Oct 9, 2007 at 2:40 pm #1225379
I was wandering if anyone has experience with the Pacific Outdoor Equipment Ether Thermo 6 sleeping pad. It claims to have an R value of 6.8 and 7.8 which if accurate would be awesome for winter, hammocks, at shelters and when I don't feel the urge to go SUL with the thinlite pad. What I haven't figured out is how it weighs the same as the BA insulated aircore, but has much more r value (4.1 i believe for the BA). I've heard the BA has insulation only on one side, and diagrams show the POE having full tubes, but I can't figure out what they compromised in order to get that much more R value for the same weight. Ploft sport in the BA still has a much higher warmth/weight than most insulations, and POE uses a proprietary type. The fabric couldn't be much lighter than 40D stuff BA uses. Is the weight just marketing hype? I can't get to REI for a few days to try em out. thanksOct 10, 2007 at 1:28 pm #1405089
Terry GBPL Member
@delvxeLocale: Pacific Northwest
I cannot answer you specific question, but you may be able to find out more info on the POE max thermo which is the older model. I remember hearing on the practical backpacking podcast with POE that the only difference between the max thermo and the ether thermo 6 is a slight color variation.
The podcast may be a good source of info.
TerryOct 10, 2007 at 1:56 pm #1405095
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
FWIW I have and use a Max Thermo, which is fine and dandy down to freezing and a bit below. Don't know that I'd take it to their rated temperature without some extra insulation along. But it sure is comfortable!
I've fiddled with a Thermo 6 at the store, and got the impression from rolling the insulated side between my fingers that the insulation layer is thicker than on the Max Thermo. This grossly unscientific observation has me thinking the newer model could well be warmer, lower. I believe they're heavier as well.
POE has such a vast array of models it's very challenging to sort them all out.Oct 11, 2007 at 10:19 am #1405185
@dbeutelLocale: Where the skiing is!
I got an Ether Thermo 6 last spring, too late for any snow camping trips. I have had it out in temperatures as low as 25 F and it has been quite warm; enough to allow me to use less sleeping bag than otherwise necessary. I should be out on a snow trip soon and will let you know more then.
I've weighed it at 15.9 oz for the 2/3 length (48 in). That does not include the stuff sack but does include the small cord I glued on to roll it up.
See my review for more, but it has been very tough so far and quite comfortable.Oct 11, 2007 at 2:33 pm #1405216
I ended up getting the BA Insulated Aircore rectangular mat. The REI closest didn't carry POE, but I figure if I find an REI that does, I can just trade it out and save some ounces. It seems like a great pad though. I can't wait to try it out in the field!Mar 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm #1425111
Lawrence CooperBPL Member
@lawrencecooperLocale: Mid Atlantic
Can anyone compare the performance of the POE Ether Thermo to the Exped Downmat? The POE has an R-Value of 6.8 and the DownMat has one of 5.9. I am interested because I just ordered the Exped, but notice the Ether Thermo is somewhat lighter and 1/2 the cost.
I am a cold sleeper But if the POE istrue to spec, it's a no-brainer to return the Exped and get the POE.
Please give me some advice.Mar 21, 2008 at 1:43 pm #1425120
Consider buying the ether from REI and testing the two of them and sending one back. I got a long extended email from POE I put up on another thread and i think it said something about it being hard to measure R values on surfaces that aren't flat, so i think the rating is a little suspect. A 6.8 R value would qualify as 4 season to me, but IIRC the site has it as a 3 season pad. I would be interested to know the answer as well.Mar 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm #1425141
I have a Ether Thermo 6.
Ether Thermo is clearly cold.Mar 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm #1425149
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
There's another intangible benefit to a down-filled air mattress: comfort and sleep quality.
It depends hugely on who you are and how you sleep. I know people who "go unconscious" and wake up 8 hours later without having moved a muscle, and I am very happy for them.
I, on the other hand, sleep on all surfaces of my body in alternation. I probably turn 20 times a night in my bed at home. (More if my legs are aching after a long walk.)
Sleeping on a DAM leaves me rested in the morning. More energy, better judgment, all the wonderful things that come from a good night's sleep and directly affect your performance in the field.
My DM7 is so comfortable that I use it as a traveling mattress as well; it's *that* good. I wouldn't trade it for any other mattress, no matter how light.
Feel good about your purchase :)Mar 23, 2008 at 9:16 am #1425294
@dbthalLocale: Mid-Coast Maine
I spoke to the Exped rep at a recent trade show, and he indicated that both the Big Agnes & the POE have the synthetic fill attached to one side (top) of the tubes. He said that over time the fill in these mats does not expand as much.
I purchased an Exped Synmat 7. It has the tougher (and heavier) exterior material of the Downmat and the synthetic fill is attached on both the top and bottom of the mat. So when the mat is filled with air, it pulls the insulation open to fill the tube.
