Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW

The best sleeping pad in its class, but only because it has no competition as a sub-13-ounce, 1.5-inch thick self-inflator.

Overall Rating: Above Average

The Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn pad is the only 1.5-inch thick self-inflating torso-length sleeping pad available commercially. Sleeping on solid rock is comfortable with the Uber Mtn. For that reason I would rate it "Recommended" even though it needs to be supplemented with a thin foam pad for cooler conditions because of the deep hourglass shape. However, it is quite short and earns a "Below Average" rating for sleepers who can't fit on the pad. Overall, the Uber Mtn gets a rating of "Above Average."

About This Rating

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by Carol Crooker |

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW - 1
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn pad highlighting the 1.5 inches of solid foam around the perimeter and lateral cross coring (instead of die cutting) to improve R value.

Introduction

The Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn torso-length pad is the lightest 1.5-inch thick self-inflating pad on the market. Materials are robust for such a light pad and construction is tight. However, the performance is shorted by a non-optimal design that could be significantly improved while hardly gaining an ounce.

What's Good

  • Thick (1.5 inch) comfort at under 13 ounces
  • Packs small
  • Durable cover

What's Not So Good

  • Short
  • Side cutouts can affect warmth
  • "Stem" above the hourglass is an unusable area that adds weight
  • Small target area for hips and shoulders

Specifications

  Manufacturer

Pacific Outdoor Equipment

  Year/Model

2005 Uber Mtn (2007 model is the same except for shell color)

  Shell Material

50d diamond ripstop

  Foam

Open cell, polyurethane, laterally drilled Mtn-Core foam

  Shape

Hourglass with a wider shoulder pad than hip pad

  Weight

12.6 oz (357 g) measured; manufacturer specification 10.5 oz (300 g)

  Inflated Dimensions

Measured: Usable length for back or stomach sleeper 27 in (69 cm), usable length for side sleeper 31 in (79 cm), shoulder pad 16.25 in (41 cm) wide at widest point, hip pad 14 in (36 cm) wide at widest point
Manufacturer specifies 37 x 17 x 1.5 in (94 x 43 x 3.8 cm)

  MSRP

$65

Performance

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW - 2
Pacific Outdoor uses the Uber Mtn pad in hybrid self-inflating/closed cell foam pads such as the Hyper Mtn shown here, which may account for the odd valve placement on a stem of foam extending about 7 inches beyond the usable pad body.

The Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn pad is constructed with robust yet lightweight materials; I did not experience any leaks or punctures during months of use. The pad is 1.5 inches thick, making the Uber Mtn the most comfortable ultralight pad I own - but it could be so much better. The shoulder and hip pads form small targets, but they are large enough for a pad designed to be ultralight. My complaint with the pad is that weight vs. performance has been carefully optimized in every area except shape. The Uber Mtn and Uber Lite pads were offered as stand alone pads as somewhat of an after thought. They were originally designed to be part of integrated self-inflating/closed cell foam pads such as the Hyper Mtn pictured above. There is a narrow stem of padding that extends 7-inches beyond the shoulder pad, which is unusable in a stand alone pad but serves in an integrated pad to place the inflation valve at the foam edge. Performance of the Uber Mtn could be boosted by shortening this non-functional area and completely filling in the head-end shell perimeter with foam to create a longer shoulder area. As is, the pad is hard to stay on and barely long enough for my 19-inch torso.

As can be seen in the top photo, the perimeter of the pad is somewhat like an oval, but the fully padded area has an hourglass shape with a very narrow padded section between the shoulder and hip pads. For side sleepers, it's easy to slip off the fully padded area and onto the crux area which, although thinly padded, won't keep off a chill if your hip is pressing into it. Based on weight comparisons of two Pacific Outdoor Equipment manufactured pads with different shapes*, I believe the Uber Mtn could be padded out to the perimeter with only a slight weight gain and significant performance gains.

*Note: A sample 1-inch thick Uber Lite, which has the same shape as the Uber Mtn, weighs 9.4 ounces, while a sample trapezoidal 1-inch thick Bozeman Mountain Works designed Torsolite weighs 10.5 ounces. The Torsolite has a longer usable length as well as lacking the narrow area between shoulders and hips.

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW - 3
Shown here in Utah's Wasatch Mountains, the Uber Mtn and a thin 3/8 inch foam pad are warm on the snow.

When the Uber Mtn is fully inflated, I slide off very easily. I still sleep well (with a closed cell foam pad underneath) since my hip drops into the crux of the hourglass and my shoulder off the top and my whole side is supported (like it is with a hip trough). I've found I prefer the Uber Mtn underinflated till it appears almost flat. My hips and shoulders sink in and the pad in between fills in along my side. Even when it is underinflated I often find myself missing the small target of the pad when it slips during my turning over process.

