Lightweight aerogels with large specific surface area (SSA) have numerous applications. Free-standing aerogels are created from single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and their SSA and pore characteristics, electrical conductivity, mechanical properties, and thermal management attributes are determined. The SSA of the aerogels is extraordinarily high and approaches 1291 m2 g−1 at a density of 7.3 mg mL−1, which is close to the theoretical limit (≈1315 m2 g−1). Mechanical characterization shows that these aerogels have open-cell structures and their Young's moduli are higher than other aerogels at comparable density. The aerogels also enhance heat transfer in a forced convective process by ≈85%, presumably due to their large porosity and surface area.