Thinking about new air mat

9:31 p.m. on October 12, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
153 forum posts

Right now the only air mat I use is my 3/4 legnth prolite.  In the winter I put down a full legnth ridge rest under the thermarest.  Although I don't have any issues with this system unless the ground is really uneven I'm wondering if I'm missing out on anything. 

What's you're thoughts on the Neo Air X therm

or

The Exped Downmat 7 UL

The specs all seem to point to the neoair as it is almost half the weight but with nearly the same r value. 

Beyond the published specs which would you prefer and why? 

Also, what are the benefits of horizontal vs vertical baffles.  Tried both mats at REI and both are comfortable to me. 

11:09 a.m. on October 13, 2012 (EDT)
119 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

WISam,  I went with the Exped company because the mat is much less "slippery" then the other brands I tried.   Other then that, one of the other items I looked at was the over all thickness of the Pad, a thicker pad gives you more options on set up and how you sleep, side vs. back, etc.  

Also, not to knock Neo Air, but I have read quite a few reports of them leaking or the "Chambers" pop and two or more chambers become one.  The Exped is heaver but it is also more durable material, at least in my opinion.

Wolfman

5:47 p.m. on October 13, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

The Exped Downmat 7 UL

4:37 p.m. on October 14, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
606 forum posts

Ive heard and seen the same thing with the neo's,go with the exped.

5:55 p.m. on October 14, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

+1 on the Exped.

11:05 p.m. on October 14, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
812 reviewer rep
555 forum posts

I have the Synmat 7. Good mat and it insulates to 1 deg.

12:50 p.m. on October 15, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,612 reviewer rep
1,248 forum posts

Your ridgerest plus 3/4 length inflatable is the same way I roll in the winter.  In the snow I put my pack under my legs also because I like my legs higher.

5:12 p.m. on October 15, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

The original NeoAir apparently had problems with the baffles popping but they seem to have been fixed in the newer X Therm version. I only weigh 150 lbs, and I never had a problem, though. I do like it's small size when deflated, just a bit bigger than a pop can.

I can't comment on the Exped, except that a lot pf people I know use it cor car-camping. If you don't mind the weight, go for it!

6:03 p.m. on October 15, 2012 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
843 forum posts

I also sleep with the ridgerest/thermarest combo. curious to see which you choose.

12:07 a.m. on October 16, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
246 forum posts

One more in favour of the Exped. I bought myself this mat, and when my wife tried that I had to buy her too the same mat! I have the old 7 version. If I was in a position to buy a new mat I would perhaps go for the large version. The one I have is warm enough, but as I'm not a calm sleeper I could wish for some more space. But I have never fallen off the mat during sleep.

12:27 p.m. on October 16, 2012 (EDT)
225 reviewer rep
1,196 forum posts

The Exped Downmat is excellent for winter camping, especially after they dumped the stuffsac pump bag and went with the built in hand pump.  Both pics below---


TRIP-116-439.jpg

This pump configuration makes pumping up the Exped only a slight hassle instead of a large hassle.


TRIP-116-387.jpg

Here's the big Exped Downmat 9 by the Hilleberg Staika.  With some care from puncture the Exped is the perfect stand-alone winter pad.  Rated to -40F.


TRIP-134-224.jpg

My 3 season pad of choice used to be the Thermarest Prolite 4 or the Plus and now I really like using the 40th Anniversary large though it's probably a limited edition.


TRIP-126-246.jpg

Another pad to consider is the NeoAir All Season which is pretty comfy though thin.  It has a fairly high R value for winter camping.


TRIP-123-591.jpg

A great almost 4 season pad is the Thermarest Prolite Plus at nearly 4R.  Very comfy for its weight.

12:23 p.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

I know friends who've had problems with the neo-air. I have big dogs (130lbs) and went with the trekker. Not much heavier and has some r-value.  Been on it one season with no problems so far. You can't blow them up as other air matts or they are hard as the ground. Took awhile to figure that one out.

