I am hard to please, and I'm very please
If you are like me and go walkabout often then you know how important a good nights sleep is after 10-12 hours of bushwackin it, you must get a good recharge each night or you(I) wont make it for more than 4-5 days at that pace. This pad will keep you very insulated from the ground. I have slept on it in 15 degrees with my down sleeping bag (15 degree) and was very toasty, even too hot at times, this pad radiates your body heat back to you unbelievably well. I am surprised at how much this doesnt feel like a pool raft like other inflatables I have used, its actually comparable to my bed. My pad inflates differently than others have described instead of the stuff sack being used to inflate mine uses your hands to press down on these two pads to "pump" it up, takes about a minute, two at most.(newer model possibly?) As for durability, it is an INFLATABLE pad but not as fragile as you might think. Maybe the guy who gave a bad review slept on a boulder slide or on a bed of thorns, just clear your sleep area of protruding objects and it will be fine, three nights in a row I used a tree root as a prop under pad (forgot to bring pillow) and no puncture and have'nt lost air at all day or night hot or cold. If you put value in sleeps ability to enhance the body and minds overall well-being then buy this pad every other pad I have slept on just simply does not measure up and left me wearing down bit by bit night by night (no matter how well I had eaten) due to lack of good REM sleep. I consider this pad a luxury well worth the weight and price. Do yourself a favor, heed this review.
Luxury and Practicality
Initial review. As soon as I got this home and unrolled it I knew I was dealing with a quality piece of gear. The fabric is a dream and construction is sturdy. I had no problem with the built in hand-pump. I placed my hands differently than the picture shows but I pumped up the mat quickly just the same. The description should also include there are two loops on the top of the pad that allow you to lash a pillow to the mat. Genius! My pillow always skitters away from under my sleeping bag hood. Not anymore.
I had myself a little fit when I got the mat pumped up and squeezed the baffles feeling for the down. It was all along the edges and not in the middle of the baffles. I was angry and thought I had been scammed. I was pondering returning the mat for a less expensive exped model when I opened the included repair kit. Instructions for the mat are in there - it explains that the down will distribute after the mat is allowed to rest for 24 hours on the first unroll after purchase. I figured what the heck and left the two valves open overnight as suggested. I came back in the morning to find a fluffy, evenly distributed, pillow of lovely downmat bliss.
I gave the mat a test drive on my frozen garage concrete floor. I was toasty and well protected.
I feel confident my old 3/4 length thermarest has officially been replaced with a major upgrade.
The Expeds are de-lightful!
I have over 50 years of camping, backpacking and canoeing experience in every type of weather from -20°F to over 100°. I also believe in comfort. The Exped is delightful. It is light weight, extremely easy to inflate and if you purchase the "pillow pump"and sleeve to use the Exped as a seat MORE comfortable than my $1,000 adjustable office chair! The "pillow pump" doubles as low back support and a gentle pillow. The Exped insulates from ground heat loss excellently. If temperatures below 20°F are possible I do also take a 3/4 length ensolite pad too not wanting to risk being uncomfortable. The Exped inflates with 9 to 11 "pumps" with no dizzy feeling of course. And since it has two valves it deflates almost instantly too. Converting from a seat to a sleeping pad takes seconds and the seat has a sleeve that loads from the bottom that holds the pillow pump (or other pillow such as a down coat in a stuff sack) in place all night long. No more waking at night to retrieve my pillow that has walked off my pad. Get one. You will not regret it even though it is expensive. Along with the seat and pillow pump it will dramatically improve your outdoor experience. I also use it in my canoe as a seat to rest in during the day when we are taking a break since it is so comfortable.
Seriously warm and comfortable.
Used the Exped 7 Dlx on a winter snow-shoe camp out at 9,400 feet during January, 2009 (Fairview, Utah). Setup our Bibler Fitzroy mountaineering tent, and put the Exped inside. The temperature outside was 19 degrees (warm for a Utah January night). Inside the tent, with my son and I, the temperature was 30 degrees. Layed my Western Mountaineering Puma (a -10 below bag) onto the Exped and began drifting off to sleep. Very comfortable, until 1 hour later. I was too hot! My back was too hot and my body was too hot! Used the bag to cover my legs, and my Mountain Hardware Sub-zero SL Parka to act like a blanket on top of me. Dressed down to my base-layer, and finally felt comfortable enough to go to sleep. This pad is VERY warm when fully inflated. I would seriously use the Exped pad in very cold conditions, but the gear we had with us was just too warm for the mild winter conditions that night. The Exped was VERY comfortable, and kept me warm all night long - and that was the Exped 7DLX! I can't imagine how warm the 9DLX would have been on that night if I had purchased that instead! Awesome addition to my winter gear.
