Sea to Summit Ether Lite Xtreme - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Very warm, comfortable, quiet, included air pump
Cons: Heavy, expensive
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
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Sea to Summit Ether Lite Xtreme - Women's
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|Pros||Very warm, comfortable, quiet, included air pump||Very light, super compact, comfortable, versatile, warmer than normal XLite||Comfortable, quiet, lightweight||Lightweight, small packed size, included pump sack||Comfortable, good valve system, warm|
|Cons||Heavy, expensive||Noisy, expensive, delicate materials||Expensive, heavier than the NeoAir XLite||Not as comfortable as Ether Light and same weight, thin||Heavy and bulky|
|Bottom Line||It's ultra-warm and comfortable, and is made for a woman's shape; however, it's a bit heavy for backpacking||This super light and compact sleeping pad is a great choice for someone looking to go fast, light, and warm||A versatile sleeping pad that is incredibly comfortable||This lightweight sleeping pad is relatively comfortable, but a Jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none||A comfortable, warm sleeping pad with unique "rails" that will cradle you when you sleep|
|Rating Categories||Sea to Summit Ether...||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Sea to Summit Ether...||Sea to Summit Ultra...||REI Co-op AirRail Plus|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Specs||Sea to Summit Ether...||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir...||Sea to Summit Ether...||Sea to Summit Ultra...||REI Co-op AirRail Plus|
|Measured Weight||24.2 oz||12 oz||15 oz||14.6||25 oz|
|ASTM R Value||6.3||5.4||3.5||3.5||3.7|
|Thickness||4 in||2.5 in||4 in||2 in||1.5 in|
|Width||21.7 in||20 in||21.5 in||21.5 in||23 in|
|Packed Size||6.9 x 9.4 in||9 in x 4.1 in||11 x 4.5 in||4 x 9 in||9.84 x 5.51 in|
|Tested Length||66 in||66 in||66 in||72 in||66 in|
|Bottom Material||30D / 40D nylon||30D rip HT Nylon||40D nylon||40D nylon||75D polyester|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While the Sea to Summit Xtreme scores high in the warmth and comfort departments, it let us down in the weight category. If you're after a pad that's strictly for lightweight backpacking, you'll want to look elsewhere for a lighter option.
This pad is at the top of the charts for the warmth metric. It has a 6.3 rating, which is almost a full point warmer than the competitors. Sea to Summit uses layers of synthetic insulation to create this insulating warmth from the ground. In our experience, you want a pad with at least a 4.0 R-value to use when sleeping on snow surfaces, so this will give you some extra buffer. However, we always recommend using an extra foam pad for insulation in winter camping situations.
We love Sea to Summit's pad shapes, which are specifically for women. They're "oval" shaped versus a traditional "triangle" shape, which is more so made for men's wide shoulders. In addition, all their pads are on average 1.5 inches wider than the competitors (other than rectangular shaped pads) and have that extra space near the middle of the pad for wider-hipped individuals. The Ether Light Xtreme is no exception and is even slightly wider than other models. It's exceptionally comfortable and has four inches of cushiness. Sea to Summit's Air Spring Cell Construction makes the pad feel very stable when you're lying on it. We also love the quiet materials, which compared to the other, lighter products we've tested, means you won't wake your tent-mate up every time you roll over. This often equates to a better night of sleep.
The Ether Light Xtreme is made from a 30D/40D nylon material. This denier weight of material puts it squarely in the middle of the pack in terms of durability, and we have not experienced any durability issues with this product. We recommend using its stuff sack and always having some type of ground cloth to protect it from getting punctured. We like that the Ether Light Xtreme has an anti-microbial treatment added to the internal lamination to prevent mold growth inside the pad. The included air pump stuff sack also helps to prevent moisture from getting inside since you're not blowing it up with your mouth, and moisture from your lungs won't get in. This is especially helpful in a cold-weather context when that moisture can freeze and reduce warmth.
We were disappointed when we discovered that the Ether Light Xtreme weighs over a pound and a half. We think this is the Xtreme's biggest downfall, as many of the pads in this review are much lighter (and have bigger overall dimensions) and have excellent warmth-to-weight ratios. The included pump/stuff sack weighs two ounces.
It's hard to get the Ether Light Xtreme down to its original packed size and will take a couple of times to roll all the air out. It does pack down to a decent size for its weight and warmth, but with all that synthetic material inside, it's not the smallest.
The Ether Light Xtreme is a pricey pad and is up there with the highest-priced items we've tested. While it is made from high-quality materials and is a good product, it's not the greatest value of the bunch.
If you're looking for a super warm, quiet, and comfortable pad that's made specifically for a woman's dimensions, the Ether Light Xtreme could be a good choice. It is a bit on the heavy side, and wouldn't be our first choice to take on long, warm weather backpacking trips. However, it will thrive on cold weather trips and the warmth it will give you could even be worth the weight in your pack.
— Jessica Haist
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