Friday, July 21, 2017

Klymit Inertia X-lite Short - review


Having been bitterly disappointed with the Thermarest NeoAir Xlite, I've been on the hunt for a suitable replacement.

Enter the Klymit Inertia X-Lite.

Weighing in at a remarkably light 176g, the Inertia is a true piece of minimalist kit! In the pic below, some standard lounge cushions provide some scale.

With my shoulders near the top of the Inertia my knees are still on the lower part of the pad, so my lower legs don't lie 'heavy' on the ground which is what I'm used to - so that's good (I've always used 3/4 mats).

Being a 'short' mat, you need to be prepared that your pillow is going to be off the Inertia - as a side sleeper I use my pack with my new Nemo inflatable pillow to cushion my noggin.

The Inertia is thinner than the Thermarest NeoAir Xlite which has pluses & minuses. If you put direct pressure on one of the 'bars' it will compress to the ground which doesn't instil bucketloads of confidence, but when you put your full body weight over the whole pad it really stiffens up. The real upside is that the thinner profile feels far more stable than the Neo.

It's also narrower than Neo - but as I don't move much in my sleep it's  no drama for me and may actually prove to be an advantage inside a bivy bag.

What I like.

  • It feels heaps better than the Neo
  • It definitely isn't slippery at all like the Neo
  • It's lighter & packs down smaller than Neo
  • The material feels more robust than Neo
  • Only takes less than 3 full breaths to inflate
  • Quick to inflate and deflate - though I couldn't really get it inflated enough with the 2.5 breaths I could physically blow into it and had to use the little hand pump (see pic) to get it to the level of firm I wanted - but it's still fast!
  • The mouth valve is superior to Neo (it's actually the same valve as on my Nemo pillow) and is easier to operate once you get used the the push/pull action
  • It's significantly cheaper than Neo

What I don't like

  • It really is designed ideally for a back sleeper, not a side sleeper
  • 2 valves - surely the could have designed a single valve that did both jobs
  • The cap on the pump valve is destined to be lost (no doubt!!)
  • The narrowness of the middle band - even another 2.5cm would've been brilliant 
  • I'm gonna say, that notwithstanding they claim the holes allow the down in your bag beneath you to loft, I'm cynical that this would be warmer than the Neo till I field test it (don't think I'll be risking it on snow anytime soon).

The verdict

This is a true minimalists tool!

Personally, I prefer it to the Neo and will use it on 3 Peaks - but make no mistake this is no Slumberland Dream Sleeper!

For me the Neo is a huge disappointment (even the PU coating on the inside of the stuff sac is delaminating on mine after 2 uses which was kind of like rubbing salt into the wound) - its like sleeping on a pool toy only harder to stay on. At least with the Inertia it feels like a mat.

If it weren't for the weight issue,  I'd still prefer my 25 year old MK1 Thermarest Ultralight 3/4 pad.

Oh well - minimalism is always about compromise 😁