Nothing wrecks a winter night quite like shivering through the dark hours. It happens more than it should because some campers pack the right sleeping bag but the wrong pad. Bring a DownMat and that will never happen to you.
This pad changed the game when it hit the market in 2001. While there are a number of DownMat versions, for pure warmth we like the XP 9, which comes in both regular and long/wide versions. It’s packed with 8.8 ounces of 700-fill down, for a whopping 8.0 R-value (a measure of resistance to cold; most winter pads sit in the 5.0 range) that’s best in the DownMat series, and among the highest on the market. The XP 9 also inflates to a cushy 3.5 inches thick. “I’m a cold sleeper, and when a storm dropped temps to 0°F in Banff, I dreaded bedtime,” says our gear editor. “But, with the help of the XP 9 and a 0°F bag, I spent every night in dreamland.”
The DownMat’s bulk (it packs down to about the size of a football) means it might not be the pick for trips where space is at a premium, but what good is a minimalist mat if you can’t sleep?
Regular and long/wide;