How to get the best from your Sea to Summit Sleeping Mat

How to get the best from your Sea to Summit Sleeping Mat

Once you have invested in a Sea to Summit Air Sprung Cell sleeping mat you hopefully quickly discovered how comfortable they are and how easy they are to inflate and deflate. We designed these mats to withstand the elements however there are some steps you can take to ensure that your mat lives a long and happy life.

Here are our suggestions:

Do I need to use a pump? Or can I inflate my mat with my mouth?

Air Stream pump in use

You can mouth-inflate a Sea to Summit Air Sprung Cell mat. Unlike other mats, which often suffer from internal mold along the welds caused by condensation from the user’s breath, Sea to Summit mats have an anti-microbial component in the laminate which will prevent mold from occurring.

All Air Sprung Cell mats from Spring 2018 come with a pumpsack integrated into the stuffsack. If you have an older mat, our Jetstream and Airstream pumps are super effective and will ensure that your mat is inflated in an incredibly short time. Once you‘ve used one, you’ll wonder why you lived without it.

The Jetstream is the equivalent of roughly one lung-full of air; so twenty to thirty strokes will inflate any Sea to Summit Air Mat. While you’re hiking, the Jetstream pump works as a stuff sack for the following Air Sprung Cell mats:

  • >  All of our non-insulated Air Sprung Cell mats: Ultralight, Comfort Light, Comfort Plus Tapered and Comfort Plus Rectangular.
  • >  The Ultralight Insulated mat in the XS and S sizes.

(Air Sprung Cell mats which are not listed above will not fit in the Jetstream).

The Airstream pump works as a dry sack to store your clothing or sleeping bag inside your backpack, then turns into a pump when you need to inflate your mat. The high capacity means that filling an Airstream two or three times (a couple of breaths or a scoop of air each time) is all that’s necessary to bring any Sea to Summit Air Mat up to pressure.

Which way up should I use an insulated mat?

The conventional orientation would be to use the mat with the Sea to Summit logo facing upwards. However, in terms of insulation value, it makes no difference which way up the mat faces.

Storing the mat

All air mats should be stored with the valve open. This will increase the chance that any moisture inside the mat can escape. (There is an anti-microbial finish built into the laminate which will prevent mold from growing inside the mat, but it is still better to allow for some ventilation).

Do not store the mat inside its stuff sack, and ensure the mat is completely dry before storage. To allow the greatest chance for ventilation the mat should be stored flat, folded as few times as possible. If there is any moisture inside the mat (see the section on pumps above), storing the mat tightly rolled for a prolonged period can result in damage to the urethane laminate. If the face fabric (the external shell) of the mat is damp when it is put away, it may well grow mold. Additionally, storing an insulated mat tightly rolled for a prolonged period can unduly compress the Thermolite insulation and reduce its effectiveness.

Avoiding contact with things which can damage the mat

The most common solvent in use in the outdoors is the DEET in mosquito repellent. It will not harm the nylon of the sleeping mat, but it will destroy the proprietary coating on the outside which is designed to make the mat more waterproof/less slippery/easier to repair, and the urethane laminate on the inside of the mat. If you are using DEET, do not spray it anywhere close to your mat.

Another element to be aware of as an air-filled mat user is embers from a campfire. It may be romantic to sit or even lay close to a fire on your sleeping mat, but the embers which float off into the air are hot enough to melt holes in the nylon/urethane laminate. Best to avoid this risk.

Sea to Summit Sleeping Pad

Repairing the mat

Your Air Sprung Cell mat was supplied with four patches which utilize a 3M adhesive. If these are not available to you and you should need to repair a puncture in your sleeping mat, the best product to use comes from a company called McNett/Gear Aid, and is called Seam Grip. Follow the instructions for dry bags listed on our blog under Repairing Holes’

The repair kit also contains a silicone insert for the valve for the unlikely event this should go missing.

Washing the mat

Wiping the mat down with a sponge using soap and warm water should be all the washing your mat needs. If the mat has been exposed to some kind of organic material and you need to neutralize an odor, the best product to use is McNett MiraZyme.

If the mat should be exposed to a solvent such as DEET or Gasoline, it is important to wash it as soon as possible before damage ensues.


If you have questions which are not covered here, just shoot us an email:


6 thoughts on “How to get the best from your Sea to Summit Sleeping Mat

  1. avatar Baz says:

    Hello Alice -

    Dust should not be a problem with a stored sleeping mat; just shake the mat outdoors before packing it for use. Folding a mat over once is also not a problem. The main point is to ensure that the mat is stored somewhere dry – this rules out the chance of mold forming on the outer fabric of the mat. Storing the mat laid flat with the valve open will ensure that the mat dries internally, which will extend its life.

    - Baz

  2. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Andrew

    It sounds like you have the Jetstream Pump, which would certainly involve some of what Aussies call ‘elbow grease’ for one of the larger mats normally used for car camping. There is no adaptor made which would convert a Schrader valve (used on bicycle foot pumps) to the Sea to Summit mat inlet valve. If you have a foot pump used for inflatable boats, it might be possible to make an adaptor from several different sizes of PE tubing available from a good hardware store. However – the most effective option is the Sea to Summit Airstream Pump . Its 20 Liter volume will fill even our largest mats with four or five breaths (with a little practice). If you would like more details, drop us an email at

  3. avatar andrew says:

    Is there any way to use an actual pump with your products? I have the bag/pump thing, but I find it ridiculously frustrating and slow. Probably this is great if you’re going off into the back country, but I’m usually car camping and would gladly bring along a foot pump. I just don’t see how to attach one….

  4. avatar Baz says:

    David -

    Shoot us an email at and let us know which sleeping mat you own; if you are able to send us images of the mat and the stuff sack, this can be helpful. We’ll be happy to provide you with detailed instructions on how to roll the mat back up to fit into its supplied stuff sack.

    - Baz

  5. avatar David O`Fallon says:

    Just bought airstream. Thermolite. What’s best way to stuff in back into it’s tiny tiny sack?


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