POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/09/2010 16:12:10 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/09/2010 16:55:23 MST Print View

Aha! You metric reviewers are getting your revenge on us US folks who don't use both measurements! :-)

I have the heavier Ether Thermo 6 (actually its predecessor, the InsulMat Max Thermo). My findings pretty much agree with yours on this pad. Just guessing on the Elite's R-value based on the specs and my experience with more insulation in the heavier pad, I figured it would be about where you measured it.

Otherwise, everything you've said about this pad agrees with my findings on mine! I do find mine extremely comfortable. The only improvement would be to go to a thicker pad.

Edited by hikinggranny on 11/09/2010 16:58:13 MST.

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Discontinued on 11/09/2010 16:58:27 MST Print View

From what I've read POE has actually discontinued this pad in favor of one called the Peak Elite AC.

http://lightweightoutdoors.com/?p=1270

Geoff Luscombe
(geoffl) - MLife

Locale: Blue Mountains
Variation in weight on 11/10/2010 04:49:28 MST Print View

The mat in shown in the picture with Will looks like it is 150-160cm long rather than 123cm. Could this extra length explain the variation in dry weights you recorded?

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/10/2010 08:31:05 MST Print View

I used the Ether Elite 2/3 on the Pacific Northwest Trail last summer. I used it in the GoLite Shangri-La 1 Nest and found it fine on that groundsheet. It's the most comfortable lightweight mat I've used. However on the 47th night it sprange a leak and despite several repairs (including trying to wrestle it into a cold lake on a stormy morning to find the pinhole) I couldn't stop it slowly deflating during the night. The leak was on the seam where it's angled. I suspect this is a weak spot. Maybe the replacement version will be tougher.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Yada Yada on 11/10/2010 08:45:03 MST Print View

As an owner of the earlier Insulmat Max Thermo and the NeoAir, I can testify that they are comfortable, but a pain in the a** to blow up. Also, as Rodger mentioned, I have often wondered about the cumulative affect of all that humid, nasty air that we blow into these things. Somehow the thought of sleeping on top of a mold factory doesn't appeal to me. Therefore my ears perked up when I saw this YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT5PEuHlhvw Anyone familiar with this gadget?

Sara C
(Jon) - M

Locale: SE Missouri and NW Arkansas
Re: Yada Yada on 11/10/2010 08:56:25 MST Print View

"Somehow the thought of sleeping on top of a mold factory doesn't appeal to me."

I had a Prolite 4 that developed mold inside after a few years, but I always added at least a few breaths of air to it after it self-inflated.

Edited by Jon on 11/10/2010 08:58:21 MST.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
What's the distinction between all the different POE pads? on 11/10/2010 09:41:00 MST Print View

I have the POE Ether Thermo 6.

It seems that POE has several, extremely similar offerings at the moment. Would be useful if someone could explain them.

I for one believe the high claimed "R" values of these pads. I switched to the Ether Thermo from a series of closed-cell foam pads, and my backside is now *much* warmer.

- Elizabeth

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Yada Yada on 11/10/2010 10:17:01 MST Print View

John, yes I'm familiar with The Instaflator I have been testing it for about 2 months now and I have used it on a NeoAir Large and a BA Insulated Air Core.
It takes about 2 full "bags" to inflate the pads (approx pad inflation time is about 4 to 5 minutes).

At this point I would "Highly Recommend" it. It works great. I just don't know how long they last. They are very easy to work with and there is no lightheaded feeling or moisture blown in.
Because of the length they do require you to work outside the tent (a problem in the rain) but I haven't dealt with that yet.

I think BPL should try and get a bulk purchase from them. From what they have told me they are working on the wholesale angle right now and they don't have a system set up to handle single (small) orders. Maybe we should put together a bulk order and have someone distribute it out?

Sorry for the tread drift.

BTW, I have no affiliation with this company whatsoever.
edited to add the "BTW"

Edited by bestbuilder on 11/10/2010 10:21:21 MST.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/10/2010 10:46:27 MST Print View

I also have the InsulMat Max Thermo, and find it very comfortable. When I get below 30F, I bring along a 1/8" closed cell pad for extra warmth. I agree that it's not the ideal pad, but am still searching for that (I know I'll get the hammock folks chiming in on that comment). I wonder about its durability from leaks and the insulation debonding/moving.

I have to say that blowing up the pad is really no big deal, never understood why people even mention it. I live in PA and it's awfully nice to be able to float above the ubiquitous pointy rock.

