Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoor Equipment Ether Elite Sleeping Pad

A cushy sleeping pad for ultralighters

Summer Sleeper

Ultralight comfort sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s exactly what this pad delivers on mild-weather trips. For just 14 ounces, it provides head-to-ankle comfort on 2.5 inches of air—so it’s longer, fatter, and less bulky than many pads of comparable weight. Testers said the Ether’s weight-saving trapezoidal shape is best-suited for ounce-counters and static sleepers who aren’t likely to roll off a pad.

After two nights in northern Colorado’s Dinosaur National Monument, with temps in the 40s, a tester raved about the mattresslike cushion. And on a weeklong trek in the Alps, testers loved its tiny packed size—rolled up, it’s almost small enough to fit in a one-liter bottle. On less-than-level campsites, the raised diamond-ripstop pattern on the pad’s 33-denier nylon shell held sleeping bags firmly in place.

Warm sleepers with good sacks can push this into shoulder-season use, but with its minimal insulation (synthetic sheets under the torso), it’s primarily a summer pad. $71; 14 oz.; 20”x72”x2.5”;