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Thread: NeoAir

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch
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    Should anyone be interested: I bought a NeoAir for my recent trip to Kyrgyzstan, it being used for about 3 weeks of the month away. It has also been used for about a maximum of 10 other nights. I look after my gear very carefully and expect it to last.

    In Kyrgyzstan, we moved on each day. The mat lost pressure overnightfrom Day 1, which I thought was down to the air temperature dropping. I'd top it up maybe during the night, or for the last precious hour or two before getting up. However, my trip to Knoydart in October saw us in the twobothies for 3 consecutive nights and each evening I had to add a bit more air.

    So this confirmed it had a leak and I took it back to the helpful suppliers, who tried hard to find the leak. They sent it off to Cascade, who did a pressure test and found a leak (puncture). No surprise there, but here's the surprise: according to the retailer,they claim to test every mat before it goes to a retailer and therefore if there's a puncture (leak?), tough luck, nothing to do with them... So this is costing me £21 to have it back.

    Needless to say, I am far from happy, although I accept I might have managed to puncture it on day one. But I have used TARs for over20 years and for something so important and costly, look after them as best I can. I have 5, plus an Alpkit job.

    Furthermore, I bought a NeoAir for a friend a year ago as a thank you for helping me move house. His has a problem, a worrying bulge (I guess like the Prolites are prone to doing). I'm not sure what's happened about this, he's away at the moment. But my son's Prolite let him down on a big cycle trip - a huge bulge- and to be fair to Cascade, it was replaced on his return some months later.

    Had I known this might happen, and had I known Cascade would have such a poor warranty process for the NeoAir, I would have gone for the equivalent Exped model. I just hope for others' sakes that the two problems above are not too common.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
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    Hi Rob I understand you are disappointed but as even you say there is a chance it could have got this puncture on day one. Would it not have been worth waiting till you got it back to see the location of the puncture? If it was a puncture from a foreign object then cascade would be right to charge.

    I have read a few articles re Neo-Air's developing a bulge but have yet to read one that did not also say it was not repaired under warranty so yes this is not a good thing to happen but at least the company are willing to fix it at their expense unlike some other company's.

    I think your title Neo-Air beware is a bit unfair as you have not had the chance to check the mat over since the repair, now if you had received it back and you could see the repair and it was in an area unlikely to be punctured by a foreign object then fair enough.

    Hopefully you will do an update when you receive it back and maybe also re your friends problem and how that was dealt with.

  3. #3
    Goon
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    From my reading of Rob's post he put the initial deflation down to the ambient air temperature dropping - not an unreasonable deduction given the experiences of other Neoair owners.

    It was only on a subsequent trip to Knoydart that it became clear there was a leak - albeit very slow and therefore almost impossible to locate.

    JJ

  4. #4
    Goon
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    I had a similar problem. They pressure tested it and found a manufacturing defect

    Its a large one and they didn't have any in stock, they sent me one from Ireland. Was very impressed with the service

  5. #5
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    Sod it - just lost a whole heap of typing. Start again...

    Speed - fair-ish point but the 'beware' bit refers to various things including the fact that the mat punctured so easily/came with the puncture, that this leak was so hard to find, that the repair was not especially cheap, etc etc.

    How can they tell what it was caused by, if nota fault in themanufacturing perhaps? How can they say so easily that it is not their responsibility?

    I have used TARs almost exclusively for a long time, thinking them the best and not wanting unreliability on such an important item. I'd rather hoped they'd just provide a good service. An example: My Alpkit Fat Airic had seemed to go down a little during the night. I tried hard to find the hole, checked the valve etc, failed. I contacted Alpkit, told them I'd had it for some years, asked if it was possible the fabric was porous. To cut a long story short, they asked me to send it back, contacted me very quickly to say there seemed to be a problem, what colour would I like the replacement to be? The whole process was carried out so quickly, so efficiently - typical Alpkit. And for a cheaper product!

    So yes, possibly I'm being unfair but I would be very surprised indeed if I hadgot a puncture on day 1. Either way, there's a problem, so too on my mate's oneand I can really see Tracksterman's point in not relying on such an item if you're going somewhere remote. I just hope these are not experienced by too many other OMers.