Hope I explained that well.
DanMar 25, 2008 at 10:31 am #1425529
Lawrence CooperBPL Member
@lawrencecooperLocale: Mid Atlantic
On the REI website, R-Value for the Ether Thermo 6 AND the ECO Thermo are both listed http://www.rei.com/product/751065 and http://www.rei.com/product/751091 – show R-Valye as 6.8/8.9 (head/torso). POE site had those same values listed for 2007 specs, but they are now taken down….hmmmm
I guess I will enjoy my new EXPED – it arrives 27 Mar and will be put to the test 29 Mar.Mar 25, 2008 at 11:52 am #1425542
I agree… this whole R-Value business is pretty shady. I'm going off of the "3" value now. I have one of these on order and have been testing my cousin's, although I haven't used it extensively in the cold. Very comfortable – I just question how warm it actually is.Mar 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm #1425544
nathan frischBPL Member
Just used the ether thermo six in 20 degrees under a Montbell S.S. #3 down bag, inside a Nallo 2. I felt no cold from the ground at all and slept wonderfully. I have no experience with the exped, but the ether thermo was the warmest pad I have ever used, blowing away my prolite 3 (which has a listed R value of around 3).Mar 26, 2008 at 8:58 am #1425673
Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
The R-Values in the table that Takatsugu linked are NOT the R-Values! They are "seasons" – that is 1-season, 3-season, or 4-season. The Ether Thermo 6 was listed as 3-season, but R-Value was not listed.
I have always thought that the 6.8/8.9 (head/torso) seemed high given the construction, and even the effective thickness is a little hard to measure, but the R-Value should be higher than 3.Mar 26, 2008 at 9:15 am #1425677
Ahhh… upon close inspection, Jason is right. POE should really fix the labeling on that chart – it is misleading and actually under-represents their products.Mar 26, 2008 at 10:20 am #1425688
John GBPL Member
@johng10Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
The two R-values for POE pads are for the outer tubes (higer one) versus all the inner tubes (lower one). POE uses the "reduced airflow between the tubes" as part of it's R-value calculations.
In general, I'd say the POE pads are the same R-value as the BA insulated pads – same thickness (except for the edge tube) and insulation.Mar 26, 2008 at 12:13 pm #1425708
mark coleBPL Member
I found it not all that warm, even at 40 degrees (I am a "cold sleeper") . But it was comfy. I'm now using the 1" Montbell pads -way warmer. My 2 cents.Mar 26, 2008 at 2:39 pm #1425730
I'm interested in your experience because these are the two pads I've been debating between. They are different animals obviously – one being 1" thick and the other 2.5" – self inflating vs. blow up, etc.
But… was the Montbell really warmer? If it is warmer, I guess the trade off here is warmth vs. comfort. I can't imagine the MB is that cushy.
I've always wondered what the R-Value of the UL pads are. Why don't they post any info about it? My guess would be around 2.2.Mar 26, 2008 at 8:55 pm #1425762
Scott SmithBPL Member
@mrmuddyLocale: No Cal
I'll share my experiences..
Have had my POE for a couple of years now . Handful of nights into the low 20's….
Always have slept warm and comfy ( BD Mesa tent; Marmot Helium bag )
I love the cushiness of the blow up air .. close to sleeping in a real bed !
I'm spoiled and can't image going back to a " self inflator"..Mar 26, 2008 at 8:57 pm #1425763
I have the older version insul mat max thermo and I find it cold below freezing, even with closed cell foam underneath it. I just received the Montbell ul-90 and pillow. I used it along with a 3/8 in blue foam pad and was comfy and warm the other night at 23 degrees. I have also found that being a side sleeper I would wake up with stiff elbows from my arms hanging off the higher insul mat versus when I am low to the ground on a thinner mat.Mar 27, 2008 at 10:05 am #1425819
@mad777Locale: South Florida
I have the older POE Max Thermo 3/4 length.
I find it durable and extremely comfortable.
It will take me down to around freezing but then I add a foam pad.
From my extensive research before buying mine, the anecdotal reports in various forums seamed to indicate that POE inflatables were more durable than BA inflatables. Also, opinion was in favor of Exped Downmats being slightly warmer than POE's synthetic inflatables.
I went with the POE for reputation of durablility and the way cheaper cost compared to Exped.Sep 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm #1909446
I purchased two of the Ether Thermo 6 mattresses. Both were initially loved, when we got them last year, however, one has developed a series of troublsome, area-specific slow leaks.
I have contacted the manufacturer. The item is clearly defective, but it's been a year since we purchased it – no camping for much of the early summer, due to the wife breaking her leg. Not sure what resolution the company will adopt.
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