Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review: say goodbye to crinkly nights

Quieter, warmer, and more convenient – your new must-have for premium backpacking is here

T3 Platinum Award
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

With ThermaCapture and Triangular Core Matrix tech, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT delivers unbeatable warmth and stability. It’s quieter, more comfortable, and technologically advanced than its predecessor. Lightweight, compact, and absolutely worth the investment for premium backpackers seeking ultimate comfort.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight construction

  • +

    All-season performance

  • +

    Durable material

  • +

    Quieter than most Therm-a-Rest mats

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Bit overkill for fair-weather campers

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The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT is one of the latest camping pads from a brand almost synonymous with this type of camping equipment. That’s even though nowadays, the company produces a wide range of camping equipment, including sleeping bags, quilts, ponchos, and seating options.

An updated version of the top-rated Thermarest NeoAir XLite, currently occupying the number one position in our best camping mat guide, the NeoAir XLite NXT provides a quiet base for your slumbers under the stars all year round.

Having had the opportunity to try the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT, I can confidently say that I won’t be going back to using anything else on those cold, early spring/late autumn days in the tent. Its performance and comfort are unmatched.

Read my full Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review to find out more about this awesome camping accessory.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review

Price and availability

Launched in 2023, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT is available to buy now from select third-party retailers for a recommended retail price of £210/ $210/ AU$455. It comes in four sizes: Size: Regular Short, Regular, Regular Wide and Large. For the best prices, check out the price widgets at the top and bottom of this review.

I tested the large version, which is slightly longer and heavier than the regular size. Otherwise, it uses the same technology and materials as the regular option. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT comes in one colour, yellow.


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
  • Weight (regular): 370g / 13oz
  • Unpacked size (regular): 183 x 51 x 7.6cm / 72 x 20 x 3 in
  • Packed size (regular): 23 x 10cm / 9 x 4.1 in
  • R-value: 4.5

Design and materials

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Therm-a-Rest pads are rather technical, and the NeoAir XLite NXT is no different.

Two notable technologies used in this model are ThermaCapture, a reflective coating that radiates body heat back towards the sleeper's body to keep them warm, and Triangular Core Matrix, which utilises two stacked layers of triangular baffles to create a stable surface while minimising heat loss.

Said baffles are 3-inch thick and are said to be six times quieter than the NeoAir XLite NXT’s predecessor. I tried that when I went to Mongolia to do the Mongol 100 and still have it, so I thought it was best I compared the two. Indeed, the NeoAir XLite NXT sounds less like a carrier bag being scrunched up.

My favourite feature is the WingLock valve, which helps inflate and deflate the bag quickly. It’s said to offer three times the airflow rate of Therm-a-Rest’s classic valve and is especially well-suited to purge the air when the wings are rotated. Better still, when the wings are closed, but the cap is open, you can essentially lay on the mat and adjust to adjust the firmness. Magic.

Thanks to these advancements, the NeoAir XLite NXT has an R-value of 4.5, making it a four-season camping mat. That said, if you only venture outside when the weather is pleasant, it might be a bit of an overkill due to the premium price tag.

Performance and comfort

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

My wife calls the NeoAir XLite NXT (and the NeoAir XLite, for that matter) ‘surfboards’, as lying on them feels like you’re on a surfboard, thanks to their shape and thickness. Compared to mats like the Vango Aotrom Thermo Platinum, the NeoAir XLite NXT feels more robust and maybe even bulky, but definitely not heavy.

(The Therm-a-Rest is actually lighter than the Vango.)

I talked about the quietness above, but I thought it’s worth mentioning again. Camping mats are notoriously, especially if the camper sleeping on them likes to fidget as much as I do (can’t help the back pain, people).

The previous iteration made quite a lot of noise when you fidgeted on it, which was one of the few negatives we highlighted in our review. In contrast, the NeoAir XLite NXT is much quieter, although it does make some sound. Not a lot, though, and certainly not enough to wake other people in the tent.

The heat retention of the mat is superb, thanks to the thickness and reflective elements. I like my mats firm, especially when the ground is cold, so the 3-inch thickness NeoAir XLite NXT was perfect on those chilly mornings when the ground temperature was under 5 degrees Celsius (41°F).

The pad's size is perfect, and it fits under mummy-style sleeping bags perfectly. Since it’s super lightweight, I assume most people will combine it with lightweight sleeping bags—even better.

Speaking of backpacking, the NeoAir XLite NXT folds neatly into its carry bag. However, it has a longer bag than the NeoAir XLite, which I find strange. Instead of folding it in three longways, you only fold the NeoAir XLite NXT in half before rolling it up. I prefer the shorter, chubbier version of the predecessor, but it might just be me.


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT is a superb camping accessory for premium backpackers. It’s far from cheap, but it does its job perfectly, which justifies the asking price for those who can afford it.

These days, it’s not impossible to come across good deals, and if you find one for a good price, I’d recommend investing in one, especially if you like camping from early spring to late autumn with an occasional trip during winter time.

If you’re looking got a fair weather mat, there are plenty of cheaper options out there. If you like me and like thick, warm sleeping pads for maximum comfort, you’ll need the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.