  6. #6
    Initiate orb's Avatar
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    I have had a similar problem Rob losing more than 50% of the air after about 4 or 5 hours .Tried to find a leak but couldn't locate one so contacted Cascade Designs they said if it was a manufacturing fault they would replace it but if not repair would be £18 so I sent it off and now waiting to hear from them.It seems fine if there is no weight on it but after sleeping on it it loses air.I should be hearing from them so I will let you know what they say.

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch
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    Hi orb.Very similar to my problem then, though mine didn't leakas bad asyours. I wonder what the failure rate is of the things. Shame, as they're very light and compact, but I do wonder what the Exped would have been like,whether itsheavier weight gives greater robustness?

  8. #8
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    I have an exped downmat too Rob and it does seem more robust plus I seem to sleep better on it .I have made a fleece bag (to put my air pillow in)with two ties of cord sewn in which fastens to the downmat loops keeping the pillow in position all night so that could be another reason why I sleep better with it.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    I think it's unfair to lay the puncture at Cascade's door. I have only ever managed a couple of TAR punctures in almost a quarter century, one was a fairly clear case of a stray spark from a campfire and the second... well, I never did work out how I got it. It was a very small one and it happened while I was staying on someone's (spotlessly clean!) floor. No idea what caused or, or quite when it happened, but I am sure it was my problem, and not Cascade's (easly in its career, but not the outset, but no particular reason why the trip couldn't have been its first).

    Due to the family thing our NeoAirs haven't had as much exercise as we'd have ideally liked, but they've not given us any grief yet and that includes use as chairs as well as beds.

    Pete.

  10. #10
    Goon
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  11. #11
    Goon
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    I give up, OM now seems not to display the text in my posts. Great software for a forum.

  12. #12
    Ultra King edh's Avatar
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    I sleep better on an Exped too - so much so that I am considering binning the NeoAir short in favour of an Exped Synmat UL; I'd just have to suffer the extra 210g...

    'Balancing' on the NeoAir for a month on the CT was OK, but I think the trade-off for extra comfort will be worth it for longer trips. I probably lost 210g in the first day on the CT too!

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch
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    ed

    Have you considered the Exped downmat 5 either xs at 400g or short at 600g.

    Advantage over the 7 UL is extra warmth plus a 5yr guarantee rather than a 2yr. So worth considering unless it is for summer use only.




  14. #14
    Ultra King edh's Avatar
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    I haven't as they don't fit what I want.

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch
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    Pete - it may be, and asI said, it may be that I got a puncture on the first night. But I was disappointed in their response and feel, regardless of how the leak got there, it might have been worth their while simply repairing it. It would have kept a loyal customer happy.

    Like you, I have probably used TARs for perhaps 25 years - my first was a metal-valved one, a present from a mate in the States. In this time, I have had 2 punctures, so I think I can claim to be pretty careful with the things, hence my disappointment with the NeoAir.

    I should pick the repaired one up tomorrow so I'll see what further comments there might be.

    Thanks to the others for their comments, too.

  16. #16
    Ultra King
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    I can't comment on Neo's as never used one, but I think any thing that does go wrong, in the 1st year of ownership, should be covered by some sort of warranty.

    Unless it 'can' be proven, it was your fault. You could ask the like of CAB, Consumer Council what you 'rights could be.

    I've used SIM's fromthe1st time I camped on my own, @ 35+yrs. Never had a problem.

    Then once I heard about Expeds, that is all I've used since.Are slightly heavier, sometimes bulkier, not by much. IMHO. are the best mat I've ever used. Far more comfortable than anything else, except your bed at home.

  17. #17
    ‹bermensch Montgomery Wick's Avatar
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    Rob, Rob, I hate to say it, but...

  18. #18
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    MW - I knew this would amuse you!!! I suppose that this leak, being small, was not the end of the world. A bigger leak would have had more chance of detection, but unless there's plenty of water (in liquid form!), it would still be hard to find.

    The mat has not come back yet - and that's another issue: it's taking quitea long time! I took it back to the retaileron 30 October but I don't know how long they had it for while trying to find the leakbefore sending it to CascadeBut one way and another, my view of the product and themanufacturers has slumped a little.

    But how're you doing?

  19. #19
    Mini Goon
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    Perhaps I read over it but which NeoAir: the 1st generation one, the XLite, the Xterm, ... ?

  20. #20
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    It's the XLite, bought in about late May/June this year.

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