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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2012

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Downmat UL7 Sleeping Pad

This down mat offers comfort and cushion in some of the roughest camp grounds.

by: Will Rochfort

Exped Downmat UL7 (Ben Fullerton
Exped Downmat UL7 (Ben Fullerton

Bundle of Bags
See all the summer, 3-season, and winter bags from our 2012 Gear Guide. Sleeping pads too!

[warmest]

Thought down was just for sleeping bags and jackets? Think again. The Downmat UL7 is stuffed with 700-fill feathers, and tester feedback can be summed up with this direct quote: “Zzzzzzz.” Says one happy camper: “I skipped the extra closed-cell foam pad I usually pack on cold-weather trips, and I stayed warm below freezing, despite the fact that I was in a 40°F bag.”

Cushioning is tops, too. At 2.8 inches thick, the Downmat can absorb any lumps and bumps: “Due to limited campsite selection, I had to sleep on top of an immovable rock that was protruding two inches from the ground—right into my back,” said one tester after a trip in Joshua Tree National Park. “I slept like a baby.” Smart: The side baffles are slightly larger than the rest, which helps keep you centered.

The 20-denier nylon shell requires some ultralight care, but our testers didn’t see any reason for concern after routinely sharing the pad for stargazing in the Rockies. It comes with the Schnozzel Pumpbag (1.4 oz.; $26 if purchased separately), which inflates the pad in minutes. Of course, luxury ain’t always cheap. $209; 1 lb. 4 oz.; 72” x 20” x 2.8”; exped.com



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FULL PRODUCT SPECS: DownMat UL 7 M

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FULL PRODUCT SPECS: DownMat UL 7 S

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FULL PRODUCT SPECS: DownMat UL 7 XS



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READERS COMMENTS

zephaniah
May 29, 2012

Gyday;

I have this and the NeoAir.

DONT put them directly on the ground....put them inside your bivvy bag or even sleeping bag if it fits..

both are a bloody nightmare to inflate but well worth it...best sleep in years of military use....just too bloody noisy in a tactical environment...but the best mats you can get ....

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