Something strange has happened to Therm-A-Rest inflatable camping mattresses. While they have become warmer, thicker and more comfortable they have shrunk into a far smaller packable and lightweight size. This is not to say the fully inflated mattress is any smaller than my older version of a Therm-A-Rest mattress – in fact it’s bigger – it’s the size of the deflated mattress that is most remarkable.
Last night, during a microadventure on Queen’s View, the G-Force used my older-style Therm-A-Rest, which at the time of buying it some six years ago, felt light and looked small when packed down. I had been very happy with it during years of wild camping.
But now I don’t really want to use it anymore. That’s because the new range of Therm-A-Rest inflatable mattresses are so amazing. They are lightweight and small when packed in their stuff bags, yet big, plump and comfy when inflated. The only drawback seems to be the amount of puff you need to inflate them.
The inflatable mattress that I took on our adventure is the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Voyager.
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir range
There are numerous styles of new Therm-A-Rest inflatable mattresses, including a Fast and Light series, Trek and Travel and Camp and Comfort. The Voyager sits in the Trek and Travel category. These mattresses are a bit bigger and thicker than the Fast and Light series and offer more thickness, comfort and warmth yet they still pack up small.
When comparing all these mattresses to my older style mattress it looks like the material from which they are made is far light and more compact. When all the air is extracted the new mattresses roll up more easily and into a light, tighter pack. Yet, when inflated, they still seem hard wearing and puncture resistant.
Who knows what Therm-A-Rest have done but their new designs are brilliant. While the G-Force had to carry a heavier and bigger mattress pack to our camping spot he also had less benefits in terms of comfort when the mattress was inflated. If you are looking for a new mattress I can’t recommend these new Therm-A-Rests more highly.
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Voyager
According to the details, the mattress has a “Wavecore” construction and reflective Thermacapture technology. This means there is a lot of comfort and warmth. It has a full 2.5-inch of loft to stop the bumps coming through. A stuff sack is included.
The Voyager mattress is created for cold summer nights and trips pushing into spring and autumn. The outer fabric is tough, 75D polyester.
My night on a hill covered with thick heather clumps and grass was made far more comfortable thanks to this Therm-A-Rest. I wasn’t cold at all. I was really amazed by how much thickness and comfort there was for such a lightweight item.
On a previous occasion, the G-Force borrowed the Voyager for a camping-climbing trip. He came home raving about it. He said: “It is far thicker, warmer, longer yet much lighter than any mattress I have had before. Can I keep it?”
The answer, I’m afraid is no, because I want it.
The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Voyager is available in sizes R-L in selected retailers for RRP £75. For more details visit www.thermarest.com. It’s not cheap but it does a great job.