SEA TO SUMMIT AEROS PREMIUM PILLOW
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - August 17, 2014
LONG TERM REPORT - February 27, 2015
John R. Waters
jrw at backpackgeartest dot org
Canon City, Colorado USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
175 lb (79.40 kg)
My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts.
I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in the Cooper Mountain range, with other day-long hikes on various other southwest and central Colorado trails. I frequently hike the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona as well.
My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Sea to Summit|
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.seatosummit.com
Sizes: Regular & Large
Size Tested : Regular
Listed Weight: Regular - 2.80 oz (79 g); Large - 3.7 oz (105 g)
Measured Weight: 3 oz (85 g)
Listed Dimensions: Regular - 14 x 10 x 5 in (36 x 25 x 13 cm); Large - 16.5 x 11.5 x 5.5 in (42 x 29 x 14 cm)
Other details: (from Manufacturer's website)
* Brushed 50D polyester knit
* Synthetic fill between pillow case and TPU bladder
* Curved internal baffles
* Scalloped bottom edge
* Multi-functional valve to inflate pillow
|Picture Courtesy of Sea to Summit|
I am most uncomfortable without a good pillow. In bed at home or in a tent, I need a good pillow. Somewhat because I have instances of acid reflux and I need to keep my head high and also because I am a side sleeper. So, I am looking forward to being able to use the Aeros pillow during this trial period.
The pillow is moss green and gray and has a curved recessed neck area that indents about 1 in (2.5 cm). The pillow (REGULAR SIZE) is 13.5 in (34.3 cm) long x 9 in (22.9 cm) wide and reduced to 8 in (20.3 cm) wide at the neck area and it is about 3.5 in (8.9 cm) high. In its stuff sack, it's only 3 in. (7.6 cm) in diameter and 4.5 in (11.4 cm) high. With the stuff sack it weighs just under 3 oz (85 g)
The stuff sack has a full length strap for carrying or attaching somewhere on or in my pack.
It has two plug stoppers connected together. The outer one is labeled INFLATE and the one below it is labeled DEFLATE. These are not inserted to function. They are opened to function. So to blow the pillow up, the INFLATE stopper gets removed to expose the inflate opening. This opening has a thin blue, what looks like silicone, flapper that allows air to be blown in and then, once the air pressure reaches about 50% of full inflation, pushes the flapper from the inside against the opening to stop air from escaping. So I can blow it up to full size and not have to hurriedly try and plug the opening to keep the air in. In fact, it seals quite well without even using the top plug.
To deflate, I just have to unplug the INFLATE AND DEFLATE plugs and gently press the pillow flat to push the air out and then put it back home in the stuff sack.
|Inflate/deflate Valve - Closed|| |
|Valve Closure|| |
|Valve Closure Flap|
Fully blown up, there is about 1 in (2.5 cm) of play in the pillow when I compress it with my hand.
The entire surface is a brushed soft texture that feels great.
So far, from the looks of it this pillow I think it's going to be a keeper and also going to be fun to use. It's small and lightweight enough to justify its place in my pack and if it gives me a good night's sleep, well then, I'll be a happy camper.
My thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Sea to Summit for allowing me to try out the Aeros Premium Pillow for the next four months. Please return to this page in late November to see how well the Aeros works for me in the field.
John R. Waters
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Locations and Conditions where I used the Aeros Pillow:
" 4 overnight trips in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Royal Gorge District which covers 100,000 acres (40,468 hectares) including the Cooper Mountain range/Royal Gorge area near Caņon City, Colorado and 2 nights in the Wet Mountains which are just south and east of the Arkansas River Valley, also near Caņon City.
" 1 night in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah.
" 7 nights at the WindSpirit Cottage in Twin Lakes, Colorado.
" Numerous red-eye plane flights.
Elevations ranged from 5000 ft up to almost 11000 ft (1500 m to 3400 m), except of course when flying!
Night time temperatures when backpacking ranged from 17 F to 78 F (-8 to 26 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Our family vacationed over the Christmas holidays in Twin Lakes, Colorado and we planned on some backpacking/tent camping based on the weather forecast the week before. BUT, when we finally got up there (we had reserved a cottage as a base camp for the week), the weather changed drastically and the overnight temps were dropping to -20 F (-29 C) and we were not, NOT prepared for that. Of course, inside we were enjoying a cozy 70 F (21 C).
In the interest of testing out the Aeros in such a frigid environment, I did blow up the pillow anyway and left it outside to see if it would deflate at that low a temperature and at the 9,000 ft (2743 m) altitude. Well, the Aeros didn't and it was still flexible, as well. The pillow was cold, but it was fine when I checked it in the morning.
| ||This little guy has been wonderful so far. No sign of wear and tear. I also use it for my frequent flights around the country. It packs compactly into my laptop bag as well as my backpack and I can use it on the airplane quite nicely. The material has remained soft and pliable and is very comfortable. |
It hasn't gotten dirty enough to NEED a wash even after a dozen or so uses. At least it doesn't look dirty. I still wanted to wash it before this test ended, so I did that in the sink by hand. Note, in the photo, that the finish does repel water. Sea to Summit doesn't say in their specs about a water resistant finish, but there is definitely water repelling properties. In fact, the gray portion took a few minutes to get wet enough to wash since the water just kept flowing off. I hung it up to dry with the mouthpiece wide open. The pillow was completely dry by morning and ready for my next trip.
Things I learned:
* The pillow consists of the outer cloth cover, then a synthetic fill that is partitioned with baffles to make the contour, and then the actual TPU bladder that holds the air. The bladder is transparent. When stuffed into the sack, depending on how the pillow enters the stuff sack, the bladder will become a blob on the inside since it is not attached to the outer shell. So, before I blow it up, I found it blows up faster by shaking the pillow a few times to loosen the bladder and make it expand out inside the shell.
FWIW: Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is any of a class of polyurethane plastics with many properties, including elasticity, transparency, and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion. Technically, they are thermoplastic elastomers consisting of linear segmented block copolymers composed of hard and soft segments.
* I have to be careful not to push in on the open mouthpiece when handling or packing the pillow. The little flap in there can be pushed out and hopefully will just fall into the bladder. I spent a few minutes trying to blow it up and wondering why it wasn't getting larger before I figured that out and felt around inside and worked the flap back to the mouthpiece so I could re-install it.
* When on an airplane I have to only partially inflate it, otherwise it pushes my head too far forward. Camping, I use it fully inflated and it is quite comfortable.
* I always leave the mouthpiece open when stuffing it into the stuff sack and compress all the air out before stuffing. I leave the mouthpiece until last so that stuffing pushes more air out as the pillow goes in.
The Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow is very comfortable. Very. I have found it to be much better than other camp pillow I've tried and certainly better than a wadded pile of jackets and other clothing. I'm a side sleeper, so having a supportive pillow is very important for me to get a good night's sleep. The Aeros is firm enough when fully inflated to give me that support. I particularly like the way the Aeros is curved to fit just right between my neck, head and shoulders. And, I have not had any negative experiences with air leaking out in the middle of my snoozing.
The outer covering of the Aeros feels very night against my skin, especially in cold temps. Almost like a flannel Blankie.
I like the Aeros a lot. It's so comfortable and easy to use. Even my granddaughter likes it a lot and tries to wheedle her way into "borrowing" it. The Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow will continue to be a staple of my camping gear and nobody better try and take it in the middle of the night.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Sea to Summit for the opportunity to use this great sleeping aid!
John R. Waters
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