Eco Thermo Pad - Sleeping With a Clearer Conscience
The ECO Thermo 6 Sleeping Pad from Pacific Outdoor Equipment has scored the two of the most prestigious American outdoor equipment awards. First is claimed the Backpacker Editors' Choice Green Award, then went on to also pick up one from Outside Magazine's Gear of the Year Awards, again in the green category. What caused it to so excite the reviewers (see video here)? Well the mat started out as a sort of experiment to see how green a product could be made, and sort just went on from prototype to commercial reality. The outer fabric of undyed bamboo fibre contains a carbonised bamboo fibre fill. Air enters or exits via a recycled aluminium valve. (We wonder what proofing agent they selected to make the fabric air tight?). The cord on the included stuff sack is made from hemp. Additionally Pacific Outdoor Equipment claim it to be "the outdoor industry's first carbon-neutral sleeping pad" because they purchase renewable wind and solar power to offset the CO2 produced from manufacturing and shipping the pads. All this seems to have been achieved without any big trade-off in performance, 21.5 oz (610 gm) is a reasonable weight for a full length, thick sleep mat. The Montana based company also plants 1 tree for every 27 mats they make, and are (if I read correctly) in the process of installing one solar panel for every employee. They have a motto: good gear = less waste. ::Pacific Outdoor Equipment ECO Thermo.