Great Walks reviews Sea To Summit's online Sleep System Finder.

"Well, if the last year or so has taught us anything about living through a pandemic, it’s the value of a great online shopping experience. And if I think about what can make an online click great, it comes down to confidence.

Confidence that the platform is easy to use, secure and more than anything, confident that I’m making the right choice without having a real live person to talk to… especially when parting with serious money, like what is needed for a foundational bit of gear like a sleeping bag, mat or a full sleep system.

Thankfully, the company that seems to spend a lot of time coming up with solutions to everyday outdoor problems – Sea to Summit (S2S) – have come up with the Sleep System Finder.

Call me cynical, but I was sceptical that an online questionnaire could deliver what my tall (I’m 5’9”/178cm), female, back sleeping, wonky body (which feels the cold) needed – without trying it out in a shop. Here’s what I found:

Over a series of 10 questions, the S2S website grilled me with exactly the type of questions you’d hope a good shop assistant would ask, mostly starting with the words, ‘where’, ‘what’, ‘which’ and ‘how’. Thankfully, just like sitting an exam in school and feeling the relief when you realise it’s multiple choice, the answers are presented in a simple graphic form, with basic explanations (see image gallery).

Once the answers are complete the results offer three suggestions for each piece of gear in the sleep system: a sleeping bag, liner, mat and pillow, and then highlights the best match for you.

Given that there are 47 different sleeping bags and quilts in their range, this takes the exhaustion out of doing the research and the confusion out of choosing. For this test, I opted for the type of gear and uses I am most familiar with, so I could compare based on my experience – lightweight hiking gear, for a cold, tall, back sleeper.

Here’s the gear they recommended. Click on each product to read my review."

Sleeping Bag – Sea to Summit Flame FmIII Women’s (Long)

Sleeping Pad – Sea to Summit Etherlight XT WL (Women’s Long)

Liner – Thermolite Reactor Compact Plus (short)

Pillow – Aeros Premium Pillow (regular)

Words_Caro Ryan


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