- December 4 2011
only sleeping pad I will ever use
The title says it all. I have always loved camping, but often had trouble sleeping when I would roll off my sleeping pad and end up shivering on the cold ground. The Exped DownMat is now the only pad I will ever use. Yes, it is slightly bulkier than my ultrathin sleeping pads of the past, but it is worth every extra ounce and inch. I don't roll off this mat because of the slight texture to the covering, even when sleeping an a slight incline. I am always super warm through the night and sleep soundly. Really cannot recommend it enough. It is pricey, but will last for years. Totally worth it as I don't hesistate to sleep in the great outdoors anymore!
- November 2 2011
This pad appears durable. I have not used it in the cold yet but have tested it at my house. I like how it partially self inflates, eliminating some time pumping. The integrated pump is great. It has a good loft and is plenty wide enough for a good mummy bag. I bought one to make sure I would like it and will be purchasing another for my wife.
- May 24 2011
The only pad for winter backpacking
According to my research, the Exped Down Mat 9 (and maybe the Down Mat 7 and the Synmats of the same brand) are the only mats that are light enough for backpacking yet warm enough for winter and/or high elevation use. Its price is high, but if you want to backpack in really cold conditions, get it! The thermal resistance value of the Down Mat 9 is 8 [m2C/W]. This is more than most other mats on the market. The high value is achieved by filling the mat with goose down, which prevents the air in the mattress to move around and therefore transporting heat from your warm body to the cold ground. Recall that when sleeping in your sleeping bag, your weight compresses the insulation of the bag and thus decreasing the sleeping bags insulation towards the ground. The only thing that substantially isolates you form the cold ground below is then the mat. Other than regular foam mattresses, the down-filled mat can be compressed to a very small volume, which results in an extremely compact package when rolled up. I own an admittedly very comfortable self-inflating foam mat with an R-value of 7 and of comparable size to the Donw Mat 9. This foam-filled mat weights however 5lbs and packs more than twice as large as the Down Mat 9. I used this heavy mat before I finally bought the Down Mat 9. The foam mattress works equally well for winter camping, but to carry it around on a backpack is awful (due to its weight and size). Inflation of the Down Mat 9 is done with the integrated pump. After inflating the mat the first time, I thought it was quite a hassle, but with every inflation my technique improved and inflating the mat takes now pretty precisely 90sec (I have the largest version of the mat - inflation of the regular size mat will be quicker). Deflation is easy and quick with the right technique. The video provided on the Exped website showing deflation of a mat is very illustrative. As another reviewer of the mat wrote, the Down Mat 9 (and most probably any mat that is not filled with foam) does still feel like an air mattress. My ultra heavy foam-filled mattress proves to be more comfortable, but at its weight of 5lbs it better does. I cannot say anything about the durability yet since I do not own the mat for long enough. The quality seems however excellent and the fact that many professional mountaineers use it for expeditions (also to the Himalayas) is probably the best proof for the mat's durability.
- August 21 2010
I searched high and low for a comfortable, warm, lightweight sleeping pad that is easy to inflate. This is it!! I paddle kayaks long distance. The size weight and construction of this pad are fantastic. The Down 9 is super warm. The construction is superb; much better than any Thermarest or Big Agnes mats, I have both. It packs down to the size of a 2-liter bottle. Very ow weight. It takes some practice to pack but once you get it down, it's easy to roll and pack. I use it on rough terrain with no concerns. Excellent product.
- August 16 2010
I've tried a lot of pads and this is my favorite! It inflates easily, it's warm, and very comfortable. The pump design is much easier to use than blowing air in to inflate a mattress. I love this pad!