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  1. #1
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    Default neoair xlite in shelters: popping w/o groundsheet?

    If you'd be so kind, please chime in with your anecdote about whether or not you use a groundsheet under your neoair in shelters on the AT. When I hiked from Springer to Greenwood Lake, NY, I used an X-therm with no problems, but have since up(down?)graded to the X-lite. I remember seeing about half and half - with/without groundsheet. Haven't been hearing of many leaks recently... do you think the thinner fabric even makes a big difference? Is it more about the seams, etc.?

    thank you, kind people

  2. #2

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    I would want the ground sheet just for the nastiness in the shelters... the added protection from popping would just be a bonus feature.

  3. #3
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    I've done both on my thru and beyond. No pop, no foul. What did it in was on a unseen sharp rock, still usalbe for the night though 2 inflates were needed and a easy patch. Those Neoairs are tough.

  4. #4
    Leonidas
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    I use my tyvek kilt as a groundcloth in the shelters to try to minimize abrasion regardless of if I brought the Xlite or the Klymit UL.
    AT: 274.5 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  5. #5

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    I used my Therm-a-rest Neo XTherm exactly ONCE in a shelter - usually it's in my hammock - and it developed a leak. It's been repaired but now I have a Tyvek ground cloth to serve double-duty underneath the hammock when hanging and in a shelter when not.
    It's not a camera - it's a tiny little chip, embedded in a smartphone, hiding behind a crummy plastic lens. It's not a camera.

  6. #6

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    I use a space blanket under mine in shelters mostly to keep it clean no leaks to date.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by robby View Post
    If you'd be so kind, please chime in with your anecdote about whether or not you use a groundsheet under your neoair in shelters on the AT. When I hiked from Springer to Greenwood Lake, NY, I used an X-therm with no problems, but have since up(down?)graded to the X-lite. I remember seeing about half and half - with/without groundsheet. Haven't been hearing of many leaks recently... do you think the thinner fabric even makes a big difference? Is it more about the seams, etc.?

    thank you, kind people
    Short answer- no difference between the pads on durability. The insulation value has to do with the internal construction- other than color the Xtherm and Xlite have the same outer shell.

    Long answer- What is the scenario where you need to put your pad directly on the shelter floor?
    Even on a fast and light trip I have a bivy, tarp, or poly cro groundsheet at minimum. When choosing to sleep in a shelter rather than elsewhere I simply put down the same thing I'd put down if sleeping on the ground.
    Even if you have a tent, you can spread out your tent body or fly.

    Poop occurs... they are rough sawn wood floors exposed to the elements with hundreds of people crawling over them. It's not sanded and finished hardwood. For the most part the floors are pretty worn from use, but no matter how heavy duty your pad there is still a chance that a rock in a shoe or trekking pole tip gauged the floor and raised a splinter that you could lay on.

    You can set your pad on the ground and catch a sharp stick or thorn too... They are technical pool floaties... not solid material. That said, overall they are surprisingly durable. They fail less often than the self-inflating pads of my youth.

    Bring the patch kit and review how to use it.
    Tenacious tape works too.

  8. #8
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    I'll admit on occasion, if I'm lazy, and the shelter floor isn't too bad (because I found the broom and used it) I'll go without the ground cloth in the shelter. I'm not sure my ground cloth is much cleaner then the shelter floor anyway I can't recall ever seeing floor boards in a shelter which weren't polished smooth by countless butts.

    I've been using a NeoAir for a long time now and it hasn't leaked yet. So long as I keep carrying a patch kit, it probably won't
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    So long as I keep carrying a patch kit, it probably won't
    Eggsacktly

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knee Jerk View Post
    I used my Therm-a-rest Neo XTherm exactly ONCE in a shelter - usually it's in my hammock - and it developed a leak. It's been repaired but now I have a Tyvek ground cloth to serve double-duty underneath the hammock when hanging and in a shelter when not.
    Any advice on an inflatable pad in a hammock? Iím a die hard hammocker and I love my UQs, but part of me admires the versatility of being able to go to a shelter on occasion. How wide is your pad and does it prevent cold shoulders? Thanks.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  11. #11

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    Globetruck: I have a Hammock Bliss Skybed assym hammock that has a built-in sleeve to slide my inflatable pad into. (With so many people complaining about pads slipping around inside their hammock, it was a no-brainer to get the Skybed.) So the Therm-a-Rest Neo XTherm is 20 inches wide and fits securely into the sleeve. I have to inflate the pad completely so that I can push it into place and then I let out some air so that my body can sink into it a little bit. I use both the pad and a couple of lightweight UQ's together for colder weather and then subtract the UQ's as it warms up.

    But regardless of how high the temperature climb, I continue to use the pad because of the comfort factor. Because the Skybed sleeve - and therefore the pad - is off-center by 30 degrees, it automatically stretches the fabric out for a flatter lie. And, as long as I have the Tyvek sheet with me, I can use it in a shelter if I wanted to. (But so far, I haven't wanted to.)

    I should add that the whole system - the hammock, the pad, the UQ's along with straps, carabiners, pillow, sleeping bag and 12-foot long tarp with guylines and stakes included - weighs in at around 10 pounds, so it's not exactly lightweight, but I consider a good night's sleep to be extremely important. And really, sleeping on the ground or on a hard floor just ain't that much fun anymore. (Not at my age.) So I'm willing to carry 10 pounds and cut back on other items.

    Of course, the system lightens up two pounds when I shed the UQ's and I could trade the sleeping bag for a top quilt and save another pound or so, but I think I would lose some versatility.
    Last edited by Knee Jerk; 03-13-2018 at 00:46.
    It's not a camera - it's a tiny little chip, embedded in a smartphone, hiding behind a crummy plastic lens. It's not a camera.

  12. #12
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    200+ nights on xlite, no issues.
    Always put something under. Usually as much as can.
    Maps, raingear, spare ziplocks, groundsheet, etc
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  13. #13
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    On my last thru hike my neo did great until I got to the Blackburn trail Center just South of HF. The plywood bunks had little slivers of wood that poked 2 holes in the neo. In HF I had to use the motel bathtub to find them and get them patched. So avoid plywood floors! I never had trouble with normal well worn shelter floors.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by moldy View Post
    So avoid plywood floors!
    While this is good advice there is also the random nail that has pulled loose that can spell trouble.
    It's not a camera - it's a tiny little chip, embedded in a smartphone, hiding behind a crummy plastic lens. It's not a camera.

  15. #15
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    Most people I saw last year didnít bother with a ground sheet in a shelter.

    As with any camping spot you should check it before you put your pad down. But itís usually not a big deal

    As mentioned above the larger reason to use a sheet is how filthy the shelters can be.

    After awhile though youíre so used to being filthy you donít much care.


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  16. #16
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    The first time I hiked the Smokies, the bunks were made up of layer upon layer of chicken wire in various states of disrepair. Spent an hour turning down broken wires sticking up. Good thing we all had CCF pads at the time and not inflatables.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  17. #17
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    I always use a ground sheet, then a GG thinlite pad, then inflatable. Thereís a reason inflatables come with patches.


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  18. #18
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    I've been surprised at how durable my NeoAir has proven to be, but I'd never set it down anywhere without some type of ground sheet. There are enough horror stories of problems that I'm very paranoid. Nothing would ruin a trip more than a flat NeoAir that can't be inflated at all or one that has to be periodically reinflated over night.

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