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Exped DownMat UL 7

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Exped DownMat UL 7 air-filled sleeping pad

Works for side sleepers! Great sleeping pad for winter camping. Be careful not to puncture it on rough terrain.


  • Keeps tons of body heat from going into the ground
  • Easy, quick inflation
  • Works for side sleepers


  • Worry about it popping on rough terrain
  • Need to spend time carefully rolling it up to store it

This sleeping pad is pretty awesome!

Comes with a nylon Schnozzel bag to inflate it. Fills in ~ 2.5 'bags' of air. Bag is a rectangle slightly smaller than the size of a pillowcase.

I have both the xs and small versions. I fit comfortably on the small size since I am 5'1", but my feet hang off the bottom of the xs (nice for saving weight, just prop feet up on extra clothes or my pack). I can sleep on my side with this mat without touching the ground through the mat [must be be centered on mat width-wise; for the xs mat, feet need to be hanging off for this to work, not the head/top half of the body - I've tested it].

The shell material seems nice enough. One complaint: my forehead was a little greasy and grazed one spot on the xs mat. This spot is darker than everything around it and won't go away, even after a spot cleaning with water and dish detergent.

Amazingly, this mat actually does roll up to fit easily in the bag it came it. Take the inflated mat, ensure fill valve is closed. Open the deflate valve, do tri-fold hot dog bun style, roll up and cap vent. unroll, fold, and roll tightly again. This second roll gets that last little bit of air out. As you get to the end of the roll, open the deflate vent, squeeze that last little bit of air out, and re-cap. Voila, it fits nicely!

Test 1: I first used this winter camping on a glacier. We pitched [very nice expensive winter] tents on snow at the foot of the glacier. Temperature at night was 25°F (day 30°F). I used this Downmat 7 UL on top of a Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOlite sleeping pad. Slept in a -30 Lamina Mountain Hardwear (-30°F) sleeping bag and Sea-to-Summit Fleece Toaster Liner. Had on two fleece tops and two fleece bottoms. Hot water Nalgene at my feet and two pairs of wool socks.

Was way too warm in the middle of the night from above and below! The tent and Downmat were both a significant factor in this I believe. Tent: three of us played cards in the closed up tent for about 20 minutes and my infrared thermometer indicated the temperatures rose from 28°F to 37°F.

Test 2: Used the Downmat on a camping trip in 40°F temps (30s at night). No snow on the ground although it was snowing in the morning when we woke up. I was in a cheap leaky $20 Walmart tent. The Downmat was placed on top of four fleece layers (a folded Walmart fleece blanket). I was sleeping in a 20-year-old rectangular 70-degree rated bag, Sea-to-Summit Fleece Toaster liner, Thermolite Reactor Extreme liner, three fleece tops, and two fleece bottoms. Hot water nalgene at my feet and 2 pairs of wool socks.

Woke up in the middle of the night and noticed the parts of my body facing the Downmat were warm, the other parts were cold. Flip and fall asleep again, repeat several other times in the night.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $136

Best sleeping pad I've ever used in over 40 years of backpacking!


  • Warm
  • Comfortable
  • Compact when packed


  • Haven't found any REAL cons, after four years of use.
  • If I'm picky, maybe a little slippery on slanted ground-Sleeping bag can slide off

I've used this pad for over six years, including in the Michigan U.P. in February in a blizzard, with temperatures reaching 7 below zero! It does EXACTLY what I want it to do, and does it better than any pad I've ever used, in over 40 years of backpacking: It provides a comfortably cushioned sleeping surface; it's very light for its R-rating, and it keeps me warm all night. It's also easy to inflate, with the included Exped Schnozzel Pumpbag. Very compact when packed.

Best pad available for anyone who wants a light, durable insulated pad that provides a comfortable night's sleep in almost ANY weather. (Maybe not warm enough for 40 below, but I won't be backpacking in 40 below!) I bought it from REI in 2012 at member discount 20% off for $167.20, and if I trashed it, I'd buy another Exped Downmat, even though they no longer make the UL 7.

I HIGHLY recommend it! GO, EXPED!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $167.20 U.S.

Small package, good results. A good mat for an occasional overnight.


  • Lightweight
  • Packs really small
  • Decent comfort level


  • Included air pump sucks
  • Difficult to get properly inflated

Got this new Exped mat at a local outdoor center, pretty good deal on it as they were moving out older inventory. First time to use it, couldn't get the included air pump to work properly. Maybe it was me, but I reckon I'm smart enough to figure out how to use an air pump.  

Ended up using mouth-to-valve inflation method. If I had been hiking all day, I would have thrown this thing in the woods at this point. But, once I got it inflated and adjusted to my comfort level, it was really nice.

When it was time to pack up, just opened the valve and let nature take its course. It rolled up pretty easy into the included stuff sack.

Overall, a decent mat. Needs to be easier to inflate, then I'd give it 5 stars.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80

Very light and cozy.


  • Light
  • Cozy
  • Warm


  • Expensive
  • Need practice with inflation

A very cozy, comfortable and warm pad. Very light and compact. A little bit expensive, but worth every single $.



Source: bought it new

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Price Historic Range: $113.99-$249.00
Reviewers Paid: $80.00-$167.20
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