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How to choose the perfect

Sleep System

What Is a Sleep System?

Similar to how you layer your outdoor clothing, sleep system layers work together to give you a good night's rest across a range of temperatures

What Components make up a sleep system?

The sleeping mat is the first component: Your ground insulation and comfort layer. This layer has to provide adequate insulation in the conditions you will be camping in or the warmth from your sleeping bag will be lost to the ground.

What to consider when choosing a sleeping mat?

The first choice is between a Self-Inflating mat and an Air Mat. Self-inflating mats offer stable comfort, are simple to use and may be less expensive, but are heavier and have a larger packed size than Air Mats . Air Mats are lighter and pack smaller, but require advanced engineering if they are to be stable, easy to use and reliable.

Backpackers and ultralight users will probably opt for an air mat.
Comfort focused campers and budget users will probably choose a self-inflating mat.

Air Sprung Cell Mat

  • Air Sprung Cells
    The stability and comfort of hundreds of air pockets provide lightweight packability.
  • Integrated Stuff Sack /Airstream Pump
    Using the built-in pump stuff sack, almost all mats inflate in two to three breaths.
  • Engineered for Reliability
    To make the most reliable Air Mats on the market, we use the strongest materials and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.

Self-Inflating Foam Mat

  • Delta Core
    The Delta Coring process removes foam, reducing the weight and packed size of the mat by up to 40%.
  • Flip-Over Valve
    Twist the valve from a one-way inflate to a one-way deflate valve, preventing the mat from re-inflating as you roll it up.
  • Economical Choice
    Simpler design, lower cost - simple as that.

A sleeping bag serves as a layer of insulation around your body. The shape, construction and placement of insulation within the bag are key or your warmth will be lost into the air.

Sleeping bags are made with either down or synthetic insulation. Down provides more warmth for its weight, packs down smaller and lasts longer, but has a higher initial cost. Synthetics are less affected by moisture and cost less initially but are heavier and bulkier. When choosing, keep in mind the range of temperatures you will sleep in, not just the coldest temperature.

WHAT TO CONSIDER when choosing a sleeping bag?

Light & Compact

  • Down
    The highest fill-power down gives you the best warmth-for-weight ratio and the smallest packed size.
  • Shell Fabrics
    For low weight and high compressibility we use the lightest possible shell and liner fabrics.

Comfort & Versatility

  • Synthetic & Down
    Sea to Summit offers sleeping bags from entry-level to technical end-use in both insulation types.
  • Ventilation
    Multiple zippers allow for several ventilation options from quilt to fully enclosed.
  • Shape
    Our sleeping bags are shaped for thermal efficiency and spaciousness, allowing for a natural sleeping position.

The third component is a liner, your next-to-skin layer. Like a clothing base layer, it can wick moisture or add warmth. A liner also keeps your sleeping bag clean and is easy to wash.


  • How much of your time outdoors is spent in cooler conditions?
  • Is weight/packed volume the deciding factor for you?
  • How much of your time outdoors is in warm, humid environments?

Our pillow range includes an option for any preference, from lightweight and compact, to ultimate comfort and decadence.

  • Pillow Case

  • Ultralight

  • Aeros Premium

  • Down

  • Foam

How the Pros built their sleep systems

Some of our favorite brand ambassadors share their outdoor sleep essentials.


Cut the weight; don’t cut corners. Serious gear that is crazy light.


Sleep systems engineered specifically for women. Because there’s no such thing as Father Nature.

Car Camping

If your idea of car camping includes bulky, heavy and uncomfortable, it’s time to switch gears…


The perfect night’s sleep wherever your adventures take you (don’t worry, we won’t tell your friends how comfortable you were.)

Ambassador Review

Roxy Harbitter + Ben Dawson

Full-Time Van-Lifers and Outdoor Content Creators

'We’ve lived on the road for three years and counting. That means we have spent over one thousand nights sleeping outdoors in all different climates. As individuals, we have different ideas of sleep comfort and had to find a system that worked as a couple. Who knew that a simple liner could even out our preferences and still leave room to cuddle?'


Ambassador Review

Alice Kao

Outdoors Blogger - Backpacker and Photographer

‘Having spent so many nights in a tent, I’ve learned that quality sleep is necessary for me to be comfortable and truly enjoy the outdoors. I’m a cold sleeper, and the insulated Ether Light XT and the Reactor liner are two of my favorite and most effective pieces for staying warm on those cold mountain nights.'


Ambassador Review

Pete Rozeboom

Adventure Seeker, Stand Up Paddle Boarder, and Photographer

'I’m constantly spending my days off exploring. I love paddling in and photographing remote areas year-round. That said, living in Minnesota has some challenges. Weather can turn on a dime. One night it's warm and dry, and the next night drops below zero and snowing. These pieces of gear are vital for my survival yet keep me comfortable all night.'


Ambassador Review

Matthew Meloney


'If backpacking has taught me one thing, it's the value in a solid night's sleep. Comfy deep sleep is critical to rebuild strength and energy for another day on the trail. My Comfort Light Insulated Mat, Ascent 15 bag, Silk Liner, and Aeros Premium Pillow allow me to sleep like a king and awaken feeling energized and ready to conquer the mountain.'


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