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Gear Review: Exped MultiMat

An ultralight, waterproof mat that is handy for wet hikes, snow, rocky areas, and picnics.
Gear Zone Exped Multimat 445x260Exped MultiMat (Courtesy Photo)

While testing this pad on a wet trip in Little Dry Run Wilderness, VA, I learned fast just how handy it is to have a waterproof, padded area for sitting, sleeping, and keeping gear and the dog dry.

The MultiMat is primarily a picnic blanket/footprint/handy mat. Made of waterproof EVA (the same stuff found in closed-cell foam mats), the bottom is abrasion and slide resistant. Sticks and dog claws did press small holes into the foam, but they did not poke through (and even if they did there’s a five-year warranty).

The MultiMat measures 79×39 inches and has a fast-drying, ripstop nylon top with a polyurethane coating on the underside). After waking up in the morning with the bottom damp, it only took a few minutes to dry. There are four double-stitched webbing loops at each corner to use for stakes. If you had to, it would work as a tarp tent to protect gear or serve as a quick (but tight) emergency shelter to ward off hail or rain.

Although, the MultiMat isn’t really a sleeping pad—unless you’re one of those lucky people who can sleep anywhere on anything–when folded in half it can be stuffed with leaves or clothes and claims to be comfortable in temperatures down to 46°F (although my testing proved the real comfort number was more like 55°F).

During my last camping trip on the New River, VA, the ground was saturated, and I skipped my normal 4mm drop cloth footprint in favor of the MultiMat. It was awesome to use under my tarp setup to keep my sleeping pad protected from the ground. The pad also worked well next to the fire, and as a dry seat for cooking. When laying out my sleeping pad, I still had space on the side to keep my gear dry, and a large spot for the dog to sleep on.

Rolled up the mat is a little bulky (20×5”), but I really believe this mat is worth the extra weight…even for ultralight packing.  I rolled my Big Agnes Air Core inside of it and used a slightly larger stuff sack, and now I can’t wait to take this setup snow camping with a tarp. The MulitMat will probably be accompanying me on most trips this winter, as it will be hard to be without now that I’m used to it. Bonus: It also works well as a hammock insulator. I stayed warm in my cocoon down to 36°F.

Bottom line: A great accessory for any campsite.

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