I wanted to do a quick review of my new sleeping pad. In the past, I used a Therm-a-Rest Neo Air. I used this sleeping pad from Springer Mt. Georgia to Andover, Maine in 2016.
I recently bought a Sea to Summit Ultra Light Insulated Pad for my upcoming thru-hike.
I’m a side sleeper, and sometimes I flip onto my stomach. This is what my comfort judgments are based on.
(Photo courtesy of R.E.I.)
Therm-a-rest Neo Air
- It kept me warm in the coldest temperatures I faced while on the Appalachian Trail. ‘R’ Value – 3.2
- It’s 2.5 inches thick.
- It kept me and my down quilt off of the wet tent floor when it rained and the water seeped up through the floor.
- Relatively light at 12 oz.
- Packed up it’s pretty small-about the size of a nalgene bottle.
- It never got a hole during the 5 1/2 months I used it.
- I nearly passed out trying to blow it up each night.
- I had to be very careful when blowing it up so as not to let air out of the pad when taking a breath.
- It’s very noisy. I flipped and flopped a lot and felt very bad for anyone within hearing range because everyone knew when I changed positions due to the squeaking.
- I had a tendency to roll off of it. If I blew it up too much, it was hard as a rock. If I blew it up too little, I had a tendency to roll off of it.
- Felt like I was sleeping on a balloon.
Seat to Summit Insulated
(Photo Courtesy of R.E.I.)
- Still relatively light at a little more than 1 pound.
- Packs up smaller than the Neo Air.
- The design is such that it has ‘pocks’ in it so that you sort of sink into it, rather than feeling like you are sleeping on a balloon.
- I didn’t roll off, nor did I feel that I was about to roll off of it.
- 2 Inches thick.
- ‘R’ Value – 3.3 – Higher rated than the other pad. The night I slept on it it was 24 degrees, and I think was pushing the limit of my equipment. I was cold, and I couldn’t tell if it was coming from underneath me or through my quilt.
- Comes with a pump bag to blow it up, and only takes about 4-5 pumps to air it up.
- Once air goes in, it doesn’t come out unless you pull another plug. It has a valve that prevents air from going out as you are pumping it up.
- Much quieter than the other one!
- 1 1/2 inches wider than the Neo Air.
- I’ve only slept on it once, so it remains to be seen how comfortable it is. I don’t want to make any premature judgments, but I had a bit of pain in my hips…but it was an uncomfortable night all around due to the extreme cold.
- It’s a little heavier than my other pad, but not much.
- Though it’s only 1/2 an inch less thick than my other pad, it doesn’t look like it, and I’m a bit worried about what will happen when it rains and my tent floor gets wet.
Overall, I think these two pads are very similar, and comparable in many ways. Again, this review is based on my first impression and with sleeping on the Sea to Summit pad for only one night.
If I feel the new pad is not working for me, I will send it home and have Bud send me my old pad. Since I purchased it from R.E.I. I can return it if it does not work for me.