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POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review
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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Roger's Tent on 11/12/2010 02:09:22 MST Print View

Hi Thomas

> I thought that it's thermally better to have your auxiliary CCF pad on
> the top of the air mattress?
Well, using a (very reasonable) linear thermal model, it really makes no difference at all which is on top.
But having the CCF at the bottom sure does protect the air mat from spikes and damage.

Glad you like the tent. Yeah, I know... Just to rub it in:
0910b Tent below Bobs Ridge KNP in wind
Kosciusko NP at 1700 m, meant to be late Spring (3 days ago).
The night before had been very nice; this morning was 'less so'. A strong sideways wind was blowing, but you can't really see much effect. The rivers (and creeks) in the region are all in severe flood right now: we could not cross them.

Cheers

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Roger's Tent on 11/13/2010 21:22:18 MST Print View

"Well, using a (very reasonable) linear thermal model, it really makes no difference at all which is on top."

I would have to assume that there can be significant heat loss from the sides. Of course a 2-D model wouldn't account for that, but I think a 3-D model with those big open tubes of air would show the effect.

Easy mistake to make...but big difference between simple theory and real (cold) life! ;)

Tom (PhD)

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: POE Ether Elite Air Mat on 11/15/2010 11:38:29 MST Print View

Tad, I have an Instaflator too and I love it! I have a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad and thought I'd have to get rid of it because blowing it up left me feeling very dizzy (as I have an inner-ear disorder, this was not good!), and I really like the pad and hated the idea of getting rid of it. I was doing some online searches for air pumps that would be light enough to take on backpacking trips, and came across the Instaflator website and got one. It takes two bagfuls of air to inflate my Big Agnes but it works just nifty! BTW, I'm not associated in any way with the company that makes the Instaflator.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Roger's Tent on 11/15/2010 15:43:59 MST Print View

Hi Tom

> I would have to assume that there can be significant heat loss from the sides.
> Of course a 2-D model wouldn't account for that, but I think a 3-D model with
> those big open tubes of air would show the effect.
Not so fast.

If you are lying in the middle the outer tubes are not getting much of your heat, and so will be losing much less heat. Very often the outer tubes are mainly there for stability - keeping you in near the middle. So the amount of heat loss from the sides is not as much as you might think.

If there are two of you together, the heat loss from one side is negligible anyhow. If you have gear and food packed along the side of your mat that stuff will block heat loss from the side as well. I put gear along the sides to avoid rolling too close to the edge of the tent - works well.

So, in practice, in the field, there's not that much heat loss at the sides if you use a few of the standard tricks. having camped often enough in the snow at way-sub-freezing temperatures, I'm still happy.

Cheers
Roger (also with a PhD)

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Roger's Tent on 11/15/2010 23:24:57 MST Print View

Roger,
From the way you talked, I thought maybe you had actually run the model, sorry I was confused there. Aren't the tubes inter-connected? We often talk about the difference between open and closed cell foam, so it's reasonable that there is circulation among the tubes. Have you tried it with the closed cell pad above and below?

From my experience, I often notice the selective cold spots as much as the average. My quilt is flattened underneath me, so it's a fairly short line between me and the outside at the edge. Can't say that I ever have that much gear to pile along side, but you have stated before that you pack fairly heavy compared to some others on BPL.

Tom
PS, just teasing with the PhD mention since I've seen you do that. ;)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Roger's Tent on 11/17/2010 02:40:30 MST Print View

Hi Tom

> maybe you had actually run the model
Run a numerical model? Nope. The number of assumptions required to set up such a model boggles the mind. Sorting out the constants or factors would be a PhD project! Field testing is simpler and has the virtue of being believable :-)
But yes, everything I review has been field tested. Fairly thoroughly too in most cases. (Better thank my wife who also does some of the testing for me.)
Sometimes, when the items are good, I lose them to my wife ... :-) The manufacturer can really take a bow when she pinches an item off me.