2:13 p.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
606 forum posts

If your leaning towards the exped. There are two of them on geartrade.com right now. Both the down and the synthetic versions.

11:18 p.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
153 forum posts

Thanks. Sounds like people are definitely In favor of the exped here.

10:04 a.m. on October 18, 2012 (EDT)
108 reviewer rep
45 forum posts

Something to consider...

The Thermarest Xair may be very loud in a crinkly tinfoily kind of way... My gf had me return our MEC Summerlight air mattresses because of this... She is sound sensitive... I noticed the same effect in the Xair... She ended up choosing a Thermarest Prolight plus...

What I recently purchased to add some luxury to our lives was 2 Exped Multimats from REI... I will do a review in the coming weeks... But quickly, they have snaps along both lengths, and corner tabs, unlike the REI pic, and were very useful on our recent bike/camping trip for under our therms, and to use folded as a seat to hunker down upon for lunch. It was a source of jealousy from others when my son and I attended a US/Argentina rugby game in Victoria in the pouring rain and we spread it out folded width wise to protect our rumps from the soaked bleachers... And it weighs hardly anything... 

11:16 p.m. on October 20, 2012 (EDT)
65 reviewer rep
168 forum posts

Love my Exped 7. Wish I had one with the new pump set-up. The old pump-in-the-sack method is a PITA. But, it does work, and the mat is a marvel, and I'm not spending the bucks on one of the newer ones, so this is more an observation than it is a complaint. The real difference is between having an exped and not having one, not between pump types. I've used thermarests for 30 years, and still do at times, but the Exped is the cadillac IMO.

10:37 a.m. on October 31, 2012 (EDT)
386 reviewer rep
17 forum posts

We have a review up on the NeoAir All-Season Pad... liked it a lot:

http://www.backpackersreview.com/gear-reviews/sleeping-bags-pads

10:32 a.m. on November 9, 2012 (EST)
44 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

A cheaper version of the Exped is the REI Stratus, about half the price.  I love mine, lightweight, warm, does not make the crinkling sould like the Thermarest, not slippery, easy to blow up, thicker outside baffles so you don't roll off. At least try it out, you can always return it if you don't like it with REI's 100% return policy.

5:51 a.m. on November 10, 2012 (EST)
225 reviewer rep
1,196 forum posts

It should be pointed out that the REI Stratus is not down filled and instead uses Primaloft.  The biggest negatory is it's Rvalue at 3, a very low number for winter when compared to the Exped Dowmat's 8R.

8:42 p.m. on November 28, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
17 forum posts

I have a NeoAir XTherm. I've used it about 6 nights now, all in different places. I am a very cold sleeper, so I didn't expect it to live up to it's "truly 4-season" claim, for me at least.

In above freezing temps, it was, as expected, warm.

On top of snow, I expected to be way too cold, but surprisingly, I was only a bit cool. It was well below freezing. I didn't measure, but my boots were frozen in the vestibule and my water bottle was slushy in my pack (which was in my tent inches from my head). When I put my hand under myself (on top of the pad on top of the snow) and left it there, it was actually somewhat warm.

I may have slept cool because my extra quilt (over my bag) kept slipping off. I will have to sleep on top of snow a few more times, at temps when my water bottle freezes harder, to really know, but so far, much warmer than I thought it would be. I would say for a "normally" warm sleeper it would be good.

On top of earth, but with snow all around, and similar temps as above, I did feel warmer, but again, it could have been the bag arrangement.

Someone warned me that the crinkling sound might bother me, but even though I am a light sleeper, it didn't. I haven't noticed baffles breaking inside, but how would I know?

What was annoying was how long it took to inflate it with the stuff sack pump, but I didn't want to breathe in it and add water into it every time I used it. But I suppose any pad with a large volume like the NeoAir would take time to inflate.

All in all, so far I am surprised at how well it performs, not to mention that I no longer have to dig a little "butt depression" under the tent to be comfortable side sleeping. I've never BP-ed with a pad this thick, and it sure is nice. And light.

