As part of Sea to Summit's online Sleep System (see the review here), the sleeping mat that was recommended for our gear writer Caro Ryan was the Sea to Summit Etherlight XT WL (Women’s Long).
"I’ve slept on many different mats over the years, and the Etherlight XT felt like the Rolls Royce… or is that Tesla these days?
Shining a light on the problem solving nature of Sea to Summit products, the first thing I noticed is that the Airstream Pump Sack is built into the stuff sack. Smart.
Although this adds to the packed length of the mat (29 cm), it was easy to use, taking just over 3 sacks of air to fill it up and removes the huff n’ puff of blowing up manually… not to mention the risk of mould growing inside.
The comfort of this mat is outstanding and given that there is a cushy 10.1 cm of plump and tender air between my tired body and the cold, hard ground of the Blue Mountains National Park, it makes sense.
The multi-function valve allows for adjustments to find your Goldilocks level of ‘just right’ firm-to-soft ratio and 30D/40D materials and cushioned pattern feels robust in comparison to other brands.
With noise being one of the common complaints with inflatable mats, this one is quieter than other models, but I found it had a lower ‘rubbing noise’ tone rather than a high crinkley sound like other manufacturers.
As per my preferred ‘corpse-pose’ yoga sleep position, the width of this mat was the real stand-out for me; both elbows rested comfortably on the mat, with room to move. If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll love that 10cm height of hip-loving joy.
The online system chose the Women’s Long mat for me, which my scales called-in at 670 grams including stuff sack.
As a cold sleeper, I tested this at temps down to 2c and the warmth (R3.2, ASTM standard tested) of the mat was excellent. They use two different types of insulation that both reflects your own warmth back to you and manages conductive heat loss.
The only improvement I can think of would be to further develop the stuff/pump sack to add a compression strap reducing the overall packed size.