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Exped Ultra 1R

photo: Exped Ultra 1R air-filled sleeping pad

Exped's lightweight and easy to use Ultra 1R sleeping pad is quiet, durable, and provides substantial comfort throughout a wide temperature range. Paired with a short CCF (closed-cell foam) pad, the Ultra 1R proved to be comfortable down to the mid-30°F range on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park in September 2022.

Although this sleeping pad is aimed toward lightweight/ultralight hikers, any camper looking for a compact and durable sleeping pad may find this product more than sufficient for three-season overnights. Multiple sizes, widths, and a rectangular model are available.

Pros

  • Inflates/deflates easily
  • Great warmth-to-weight ratio

Cons

  • Light green color shows stains

People do not want to take risks when it comes down to a night of much needed rest. Although individuals in the past have accepted poor quality sleep as "ordinary," this stigma has been rapidly changing with the development of outdoor technology. Based out of Switzerland, Exped has been in the industry since 1983. 

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Preparing camp at N. Puyallup River on the Wonderland Trail

The Ultra 1R sleeping mat is a straightforward product with two easy to operate valves. The proprietary Exped Flatvalve has one-way operation, as to not leak when filling.  

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Note the lower inflation check valve

Included is a Schnozzel Pumpbag UL (20L/size small) for quick and moisture-free filling. This can also double as a dry bag. 

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The Schnozzel tip easily presses into the inflation valve

A repair kit containing glue and adhesive patches are included. The sleeping mat provided by Exped for testing was early production, and no repair kit was included for my testing though. Fortunately, emergency repairs were not a concern during testing from May through October.

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A storage bag holds everything with additional room to spare.

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Ultra 1R (bottom), Ultra Pillow (middle), small Smart Water bottle

The Exped Ultra 1R is constructed using a recycled 20D stretch polyester, laminated with a hydrolysis resistant TPY polyetherimide. These chemicals are utilized to help prevent the product from breaking down from water/moisture contact, which is especially helpful for a product in close contact to one’s breathing, night after night.

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Visible stains from regular use, ~10-15 nights

The face fabric is made of a recycled 20D ripstop polyester, which is Oeko-Tek 100 certified; a relatively new process where products are tested for harmful substances. More can be read on Oeko-Tek certification here

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Setting up camp; Devil's Dream, Mt. Rainier National Park

The tested model (Mummy M) specs in at 72 x 20.5 x 3 inches, weighing in at 10.9 ounces. 

 

Construction & Durability

This sleeping pad, like most Exped models, is constructed with air chambers that run head-to-toe, fully supporting the body for an unrivaled night’s sleeping increased durability. Exped’s comfort cradle side rails center and secure the sleeper on the mat. This is a very nice part of the design, especially with the smaller 20" mummy style 1R. 

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Although difficult to photograph, the taller side rails help keep one on the pad

The Ultra 1R sleeping mat has shown to be quite durable over the course of approximately 20 nights on trail. As a tossing, turning, never comfortable sleeper, I tend to be very hard on inflatable sleeping pads. Outside of the accumulated dirt and grime from long distance hiking, no signs of wear have been noted. The 1R can easily be spot-washed with mild soap and warm water.

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Conditions

The Ultra 1R sleeping mat has been tested since May 2022 on several overnight hikes on the Appalachian Trail, a weeklong guided trip for kids in Maryland and West Virginia, and on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. Temperatures have ranged from nearly the 90°F mark in the mid-Atlantic down to the mid-30’s in Washington state.

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A summer afternoon leading Teen Camp in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Thank you to the people over at Exped for the opportunity for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps to test the new Ultra 1R sleeping pad!

Experience

After nearly 30 years of hiking and backpacking, I converted from hiking on foam pads to becoming a believer in inflatable sleeping pads. Other models of pads used/tested are the Sierra Designs Shadow Mountain, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, and the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm sleeping pad. Seven years of backpacking later, I am 100% on board with using fully inflatable sleeping pads!

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample for testing and review provided by Exped)

About the Author

Sean Van Cleve spends much of his free time as a backcountry guide in the mid-Atlantic USA. A certified Leave No Trace Trainer and Wilderness First Responder, Sean focuses on outdoor education with friends and clients alike. Whether it is recreational high-pointing, section hiking on the Appalachian Trail, or leading multi-day backcountry trips in West Virginia, practicing outdoor ethics is at the forefront of the experience—preserving the land for future generations. 

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Specs

Price MSRP: $129.95
Current Retail: $96.93-$129.95
R-Value 1.3
Temperature 10° C / 50° F
Fabric Recycled 20D ripstop polyester, Oeko-Tex® 100 certified
Insulation Air
Product Details from Exped »

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