Gear Review: Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress

Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress
Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress

Insulated Air Mattress
Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress
$170, 1 lb. 5 oz. (regular, including stuff sack)
Sizes: small (66×21.5×2.5 ins., $170, 1 lb. 4 oz., packed size 5×9 ins.), regular 72×21.5×2.5 ins., packed size 4.5×9 ins.), large (79x25x2.5 ins., $190, 1 lb. 9 oz., packed size 4.5×10 ins.)
moosejaw.com

I like to hike long days when I backpack, so I want the lightest gear that does the job. But I also like a comfortable air mat to sleep on after a 20-mile day. Those objectives of comfort and low weight sometimes conflict. But on a four-day, 86-mile backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in September, I slept just about as well as I do in my bed at home on a Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated air mat, which weighs under a pound and a half and packs down to about one-and-a-half times the size of a liter bottle.

While just as thick—two-and-a-half inches—as the cushiest backcountry air mats on the market today, the Comfort Light feels exceptionally plush because of what you can’t see inside it. It employs a matrix of 324 (in the small) to 396 (in the large) air cells that move independently to conform to your body’s shape without affecting adjacent cells. Translated to backpacker-speak, that means you don’t flatten out spots under, say, your hipbones or shoulders. The Comfort Light uses a hybrid design of dual-layer construction in the torso to maximize comfort and insulation value and single-layer construction in the head and legs to minimize weight. Thermolite synthetic insulation has an R-value of 4.2 (Sea to Summit says that rating comes from an independent lab), making it good for three-season camping.

 

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter, or enter your email address in the box in the left sidebar or at the bottom of this story. Click here to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Follow my adventures on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Youtube.

 

Sea to Summit Comfort Light air mat stuffed.
Sea to Summit Comfort Light air mat stuffed.

The air mat has two, one-way valves, one of which deflates it instantly, the other for inflating the air mat by blowing into the valve or using either a Jet Stream Pump Sack or, even better, a Sea to Summit Air Stream Dry Sack, a 35-liter, seam-sealed, roll-top dry bag: Fill the air mat by blowing one big breath of air into the sack, attaching it to the air mat’s inflate valve, and compressing the sack to push air into the mat. Repeating this two to three times fills the air mat, making it firm, in a few minutes. The shell material, 40-denier TPU laminated nylon, compares with other high-end, backpacking air mats, and is tougher than the 30-denier fabric used on some ultralight air mats.

While I’ll still choose my own bed over an air mat when I’m at home, Sea to Summit’s Comfort Light assures me restful nights when I’m pounding out long days on the trail.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to buy a Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress at moosejaw.com or rei.com.

See my other reviews of backpacking air matresses that I like and all my reviews of backpacking gear. See also my related Pro Tips articles “Pro Tips: How to Choose a Sleeping Bag” and “10 Pro Tips: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag.”

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.

—Michael Lanza

 

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6 thoughts on “Gear Review: Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress”

  1. Hey mate,
    I’ve been doing weekend hiking trips since i was 12 and the current sleeping mat i have is about 6 years old and still in great condition (thermarest prolite 4) the only problem is i sleep all over the place and while this mat was great when i was 13 and much smaller i would like something thicker, i’ve been looking at the sea to summit comfort light/plus which i have heard isn’t great for side sleepers, thermarest neo-air/x therm which looks great but at a very steep price here in Aus although i’m ready to invest, it also seems rather loud, as well as the exped down mats.

    I use either an OR alpine bivy or mountain hardwear skyledge 2.1, i hike a lot mostly 3-4 day trips but im building up to bigger trips (requires air travel) but i also camp a lot on caving/canyoning trips.

    One last thing is the australian bush is very rough, so i worry about the exped mats puncturing especially the ultra light versions

    apologies for the wall of text just having a hard time deciding whats the best for me any advice is appreciated

    cheers

    Reply
    • Hi Jake, I’m a side sleeper and I loved the Comfort Light air mat. I’ve reviewed the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (https://thebigoutside.com/gear-review-therm-a-rest-neoair-xlite-and-z-lite-sol/) and I like it as an ultralight air mat, but it’s not nearly as cushy as the S2S Comfort Light. As for the Aussie bush, you should compare the denier rating of the various air mats you’re considering. Another option would be to go with an ultralight air mat, but pair it with a foam sleeping pad like the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol, which would give you more padding and insulation and protect the air mat from the ground.

      Reply
  2. I’m about 250lbs… it’s hard to find reviews for larger people; do you think this mat would work decently with the heavier weight?

    Reply