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#138599 - 09/10/10 09:52 AM Comfy + Light Sleeping Pads-Ether Elite?
wildthing Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
Since my Exped broke, I'm stymied by the choice in sleeping pads. POE alone has 29 models, but few of them are light enough to fit into the 1lb category.

Speaking of which the Exped weighs 27oz but is the most comfortable pad I've owned! I also had the Stephenson DAM but it was a PIA since it was slippery and the valve failed. My tightly wound backpacking buddy awoke one morning to find himself wreathed in down from the DAM, and was not amused! I laughed when he had to use his camp towel to make sure every vestige of the down was gone from the tent.

Now the valve has failed on the Exped and I'm trying to find something lighter for summer use. OregonMouse has kindly suggested the POE Ether 6 but can't find any to buy locally or online. Then I stumbled onto the POE Ether Elite. Anyone else have this pad? I'd like to hear comments from other folks before I buy one for an upcoming trip to the wet coast.
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#138601 - 09/10/10 12:34 PM Re: Comfy + Light Sleeping Pads-Ether Elite? [Re: wildthing]
OldScout Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
I had to run the same gauntlet recently. My Exped is wonderful but heavy (I have the "Delux"). I ended up buying the POE Ether Elite because I decided to commit to the concept that I would only use it for 3 season use. I chickened out and didn't get the short but rather purchased the "regular" size. I have only used it for two nights so far but you'll love the smaller packed size. Nights were warm so didn't get cold. I was camping out in the Cascades above Rockport. I see you are in Victoria so our camping is similar. I'm on Whidbey Island. I had to search for it online and POE is backordered.

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#138612 - 09/10/10 05:25 PM Re: Comfy + Light Sleeping Pads-Ether Elite? [Re: OldScout]
wildthing Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
Old Scout, I hear you, it's even tougher in Canada as have to go across the pond to Vancouver for a lot of things, but I found a store, West Coast Sports, that would order one for me from Quebec, and they'll ship direct to me!

Thanks for the report on the pad!
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#139199 - 09/23/10 07:36 AM Re: Comfy + Light Sleeping Pads-Ether Elite? [Re: wildthing]
wildthing Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
The Elite arrived as promised in two days from the distributer back in Quebec City (I'm on Vancouver Island)as I ordered it through a retailer in Vancouver and had it shipped direct.

Size:
It folds small. The size of a local newspaper folded in half! Seriously, it is less than half the bulk of the Exped Downmat7.

Weight:
I was glad to keep my weight down with the Elite, which weighed in at a swelte 15oz including stuffsack and repair kit. Think I'll keep both with the pad as this pad material is thin! At present, my big 4 is down to 7lbs with the change!

Test:
Took out the POE Ether Elite on a test run last weekend to the Juan de Fuca Trail. Just an overnighter but did 10km the first day and 12km the second. I found the Elite inflated easily in a few minutes with a screw valve that was easy to use, much easier than the Exped. The pad itself is not as thick or luxurious as the Exped, which was hard to ignore as my backpacking companion had one! It is 2.5" thick versus the Exped7 at 2.8" but the Exped did look quite a bit thicker. Laid down on the sand, it felt pretty comfy. It is narrower than the Exped, so my arms were not on the pad. I sleep warm so that's fine. As it turned out it was 13C and 100% humidity so it did't matter! I was awake for quite some time, but that gave me a lot of thinking time to consider the pad as I endlessly turned on my side, again on my back, on my side...

Comfort:
Not quite as plush as the Downmat7. I think I filled it up too full but was too lazy to let out some air. The torso only insulation kept me warm enough. I think this pad at an R-Value of 4 in the torso, but 2 without the insulation would do quite nicely down to 0C. The R-Value of the Exped, at 5.9, would be good down to -10C, which I'm not planning to experience any time soon!

Suitability for Long Trails:
This pad is light and packs small! It is plenty comfortable enough and will be an integral part of my kit from now on. A few mountain passes on the CDT or the PCT might go below freezing but in the main this pad would be fine for long distance. Chris Townsend has chosen this pad for his current trek so I await his review. Apparently POE is coming out with an even better pad so stay tuned. I haven't found the "more advanced" and "better" pads are always lighter.


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