Great Night's sleep
I've used this sleeping mat in three different environments: California Desert at the end of summer, Triple Canopy Jungle, and mountainous area. The thing is phenomenal in the following ways:
1. I tend to sleep on my side and this is the only way I've been able to get a good nights rest. Used on sand, concrete, grass, bed of a truck, I don't feel what's underneath me.
2. It packs down relatively small. Understand that it isn't minimalist in any way. But it gets down to about a third the size of my 2.5" Thermarest. The drawback to this is that I couldn't find a way to secure it to my pack when moving. It meant it took up valuable space on the interior of my pack.
3. I know some people have commented on the durability, I've had scares where I woke up to a pad that wasn't totally inflated but I lubricated the seal on the valves and it's kept a tight seal over days.
4. I've slept in freezing temperatures on this mat and never felt cold through it. The drawback to this is when it's pretty warm outside (80°F+) it tends to hold heat. A minor drawback but a drawback none the less.
I just started backpacking this year, after many years of day hikes and car camping. I added a cot to my car camping equipment a few years ago, after suffering bulging disks while sleeping on the ground camping. The back got better, but I had been afraid to sleep on the ground since, and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to backpack because of that issue. A friend who has hip issues suggested I try her mat. After trying it on one trip, I purchased this mat (same manufacturer, different model) and received it in time to take it on my next trip. At 2+ pounds, this is not the lightest mat available, but I considered it my luxury item. It enabled me to sleep on the ground in comfort. The down increased both comfort and warmth. I did find the inflation challenging until I got the hang of it. This mat compacts easily and doesn't take up much room in my backpack. An older mat from a different manufacturer will now sit in my closet gathering dust while I enjoy the comforts of my new Downmat 7.
New design fixed old problems.
i had one of these when it first came out, and it leaked. that had the twist valves instead of these plugged valves.
when i told OR my product had been leaking, they sent me a new one free. this new valve design is VERY durable, and impervious to dirt which destroyed the old valves.
since using the plugged vales it has all the good of the old bag...supreme comfort, unmatched warmth, and rolls to half the size of my thermarest
they took the most comfortable mat on the market, and made it nearly indestructible. this is well worth the premium price it asks.
my girl and i switch nights who gets this mat Vs the thermarest when we camp, we dread the nights on the thermarest with this arrangement.
I was gifted this pad and it has been nothing but amazing. After spending many cold nights out in the wilderness, I finally used this pad (with a 30 degree sleeping bag) and I am toasty warm. I am also the type of person that moves around a lot. Sometimes I sleep on my side, my stomach, my back, wherever; this pad is always comfortable. My boyfriend also has the same pad and we just took it backpacking with our two crazy dogs (a boxer and a border collie) both bigs dogs, and it stands up (so far) to their sharp claws.I'm also a smaller female, that hates carrying a large pack, and even with this pad was able to carry under 22lbs. This pad is a great purchase.
This is my second Exped pad. I'm on my 3rd season with it. I'm a side sleeper, and a large guy, plus I sleep a lot of nights on rocky, Ozark gravel bars. It's tough to find a pad comfortable enough for those demands. This is by far the most comfortable mat I've used. I've used it in the winter a few very cold nights the last few years and the down definitely keeps me more comfortable than other pads. BTW, my older Exped is still working fine after over 10 years hard use. I still use the old one when the wife comes along and she gets the down mat. I just think you'd be hard pressed to find a sleeping mat better than what Exped puts out!
Best night of sleep while backpacking
I have only used this pad once so far but that was New years Eve Eve. It was warm, packed small, was fairly light, & most importantly I slept thru the night. It was not loud and slippery like some of the other mattresses that I looked at. I usually hammock camp so I was looking for something I could use to get me thru the winter trips. This pad is almost enough for me to hang the hammock up permanently and go back to being a land dweller. Side note The pump was a little slower to inflate than the regular exped 7 pump but then again what else do you have to do in the middle of the woods. Not a deal breaker for me.