Whilst I have been very happy with my Thermarest Prolite mat, I was seduced by the prospect of further weight reduction and importantly smaller pack size after reading some initial reviews of the product by several fellow bloggers.
Here is a quick rundown of the statistics :
Size : 51 x 183x 6.3 cm (20 x 72 x 2.5 inches)
Claimed weight: 396g (14oz)
Actual weight of purchased product: 318g (11.2oz) with stuff sack and repair kit 341g (12oz)
R – value : 2.5-4.4
Temperature > -10C (15F)
Cost: £69.98 for regular size. Purchased from Ultralight Outdoor Gear http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/poe_peak_elite_ac.html
The product is a well designed and made sleeping mat in black and packs down to a substantially smaller size than the Prolite mat.
The Peak Elite is made from 33 dernier nylon fabric, which feels soft to the touch, but reasonably substantial in construction. There is reflective material inside the mat, that claims to reflect the heat back. In addition there is a so called bio mapped insulation around the torso area giving increased insulation of 4.4 compared to 2.5 around the leg area. This set up should ensure thermal efficiency with the minimum of weight.
The mat is an air bed style and has to be blown up, rather than the self inflating type found with Thermarest mats. Although you have to use more puff with air beds, I find that I cannot get all the air out of my Prolite and therefore does not roll up as small – no problem with the Peak Elite. The valve is well made out of aluminum and seems to screw up and down easily.
As you can see below the Peak Elite is the same length as the Prolite, but it is more tapered with oversized outside tubes keeping you from shifting off the mat at night.
Over the last weekend, I spent two nights in our field testing the mat in association with my new Exped air pillow (separate post) and a Alpkit Pipe Dream 400 sleeping bag. I used my Vaude Power Lizard UL tent.
Lying on the mat, it feels quite different compared to The Prolite, but it is comfortable, most comfortable on my side or front rather than lying on my back. I found that when I was sitting on the mat using my stove, I could feel the ground in the area between the horizontal chambers and this may be a problem in cold weather, but this is a minor issue. All in all, I had two night’s comfortable sleep and the mat did not move on the groundsheet.
The second night I used the sleeping bag as a quilt by slipping the mat into the bottom of the bag and opening the bag up. Sleeping directly on the mat was still comfortable and the bottom of the mat is narrow enough to be used with quilts.
I often find in reviews, that there is little photo reference on how to pack up products, so I have included this below , to give potential purchasers an insight.
Deflate mat, by unscrewing valve, start rolling up mat from the bottom towards the valve to push the air out.
Once the air has been expelled, fold the sides of the mat into the centre as shown below.
Below is a photo showing the size of the mat in comparison with a 650ml Travel Tap bottle.