The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite is the lightest sleeping pad available from Therm-a-Rest and is designed with ultralight backpacking and thru-hikers in mind. It comes in three sizes (small, regular, and large), is made from 15D nylon, has an R-value of 2, and is 2.5 in / 6.5 cm thick.
Compared to Therm-a-Rest's previous lightest mattress, the NeoAir XLite (review), the regular-sized UberLite comes in at 3.2 oz / 91 g lighter but has a slightly lower R-value (2 vs. 3.2) and is made with thinner material (15D vs. 30D nylon); they are the same thickness at 2.5 in / 6.5 cm.
I used the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite for 1,000 mi / 1,600 km of the Pacific Crest Trail and multiple backcountry trips afterward including in the Wind River Range and on Washington's Wonderland Trail. This sleeping pad is available in three sizes (Small, Regular, Large). This review is for the regular (sized) sleeping pad.
- Weight: 8.8 oz / 250 g
- R-Value: 2
- Packed Size: 6 x 3.5 in / 15 x 9 cm
- Thickness: 2.5 in / 6.35 cm
- Width: 20 in / 51 cm
- Length: 72 in / 183 cm
- Fabric: 15D Nylon Face Fabric
- Sizes: Small, Regular, Large
- Color: Blue
- MSRP: $139.95 – $209.95
- Breaths to Fill: ~14
- Country of Origin: USA
- Triangular Core Matrix construction with two stacked layers of triangular baffles, creating hundreds of individual cells for warmth and stability
- Packs down smaller than any other NeoAir sleeping pad
- R-value of 2 provides more insulation than any other sub 10 oz / 284 g mattress.
- Made in the USA from domestic and imported materials
- Comes with a stuff sack
THE WEIGHT | The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite is the lightest full-size, inflatable sleeping pad available (at the time of my writing this). The regular weighs just 8.8 oz / 250 g. If you want to go even lighter, the small weighs in at 6 oz / 170 g; and if you want (need) to go longer, the long weighs 12 oz / 340 g (the same as the regular-sized NeoAir XLite).
THE COMPACTNESS | I pack my backpack in a specific way and typically I need to allot a “spot” to my sleeping pad. However, the UberLite packs up so small that I can just squeeze it in around the rest of my gear. It's surprisingly compact. It's small enough that I can just stick it in my backpack's mesh or side pocket if (for some reason) I forgot to put it in my pack when leaving camp. The UberLite is the most compact sleeping pad I've ever had.
THE R-VALUE | Perhaps the most surprising thing about the UberLite is the 2.0 R-value. An R-value measures something's “ability to resist conductive heat transfer”; the higher, the more resistant. Basically, how well it insulates you; the higher the R-value, the warmer the sleeping pad. For reference, Therm-a-Rest's lightweight 4-season sleeping pad, the NeoAir XTherm, has a 5.7 R-value. The NeoAir XLite has a 3.2 R-value.
THE DURABILITY | The UberLite is made from 15D nylon and is certainly not a pad you want to willy-nilly set up wherever without paying attention to the ground conditions. This is the first (and only) pad I've ever gotten a puncture in (that said, I got it when camped in an objectively terrible spot). I've cowboy camped (slept without a shelter) extensively with this pad, and usually just used a Hyperlite Mountain Gear DCF Ground Cloth underneath without issue.
THE WARRANTY | Therm-a-Rest (and their parent company, Cascade Designs), offers a 2-year Limited Warranty. This does not cover “normal wear, puncture, abrasion, misuse, alteration, abuse or taking apart of the product” (i.e. if you're getting punctures, you're going to be fixing them on your own). That said, Therm-a-Rest will repair products that do not fall under the terms of their warranty for “a reasonable fee” (whatever that is).
THE VALVE | Perhaps my least favorite thing about the UberLite is the valve. Therm-a-Rest uses the same valve on all their lightweight sleeping pads, and despite being functional, it's certainly a far cry from the amazing two-way valves of some of their competitors' pads (namely, Sea to Summit and Big Agnes). The valve allows air to escape as you fill the pad if you're not careful and at high altitudes or in colder temperatures, getting a full fill can be a bit of a struggle. It's certainly not a dealbreaker, but it's an area ripe for improvement.
THE NOISE | An issue with every lightweight air pad I've used, this pad is loud. I've woken up during the night from rolling over and creaking on top of this pad. If you toss and turn (or just hang out in your tent until late watching videos on your phone) and want to be hated by everyone in your camp (who doesn't have earplugs), then this is the pad for you. It's pretty loud.
Who is it for?
BEGINNER BACKPACKERS | If you're new to backpacking, the Therm-a-Rest UberLite is probably not the best option for you. Investing in a slightly warmer, slightly more durable three-season sleeping pad will probably be a better investment of your money.
WEEKEND WARRIORS | If you're worried about weight and perhaps are looking for something to compensate for the slightly-heavier shelter you might have, then the UberLite might be a good option for you. That said, if you're only going to invest in one sleeping pad, I would probably check out something like the NeoAir XLite (review) instead.
THRU-HIKERS | Despite some users raising questions of durability with the UberLite, I would definitely recommend this pad if you're planning on a thru-hike. Just be sure to warm your hiking companions to bring their earplugs (bug this is the case with most of the pads you'll be looking at as a thru-hiker).
If you're looking for an ultralight, inflatable sleeping pad that still offers up some warmth, then the Therm-a-Rest UberLite is for you. If you don't want to have to be careful with campsite selection, you're sensitive to noisy sleeping pads, or you are going to be doing a lot of backpacking in winter (or colder temperatures), then you might want to look for something a bit more durable or a bit warmer.
That said, I'm very pleased with the UberLite and it's my go-to ultralight sleeping pad at the moment; I've even considering getting a short version as well.
Check out the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite here.
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