Description: (From their site) Exped DownMats: super comfortable, infinitely warmer and more compact than any other comparable mat of similar weight. Since down compresses so well, Downmats also packs very small. The integrated pump makes inflation easy.
As seen on the blog: Label : Exped DownMats
UPDATE September 2011: We received a quick response from Exped in reply to our email letting them know about the problems we’ve had with our mats. Our mats are still within the 5-year warranty, so we’re going to send them back for repair/replacement. Watch this space. End update.
UPDATE September 2011: We’ve continued to enjoy the great comfort and warmth provided by these mats during cycle camping tours in, amongst other places, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, and Denmark. However, in New Zealand (October 2010) we started to notice a couple of problems with the mats: 1. a few feathers appearing when deflating the mats (from the deflation valves), and 2. the integrated pump area becoming – for want of a better word – ‘squashed’, and making it more difficult to pump the mats. The integrated pump on one mat in particular has become so compressed that it doesn’t fully inflate between strokes, making it harder to inflate the mats as quickly. We’re going to write to Exped to get their reaction to these problems, and will update this blog with their response. End update.
UPDATE September 2009: We have now used these mats on very hard rocky ground in Croatia and even as a “float” when our campsite turned, temporarily, into a river. And, what can I say? The mats simply work. We slept through and on anything, and didn’t even feel the water running under our tent. End update.
A friend of mine recommended the Exped DownMat 7Pump DLX to me, saying, “It’s just the bee’s knees, mate!” Nearly 3 inches thick and filled with down, and can cope with temperatures down to -24c. And lighter, and smaller when packed, than most other mats that are half as thick. It’s a bit expensive (I think the recommended retail price is around £120), but it is worth it.
So, we decided to give them a go, because the last time either of us went camping we were sleeping on good, old-fashioned foam mats. For a few nights they might do the job, but unless you were whacked from a day in the outdoors, they never really allowed you a proper night’s sleep, as they were just too hard and cold. I was reminded that you lose around a third of your body heat through the floor/ground when camping.
There are a few other versions of the mats, but we picked the DownMat 7Pump DLX, which is …
Size: 193x65x7 cm / 76x26x2.8“
Weight: 1140 g / 40.2 oz
Packsack: 19 g / 0.7 oz
Packed: 27×14 cm / 11×5“
Fill Weight: 220 g / 7.8 oz
Temperature: -24°C / -11°F
So, they’re still shorter than me, but I’m used to no bed being long enough for me and I tend to sleep curled up anyway. It is nice and wide so there is a bit of room to spread out on. The main reason for getting these mats is that after a long wet and cold day in the saddle, we know that we have a very warm and comfy bed to crawl into.
Pull it out of the bag, fold out and start pumping, with the pump that is built into the mat, so no more misplacing the valve or other bits. It takes around 5min (depending on how fast and fit you are :) ) to pump up.
The mats are well comfy. You do not feel the cold from below or anything might be laying under. I would put bed lining between you and the mat if you are using a duvet, that – of course – is not needed if you are in a sleeping bag.
Packing up is dead easy too, though the air is not that keen in being released from its warm cocoon, so you need to learn the knack of rolling and pressing before you can start to pack it up. You need to do it nice and tight or else you will have problems getting it into its stuff sack.
We have now use it for seven or so nights, on hard rocky ground and damp cold grass and did we sleep just fine? Oh, yes. The combination of this mat with the Alpkit SkyeHigh 800 sleeping bags is the best sleep I ever have had while camping. I’m never worried about the terrain or the weather while touring because I know I’m going to to get a good night’s sleep.
The Princess would say, “What pea?” if she had only had the luxury of sleeping on a Exped DownMat. Worth the money, space and weight. Big time.