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Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated - Women's Review

This lightweight sleeping pad is relatively comfortable, but a Jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none
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Price:  $140 List | $139.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, small packed size, included pump sack
Cons:  Not as comfortable as Ether Light and same weight, thin
Manufacturer:   Sea to Summit
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 8, 2020
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Weight - 25% 8
  • Packed Size - 15% 9

Our Verdict

As part of Sea to Summit's new women's specific line, we got our hands on the UltraLight Insulated women's pad this season. We're not exactly sure what to make of it, as it's not as warm as other Sea to Summit models, and doesn't seem to have a particular niche within their line of products. This pad did get a slight bump in its R-value rating, as the standards for testing have changed. However, we think the use of "UltraLight" in this product's name is superfluous and inaccurate.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This sleeping pad is somewhat warm, somewhat light, and somewhat packable, but not the best at any of these. We struggled to find a place for this Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none sleeping mat in the new Sea to Summit line.

Performance Comparison



Warmth


The UltraLight Insulated is at the lower end of the pack in terms of warmth when compared to the rest of the products in this review. Its R-value has been slightly increased due to new testing standards from 3.3 to 3.5. This pad is lightly insulated and will keep you protected from the ground for the full summer season (and stretch into spring and fall), but is not many other products we tested.

The Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated is relatively comfortable but not very thick so not great for side sleepers.
The Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated is relatively comfortable but not very thick so not great for side sleepers.

Comfort


This pad is relatively comfortable. We like Sea to Summit's women's specific shape that is wider at the hips and tapers at the shoulders, as it's much more comfortable than a pad that is widest at the shoulders and tapers down to the feet. We also like that this mat has quieter materials than others, which makes for a more comfortable, peaceful sleep for you and your tent mate.

We like the shape and width of the Ultralight. It helps make it more comfortable for female sleepers.
We like the shape and width of the Ultralight. It helps make it more comfortable for female sleepers.

The waffle-like texture of the Ultralight cushions well. However, this pad is one of the thinner models of the air mattresses without foam and you may find yourself bottoming out if the mat is not fully inflated.

Using the Ultralight's pump sack makes inflation very easy.
Using the Ultralight's pump sack makes inflation very easy.

Durability


As far as we can tell, the UltraLight is relatively durable. It has 40 denier materials, which are tougher than the least durable products of the bunch. We like its valve system, which seems relatively durable in comparison to the screw-closed ones. This pad comes with field repair patches and an extra valve piece for the one-way valve system, which can aid in an emergency.

Weight


This is one of the lightest sleeping pad in this review, weighing 14.6 ounces - without its stuff sack. The name of this product is a bit misleading, as we would not describe this sleeping pad as "ultralight" in the slightest; to be fair, it is the lightest of Sea to Summit's women's models. Leave the stuff sack at home to save 1.8 ounces.

We like the Ultralight Insulated's stuff sack that turns into a pump  but it does add 2 ounces of weight to your pack.
We like the Ultralight Insulated's stuff sack that turns into a pump, but it does add 2 ounces of weight to your pack.

Packed Size


The UltraLight Insulated packs down relatively small. It has about the third smallest packed size and is more compact than other comparable models.

Sea to Summit's Ether Light XT (left) and Ultralight Insulated (right). The Ultralight has a slightly smaller packed size.
Sea to Summit's Ether Light XT (left) and Ultralight Insulated (right). The Ultralight has a slightly smaller packed size.

Value


For a high-quality product, the UltraLight is decently priced. Its weight, packed size, and warmth are better than other products that ring in at a similar price point. However, we might splurge to up our game on the models that outperform the UltraLight.

The three Sea to Summit mats we tested. From bottom to top: Comfort Plus  Ether Light XT  and Ultralight Insulated. For how much slimmer the Ultralight is  it only weighs 0.4 ounces less than the Ether.
The three Sea to Summit mats we tested. From bottom to top: Comfort Plus, Ether Light XT, and Ultralight Insulated. For how much slimmer the Ultralight is, it only weighs 0.4 ounces less than the Ether.

Conclusion


Don't get us wrong; we like the Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated, and it's a decent pad all around. It's relatively warm, comfortable, light, and packable. We think it would be a good choice to bring on multi-day backpacking adventures because it is light and packs down small. However, when compared to other products by the same manufacturer, better options exist. If Sea to Summit could make this significantly lighter, it would be an excellent option, but right now, the performance is too close to be up for debate.

Jessica Haist