This is a gear review about the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite in 2023.
Backpackers looking for an ultralight sleeping pad need look no further than the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite. It is lightweight, packs up to a small size, and is great for 3-season backpacking and hiking trips.
The ultralight weight means it is not as durable as some other sleeping pads, so be warned that you need to be a little more careful with this sleeping pad. Having said that, there is little else to compete for this, best in class for weight and pack size.
I’ve been using and testing this mattress for a while now. Keep reading to find out if it is good enough to make it onto the list of the Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads and if it is better than the thicker and warmer Thermarest Neoair Xlite NXT Sleeping Pad.
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In-Depth Review: Therm-A-Rest Neoair Uberlite 2023
Weight – 8.8oz / 250 grams
R-Value – 2.3
Temperature Rating – (37F / 3C)
> Very small pack size
> Not as noisy as Neoair X-Lite
> Best for summer use only.
> Thin material might be prone to punctures, so you need to exercise care in choosing your campsite.
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite is one of the best ultralight sleeping pads on the market. It weighs a ridiculous 8.8oz / 250grams and packs up smaller than a 1 liter Nalgene Bottle. When I first opened the Uberlite it felt like a roll of trash bags with a similar feel and thickness of material! This pad really is thin and light.
Recently, it was upgraded to include the Winglock Valve system which is larger than the previous inflation valve but seems to lock in place better. It also comes with a suitable inflation sack to reduce the need to use your own breath to inflate the pad.
It also comes in a short version which is 6oz / 170grams which is big enough to cover people from head to hips. And there is a wide version and a large version but I think the vast majority will choose the regular size which I used for testing.
To make the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite mattress so light it does not have as much thermal material inside. This mat has an R Rating of 2.3, making this a summer sleeping mat or borderline 3-season backpacking mattress.
Overall, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite is the best ultralight sleeping pad on the market right now but care is certainly needed when choosing your campsite. This pad is best suited to ultralight thru-hikers and backpackers who are willing to ensure they take care with the campsite they choose and use it in temperatures above freezing.
The regular-sized Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite weighs in at a crazy 8.8 oz / 250 grams. This is best in class for a lightweight, insulated, inflatable sleeping pad. It uses an ultralight 15 Denier nylon material.
The Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite comes in a very small pack size. Not that long ago you would see outdoor equipment photographed next to a Nalgene water bottle to get some sort of scale. It makes more sense to photograph the Uberlite next to a can of coke, as there is not too much difference in size!
Below are the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite and Therm-a-Rest Neoair X-Lite to compare the packed size of both sleeping pads. The Uberlite has a pack size of 6 inches x 3.6 inches / 15 cm x 9 cm.
R-Value – Warmth Rating
With an R-Value of 2.3, the Uberlite is not designed for winter backpacking trips. As a 3 season sleeping pad, it is best suited for the warmer months.
Thickness and Comfort
With a 2.5 inch / 6.4 cm thickness, it has a good level of comfort. Adjusting the air pressure within the pad will allow it to be suited to anyone. It doesn’t have the thickness and comfort of the Sea to Summit Ether Lite but is still super comfortable. In fact, I thought it was much more comfortable than I expected from such an ultralight pad.
Dimensions and Shape
The regular-sized Uberlite is sized 72 inches x 20 inches / 183 cm x 52 cm and has a slight mummy shape so it will taper a little at the base. If you use a mummy sleeping bag or backpacking quilt it is the perfect shape for you.
Let’s make one thing clear, the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite is will not be able to withstand the same kind of abuse as its cousin the Neoair NXT X-Lite or Neoair NXT X-Therm. If your plans lead you to a campsite with spikes or thorns such as deserts then take precautions. Add something between the mat and the ground, something more than the floor of the tent. It could be wise on some trips to add a thin foam mat, space blanket, Tyvek or similar. Or an even better option is to not take the Uberlite and take something more durable such as the X-Lite or a foam sleeping mat.
Let me make one thing very clear. I love this sleeping pad and it is my go-to sleeping pad in warmer weather. But it will not be best suited for everyone. If you find yourself at a campsite that is less than perfect your mat may suffer durability issues such as holes or even worse, a slow leak. Complaining that the pad is no good will be an untrue statement as the sleeping pad is of the highest quality. Just be sure it is the right sleeping pad for you and the kind of backpacking trips that you plan to undertake. You have been warned! For many, the Neoair X-Lite will be a better option.
During testing and use of the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite, I have not had any issues or punctures.
Inflation Value Type and Pump Sack
Like most sleeping pads that have been released in recent years, it comes with a stuff sack that can be used to inflate the sleeping pad. The stuff sack is separate from the storage stuff sack, as it is much larger. I can’t see too many people carrying the inflation stuff sack with them on a backpacking trip. If you are buying the Uberlite, you want ultralight. So for most that means you will probably leave the inflatable sack at home. Having said that, I used the inflation sack on many occasions and find it awesome.
If not using the inflation sack it is not too difficult to inflate the sleeping pad with your breath.
Since the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite was first introduced it came with the same inflation valve that Therm-a-Rest had been using for many years. But recently they changed and upgraded the inflation valve to the new Winglock Valve. Despite being bigger it does a good job and makes opening and closing easy.
The Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite does have that slightly noisy crinkly sound, especially when new. Over time the noise reduces quite a lot but never seems to completely go away. When compared to the best-in-class Nemo Tensor and Sea to Summit Ether Lite, the Therm-a-Rest Uberlite is slightly noisier, but only just. It is the quietest of all the Neoair models and much quieter than the Neoair X-Lite.
Like all of the best sleeping pads for backpacking, just wash the outside of the sleeping pad with a mild detergent or tech wash. You can air-dry it or wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
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Uberlite vs the rest
The Therm-a-Rest Uberlite is the best in class for compact size and also the best in class for weight. Simply put, nothing else compares to the Therm-a-Rest Uberlite. So, if weight and compact size are your main goal then this sleeping pad is for you. Just ensure that you choose your campsite carefully, especially in areas with spikey material that could cause a hole in the mat.
It is slightly noisier than some of the competition but not that much. It is a vast improvement from the first generation of Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Pads which were very noisy indeed.
Price and Value
The Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite is not the cheapest sleeping pad on the market. But if you want the lightest inflatable sleeping pad it will be a good purchase. Unless you plan to use it in spikey desert terrain or in temperatures below freezing then it represents a good buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite represents the best ultralight backpacking sleeping pad on the market. A combination of lightweight, compact pack size and comfort make this a great ultralight sleeping pad.
The Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite is one of the lightest inflatable sleeping pads. It weighs only 8.8 ounces / 250 grams for the regular size.
BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process
The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.
BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.
The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.
BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.