Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite MAX SV Sleeping Pad Review

Update: Therm-a-Rest has killed off the SV valve concept and this product because consumers could not operate it correctly or reliably. Don’t buy it.

The NeoAir Max SV is an inflatable pad that uses the standard honeycomb reflective insulation that Therm-a-Rest has been using across their NeoAir product line, which has been shipping for about 5 years now (See: How does a NeoAir Work?). It’s still noisy and crinkly like a bag of potato chips when deflated, but less so than the original NeoAir pads in its inflated state.

The Therm-a-rest Max SV sleeping pad is a no-frills three-season sleeping pad.
The Therm-a-rest Max SV sleeping pad is a no-frills three-season sleeping pad.

Other than the SpeedValve, the Max SV differs from a regular NeoAir Xlite only slightly, having a rectangular shape instead of a mummy shape, making is a bit more comfortable for people who have a larger torso or like a bigger pad. I tested a regular size Max SV which is 20″ x 72″ x 2.5″ and weighs 16 ounces. A large size Max SV is also available that is 25″ x 77″ x 2.5″ and weighs 21 ounces. Both sized pads have an R-value of 3.2 which is suitable for non-winter use (See Sleeping Pad R-Values). They’re covered with a 30d nylon fabric which is quite puncture-resistant. In fact, it’s thicker than most backpacking tent floors.

Feature-wise the NeoAir Max SV is fairly vanilla in terms of comfort and features compared to competitive pads. It’s thick enough for back and side sleepers, but the top surface is flat, without any side “rails” to keep you from rolling off the pad at night. The Max SV, like all NeoAir pads, has a side stick valve that can be used to inflate or adjust the level of inflation you prefer. While stick valves can jam up and break if abused, they’re fairly reliable these days.

The SpeedValve is lined with a black plastic sleeve that you pull out and blow into to inflate the pad.
The SpeedValve is lined with a black plastic sleeve that you push inside the roll-top and blow into to inflate the pad.
To close the SpeedValve, roll it closed 7 times and secure it so the buckle is facing down.
The Closed SpeedValve
The Closed SpeedValve

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Read More:  Adjustable Torso Length Backpacks 101

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