When it comes to the size of your bikepacking or bike touring gear, a handful of items make the biggest difference. This includes your tent, sleeping bag and ultralight sleeping pad!
Exactly this equipment should be reliable and compact at the same time! Kudos here to Sea to Summit for the Ultralight mat Ultralight Mat*.
This lightweight sleeping pad is foldable and when packed is much smaller than a 950 mililiter bicycle water bottle – to be exact it weighs 444 grams incl. Pack-pump sack combo (reweighed).
I have owned the Ultralight Mat for several years and have traveled to many countries with it. The advantages, disadvantages and for whom the Sea to Summit sleeping pad is suitable, you will find out now in the test >>
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We’ll get into my hands-on experience with the Ultralight Mat in a moment. Then you can judge exactly whether the sleeping pad keeps what it promises. Here are the technical data first:
Weight: 444 gram incl. Pump/packing bag (reweighed)
Isolation/R-value: 0.7 ( see explanation R-value)
Outer material: 40D Ripstop Nylon
Inner material: antibacterial treated white TPU
Valve: flat multifunctional recoil valve
Pack size: 19.5 x 7.5 cm
Sizes: 183 x 55 x 5 cm (Regular)
Thickness: 5 cm
Scope of delivery: Mat, pack bag, self-adhesive patch set and replacement membrane for the valve.
Extras: Pump bag included, Repair kit included, Breather valve.
Application range: 2 to 3 seasons
* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon
At a glance: The Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat promises high lying comfort with the smallest pack size. The Ultralight sleeping pad is highly functional and of high quality. It is inflated in just over a minute and can be conveniently deflated via a blowback valve. The innovative “air sprung cells” support the body evenly and efficiently compensate for uneven ground.
Weight and pack size
The camping mat is foldable and ultra-light and is one of the lightest air-filled camping mats on the market: After I have weighed the camping mat including pack sack-pump sack-combination bag in the size Regular: The air mattress including accessories weighs only 444 grams. In the scope of supply is still another repair set, which weighs additionally approx. 20 grammes.
The mat in the size Regular has the dimensions 183 x 55 and is 5 cm thick. The Ultralight Mat is available in other sizes. I have listed the other sizes for you at the end of this review.
Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat: View from above
Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat: View from below
Inflate and deflate
The Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat is a single layer construction and Sea to Summit’s lightest sleeping mat. It also has the smallest packing volume of the manufacturer. The UltraLight Mat from Sea to Summit is foldable and inflatable. Even inflating sleeping mats are usually a bit heavier than the UltraLight Mat. To save weight, this air mattress must of course be inflated manually.
Comfortable sleeping is guaranteed by 181 “Air Sprung Cells”. These are 181 honeycomb-shaped air chambers that adapt to the shape of the body. On the sleeping comfort of the Sea to Summit sleeping pad, I go into detail below.
Conveniently, a pump bag is included in the delivery! This has several uses at once:
- During transport it serves as a pack sack – the Ultralight sleeping pad is packed in it
- When inflated, it serves as a pump bag – the opening is rolled up several times and thus closed. Then the sleeping mat can be inflated.
Inflating with the pump bag has several advantages: Thanks to the large volume, the sleeping pad is inflated in about a minute. This means that the sleeping pad can be filled quickly and easily. Unlike inflating by mouth, no moisture gets inside the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat – very hygienic, in my opinion.
To deflate, simply pull the entire valve out of the mat – whoosh! The air escapes almost completely within seconds. The sleeping pad is foldable. Now it can be rolled up, folded and stored safely in the pack sack again. I was not used to this kind of simplicity from any other sleeping pad so far! The first time deflate I was amazed at how thoughtful the manufacturer has proceeded here 🙂
The Sea to Summit mat can then be conveniently packed in the included stuff sack. With the above-mentioned 444 grams total weight, the packed sleeping pad fortunately hardly falls into the weight. The mat has the designation ultralight so deserved and less weight goes with such a mat currently hardly!
My experience on thermal insulation: The sleeping pad is suitable for milder temperatures. It is a sleeping pad for summer, spring and autumn. With temperatures slightly above freezing, I was still able to sleep comfortably on the sleeping pad. Up to approx. degrees Celsius I use the Ultralight Mat with a clear conscience. In snow and negative temperatures, look for a more insulating air mattress. These are then of course normally heavier and larger.
