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I love my 7... but what is the propper...
I love my 7... but what is the propper way of storing it between expeditions?
Rolled up with valves closed.. or uncompressed with valves open?
Like any inflating mat or sleeping bag, it should be stored uncompressed and with the valves open. Storing it compressed can compress the fibres/down/foam. You want to store these items such that they retain their loft.
Very Warm. Pump System + Valve Covers get a Fail
I used this pad on a recent expedition to Mongolia, where we were sleeping outside (no tents) in temperatures that ranged from -30C to -50C on the coldest night.
We would put reindeer skins directly on the ground itself, and then the pad (in my case the DownMat 9 DLX with integrated pump), sleeping bag, etc.on top.
The pad itself was very warm; no quibbles there.
However, the pad takes forever to inflate (more than 10 mins in my case) in really cold conditions. And if I am having a problem inflating it quickly, then other people are probably having the same problem too. And that means in my books the inflation system is a fail. It would be great if they sold a separate pump (do they?) to get the job done quickly. Weight is not always the most important thing (reindeer were carrying our equipment, so an extra pump would not have mattered), and I would love to see that option.
The other issue is that the valve covers become very difficult to manipulate in extreme cold - once they are snapped into place (closed) they are very hard to open. One of the clasps actually broke off in my hand. For a piece of equipment that is specifically designed for extreme cold they can do better than this.
So, in summary. Good piece of equipment for what it does (keep you warm in punishingly cold environments); but it feels more like an early beta product to me. Lots of room for improvement.
I used one of these on a recent trip up to the Alaska Mountain Range and became an instant fan. In the past, I've favored a two pad system for winter camping - one foam and one inflatable. The ExPed is nice as it gives you more flotation and comfort than a two pad system, yet is also smaller and lighter.
If you haven't seen or slept on these, they are more like an inflatable mattress than your typical thin inflatable pad. The integrated "pump" is more like a porous sponge which allows you to press air into the chambers. This is good as it keeps your moist air out of the chambers (and thus the down), but it also takes a long time to inflate it, like 5+ minutes of pushing. Still, if you are only inflating it once every few days, like in a basecamp scenario, the good night's sleep you get from it is well worth it.
Another thing that is not apparent from the photos is that these things are thick - like 2" tall when they are inflated. This is nice as you can roll around all you want and not hit your bony hips or have your shoulders get cold.
Like any inflatable mat, the downside is that if they do pop or leak, you are SOL until you can find the hole, which can take a while. But, in the case of the ExPed mat, it has a thicker covering on it, which makes it less prone to puncturing. I used it for three weeks and it was fine.
Overall, a definite advancement in inflatable pad technology.
the most comfortable pad I have slept on. very arm... wintere trip on the grand canyon....
this pad is LEGIT!
i took the plunge and dropped the doh! man do i LOVE IT! the pump is awesome and soooo much better than blowing up a sleeping pad. the effortless pump will get you up and going in no time! super warm! and high quality material. i've also heard rave reviews for the thermarest neolite...it compresses smaller.
What's the difference (besides price)...
What's the difference (besides price) between the 7/9 and 7/9 Deluxe?
The Deluxe versions are oversized- 6 inches wider and 5.5 inches longer than the standard versions.
Also the "7" and "9" refer to the mattress thickness in centimetres.
Comfort all the way
I am 50, and can't sleep on the ground without aching all over. Because I camp ALOT, I needed something that was comfortable and packable. The exped 9 delux is a bit bulky to backpack, but it is worth it for me to be able to sleep, and sleep warm. The down fill keeps you warm, I was very comfortable on my last camping trip at 24*F no cold from below. I used my exped, a 30* slumberjack, wool socks, wool PJs and cap. (In Florida we aren't used to that!) The bellows pump works great and doubles as a pillow. I probably don't need the 9 delux, which would be for a larger person, but I like the extra so my arms and legs don't hang off if I spread out a bit. For couples, just put 2 together and cover with a fitted sheet - much more comfortable than a air mattress. I have it attached to the outside of my pack in this picture, so you can see it isn't terribly huge.
Is there a basic bivy sack that is known...
Is there a basic bivy sack that is known to work with these thick pads? I have the 9, possibly delux, and I'm afraid the pad itself is enough to fill a normal bivy.
The 9 Deluxe is pretty much too big to fit into any bivy. However you should be able to cram the DownMat 7 or 9 into any Outdoor Research Bivy Sack. OR used to distribute ExPed products, so the two brands work fairly well together.
like no other
The Downmat 9 DLX is worth every penny to the adventurer who wants to sleep good at night. It's super comfy and very warm too. It's also lightweight considering it's size, thickness, and R-value. Plus it packs down to only 7" X 11"
just so everybody knows, get backcountry to price match this pad because though they usually have good prices, every other website sells this for around 25 dollars less all the time.
Thick enough for this back-sleeper with big glutes
I'm a back-sleeper who has never been comfortable sleeping on flat surfaces. I need a significant dip for my glutes (butt) or I wake up after a couple of hours with a stiff and sore lower back. The first inflatable pad I ever used that was thick enough to provide the countour I needed was the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core. I would deflate it just enough so my butt didn't bottom out, creating the dip in the mattress like my bed at home.
