With a desire to stay comfortable & somewhat connected, we purchased a bit of new gear for our long 2018 road trip. Our goal was to invest in quality products that we can use for years to come, although it’s worth noting that we didn’t blow the budget on high-end gear. We did not receive any of this stuff for free, nor are we getting paid to promote the product reviewed below. These are our objective opinions on our purchases, not true technical reviews. Of course, we would be open to objectively reviewing any gear that is sent our way in the future *wink wink*.
Featuring a memory foam core, straight sidewalls, and 4″ thickness when fully inflated, Sea to Summit’s Comfort Deluxe SI Sleeping Pad is a luxurious option for camping in a tent or vehicle. I purchased the Regular Wide size, which was just right for this 5’5″ chickadee, and it fits in the back of my Subaru Outback nicely. If max storage size isn’t an issue, a taller person may choose to move up to the size Long Wide (79″ long x 29″ wide). The Comfort Deluxe SI is also available in a Double Size (79″ long x 59″ wide).
Having slept on the Comfort Deluxe SI sleeping pad at least 120 nights over the past 9 months, and having inflated/deflated the pad almost 100 times, I have definitely put this camping mat through its paces. While not perfect, for the casual car camper with a bad back or one who places great importance on good night’s sleep, the Comfort Deluxe SI is one of the best options available.
The Basics (Size Regular Wide):
Weight: 3 lbs 8 oz
Dimensions: 72″ long x 25″ long x 4″ thick
Suggested Retail: $179.95
The high-quality construction of Sea to Summit’s Comfort Deluxe SI sleeping pad is evident right out of the package. The design combination of open-cell memory foam core + air is pretty brilliant.
An R-value of 5.2 makes this camping mattress suitable for three season camping (Spring-Summer-Fall). Sea to Summit calls it a 4-season sleeping pad, however I spent a couple dozen 16-25 degree nights on this mat in my 5 degree bag, and would have preferred a higher R-value mat for those conditions. But I get really cold when I sleep.
The Comfort Deluxe SI pad is self-inflating (well…kind, of. More on that in a minute). A quick-release air valve easily allows one to release air with a fingertip while laying on the mat, so one may adjust the firmness for optimum comfort level.
The polyester cover is moisture resistant, and is soft and warm to lay on even without a sleeping bag, sheet, or cover. The vertical sidewalls keep one from rolling off the edge, and the pad makes no crunching or squeaking sounds when one changes positions. I do not toss and turn much on this pad because there are no pressure points at the hips and shoulders that I have experienced with thinner inflatables.
***Most importantly, I found The Deluxe SI sleeping pad to be even more comfortable than my bed’s mattress, and I sleep better on it than I do at home in my own bed.
After about 15 nights, the comfort Deluxe SI sleeping pad would only partially self-inflate, so I began having to finish blowing it up by mouth – no big deal for a while. Now, nearly a hundred inflations later, I have to add about 20 big breaths of air before I lay on it. This is likely because the memory foam has compacted a bit due to heavy usage.
Deflation is a bit of a chore, but worth the trade off for the nights of restful sleep you’ll get. I found the process quite frustrating the first few dozen times that I deflated the mattress because snapping the plastic deflation cap in place took a ton of tries before figuring out the right technique. Deflation takes 3-5 minutes and some physical effort to get the pad deflated & rolled up for storage or transport.
Please ignore all of the sand on my camping mat. Florida camping!
Another minor con is the stuff sack’s size. Unless you have large, very strong hands, you can forget about fitting this ground pad back into the (very nice) stuff sack that it came with. Just find another use for that stuff sack. Because of this, the packed size the manufacturer provided of 7.5″ diameter x 25″ inches long wasn’t even close to accurate. I found it to be more like 10-12″ diameter rolled up without its stuff sack.
The inflation, deflation and storage quirks are minor annoyances. My biggest issue with the Comfort Deluxe SI is that after the first couple of weeks sleeping on it, the pad must have developed a tiny leak somewhere. I could never find even a pinhole, so I suspect the issue may be in or around the inflation valve. The sleeping pad loses most of its air through the night, however the foam core still provides some padding, so by the time I awake it is still providing light cushion.
For the first 90 or so nights of use, the Comfort Deluxe SI was still providing pretty good support, however beyond that time its comfort/functionality dwindled to about 50%. Perhaps that is the life span for this mattress. The casual camper probably won’t be inflating and deflating the mat as often as I did, because I was packing up and moving to a new spot every couple of days.
I am still using my leaky, well-used Comfort Deluxe SI because even by morning, half-delated, the pad still provides a more cushion than my one-inch thick, 20-year-old Thermarest air mat (now that thing is a workhorse!). I just top the mattress off with those 20 breaths of air each time we set up camp and again each night before hitting the sack.
When not traveling, I keep this sleeping pad inflated and standing on its end behind a bedroom door, in hopes of preventing the memory foam core from further compression. After a month went by with the camping mat stored this way, it was still 80% filled with air, so my conclusion is that the leakage problem is definitely exacerbated by weight put upon it and air temperature changes.
Summary / Conclusions:
Sea to Summit’s Comfort Deluxe SI sleeping pad isn’t perfect, however in spite of its faults I find it well worth recommending because this thick, cushy pad makes restful sleep much more possible for me while tent camping. You will not believe how comfortable the Comfort Deluxe SI is until you try it.
In fact, I like Sea to Summit’s Comfort Deluxe SI sleeping pad so much that before I take my next long camping road trip, I will be ordering another one.
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