The Seat to Summit Ultralight Mat is insulated only by the air inside the mat. The R-value is accordingly given as a low 0.7. That’s a manageable figure. I would like to note the following: Sea to Summit has the value measured by EMPA in Switzerland – other manufacturers only estimate this value. Like I said. For most applications in spring to autumn, the thermal insulation of the Ultralight mat is sufficient.
Lounger and sleeping comfort
The shape of the sleeping pad looks a bit unusual when inflated: The mat does not look very dimensionally stable and has a slight S-shape. When you’re lying on the mat, you don’t feel a thing. Therefore, this property should not be given too much importance. Unevenness in the ground is compensated for by the sleeping pad, lying and sleeping is also possible comfortably from the side. I will now describe the bed and sleeping characteristics in more detail.
This sleeping pad uses a special technology: Sea to Summit calls these “Air Sprung Cells”: The Ultralight Mat has 181 of them. These are small cells in the shape of honeycombs. These are interconnected but still independent of each other to the extent that weight shifts on the mat do not continue. In the lateral position, comfortable sleeping and lying is guaranteed by the 181 “Air Sprung Cells”.
Everyone knows it: You lie on an air mattress and move back and forth. As a result, the mat begins to wobble. Typically, this occurs with sleeping pads with horizontal or vertical air chambers. This unwanted behavior is to be prevented by the “Air Sprung Cells” technology. The cells are also said to have better support properties.
My experience shows: The Sea to Summit UltraLight Mat is very comfortable to lie on. Probably due to the even distribution of pressure on the mat, I sink in just right and sleep comfortably through the night. Due to the many air cells, the air also migrates little in the sleeping pad. This property increases the thermal insulation.
So I lie very comfortably on the sleeping pad. That’s why I like to lie down on the air mattress every time and can relax really well.
One point I would like to address is the noise of the air mattress: If you lie on the mat or turn over at night, then “rustles” the Ultralight Isomatte. Unlike other air-filled ultralight mats, however, the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat is very quiet 😉
How come? There is a special reflective barrier made of so-called Exkin Platinum built into the air mattress. This barrier is intended to reduce heat loss by radiation. I’m happy to put up with the noise for that. I myself have never been bothered by the noise. However, tent neighbours could possibly be disturbed by the background noise.
The outer material is 40D ripstop nylon. At first glance, the material feels fine. After several years of use I can say: The material is much more resilient than I thought at the beginning! I unpacked and repacked the sleeping pad numerous times. Traces of use are now visible but a defect such as a hole in the mat, it has not had until now. A repair kit is also included, just in case.
The inner layer is said to have special antimicrobial treatment. Inflation by mouth would therefore be possible without hesitation. However, both Seat-to-Summit and I do not recommend it.
There are several reasons for this:
- Inflating the sleeping pad with the pack sack is much faster and easier than by mouth.
- No or hardly any moisture gets into the inside of the mat. Humid air transports heat better than cold air. Therefore, there is greater heat loss when inflating with the mouth.
- The volume of the mat decreases when it cools down. You may have to re-puff at night.
The practical Sea to Summit pump bag does not have to be purchased separately: It is part of the scope of delivery. At the same time, the pump bag also serves as a transport bag for the sleeping pad.
The Sea to Summit sleeping pad is available in different sizes. In the shops linked below, you can choose the respective size
X-Small: 128 x 55 cm at 296 grams
Small: 168 x 55 cm at 345 grams
Regular: 183 x 55 cm at 395 grams
Large: 198 x 64 cm at 495 grams
Weight according to manufacturer
plus 49 grams for the combined pack-pump sack
* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon
What do you think of the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat? Feel free to write me your questions, your opinion or a suggestion about the topic.
The trekking air mattress presented here does not suit you? In the article Ultraleicht Isomatten Test & Vergleich – you will find the great practical test and comparison of many recommended ultralight sleeping pads. In the article there is also an extensive guidebook. You will learn many important aspects to consider when buying an ultralight sleeping pad. I keep the article up to date on a regular basis.