What's the catch?
I'm a side sleeper so I've been looking at thicker sleeping mats as I often wake up with an aching shoulder on my currenty rubbish self inflating mat which is barely an inch thick.
The POE Ether Thermo 6 seems like it ticks all the boxes - it's pretty light (~560g), it packs down small, it doesn't need a pump and it seems to have a good thermal rating unlike an airbed.
However...! I've been around these forums long enough now to know that there's usually a catch to any product, and I'm assuming I've missed one on this because otherwise surely everyone would have one! Also, are there any other alternatives I ought to be considering?
Sig's are a waste of bandwidth...
Yeah, I saw the TAR mat and my reaction was more or less "Oh that looks cool, I wonder how mu - WOAAAAAH there!". I can't really justify spending that much.
I'd love to hear what you think of using yours in this weather Mr Sworld. What's "eco" about the Eco version?
Me and MoS have had 4 of these, 3 of the Max Thermo variety and 1 'Eco' (the eco one uses a fabric that incorporates bamboo and comes with a stuffsac that uses hairy string for the drawcord! ).
They're good, comfortable mats, not as well insulating as an Exped Downmat but pretty good. I haven't pushed my NeoAir into cold enough climes to make a comparison there yet.
BUT..... yes there had to be a but, on the one hand POE's stated weights for their mats always seem to be lower than the true weight, often by as much as 15 or 20%. And 2 or our 4 mats have sprung mysterious leaks - not obviously punctured but failing to stay up for any length of time. (Having bought them from the US ir wasn't worth the hassle of a return... of course now there's a UK distribution set-up that's less of an issue). Of course that doesn't make them bad mats, there have also been accounts of failures of NeoAirs and Downmats, it's just a word of caution.
I have an insulmat max thermo, had it afew years now and it's still going strong. I store it unfolded and uninflated with the valve open. I make sure that after use it is hung in a warm place so that the synthetic insulation dries out. It weighs about 10 grams more than spec.
My real love is my exped downmat 9 which is he-e-e-eavy and bulky but is so warm and comfy I will take it for a 1 or 2 nighter in late autumn, winter and early spring.
I had an Ether Thermo 6, hated it. I found it difficult to inflate at the best of times and near impossible in a solo tent. I didn't find it comfortable either, it felt like lying on a log although it was suggested that I had over inflated it, whatever the reason I couldn't get on with it at all and sold it.
I also have a POE Peak Oyl lite, basically a self inflate but heavier than the stated weight, that said I find it more comfortable than the Ether Thermo 6. With the benefit of hindsight I'd have bought a Multimat Adventure Superlite 25 , £39.95 from Ultralight Outdoor Gear.
R_Mac, do you sleep on your side or your back? The reason I'm more interested in an airbed-style mat is primarily comfort, for the reason stated in my first post. While my current self-inflating mat is some no-name £12 knock-off I just can't see anything which is only an inch thick solving the problem, whether it costs £12 or £65.
The 2.5 inches of the Thermo 6 just seems so tempting.
Well, it sounds like the general consensus is that it's worth a try.
I guess I can always test it indoors on the floor for a night and if it's hideously uncomfortable then send it back.
.Matt. I sleep on my side or stomach, I use a closed cell mat generally as they're the lightest but would take a self inflate in winter or for use on stony/rocky ground i.e. not grass.
Most people seem to find air mats more comfortable but I tend to move about a bit and always felt like I was about to fall off, also under inflated it isn't as stable due to the air moving around as you move around. Don't underestimate the problems of trying to inflate one in a solo tent, they need to be flat or the tubes kink and you can't blow them up so if you need to inflate it undercover if it's raining you end up lying half in/half out of the tent with your head buried at one end trying to blow the damn thing up.
Like I say most people seem to like them but it's something you'll need to try for yourself I guess. As far as warmth goes I'd say it (Ether Thermo 6) was colder than the self inflate (Peak Oyl Lite).
You could always buy a cheap lilo and try it first as it's essentially the same thing but without the insulation.
Matt C wrote (see)
' (the eco one uses a fabric that incorporates bamboo and comes with a stuffsac that uses hairy string for the drawcord! ).
Hmm, this thread was linked from the bargain alert thread and I realised I never actually updated it.
I did end up getting the POE mat and it even came in slightly under the stated weight. I've found it quite comfortable and, as I'm a fairly small guy, I've not found myself rolling off it or anything like that either. So far it's getting a thumbs up from me!
I bought one of these for my partner in March - impulse buy in a sale
She finds it fine, comfort wise, but a little narrow on the leg width - she's a side sleeper and tends to bend her knees - and having long legs, the knees can end up off the mat if not careful. Still, she rates it better than a normal TAR for comfort.
I tried it, but, like the neo air, found it too narrow for my shoulders - my arms fall either side, which because of the mat's thickness is a problem for me - not comfortable
I can't understand the difficulty of inflating one of these mats, I manage, easily, to inflate my insulmat max thermo inside my Laser comp. It's the first thing out of my sack after my tent and the first thing in my tent.
I hate self inflating mats, I find them cold. In fact I'd rather sleep on a 4 season rated closed cell foam mat than one of them.
I saw it ... I pondered ... I missed my chance as they were all sold out!
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