The Nomad Camping Mattress Insulated pad is more a mattress than a sleeping pad. At 6 inches thick and nearly 4 pounds in weight, the Nomad Camping is best suited for car camping and winter outings when the campers can't stand the thought of sleeping on the ground.
The Sea to Summit Comfort Plus is a four-season sleeping pad that includes synthetic insulation inside. It comes in either a mummy shape in small, regular, and large lengths or in a rectangular shape in large and regular lengths. It wins our Best in Class award for the best overall insulated sleeping pad.
With an R-value of 5, the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus is the third warmest sleeping pad in this review, after the much larger and heavier Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map which has an R-value of 6.8, and the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm with an R-value of 5.7. The interior of the pad includes high-loft Thermolite insulation, which is what makes this pad so much warmer than Sea to Summit’s summer sleeping mats. It also features a thin reflective material that directs body heat back at the sleeper. We used this mat while sleeping on snow for two weeks on the Pika Glacier in Alaska. Our testers stayed comfortable and warm, even as we waited out snowstorms for the better part of two weeks.
Sea to Summit designs their pads with what they call Air Sprung Cell technology. These cells provide a surface more reminiscent of a bed’s mattress than most other sleeping pads, which often have horizontal baffles. Additionally, the Comfort Plus has 2 inflatable layers, both the top surface and the bottom surface are inflated separately. This uniquely allows for comfort customization. The bottom can be firm, and the top can be squisher for a softer, sinking feeling. Or, if the ground is uneven, the bottom could be less firm than the top to accommodate a few bumps.
At 1 pound 15 ounces (with the stuff sack included) the Comfort Plus isn’t as light and easy to carry as the sub-one pound Therm-a-Rest NeoAir, but it isn’t the behemoth that the 3 pound Luxury Map is either. It is reasonable to carry without weighing too much. For an insulated pad with a high R-value, we think that this weight is acceptable even for overnight human-powered adventures. For something similar in warmth but a little lighter, try the Sea to Summit Women’s Etherlight XT or the Therm-a-rest Prolite Apex.
The Comfort Pus packs down to roughly the size of 2 Nalgene water bottles, which is middle-of-the-road within our test group. This isn’t tiny like a lightweight summer pad, but it isn’t outrageous either. It fits into a backpack along with climbing or skiing gear.
Since the Comfort plus is double-sided, and both the top and bottom of the pad are inflated separately, we think that this pad is more durable than most. If one side pops or has a leak, there is still another side that can be inflated and keep the camper warm. This feature makes the Comfort Plus far more resilient than any other inflatable pad we have tested. Additionally, the face material is tough and feels resistant to punctures.
Ease of Use
The Comfort Plus has a multi-function valve for inflation and deflation. If you open the first lid to the nozzle, there is a one-way valve that can be blown into or that the pump sack can be attached to for inflation. The single-direction valve is helpful because no air can escape between breaths or pumps, and it helps the whole pad to inflate quickly. If you open the second lid to the valve, it opens all the way and dumps air our for quick deflation. We particularly like that the stuff sack doubles as a pump. Open the opposite side of the sack than where the mat is stored, and out folds a gray bag. Attach the nozzle on the end of this bag to the nozzle on the pad, open the gray sack and blow one easy breath into it. Then roll the bag down, squeezing air into the pad, and watch the cells inflate. It only takes 2 to 3 rolls of the bag to inflate one side of the mat. Then, because the Comfort Plus has 2 sides, repeat the process on the other side.
We find this process to be very easy, but the double sides do require more work than with the single-sided Women’s Etherlight. Even inflating both sides, we think this process is faster and easier than blowing up the Therm-a-Rest Neo Air X Therm.