Best for a silent night’s sleep
Plusses: Incredible comfort, four seasons, quiet
Minuses: Price, slow inflation
510g, 4.5 R-value
Features: Therm-a-Rest’s new and improved NeoAir XLite NXT MAX offers four-season use and dimensions of 64 x 183 x 7.6cm. 30D ripstop nylon protects against punctures, and Therm-a-Rest’s WingLock valve provides precise inflation and deflation. A pumpsack, stuff pouch and repair kit are included.
Weight: Yes, it’s half a kilogram, but when you purchase the MAX it’s a decision to compromise weight for comfort. The standard tapered model weighs 354g, making both models a competitive weight for their R-value and dimensions.
Comfort: This is a supremely comfortable mattress. It’s 7.6cm thick, soft and supportive, and it’s big enough to allow real night-time stretches. I’ve never slept better on a hiking mattress.
In use: The moment I lay down, I couldn’t contain my smile – this mattress is truly comfortable. It’s warm against the skin, and the stability is impressive. Even when on the edge of the mattress, I never felt
I’d roll off. The 64cm width is large, though. With many modern two-person hiking tents tapering at the feet, you’ll have to measure things up if you’re hoping to fit two mattresses side by side.
Therm-a-Rest claims the updated design to be six times quieter than its predecessor, which is good news as the brand has become infamous for its noisy chip-bag rustling. I can’t quantify the volume reduction, but the mattress is exceptionally quiet, even when rolling over.
The WingLock valve allows easy and precise deflation, though inflation, with the supplied pump sack, was less efficient than other mattresses I’ve used.
Value: It’s an expensive sleeping mat, but it’s also one of the best. With unbeatable comfort, quiet technology and four-season insulation, it can be used in all but the coldest conditions.
Verdict: Therm-a-Rest has silenced critics (and midnight rustling) with an improved version of a classic.