Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated Short Review
Cons: Heavy, expensive
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
Our Analysis and Test Results
A Top Pick winner for best 4 season performance in a women's pad, the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated is super comfortable, with a warm R-Value that comes in a women's size!
At an R-Value of 5, the Comfort Plus Insulated is the warmest pad in this women's specific review. It is insulated with a thin layer Thermolite synthetic insulation which seems to have a high warmth to bulk ratio since this pad packs down pretty small. The product with the closest comparable R-Value is the Trail Lite with an R-Value of 4.9.
What makes the Comfort Plus Insulated superior to other products in this category is the double chamber inflation system. This will give you added peace of mind when you're out camping in cold environments; if you ever puncture the pad, one side will stay inflated, keeping you off the ground until you can patch the hole. This is essential for warmth because the whole point of a sleeping pad is to insulate you from the ground.
If you plan to go camping on the snow, we'd still recommend bringing a closed-cell-foam pad to further insulate you from the ground as a best practice. There are sleeping pads out there in the unisex market that have higher R-Values you may not need this, but with this product, it's still recommended. If you're looking for a lightweight winter camping option you could bring the NeoAir and a foam pad along for a much lighter, although slightly less warm option.
This is another area the Comfort Plus Insulated exceeds (can you tell by the name?). The waffle style surface absorbs your body weight in all the right places, and we found it incredibly comfortable. The Comfort Plus also feels wider than the NeoAir, allowing our arms to rest on the pad instead of immediately falling off, which is a huge bonus for comfort.
The REI Trekker also has an extra wide rectangular cut. The Comfort Plus also comes in a rectangular cut but the smaller 66-inch version that's the best size for us smaller people only comes in a tapered mummy shape, but we think it is just fine and cuts down the weight. Our favorite pad in the comfort department is the REI AirRail 1.5. It has a thick cushion and "rails" that act like bumpers to keep you on your pad, giving you a comforting cradling sensation.
Another superior feature the Comfort Plus Insulated are the two layers of interlocking air chambers. These chambers intend to tailor the air pressure to your specific needs. Do you like a firm mattress, or do you prefer a squishy soft barely inflated one? The world is your oyster with this mat. You can keep the lower layer firm to cushion you from any irregularities while adjusting the top layer for your preference. No other pad we've tested has this capability. The Big Agnes Q Core SLX is super thick and is a good choice for side sleepers, but if you deflate it too much, it becomes boaty and unstable.
We gave the Comfort Plus Insulated high marks for durability. Its materials are not necessarily super burly; it's made from 40 Denier ripstop nylon, but many other features make it durable. The AirRail and the Trail Lite have the heaviest Denier weight of 75 and are also highly durable.
What makes this mattress durable is its redundancy. With the two separate chambers, the Comfort Plus is its own backup pad. If a puncture does occur, half of the pad will still do its job, keeping you insulated from the cold ground. Sea to Summit has also included a patch kit so you can do repairs in the field or when you get back home.
This metric is the Comfort Plus Insulated's major downfall. We were stoked to try this pad out, but when we realized how heavy it is, we hesitated to bring it with us on backpacking trips. Although it is not the heaviest of products in this review, it is toward the high end, weighing in at 26.3 ounces. Compared to the others in our fleet, it's the second heaviest, next to the REI Trekker, which only weighs 30.7 ounces.
We get it, this pad has a lot of bells and whistles, and a high R-Value that requires more insulation to achieve - but man, is it heavy! We need to count our ounces to keep up with the guys with bigger lungs than us, and we don't blame you for not wanting this hefty pad in your pack! We assume a lot of the weight is caused by the extra materials (like the middle section and two valves) involved in the dual chambers of this pad and we're not sure it's worth the weight ultimately. We will, nine times out of ten, reach for the lightweight NeoAir when we're wanting to get after it. If weight is not an issue and comfort is your main concern, this pad will serve you well.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that although it is very heavy, the Comfort Plus packs down pretty small.
Its size is comparable to the Therm-a-Rest ProLite - Women's at a much higher R-Value.
The Comfort Plus Insulated is a great choice for instances that you don't have to carry it very far. For any kind of expedition style base camping or short winter camping excursions, it will keep you warm and comfortable. When weight is not a priority, but warmth and comfort are, this 4-season sleeping pad is a great choice. Flying into a base camp? Paddling the Boundary Waters? The Comfort Plus would be a great choice for either of those activities.
This is another area where the Comfort Plus Insulated has points against it. It retails for a whopping $200 and by far the most expensive product we've tested. The next most expensive is the $40 cheaper NeoAir, our Editors' Choice, which we think is a much better value, and is still expensive. The best value in this review that wins our Best Buy Award is the REI AirRail which is lighter and has a similar R-Value but lacks the bells and whistles of the Comfort Plus. It retails for $90.
The Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated comes in a women's specific size of 66 inches, which will keep you warm and comfortable in any environment. We love the unique dual chambers that can be adjusted for comfort and act as a backup in case of a puncture. The Comfort Plus' downfalls are its heavy weight and hefty price tag.
— Jessica Haist
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