National Geographic Gear of the Year Award 2014

How did Sea to Summit's Ultralight air mattress get to be so comfortable? By being tricky, very tricky. The Ultralight has what it calls "air spring cells," 181 of them created by spot welding the top and bottom of the mattress from head to toe. When you shift your weight, this isolates the compression of the pad, in much the same way a coil bed mattress works, and allows it to conform to your body far more naturally. That's not the only smart feature, either. The valve has two modes: When you're inflating the pad, air can only enter, so your precious breath doesn't come rushing out, but when you deflate it, the large opening lets all the air escape in a blink. And as a bonus, the 12-ounce, 72 by 21.5-inch Ultralight rolls down to the size of a soda can.

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