[warm and affordable]
Over the years, our testers have been big fans of Exped’s down-filled pads for the ultimate in lightweight warmth. But priced upwards of $200, they’ve remained a bit out-of-reach for hikers who don’t need a winter-ready ultralight. So we were glad to see this new option: a bargain model with a 4.5 R-value that still delivers three-plus-season insulation (our tester stayed cozy through early-winter snowstorms in Wyoming’s Wind River Range). The cost savings come from affordable materials, such as 75-denier polyester and 650-fill duck down (compared to 20-denier nylon and 700-fill feathers in Exped’s premium models).
The armor-like shell fabric makes this pad a few ounces heavier—and more durable. “On rough sections of the PCT that had other hikers carrying foam pads, I enjoyed puncture-free reliability and enviable comfort,” reports one happy user. Cushioning is plush, thanks to two fat inches of feather-lined air that smooth over uneven rock and clumps of grass. Oversized edge baffles keep sleepers centered on the pad. A whoopee cushion-sized accessory pump (included) makes for fast, huff-free inflation, and a deflation valve helps when packing up. Tester’s take: “I wish I’d had this last year in Nepal, where I struggled to blow up my pad at 17,000 feet!” $99; 1 lb. 7 oz.; 72” x 20” x 2”; exped.com
Multi-use mat: folded in half lengthwise makes a sleeping mat, folded more makes a sit pad, canoe liner, tent vestibule liner, picnic mat, dry place to sit in wet grass, backup sleeping mat for winter or expedition use, rain cover, etc., etc.
4mm EVA foam covered by ripstop nylon on one side.Loops in corners and snaps along edges for connecting multiple mats.