trail. Using a pump sack will also keep moisture out of your pad, which will help retain its insulation and extend the life of your pad. If you prefer to leave the pump sack at home to save some weight, you can still easily blow this pad up by mouth using the new one-way WingLock Valve. We don’t love Therm-a-Rest’s pump sack as much as we do others, like the Vortex Sack that comes with the NEMO Tensor, but it does the job.
COMFORTABLE – A simple baffle design gives the XLite consistent cushioning, and the one-way WingLock valve system makes it easy to achieve the perfect level of inflation for you.
EXPENSIVE – The XLite is one of the more expensive backpacking pads out there. But with such a low weight, quality construction, and a very small packed size, we say it’s totally worth it for those wanting a single sleeping pad that can be used in most conditions (from warm summer trips to chilly shoulder season adventures).
NOISE – All air pads are going to be a little noisy, and the XLite is no exception. You will hear some crinkly noises when shifting around on the XLite, especially if you toss and turn a lot. But the noise will diminish over time, and it’s definitely improved over the previous model. Ultimately, we don’t find the noise to be a dealbreaker. If you’re looking for a slightly quieter pad, we recommend checking out the Therm-a-Rest Uberlite (lighter, but not as warm) or the Nemo Tensor (heavier and not as warm, but comfortable and convenient).
A LITTLE SLOWER TO DEFLATE THAN SOME PADS – Many modern backpacking sleeping pads include a dump valve that quickly releases all the air for easy packing, but the XLitestill uses a traditional valve for inflating and deflating. The newest version of the valve is larger than the older version, so it deflates pretty quickly for this style of valve, but it’s still a bit slower than some. Therm-a-Rest builds their valves for long-term durability and easy replacement if something does go wrong. Therm-a-Rest builds their valves for long-term durability and easy replacement if something does go wrong. Overall, we think the valve on the XLite is very good, but not our favorite. Check out our First Look at the WingLock Valves for more info on Therm-a-Rest’s redesigned valve.
UBERLITE VS. XLITE VS. XTHERM
The NeoAir line of backpacking sleeping pads from Therm-a-Rest is full of winners. All three NeoAir pads are featured on our Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads list and are among the highest-quality sleeping pads on the market hands down. Here’s what you need to know if you’re trying to decide between the three.
The UberLite is their lightest-weight (8.8 oz.) and most compact sleeping pad offering, and it’s what we use for almost all of our summer backpacking trips. It’s not super insulated, so we don’t recommend it for sub-freezing temperatures. The UberLite is the most delicate pad in the NeoAir family, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised with its durability. Check out our full review of the UberLite here.
The XLite is our favorite 3-season pad and it strikes a great balance between warmth, weight, and packability. If you’re looking for a single pad that will keep most users warm into sub-freezing temps (the 20s) but will still work well for summer adventures and has more durability than the UberLite, this is an excellent choice.
The XTherm is the warmest NeoAir backpacking pad, and is excellent for cold sleepers and winter camping. Like the UberLite and XLite, it boasts very low weight and great packability. With an ultra-thick 70D bottom layer, the XTherm is the most durable of the three NeoAir pads. Learn more info in our full XTherm review.
In our opinion, theTherm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is the best all-around 3-season sleeping pad on the market. The XLite has a rare combination of comfort, support, warmth, and weight that make it very tough to beat for lightweight backpacking and earned it high honors on our list of the Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads.
We hope this review helps you determine if the Therm-a-Rest XLite is right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit ourFacebook page andInstagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!
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