Our Philosophy - Sea To Summit UK

Our Philosophy

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As from day one, Roland still heads our design department. He has since been joined by designers from around the world with various backgrounds and skills, but who share a common love of outdoor adventure.

The design team work hard to create innovative, effective and relevant products for all manner of outdoor activities. We draw on our individual and shared knowledge and experience from more than a cumulative century of climbing, skiing, walking, and more, to know what athletes need and want, what will and won’t work in the field.

We work with a wide mix of techniques and technology, from pencil sketches, computer modelling, rapid prototyping, test rigs and getting out in the field. We work very closely with manufacturers and mills to create the fabrics and materials we need to make some of the best gear in the world. A product could go through many cycles of revision, scrutinising individual details, scrutinising it as a whole, and as a product range, until we’re content to unleash it on the world.

It is surprising for some people how much time and attention goes into every detail of each product. We’ve done our job well when you use our gear and it works well without a second thought. Sure, it feels nice for us to think that you’d stare and sigh at the elegance and function of our latest designs, but in reality our best work is the stuff you don’t even have to think about. It’s there and it works seamlessly for you, repeatedly.


Our range of sleeping mats is a classic example of our quest for perfection. We gave ourselves one year to come up with something better. We ended up spending four years researching, conceptualising, testing and developing the perfect mat.


To design the perfect mat, we had to start from scratch.

First we designed Air Sprung Cells™…

Air Sprung Cells™ are the core technology of our Sleeping mat range.

The Air Sprung Cells™ are the reason why you’ll sleep better on Sea to Summit sleeping mats. Instead of the typical baffled construction, Sea to Summit sleeping mats are constructed using a dot-weld pattern to create a high surface-area matrix of interconnected chambers called Air Sprung Cells™. These operate in the same way as a pocket spring mattress: As each cell deforms independently the mattress conforms to your body shape which feels softer and more comfortable with more body contact area and even dispersion of pressure.

  • Better nights sleep
  • Extreme level of comfort
  • Compresses down to small size

We looked at how we might add extra insulation for colder climates…


THERMOLITE® insulation, designed for ultimate performance, is made from specially engineered fibers to achieve a high CLO value with low weight. THERMOLITE® HL-1 high loft insulation is a fiberfill constructed with a unique 3D crimp of hollow-core and solid fibers, which provide excellent lightweight warmth with superior durability.

The THERMOLITE® insulation lofts up inside the Air Sprung Cells™ to prevent convective heat loss from your warm body to the cold ground.

Exkin® Platinum

Exkin Platinum® and THERMOLITE® are combined to great effect in each of the Insulated versions of our mats.

Next up we took a look at the fabric…



We developed the 40D ripstop nylon face fabric to hit the balance between weight and durability. On the inside we applied a bright white TPU to make the fabric airtight and weldable. On the outside we applied a thin PU coating to reduce the slipperiness of the surface, increase puncture strength and to aid puncture repair with self-adhesive patches.

We also developed a lightweight 20D nylon laminated with TPU on both surfaces to create a strong double sided weldable fabric. This is used for the interior of our double layer, offset Air Sprung Cell™ mats.

  • Stronger internal fabric
  • Hardwearing
  • Increased puncture resistance

We turned out attention to valves. Mats don't work without valves, and we needed a better one!

Multi-function valves

To make inflation and deflation easier Sea to Summit has developed the Multi-function valve. This valve integrates an inflate port with a one-way valve to prevent air loss before you seal the valve, a rapid air dump deflate port and a fine tune button to adjust for comfort, in one compact, low profile unit.

Then we needed to prevent delamination and guard against odours…

TPU Coating

Our TPU coating is applied through a process unique to the medical and aeronautical industries. Extrusion lamination is more durable, consistent and enables us to use our own TPU recipe. It’s vastly superior to roll-to-roll lamination, which is used in all other outdoor products at present and can suffer from delamination issues. We have also introduced an anti-microbial treatment into the TPU to prevent mould or fungal growth inside the mattress. While we do have two superb pump options, the Air stream or Jet stream, the anti-microbial treatment means you can go ultra-light and inflate with your breath.


After this we created Dual Layer technology and combined everything to create a range of mats suitable for everything from the arctic to family camping…

Dual Layer Technology

Two layers of high resolution cells that can be pressurised independently: the top layer can be inflated to your personal comfort while maintaining a high-pressure base layer for protection from rough terrain. Independent chambers allow the mattress to function even if one of the layers is punctured.

After 4 years of hard work, research and creating ground-breaking technology we have a few awards to show for it. Here’s some of the recognition our mattress technology received…

And this is the result, our full selection of outdoor sleeping mats.

Ultra Light

Constructed as a single layer of medium resolution cells for minimal packed size and weight.

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Comfort Light

Double layer of cells in the torso for increased comfort with single layer cells in the head and legs for reduced weight.

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Comfort Plus

Two layers of high resolution cells that can be pressurised independently: the top layer can be inflated to your personal comfort while maintaining a high-pressure base layer for protection from rough terrain. Independent chambers allow the mattress to function even if one of the layers is punctured.

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We apply this same indepth design process when we create all of our technology and we'll continue to do so, pushing ourselves to create the best gear in the world.

For a full list of our technology have a look at our full range of patented designs.