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Thermarest Xtherm Sleeping Pad

Thermarest Xtherm Sleeping Pad

If you ask experienced backpackers and/or wild-campers for a winter sleeping pad recommendation, the Thermarest Xtherm Sleeping Pad (or Thermarest NeoAir® XTherm™, to give it its full name) will nearly always come up in the conversation. In this article we are going to find out why this sleeping pad is one of the most recommended sleeping pads out there, and take a look at whether we believe it’s worth the price.

You can also buy a rectangular version of the same sleeping pad called the NeoAir XTherm MAX, and it comes in three sizes.

UPDATE: Thermarest have launched the NXT version of this sleeping pad. The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT Sleeping Pad is the next generation of the Xtherm, and offers a market-leading warmth-to-weight ratio (in other words… for the weight, the warmth is outstanding).

Let’s do a side by side spec comparison of all the XTherm shapes and sizes to clarify the differences between them:

Thermarest Xtherm and Thermarest XTherm MAX spec comparison


Thermarest Xtherm: Tapered

Thermarest Xtherm

Thermarest Xtherm MAX: Rectangular

Thermarest Xtherm MAX


Thermarest Xtherm: Regular and Large
Thermarest Xtherm MAX: Regular, Regular Wide and Large

Inflated dimensions

Thermarest Xtherm:
Regular: Length: 183cm (72″) x Width: 51cm (20″) tapering x Thickness: 6.4cm (2.5″)
Large: Length: 196cm (77″) x Width: 64cm (25″) tapering x Thickness: 6.4cm (2.5″)

Thermarest Xtherm MAX:
Regular: Length: 183cm (72″) x Width: 51cm (20″) x Thickness: 6.4cm (2.5″)
Regular Wide: Length: 183cm (72″) x Width: 64cm (25″) x Thickness: 6.4cm (2.5″)
Large: Length: 196cm (77″) x Width: 64cm (25″) x Thickness: 6.4cm (2.5″)


Thermarest Xtherm:
Regular: 0.47kg ( 1lbs 1oz )
Large: 0.62kg ( 1lbs 6oz )

Thermarest Xtherm MAX:
Regular: 0.55kg (1lbs 3oz )
Regular Wide: 0.64kg ( 1lbs 7oz )
Large: 0.71kg ( 1lbs 9oz )

R value

Thermarest Xtherm: 6.9
Thermarest Xtherm MAX: 6.9

Pack size

Thermarest Xtherm:
Regular: 23cm x 10cm (9in x 4.0″)
Large: 28cm x 11cm (11in x 4.5″)

Thermarest Xtherm MAX:
Regular: 23cm x 10cm (9″ x 4.0″)
Regular Wide: 28cm x 11cm (11″ x 4.5″)
Large: 28cm x 11cm (11″ x 4.5″)


Thermarest Xtherm:
Top: 30D ripstop HT nylon
Bottom: 70D nylon

Thermarest Xtherm MAX:
Top: 30D ripstop HT nylon
Bottom: 70D nylon

Does it work with a pump sack?

Thermarest Xtherm:
Yes, included

Thermarest Xtherm MAX:
Yes, included


Thermarest Xtherm: WingLock™
Thermarest Xtherm MAX: WingLock™

Thermarest updated their valves in 2020 and the new ones are fantastic compared to the old versions.

What’s included

Thermarest Xtherm:
Pump sack, stuff sack and repair kit

Thermarest Xtherm MAX:
Pump sack, stuff sack and repair kit

Thermarest Xtherm Sleeping Pad – Price Checker

Is the Xtherm too warm for summer?

No, we believe the Xtherm is fine for summer use, particularly in somewhere like the UK. A sleeping pad doesn’t warm you up as such, it prevents your warmth from going through to the floor. If you are getting warm in summer, or you are camping somewhere where summers are hot, it will probably be easier to regulate your temperature by changing your sleeping bag to a summer version or simply opening it or throwing it off… kinda as you would do at home. Most people don’t have a different mattress on their beds at home – they just reduce/change what’s on top of them in summer, and that’s how we do things when we camp. The only exception might be where you want to save a bit of weight in summer and go for a minimal pack size. In that case you could get yourself a lighter summer sleeping pad that doesn’t have the insulation.

Why is the Thermarest Xtherm so popular?

It’s simply because it has all the key things you’d look for when buying a winter sleeping pad for backpacking or wild-camping: High R value / really warm, comfortable, small pack size and lightweight.

It’s great that the Xtherm is available in different sizes and the two shapes. The pump sack and good quality valve are two more key selling points that can’t be ignored.

Any downsides to the Thermarest Xtherm?

You might hear people complain that some Thermarest pads rustle a bit and are noisy when you move. This may be the case – it’s something you should get used to and it’s perhaps one compromise that’s worth it. If you are particularly sensitive to things like that, then you might want to consider an alternative.

Is the Thermarest Xtherm worth the price?

The Xtherm is not a budget sleeping pad, but you get what you pay for. However, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty and if you are regularly out backpacking or wild-camping then an Xtherm could prove to be an excellent investment. You may have heard the phrase “pay once, cry once!”. Well this is certainly true when it comes to things like sleeping pads. We’ve all done it… gone out and spent £50 on something, then 6 months later spent £100, then a year later £150, and finally arrived at the one we wish we’d just bought in the first place for £200. Obviously, if you’re just starting out, you’re unlikely to go out and buy an Xtherm straight away. You need to test the water, and decide when and where you enjoy camping. That does take a bit of trial and error when it comes to gear, and it can get expensive. One thing is for sure though… once you decide you like camping and you want a sleeping pad for colder months, you’re unlikely to regret buying an Xtherm.

Your sleep is incredibly important when camping, and if you are backpacking, sleep will make a huge difference to how you feel mentally and physically during the day’s hike. Too many people think “I only had 2 hours of sleep last night… ah well… that’s camping for you!”… Well that doesn’t have to be the case. Get a decent sleep system, starting with something like the Thermarest Xtherm Sleeping Pad, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get a decent sleep. If you’re in the UK and are interested in a camping quilt check out our popular Camping quilts available in the UK article.

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The specs in our articles have been compiled on a best effort basis from research on the manufacturers’ own websites, and on other websites selling the products. We do not guarantee the data we have given is correct and cannot be held responsible for incorrect information. Always do your own spec checks before making a purchase.