A mega comfortable, luxury sleeping pad for car camping and weekend backpacking.
At 4 inches deep, the plush cosiness of the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad is one of the most luxurious camping setups on the market. So, are the days of lightweight, minimalist backpacking over? Probably not! But for those who love to head for the hills but don’t enjoy the unsettled sleeps that come with it, this packable and relatively low weight sleeping pad may just be the answer.
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad (XL): The stats
|Best for:||Weekend backpacking, car camping and canoe camping|
|Size:||76 x 196 x 10cm / 30 x 77 x 4in (size XL)|
|Weight:||1.05kg / 2lbs 5oz (size XL)|
|Packed size:||34 x 16cm / 13.5 x 6.2in (size XL)|
|Temperature rating:||R-value of 3.7|
|Other info:||Made in USA, Limited Lifetime Warranty|
Features of the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad
ValvesThere are two valves: one for inflation and one for deflation. This makes the whole process quick and easy. The “IN” valve means you can take breaks between pumps without it deflating. The “OUT” valve opens fully to dump the air out speedily, or you can partially twist the valve to let air seep out to your preferred firmness.
The top and bottom of the pad have a 50D polyester knit facing that is soft and smooth to lie on directly. The top of the pad features a contoured pattern and the colour is a highly practical grey / khaki shade that doesn’t show the dirt.
The pad has an R-value of 3.7. This is fairly standard / on the warm side for a backpacking sleeping pad and in theory, should provide warmth right through three seasons as well as in some mild winter conditions. Triangular Core Matrix technology provides the insulation. But it also adds a load of stability to the mat thanks to the two layers of triangular baffles that are stacked on top of each other.
The valve of the pad opens fully so that it’s really easy to squeeze out all of the air. This means that you can roll it up into a smaller package than the drawstring bag it comes with. It packs down to around the size of a compact sleeping bag.
Crucially, the Topo Luxe comes with a repair kit. I never go camping on this style mat without taking a repair kit with me! There’s also a pump sack for inflating the pad and a drawstring stuff sack for storing.
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad review
Designed for backpacking in comfort, and new for 2020, the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe is the sort of sleeping mattress you’d usually find in a car camping or glamping setup. It’s huge, it’s mega comfortable and it provides the most luxury you’ll get away with when backpacking, probably ever.
Before I go any further, I should reiterate that this review is of the XL sleeping pad. Though it’s the same depth as the other sizes – a plush 4 inches / 10cm – it’s both longer and wider, by 5 inches each way. It’s so wide, in fact, that my Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 tent doesn’t accommodate a second mat! Thankfully, the MSR Hubba Hubba has come into my life. That little bit of extra floor space in the inner tent provides just enough space for the Topo Luxe to fit snuggly alongside its narrow, ultra lightweight cousin, the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xlite. Phew! I thought I was doomed to a life of car camping for a minute there.
No such luck. The beauty of the Topo Luxe is that you feel like you’re car camping even when you’re tucked up in the middle of nowhere with a storm raging around you. And if you opt for the more sensible size (regular), the extra weight and space in your pack isn’t that much more than an average lightweight sleeping pad. Yes, the XL is bigger and heavier than I’d be comfortable carrying for more than a couple of nights. But for weekend backpacking trips and last minute overnighters, it’s a dream.
Ease of use
I love almost all camp ‘chores’. Even setting up a line in my tent to hang damp socks on is oddly enjoyable to me. The exception, however, is inflating my sleeping pad. I get halfway through and almost keel over with giddiness. I hate how it makes me feel and I have no inclination to power through and just deal with it. So I usually get my camping buddy to do it! But that’s not always possible and I occasionally camp on my own. As an aside, the Topo Luxe and Big Agnes Copper Spur tent are the bees knees together for solo camping! Not least because the Luxe comes with its own pump sack. Ruddy genius.
Yep, it takes 4 minutes to fully inflate with the pump sack. Longer than some of you may prefer to spend setting up your luxury bed. But I would rather spend 4 minutes filling a bag with air and then pushing it out again than 1 minute fighting dizziness with the risk of passing out. I love it! Plus, the bag doubles rather nicely as a storage sack or, better still, a pillowcase to fill with my down jacket and inflatable pillow. Well, while we’re in the business of luxury backpacking I might as well go the whole hog!
The plush 4 inches of depth feels like you’re sleeping on a proper car camping air mattress. So cosy, and Therm-A-Rest’s thickest backpacking NeoAir ever. The large sleeping area also contributes to this illusion. As well as the extra length keeping tall people’s feet off the cold ground, the extra 5 inches of width provided by the XL also makes a huge difference to comfort levels. This is especially noticeable if you’re a front sleeper as your arms don’t fall off the sides of the pad onto the ground either side of the mat. AND, your pillow doesn’t slip off the top of the mat.
Additionally, the ability to partially twist the “OUT” valve means that you can easily adjust the firmness of the mattress. This is a highly appealing feature if you’re not the type to stay in one position the whole night through. Having a little ‘give’ means you can flip from front to side to back and still retail the comfort you started the night with.
The XL is seriously luxurious for average sized beings. But it’s also ideal for taller or larger campers, providing extra space without compromising comfort.
What I love the most about the NeoAir Topo Luxe
It’s hard not to love how luxurious this thing is. But it’s the luxury coupled with relatively low weight and packability that I love the most. Before ultra lightweight sleeping pads came into my life I was perfectly happy carrying a self-inflating pad that weighed and packed down to the same size as the Topo Luxe. It was easy to inflate and pretty bombproof, yes. But what that old classic of a sleeping mat didn’t offer was much comfort, at all really! If I’d not been spoiled with the insane technology behind the likes of the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xlite and the Big Agnes Q-Core SLX, I would be totally blown away by the Topo Luxe. As it is, I’m pretty smitten!
What I don’t love so much about the NeoAir Topo Luxe
Hmm. It’s not often that I leave this section empty. But I’ve little to say about the Topo Luxe that is negative.
Sure, it will never compete with ultra lightweight sleeping pads in terms of weight and packability. But if you’re willing to carry a few extra grams and have space to spare in your pack, the comfort you’ll gain from sleeping on the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad is well worth those small sacrifices. The XL is the perfect pad to comfortably accommodate larger and taller folk, and it’s a game-changer for front and side sleepers who struggle to get comfortable on smaller mats. Plus, if you enjoy car camping as much as backpacking then you’re totally covered.
Two thumbs up from me!
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.