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Topic: Thermarest Neoair slowly deflates overnight, Pad deflation< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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dangit Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 09 2012, 8:15 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've had a Thermarest Neoair 3/4 length pad for several years now and really like it, but it consistently deflates slowly overnight. Can't find an actual leak even with full immersion in my swimming pool. And the pad doesn't go flat, just loses enough air that some part of my body touches the ground. I get up during the night anyway and just re-inflate it when I'm up, but I wonder whether this is normal. Any ideas/suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Dan
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treelinebackpacker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 09 2012, 8:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's certainly not normal.
You'll probably have to inflate it as tight as you can get it, and then submerse it in soapy water, with your body weight on it.
It sounds like there is a leak, but only large enough to push out air when there is a good deal of pressure applied to it.
This may be your only option that I can think of.
Otherwise, Thermarest does warrant their products for a lifetime. You can probably have it repaired at the cost of shipping.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 09 2012, 8:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are you using your lungs to blow it up? if so it could just be the air losing volume as it cools. Try a pumpsack or instaflator.
If not then maybe a slow leak. You buy it from rei?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 12:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Alternatively, I have put a cup of water in my air mattresses and then pumped them up and laid on them. Usually I can then find a tiny leak by looking for a wet spot. I then mark it, deflate and patch the leak. Just be sure to pour the excess out and let it dry before using it again. My wife is concerned about mold or something growing inside, but I figure if the alternative is just throwing it away, who cares?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 1:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

as Eric suggested it may just have to do with hot air cooling.
Try inflating it well before night time , then top up as you go to bed .
It will still lose a bit of pressure but should be less.
BTW this is more noticeable on thick mats (more air...)
Franco
As I think of it...
The converse is also true. Leave a mat in the sun and it will expand sometimes popping a baffle...
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 5:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a larger Neoair and mine also does this. I chock it up to cooling of the air.

I've had them with leaks before, (my wife's had a leak) and they will leak flat when there is anyway for the air to get out.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Those things (Neo Airs) ain't cheap. I'd get it fixed or I wouldn't be satisfied. I have other Thermarest mattresses and they don't do that. If they did, back to the store they'd go. A good night's sleep is too valuable.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If it only requires one re-inlfation during the night it might just be your warm breath cooling and losing pressure. My practice is to inflate the mattress (ProLite) as soon as possible then let it sit and just before I need to use it to top it off.

For a longer term test perhaps inflate it and then pile your body weight on it: a full cooler etc. and see how long, or if, it fully deflates.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In its 3rd season I started having similar problems with my neoair.  So far I've found 2 pinhole leaks.  Took about an hour (in the swimming pool) to find each one.  In fact I only found one, patched it, and still finding it deflating during the night went at it again and found a 2nd leak.  

I haven't used it in the field since the 2nd patch, but it stayed firm for 4 days so I am calling it good until a field test proves otherwise.

Since you haven't found a leak yet I say...keep looking as there probably is at least one.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a old Thermarest pad with over a dozen patches.  Sometimes finding a small pinhole is not obvious, but I discovered a method that usually works.  If I put the pad under water it would sometimes not show any leaks and yet overnight while sleeping atop the pad, it would slowly deflat.   Then I found that the sure way to show a leak was to first lung inflate a pad to usual fullness.  Then fill a bathtub up with some say 130 degree or so water.  Not too hot to be able to stick one's hand or feet in.   Then dunk the pad and it will swell up from the heated air expansion and any leak is likely to show.

By the way, my limon 20x47 inch NeoAir got a right angle 1/4x1/4 rip right behind the valve.   I field repaired it with a 2.5x2.5 inch black Gorilla Tape patch and have been surprised to find it has held up without any leaks since.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 6:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Then fill a bathtub up with some say 130 degree or so water
Brilliant, never though about this way.
I think that I have tried every other way known to man or woman or inbetweeny but failed with one of my mats.
Now I might just have a way to beat that sod.
Franco
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I guess my experience with air mattresses is different from anyone else's.

I hardly ever use one absolutely inflated with air, except when the ground's really cold. So, when I get off my mattress in the morning, someone else might look at it and claim that I never inflated it at all. I actually prefer it that way.

I want the thing to cradle my body, not be "bouncy". Being a side sleeper, my test is that, if I can just touch the ground by bouncing my derriere, then I've achieved perfection. However, colder ground dictates a bit more space between me and the ground to stay warm enough.

