Thermarest Speedvalve:

 

 

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Thermarest has a new range of easy to inflate mats. These guys go up (and down) so easily it will be hard to resist the temptation to replace our ‘old’ mats. Fortunately for us they have not (yet) extended the new valve’s availability to our favourite mat the Neoair Xlite Women’s! (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-hiking-mat-425g/) The regular 20” x 72” Neoair with this valve would be hard to resist though for hammock camping where its ‘square’ profile helps keep your shoulders warm. You have to spend your – ‘hard-earned’ on something though – you can’t take it with you! And what better to spend your money on than anything which facilitates your next great trip to the backwoods! See: http://www.cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/fast-and-light/neoair-xlite-max-sv/product I posted about this idea back in August 2014. Thermarest have finally taken the idea up: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/another-way-to-inflate-your-air-pad/ See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/highlights-of-the-outdoor-retailer-summer-2015-trade-show/

A reader, Howard Packer added this interesting comment: ‘There are reports of the valve leaking. This valve adds a not insignificant weight to the mat. A lighter solution is to use a pump sack on the XLite. An even better solution is to use the Exped Pumpbag with this easy DIY modification, which still weighs less than the speed valve version of the pad. https://youtu.be/mSwRi39hYYo

I think leaks are unlikely. I have seen people claim this about both eg Thermarest and Big Agnes pads (both of which I have found superb). I think the manufacturers will have pretty much eliminated leaks which are much more likely to be the result of not following the instructions, dirt in valves or tiny punctures (which I have found repair excellently with cuben tape). A lighter way of doing something is always a possibility, eg as I pointed out here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-air-beam-inflatable-pack-frame-update/

 

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