> Aren't the tubes inter-connected?
Yes, but the effect of that is rather small. The interconnection is usually limited to a small cross-section at one or both ends. Unless you are trampolining all night, the amount of air passing into and out of the *edge* tubes is small. They inflate, and that's it. In general I sleep more or less on the middle of the mat, so I do not lean very much on the edge tubes. There may be some circulation between middle tubes of course.

> Have you tried it with the closed cell pad above and below?
I will confess that most of my field testing has been done with the CCF underneath. I tried putting the CCF on top a few times and found it awkward to manage, and apparently no better. My experience; others may feel differently of course. Also bear in mind that the POE EE 6 has some (not a lot of) insulation under the top surface. This insulation WAS noticeable. I think it fluffs up during the night.

> My quilt is flattened underneath me, so it's a fairly short line between me and the outside at the edge.
Ah, hum ... In general my UL quilt stays on top of me except for the short bit at my feet, and it's a bit wider than most. Wide enough that I can tuck my wife under it as well if it is very cold. I can't say I have ever noticed any significant cold under me. OK, I'm a woose.

> Can't say that I ever have that much gear to pile along side, but you have stated
> before that you pack fairly heavy compared to some others on BPL.
I had better explain about that.

First of all, our weather can be VERY variable, FAR more variable than much of America. It can be >30 C in the middle of the day and yet hail or snow at night. This applies both in the Alpine region and also in the local mountains. It's due to geographic factors that can flick the major airstreams around - butterfly effect. So ... needs must we include a little more by way of clothing. It would be rare that I am not carrying a thermal top and a Cocoon 60. But if it is warm at night that clothing stays in its stuff sacks. Extra weight I know, but you try cooking dinner with just a wet shirt and a cold-front storm outside. :-)

Second, as we are often out for up to a week at a time, there is usually a fair bit of food in small stuff sacks. It too makes a good barrier at the edge of the mat. We use everything!

Third, some of our local mountains are a bit on the cliffy side. (Up to 600 m of near vertical rock in fact.) We have to carry some rope etc both for safety and planned passes through cliff-lines. Often just 5 or 6 mm line though.

Yeah, it all adds up. Well, you should see what some of the local heavy-weights carry!

Cheers
Roger

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Roger's Tent on 11/17/2010 08:16:18 MST Print View

Roger,
Appreciate the prompt and detailed response. I have to admit that I was trying to "get your goat" a bit with the lightweight comment.
Tom

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
inflating the POE on 11/19/2010 21:45:42 MST Print View

I have a POE Ether Compact 6, and have been wanting to get the Elite because of the lighter weight and insulation.

The Instaflator looks pretty neat, but I've been saying for years that it's dead easy to do the exact same thing with a plastic bag and a rubber band. For me, it's multiuse, as I usually have a black trash bag or two with me as a pack liner and other use. Cut a small bit off the corner and attach the bag to the mat with the rubber band and inflate in the same way as the Instaflator. UL, and very flexible in your choice of bag material and size.

I assumed other people did this- I guess I should make a video or something, but it's *really* easy. No reason to discount a pad like this or the NeoAir because of a fear of mold or moisture.

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Discontinued on 12/07/2010 11:44:31 MST Print View

More information about the replacement for this pad, the Peak Elite AC. The press release is claiming R4.5 in the torso and R2.5 everywhere else. If true, this seems like an impressive pad for the weight (14oz full length) and price ($65 MSRP).

http://pacoutdoor.com/blog/new-2011-product-peak-elite-ac
http://www.journeymantraveller.com/2010/12/pacific-outdoor-equipment-peak-elite-ac.html

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review on 12/15/2010 10:17:17 MST Print View

The upcoming new version of this pad sounds good enough that I will wait for it instead of taking advantage of closeout sales on the older version.

Sometimes we are just too caught up in complexity to think of something that is so simple it should be obvious! As witness Aaron's using the plastic bag and rubber band for blowing up the inflatable pad! I would suggest taking several extra rubber bands, though!