When I fill the mattress before retiring, I use an inflator to slightly overfill, which means I get some minimal resistance from the mattress, but can still press a hand all the way to the ground. My current favorite is the Exped mini-pillow, modified with a small piece of plastic vinyl tubing so it fits the Neoair valve, which works just fine for the level to which I want to inflate, but I've also used the Microburst. I try not inflate using my mouth, because that certainly will result in a moderate amount of cooling deflation, but I avoid it mostly because of the water vapor introduced into the interior of the mattress.

When the ground is not terribly cold, I've found that my own body heat warms the air in the mattress as I lie on it, meaning that, rather than losing plumpness during the night, it tends to get a wee bit more plump. It has often been my experience that, though I let air out just before going to sleep at night, adjusting the inflation down a bit until I hit the "sweet spot", I often release a bit more sometime in the early morning after my body has heated the mattress, though, if it's very cold at all, I may regret having down this when the temps "bottom out" later in the morning.

So, based on my experience alone, a Neoair that loses "plumpness" in the night is definitely losing air.

ETA:

(Dave Senesac @ Sep. 13 2012, 2:53 pm)
QUOTE
Then dunk the pad and it will swell up from the heated air expansion and any leak is likely to show.
And that goes right along with my own observations using my Neoair. Body heat warms the air inside, so I get a "plumper" mattress as the retained heat under my quilt accumulates in a few hours...
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 7:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

NM
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 8:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Sep. 13 2012, 3:23 pm)
QUOTE
I hardly ever use one absolutely inflated with air, except when the ground's really cold. ...

Same here and in fact before buying one I'd read that.   And tThe first time I layed on it, I did not like it with air full much like I never liked water beds decades ago that were a rage.   Having a mattress push up evenly on every point of my body above it is simply unnatural and unpleasant over hours.  I sleep on my left or right sides mostly and switch most every time I wake up.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2012, 10:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I did inflate the pad and then put ~100 pounds of weights on it. It slowly deflated over the next 24 hours in spite of being at constant temperature, so there clearly is a leak somewhere. I'm going to try the hot water submergence approach next - thanks for the idea.

BTW, I bought it at REI but I'd like to try to find and fix the problem before simply exchanging it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 14 2012, 12:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dangit @ Sep. 13 2012, 8:03 pm)
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BTW, I bought it at REI but I'd like to try to find and fix the problem before simply exchanging it.

Is this because you are concerned for REI's profitability (your dividend check) or simply the challenge of finding the leak dammit!

I'm thinking you like a good challenge :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 14 2012, 6:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"I did inflate the pad and then put ~100 pounds of weights on it. It slowly deflated over the next 24 hours in spite of being at constant temperature"

I think that all of my mats slowly deflate over a day or two even without any weight on them...
Franco
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 14 2012, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm still going to go with a spray of soapy water and look for bubbles when you put weight on it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2012, 10:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The very hot water in bathtub did it: When I put some pressure on the submerged pad, I found a tiny leak in a crease near the edge, confirmed with soapy water. I'll try repairing it before thinking about returning it.

Thanks for all the advice!

Dan
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2013, 4:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Dave Senesac @ Sep. 13 2012, 3:53 pm)
QUOTE
Then I found that the sure way to show a leak was to first lung inflate a pad to usual fullness.  Then fill a bathtub up with some say 130 degree or so water.  Not too hot to be able to stick one's hand or feet in.   Then dunk the pad and it will swell up from the heated air expansion and any leak is likely to show.

Thanks Dave for your suggestion. Worked a treat finding a leak that I hadn't been able to track down and had pretty much given up on.

Regards
Andrew
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2013, 9:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Do you suffer from nocturnal flatulence?

If so, your gaseous emissions could be lighter than atmospheric air, causing you to effectively gain weight during the night. This would result in increased ground contact through the ThermaRest.

It may be you, not the ThermaRest, that's losing air.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2013, 11:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So that's what they mean by "You're full of hot air."  

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2013, 11:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dangit @ Sep. 09 2012, 5:15 pm)
QUOTE
I've had a Thermarest Neoair 3/4 length pad for several years now and really like it, but it consistently deflates slowly overnight. Can't find an actual leak even with full immersion in my swimming pool. And the pad doesn't go flat, just loses enough air that some part of my body touches the ground. I get up during the night anyway and just re-inflate it when I'm up, but I wonder whether this is normal. Any ideas/suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Dan

Definitely not normal.  My hunch is slow leak somewhere along the seams...

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