Many camping mattresses claim to be self-inflating, but the Sea To Summit Comfort Deluxe SI delivers like no other. Immediately upon opening the inflation valve, you can hear the long, gentle wheeze of air rushing into the pad, while you stand there, mouth agape, as it inflates before your eyes in a few minutes. This pad inflates without a motor faster than any pad we've tested. If you need a super firm mat, you'll want to top it off with a few breaths, but overall, this mat offers true self-inflation. The Comfort Deluxe also provides a luxurious sleeping experience.
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe SI Review
Cons: More difficult to pack away than some other models
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The feel of this mat is very similar to others we reviewed due to its 30D knit polyester fabric. Four inches of foam core thickness keep you warm and well off the ground and allow plenty of leeway to half inflate that pad if you prefer a softer, squishier sleeping experience. The catch to this king of comfort? Packing it away is a wrestling match.
Comfort is the most important consideration in camping mat, and you'll hear no complaints from us in terms of feeling good and falling asleep on the Comfort Deluxe.
The version we're testing is the large-wide edition. Measuring 6'7" long and 29" wide, our testers found plenty of room to toss and turn without fear of rolling off the pad. The top material is soft, and we never experienced the dreaded sweaty mattress stickiness. When it comes to firmness, the one-way valve will let you inflate this pad as firmly as your lungs allow, or feather the valve by pressing it down until your desired level of softness is achieved. The Comfort Deluxe has high vertical sidewalls that don't collapse when your nighttime migrations bring you to the edge of the pad.
Ease of Use
Self-inflation is what sets the Comfort Deluxe apart from the rest of the pad pack. While some pads took up to ten minutes or longer to self-inflate, we could sit and watch, mouths agape, as the Comfort Deluxe inflated before our eyes. This thing sucks in air like a surfacing whale, taking one long audible breath. We attribute this quick inflation to Sea-to-Summit's Delta-Core Technology.
Instead of a solid slab of foam, the foam inside of the Comfort Deluxe has triangle-shaped chambers to help cut weight and bulk, but we also feel this design helps the pad spring back into shape quickly while creating a vacuum inside the pad. Five to six full breaths will top off this pad to maximum firmness.
This model does not roll up and pack away so easily, however. The two-way valve can be flipped around so you can squeeze the air out of the pad without it reinflating, but this still doesn't work as well as a one-way valve dedicated to deflation. The Comfort Deluxe includes an elastic band to help keep the pad rolled tight while you shove it into the carrying sleeve. This is not a huge deal if you're only packing it away a few times a year, but our testers are constantly deflating and packing away these pads, and they appreciate a quick and easy system.
With an R-Value of 5.5, the Comfort Deluxe is adequately warm for most folks who are into camping comfortably in the lower 48. We slept on this pad in Tuolumne Meadows, CA, at an elevation of 8,600 feet with temps in the upper 20s without ever feeling the cold ground.
One thing we did notice on a cold night after a warm day, was that the pad lost some of its firmness overnight. Not by air loss, but because of pressure loss due to slow cooling of the air inside the pad. Because of the thickness and the delta-shaped air chambers, there is a lot of air in this pad, and it's more sensitive to pressure changes than other pads. Take this as a useful observation for the discerning sleeper, since it didn't detract from the slumber time of any of our testers. Also, consider how often you'll be sleeping out in sub-freezing temperatures. A pad with an R-value of 9 won't feel hotter in warm weather than this pad but will be heavier, bulkier, and likely more expensive.
This pad is available in three sizes: regular wide, large wide, and double (whew!). We tested the large wide version. When purchasing any of these plush mats, keep the size of your tent in mind. Any tent that can hold two of these is going to need to be at least 58 inches wide and 51 inches for the double. If you're mainly in the market for a super comfy guest bed, this pad is an excellent choice, and your visitors will thank you.
When rolled up and crammed into its protector sleeve, this mat will take up 7.5 by 25 inches of premium space in your trunk or closet.
If space is not a big concern, the Comfort Deluxe is an excellent option without sacrificing comfort, just remember that you'll have to work a bit to get it back inside the storage sleeve.
Though this mat it is more spendy than other contenders, ask yourself, "Do I want to sleep deeply every night, so I can have a big day outside?", and "If my inlaws come to visit and get great sleep on a comfortable mat, will they be nicer?" If the answer to either of those questions is yes, the extra dough is likely worth it. We slept on this pad directly on top of gravel and pine duff without experiencing any punctures or air loss.
The Comfort Deluxe is just as comfortable as a few mattresses that we tested, and it inflates easily. Our testers are always on the go and don't want to spend time rolling up and squeezing the air out of camping mats. Maybe our impatience makes us a little biased towards a mat with an easier storage system, but we also realize there are folks out there who really hate inflating pads, and the Comfort Deluxe sets up quickly and easily.
— Laurel Hunter & Matt Bento