10:05 p.m. on November 28, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts

I sleep better on my original, small NeoAir than my old Exped 9.  It seems to have a good following regarding its comfort level.  Then when I use it on the snow, the Exped is just a little warmer, both using a CCF pad underneath.  On sand/decomposed granite, the NeoAir with no other mat, has the same warmth, whether summer temps or single digits F.  ymmv.  My first one was returned due to a leak.

Duane

7:38 a.m. on November 29, 2012 (EST)
225 reviewer rep
1,196 forum posts

hikerduane said:

I sleep better on my original, small NeoAir than my old Exped 9.  It seems to have a good following regarding its comfort level.  Then when I use it on the snow, the Exped is just a little warmer, both using a CCF pad underneath.  On sand/decomposed granite, the NeoAir with no other mat, has the same warmth, whether summer temps or single digits F.  ymmv.  My first one was returned due to a leak.

Duane

 You are probably the only person on the planet able to say this as the NeoAir is rated at 2.5R while the Exped 9 is 8R, a huge difference when it comes to sleeping on snow.  With the Exped properly inflated (I like it very firm), well, to me there's nothing more comfy. 

In fact, I was out in the backyard last night sleeping on my Downmat and I'm always impressed by the warmth of this down-filled mattress.  The NeoAir is not down filled and I can tell the difference fast.  Sleeping on down-filled tubes actually augments my down sleeping bag's rating another 10 or 15 degrees, a good thing in January and February.  And last night in late November.

10:00 a.m. on November 29, 2012 (EST)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,761 reviewer rep
362 forum posts

WISam,

If you are looking for a new pad, I recommend at least considering the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core. I have it, and it is fantastic! The R-Value is 5.1, so you can absolutely use it four seasons. It also has quilted baffles, so your body is even all night. It is the most comfortable pad I have ever slept on.  I believe the price is about $140 and the weight is about 27oz. It is a little bit heavier than I would like, but it is certainly worth it!

5:50 p.m. on November 30, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
17 forum posts

Wow, 8R for Exped 9. Sounds yummy. The NeoAir XTherm is rated at 5.7, and a med. weighs 15 oz. How much does your Exped 9 weigh?

Tipi Walter said:

 You are probably the only person on the planet able to say this as the NeoAir is rated at 2.5R while the Exped 9 is 8R, a huge difference when it comes to sleeping on snow.  With the Exped properly inflated (I like it very firm), well, to me there's nothing more comfy.  

8:16 p.m. on November 30, 2012 (EST)
225 reviewer rep
1,196 forum posts

The Downmat 9 DLX comes in at 2 lbs 12 ounces, way too heavy for the nano types but perfect for old Uncle Fungus.  Remember, this is a 26 inch wide by 79 inch long pad.

4:45 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

Is the original poster talking about the Downmat 7 or the Downmat 7 UL?  I know he mentions UL, but then says that the X-therm is half the weight, which would seem to indicate he's thinking about the regular Downmat 7.  

The UL is still a little heavier than the X-therm though.  I was thinking about both mats as well, and I went with the Exped, simply because I have another Exped pad and I like it.  

It has been very warm so far, and it's easy to inflate with the included schnozzel stuff sack (remember, the UL does not have the built in pump, and you can't blow it up with your mouth, so they include a dry bag that doubles as a pump bag).  

That said, I would like to have tried the x-therm...those are pretty impressive warmth and weight numbers...One outdoor shop employee told me he thought they, were kind of "crinkly"...another told me that Cascade Design had solved that problem...wasn't sure who to believe, and they didn't have a demo.  

10:16 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
153 forum posts

Thanks for the help. Went with the downmat ul7.

5:28 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

WISam said:

Thanks for the help. Went with the downmat ul7.

 Solid choice.

October 26, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: for gear heads who count ounces/grams Newer: is there really a difference between 650 and 850 down?
All forums: Older: at trail or cart trail and sections or straight thru for 1st extended trip Newer: What New Gear Do You Want Reviewed?