Review of the Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat.
Apologies, but friends, it is super hard to take photos of an orange sleeping pad. It is what it is.
The Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated sleeping pad (size Small) was a godsend on the CDT. I'm going to write this review in dot points, because I love this sleeping pad so much it risks becoming a rambling mess if I don't.
First up, it is designed by a company local to my hometown Perth, Western Australia (huzzah!) Which is pretty cool in my book.
Second. Let's talk about fabric. This stuff is great because it's durable. We only got one teensy hole between the four of us using these. Guys we hiked through the New Mexico bootheel, where they have the saying "If it isn't covered in thorns, it's probably a rock" to describe the local flora. It's a big deal we only got one puncture.
On the puncture front, anyone who has ever had an inflatable sleeping pad of any sort will run screaming at the mention of checking for and repairing punctures in sleeping pads. I know this because I worked in an outdoor store for 6 and a half years, and in that time 100% of people bringing their sleeping pads in would rather pay me $50 to find and repair the hole in their mat than look for it themselves. Most sleeping pads are repaired with a glue or glue and patch combination. Not these ones. They have a simple, easy peasy, 3M patch that just sticks right on there. Bourbons mat got a hole in it that night before Silver City (around mile 100) we got into town, cleaned the mat, found the hole, stuck a patch on, tested it over night.... And then never had to worry again about the patch. It covered another 2300miles and still looks fine, and the mat stays inflated so I can only assume it's doing its job.
The fabric is a little noisy at first, but our mats got quieter after about ~10nights of use, although that could also be because we got so tired nothing could wake us any longer anyway.
Hilariously, when we first bought our tent (a Tarptent Saddle 2 fyi, review coming soon) we forgot to factor in the silnylon floor. The first night we used the tent last year we pitched up at a campsite beside a beautiful lake overlooking Mt Rainier in Mt Rainier National Park. The campsite had beautiful views, great swimming, even axolotls! But the spot was on a bit of a slope. We had booked the site though, and all the others were full, so we figured it couldn't be that bad. At 5am the next morning we woke to find ourselves sleeping at the bottom of the tent, both huddled on one single mat whilst the other sat pushed right up the wall of the tent like some sort of inflatable wall shade. Needless to say, before our CDT hike we worked out that putting our sit pads under our mats helped stop them from sliding across the floor of our tent. We also tried dots of silicone glue, but it peeled off and didn't really stop the slip factor. Eh, you live and you learn. Now at the end of the trail we have become pretty ninja at finding good likely campsites on topographic maps, so we avoided too much slippage by getting better campsites too.
We used the size "small", which is just shorter than both my partner and I. It comes in at 5'6" or 168cm, and weighs 15.1 Oz or 430gms. I'm 5'9", and Bourbon is 6'1". Neither of us ever felt they were too short. We both slept with our packs under our feet for that last little bit of warmth, and our pillows were on top of our spare clothes off the head of the sleeping mat. Honestly I wonder if we could have used the XS and been more ultralight sometimes, but I slept pretty well for 5 months on this one, so I doubt I will bother switching.
In summary, because despite my best efforts, this has still become a massive ramble...
10/10 would definitely recommend.
Copy the content below and paste it in the page in which you would like this embedded. Change the width value below as necessary.