Exped Airmat 7.5
I have used the mattress in two different occasions…
Price Paid: $85
I have used the mattress in two different occasions now and find it a welcome relief from my tried and true Therm-a-rest. At 63 I am more aware of the weight I carry than I was 20 years ago, so the 19 ounce weight was a pleasant surprise.
I am also a side sleeper and my frame no longer tolerated the lack of support I was getting from the previous pad. The Airmat allowed me to put as much air in it as I needed to be comfortable and do so with little effort. On both occasions I awoke in better condition after a night's sleep than I had for some time.
Getting all the air out and repacked took two efforts the first time, but by the tiem I had used it a second time I had already mastered the technique and had down the size required by the sack that came with it. One of my better buys in the area of camp gear in some time.
If there is a knock on the product, I haven't found it yet.
My wife and I got two of these pads as wedding gifts…
Price Paid: $40
My wife and I got two of these pads as wedding gifts at the beginning of last summer. We have used them on quite a few outings since then.
- very affordable
- extremely lightweight
- excellent compressability (fits into a very small stuff sack)as compared to the Therm-a-rests which take up quite a bit more room in your pack
- elevates you 3 inches or so off the ground and keeps you from sliding off the pad because of the grooves
- not very durable. My wife's developed two pin sized holes when she used it outside the tent to read (granted this may have been some rough grass). But I used a Therm-a-rest for years even on dirt, pebbles, and roots and it stayed pretty much impenetrable. I have since used the patch kit for repair and we'll see how long it lasts.
- the design makes you feel like you're on a pool float which is kind of annoying when you turn over - a little noisy and shaky. It definitely feels different if you are used to sleeping on flatter surfaces.
- takes quite a bit longer to inflate because of the larger volume of air needed to fill it.
If you pack light and small, are very careful with your equipment, and don't mind sleeping on something comparable to a pool float, this may be the perfect pad for you. I am now considering the Therm-a-rest Prolite3 and 4, but I may just stick with this one since I have a pretty small pack (GG Vapor Trail).