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Yada Yada on 11/10/2010 10:49:08 MST Print View

I saw the Instaflator when Jason Klass featured it a while back (Video link below). I wanted to order one, but it was very obvious they aren't set up for retail sales. I wasn't willing to fax them my credit card number and I never took the time to mail a check. I would definitely be interested in purchasing a couple of them if someone put together a group buy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJLVYfg88TE

Edited by jakep_82 on 11/10/2010 11:03:37 MST.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Condensation on 11/10/2010 12:34:33 MST Print View

I have been dealing with this perennial problem with blow up mats for several years and finally found a workable solution. It started with the exped downmat that comes with a fairly heavy stuff sack which doubles as a inflator. I noticed that Big Agnes carried a water and air tight sack which weighed in at about 1.5oz. for about $20. They call it "The Pumphouse". I tried it out with the Exped pad and it worked fine. Then I tried it out with my Thermarest NeoAir and it worked like a charm. Takes a few times using it to learn how to maximize getting air into the body of the stuff sack and then pumping into the mat, but once you get the hang of it, it takes about 5 bagfuls of air to pump up my 72" NeoAir and about 7 to do the Exped.
SO now I don't get any condensation in my inflatables.

Almost forgot: It takes me about 3 minutes to inflate them with the Pumphouse and it is the size of a large stuff sack, so no worries about standing outside the tent to inflate your mat.

Edited by mitchellkeil on 11/10/2010 12:41:56 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
POE Review on 11/10/2010 20:59:33 MST Print View

Nice review. Good to hear several views on it. Great job BPL.

Regarding the slipperyness on silnylon, I would say this is the fault of silnylon, not the pad, because most pads slip on silnylon. I'm glad they didn't add silicone to the bottom of the pad since most people don't use silnylon floors and so it would be unnecessary weight. Silnylon is okay for a tent canopy but I don't like it as a floor due to it's slipperyness and mediocre waterproofness. I much prefer PU coated 30D nylon or cuben with the heavier mylar layers.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Instaflator on 11/11/2010 08:47:10 MST Print View

I also saw the Jason Klass vid as well as hearing about the product here. Although others have noted that they are not set up for small retail purchases, I had no problems. Actually, their fax number was down at the time of my order, so I called and they threw in an extra instaflator free for the inconvenience. So about $6 total with shipping in about 1 week.

Works well. I concur about 1.5-2 full tubes to inflate a 72x20x2.5" rectangular BA air core. Takes about 2-3 minutes. Weight is 44g on my scale after cutting off the two additional valve adapters. Need to remove the outer grey portion of the BA EZ-Flate valve (which seems to have no purpose anyway). Hey, saves you 1g right there!

Edited by BER on 11/11/2010 09:53:35 MST.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/11/2010 09:39:20 MST Print View

I'm having a hard time believing the R value of the Ether Elite. What testing methodology was used?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/11/2010 10:00:02 MST Print View

R-4.7 in the full thickness, no-movement case.

R-2 where hips and shoulders compress the mat to 18 mm, and Less if you are moving and "stirring" the internal air.

The "testing world" versus the "real world".

No wonder my butt got cold. (I sold mine long ago.)

Benjamin Evans
(bevans)

Locale: Atlanta
Instaflator on 11/11/2010 16:10:45 MST Print View

Yep, I called the company about a month ago and ordered two of the instaflators. They did not charge me for shipping. I talked to the son for a good fifteen minutes about the product and was impressed with his knowledge and his interest in the backpacking community. Their main target group is the swimming pool and lake crowd with flotation devices(A MUCH larger group !!)compared to us backpackers.

Received the products about a week ago and they are pretty simple and well made. Material is a little flimsy but with care should last quite a while. I use a Neoair large 25" X 78" X 2.5" and it takes two fillings of the instaflator to top it off. Not bad at all and a very easy procedure. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for high volume pads and ones that you want to avoid moisture in the insulation. Best thing is these babies cost like $4.00 each...here's a great video illustrating the principle :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olVJzVadiFs

great stuff !!

link to their website :

http://www.themillair.com/

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Roger's Tent on 11/11/2010 18:40:16 MST Print View

Man, that nice tent of yours really catches my eye, Roger!!

If only......................??????????????????

And, hey, I thought that it's thermally better to have your auxiliary CCF pad on the top of the air mattress???
Yet it looks, in the picture, that you have placed yours on the bottom. Any comment about that outside of the fact that we can all do things out own way!

Thanks,
Thomas
Vancouver,WA, USA

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Variation in weight on 11/12/2010 00:55:12 MST Print View

Hi Geoff

> Could this extra length explain the variation in dry weights you recorded?
Nope, as the variation in weight was measured on my scales! It was indeed a fabric variation.

cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 11/12/2010 01:50:18 MST Print View

Hi Bender

> I'm having a hard time believing the R value of the Ether Elite. What testing methodology was used?

I have built a Thermal Insulation Measurement system using calibrated layers of foam (courtesy Richard Nisley), a controlled hot plate and a controlled cold plate, and computerised data (temperature) logging. I must do an article on the measurement process itself at some stage. This is not the first time I have been involved in the measurement of thermal conductivity at the research level.

Cheers
Roger Caffin (PhD)