Inflatable camping mats are largely pretty simple; you inflate them with air and they provide a comfortable cushion between you and the cold, hard, rocky ground. There’s not too much technology or exciting innovation there, though the camping mat is a great alternative to sleeping on a bed of twigs and pebbles.
Well, proving that camping mats aren’t a one-trick pony, the new NeoAir mats by Therm-a-Rest use a Reflective Barrier to reflect your body heat back upwards while reflecting cold air to the ground. The Triangular Core Matrix construction limits air flow further mitigating heat loss and providing a more stable sleeping surface. What you get is a thermal barrier that is engineered to keep you warm and comfortable the entire night. Sound like a bunch of hype? All you need to do is put your hand on the mat and within seconds you’ll begin to feel a very noticeable warmth from the reflective technology. It works, and it works well.
Since the NeoAir uses lightweight design features to achieve its thermal properties, it eliminates the need for bulky insulating materials like down found on other insulated 3-season mats. It brings the warmth without the weight. The smallest model in the 4-size line weighs just under a pound and rolls up to the size of a 1-liter soda bottle. These mats will be as useful for backpacking as they are for car camping. NeoAir mats will run $120 to $170 and begin retailing in April.
UPDATE: It is now available at Amazon.