Image of the June 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
June 2019 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Sleeping mats

Sea to Summit Etherlight XT Insulated

Price:

$349.99

Our Rating:

Weight: 479g

R-value: 3.8

Features: The mattress uses Thermolite synthetic insulation and large air-filled baffles to achieve a temperature rating suitable for spring through autumn use. The stuff sack is also used to inflate the mattress. A single double valve allows inflation and instant deflation. There’s a pillow-lock (untested) which secures compatible air pillows to the mattress. The top fabric is a lightweight 30D nylon while the bottom is slightly more durable 40D nylon.

Weight: It’s the second-lightest mattress tested and packs down smaller than the other mattresses. It uses light fabrics and a slightly tapered shape to shave a few grams.

Comfort: It is soft and supportive and provided just the right warmth for our autumn testing. But it will no doubt struggle in the deep winter months. At a huge 10cm thick, my hips and shoulder didn’t hit the ground. One drawback: it’s noisy and squeaks when moving around.

In use: Inflation is super easy with the stuff/pump sack. It requires the user to blow into the sack and then squeeze and roll the air into the mattress. It took four or five ‘pumps’ to fully inflate and was easy to inflate in the confines of the tent. Because the pump sack is built into the stuff sack, there’s no risk of losing it.
It has a single layer of insulation on top, helping slow down the transfer of warm air to the ground, hence the sub 4.0 R-value. Though not as warmly-rated as the other mattresses, I found it perfect for the chilly conditions I tested it in and slept well.

Though the squeaks it made when I moved around didn’t wake me, lighter sleepers – or tent mates – might be bothered by it. Deflation is instant with the air rushing out when the valve is opened. This makes it the easiest of all the mattresses to pack away.

Value: A pricey mattress for three-season use, but it does offer superb comfort and packability. The lightweight fabrics are more at risk of puncture.

Verdict: An easy-to-use comfortable mattresses for three-season camping.

At a glance
Plusses: All-in-one stuff/pump sack, packability, comfort.
Minuses: Noisy, three-season use.

Watch our review in a minute:

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.