Although the Uber Mtn is billed as a four-season pad, it is not very warm used by itself since it can be hard to stay on. On a trip in Saguaro National Park in Arizona, I was cool at 45 degrees when the Uber Mtn slipped out from under me on the silnylon floor of the bivy sack I was using as I turned over. I generally use the Uber Mtn with a cheap blue 3/8-inch thick closed cell foam pad. I was warm at 17 degrees with this combination of pads even when I slipped off the Uber Mtn or it slipped on the smooth foam of the blue pad. What worked well was when I carried the double luxuries of Uber Mtn and Therm-a-Rest chair kit. I kept the blue pad in the chair kit when sleeping and slipped the top of the Uber Mtn into the top pocket of the chair. That was enough to keep the Uber Mtn in place all night.

Yes, the Uber Mtn weighs a lot more than other ultralight choices like the 3.5 ounce Gossamer Gear NightLight closed cell foam pad and even 1-inch thick self-inflators like the Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Lite and MontBell U.L. Comfort System Pad 90, but the extra weight may be worth it for the truly hedonistic ultralighter or anyone reluctant to reduce packweight for fear of getting a poor night's sleep. I personally notice significant comfort differences between 1-inch thick self-inflators and the Uber Mtn. I can sleep comfortably on a 3/8-inch closed cell foam pad if I can create a hip hole. On surfaces where that isn't possible, I sleep alright on a 1-inch self-inflator, but I sleep soundly on the Uber Mtn. So, is the weight worth it? It depends on several factors, most importantly, whether you fit on the Uber Mtn. If you need 1.5 inches of air cushion, the Uber Mtn is the lightest option for purchase. Of course if you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can give Jay Ham's self-inflating pad shortening technique a try.

The Uber Mtn fits in the back pad pocket of a Gossamer Gear Mariposa pack just fine. It doesn't need to provide structure since the Mariposa has stays. It also can be used in a small volume frameless pack like the Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) Amp pack. With the sub-20 pound loads carried in such packs, the fact that the Uber Mtn folds most conveniently into an 18-inch semi-rectangle that is not long enough to create a good virtual frame, is not much of a factor.

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW - 4a

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW - 4b

The Uber Mtn makes a very cushiony and warm seat (left - folded in half here) for sitting in a winter shelter, and even fits into a Therm-a-Rest chair kit with a foam pad as shown (right) or by itself.

What's Unique

The Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn is the only 1.5-inch thick torso-length self inflating sleeping pad on the market.

Recommendations for Improvement

The Uber Mtn is a great idea - a really thick, self-inflating torso-length pad that is really light. To fully execute that idea, the usable length needs to be longer (overall length shorter) and the hourglass curves eliminated for a small weight penalty that will result in a pad that is warmer and works for a lot more people.


Citation

"Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW," by Carol Crooker. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/pacific_outdoor_equipment_uber_mtn_sleeping_pad_review.html, 2007-05-15 03:00:00-06.

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Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW on 05/15/2007 20:49:36 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad on 05/20/2007 09:04:11 MDT Print View

Okay, please bear in mind that I have NOT used the version above (10.5 oz and 1.5 inches thick)

But - I have used the very similar Über Lite Sleeping Pad (9 oz and 1 inch thick)

From my experience, I found the contoured shape a little bit weird. It didn't fit my torso very well. I am tall, and other tall folks had the same feedback. Shorter folks did fine. Also, the hard plastic valve is positioned in the center, right under your head, and this proved to be an uncomfortable place for my sensitive noggin at night.

Plus, I am a squirmy sleeper. This pad SHAPE seems to do best when I'm lying flat on my back.

The pad I find superior to the Über Lite is the Bozeman Mountain Works TorsoLite Inflatable Sleeping Pad (approx. 10 oz, 1 inch thick and 32 inches long). My squirmy sleep habits make this a MUCH better pad for me.

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Uber Lite Sleeping Pad on 05/20/2007 10:17:54 MDT Print View

I agree with you completely Mike.
Take a look at my SpotLite on the Uber Lite: here
I gave the Uber Lite a Below Average rating because of the shape. The Uber Mtn gets an Above Average rating because it's 1.5 inches thick - now that is nice!! Although, as I outline in the review, the shape is a detractor and I think the shape could be vastly improved without adding weight.

Edited by cmcrooker on 05/20/2007 10:21:40 MDT.

R K
(oiboyroi)

Locale: South West US
Re: Uber Lite Sleeping Pad on 05/20/2007 20:20:41 MDT Print View

I had the uber-lite as well.

The best way I found to use it was to slide up on it until the valve was behind my neck. It felt unnatural at first, although after a while I got used to it. While laying on my back this creates a trough for my butt and shoulder blades that was fairly comfortable, while still keeping me fully insulated from the ground. When sleeping on my side the skinny part just below the valve kept my shoulder insulated and the hour glass again made a trough for my hips. This way also supported and insulated more of my legs too.

In the end I decided to sell it. I toss and turn quite a bit now and was constantly rolling off of it.

E C
(ofelas) - F

Locale: On the Edge
Uber-Mtn. on 09/21/2007 20:01:57 MDT Print View

Interesting...I am 5'9, and foumd the Uber-Mtn (until my buddy grabbed it & took it overseas with him!) super comfortable to sleep on...but I'm one of those sleepers who sleep on my back with my arms at my sides like a wooden corpse.