However, I soon discovered that the Big Agnes did not live up to the "Insulated" part of the product title. In consecutive nights in the low 30's using the BA vs a heavy old well-insulated pad, I woke up chilled on the BA and had to put on some extra clothes. The insulating value of a pad and a sleeping bag work together as a system for keeping warm.
The Exped Downmat 9 does everything the BA does in terms of my back-sleeping needs, plus it insulates enough so that I don't have to also carry a foam pad in cold weather. It inflates very easily with the integrated hand pump: just press down repeatedly with the palm of your hand covering the opened valve.
I have only used the Downmat 9 on one trip so far so I can't attest to its durability, but it seems very well constructed and comes with a lightweight repair kit for use in the field. I would recommend this product for cold-weather use and for those who need a thick pad for a comfortable night's sleep.
Write your question here...I have the...
Write your question here...I have the downmat7 and it goes down in the night. I returned it 18mths ago for this reason and they replaced it. Now it does it again. It has never been on sharp or rocky ground and I have always used a groundsheet. Any ideas? I cannot find a puncture or hear any air escaping from the valve.
Wendy, You have a defective rubber gasket and check your pump interface.
This has changed backcountry sleeping forever. I have serious hip issues- too much pounding up and down mountains with guide packs, so I have a hard time sleeping on thin pads. I've used this now for four months and have had no holes and no other issues other than the ones that appear in my sweet dreams. I can't say anything bad about these pads. They even come with some repair glue.
Absolutely love this pad. Used it for a week long trip in the Boundary Waters and never had to repump it. Mine is the old version w/ the stuff sack pump and it worked flawlessly. I slept like a baby each night. I'm a side sleeper and my hip never touched the ground. I can say I have nothing bad to say about this pad at all. It is pricy, but I got mine cheap ($95) because it was a model closeout. "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
built in pump!
Earlier product reviews of this had me expecting to use the stuff sack as the pump, when mine arrived it was obvious that the sack wasn't going to work that way. when I unrolled the mat I found a section with an air plug and two hand prints - pretty obvious, open the plug, put your hands here and push. I have what they call the 7 pump - maybe with the old bag pump but it takes quite a few more with the built in pump, but it's very easy.
Exped mats rock!
Wish my bed at home were this warm and comfortable. Sleep on my side and don't bottom out. Hands down the best pad I've ever slept on. Only takes about 5 minutes to inflate. Read where other folks had difficulty blowing up.... not sure why. I found it pretty straight forward.
Good sleep makes for better days
We have two of the Downmat 9 Dlx. These are bar-none, the most comfortable mat I have encountered. I weigh 190 pounds and can sleep on my side without touching the ground! (never feel a root, rock, twing etc again!!) You will hear some complaints about the pump, but the reality is that a song or two on the ipod and you are in business. There have been times when I absolutely need to have my tent set up in a hurry, but I have not yet encountered a time that I coundn't trade 5 minutes of lazy work inside the tent for an outstanding nights rest.
These mats have seen nights of -15 F on the north shore of lake superior to hot and humid in the virgin islands. Whatever your pleasure of location, these mats are very capable. We haven't had a puncture or failure of any type so far.
Please keep in mind that they are a bit heavier than your run of the mill Thermarest, but I simply make choices in other areas to make up some of the difference. My wife and I use the Exped coupler kit and it too works well.
One note of caution, the 9 DLX seems bit wide. If you are going to use two of these in a two person tent, you may well be running up the walls. So, be sure to take a measure before you purchase.
I agree with jat120 - if you are a lite-freak, this is not the mat for you, but if you want great comfort in the summer and an easy packing system for the cold, these are fantastic! You will love it or leave it based on your philosophy on weight and set up.
and toasty on ice or snow and everything else. By far the warmest pad ever used. Easily the most compact pad ever used, packs pretty small-slightly smaller than 1/2 the size of a standard loaf of bread and is full length pad-stored in my pack now instead of exterior. Integrated pump is nice-take about 40 hand strokes to pump up taut. Easily adjusted to any comfort pressure level. Deflates in seconds and deflation valve mouth actually keeps up when rolling the pad up. Debris falls off pad easily. Easily packs back into included storage bag. Storage bag has nice retainer clip that doesn't allow drawstring to loosen up at all, no extra retaining knot needed. Inordinatly strong-friends daughter along with her little friend and their #10 rat dog actually used it as a snow sled while I was away! I was surprised there was no damage, no streaks or tears as the material is really tough. There is an "UP" and "DOWN" and does make a difference, read the instructions.
All together I've spent 3 months sleeping on this pad. Better sleep pad than any other product out there. I like it inflated to the point where if I sit up a bit my butt touchs the floor. This inflation level feels supportive and soft and doesn't feel like I'm floating on water.
I bought this pad mainly for the shoulder width. I had a slightly smaller exped mat that was very nice but my shoulders hung off. So I was loooking for a exped pad that was a little bigger I found one and the noticed for a few dollars more I could have a down one this is where I made a mistake it is very hot!!! If you plan on camping in a blizzard than it will be nice.I had it on the top of Mt. Shasta and it was still hot!!So when you look to buy this they mean business with the 4 season.