User Review: Exped DownMat 7
Price Paid: $139
Last September we were headed to the Canadian Rockies for some hut-to-hut hiking.
I don’t sleep well, not even at home. Finding items to assist in a better night’s rest (amongst 30 strangers) became my mantra. In addition, I wanted all of my gear to fit “inside” my Marmot Eiger 36 for safer air travel. This meant updating my very old Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad.
Through online research, I whittled my candidates down to the Exped DownMat 7 and the Therm a Rest ProLite 4 Women’s. Then off I went to my local REI to go lay on them. After 1.5 hrs in the store, I still couldn’t decide. There were pluses and minuses to each. The DownMat 7 was $139 (includes stuff sack/pump). The ProLite was $90 (plus $13 stuff sack/self-inflating). I purchased both, the runner-up would be returned. At home I got out my sleeping bag, told my Fella I wouldn’t be in the “Big Bed” for the next few nights, and set up camp in the living room.
I chose the DownMat 7.
It’s 4 inches longer in length (I have an extra long sleeping bag, ALL of me fit on the pad)
It’s 1.3 inches thicker which made sleeping on my side more comfortable.
It did seem to provide more warmth between me and my wood flooring than the ProLite.
It’s 3 oz lighter.
It packed up 1 inch shorter making for a better fit inside my pack.
Even after practicing, over and over again, I don’t get the stuff sack pump to work the first time. Last weekend, after cross-country skiing out to the Bradley Hut in a heavy snow storm, I wished I’d had a self-inflator. It took several attempts to get the DownMat inflated. At one point I even lacked the confidence that I’d succeed. By the time I did, my hands were numb with cold.
I do think it’s warmer to sleep on and I know that I’ve slept better in the huts with it.