Upon experiencing extensive upper body injuries last year, I tested out my Thermarest Prolite XS Mat. After an excruciating night of tossing and turning, I determined a new sleeping mat was in order. My post-injury mat needed to be more comfortable than a self-inflatable mat, warm enough for four-season use, compact, and light. After an exploration of the marketplace, my needs were met by the Exped DownMat UL 7 M.
I’ve spent about 20 nights sleeping on the Exped DownMat UL 7 M. My first night was a shakedown trip to Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, Canada. My most intense weather trip was a shoulder season run up to Berg Lake, in Mount Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia Canada (see: My Journey From Injury to the Canadian Rockies.) The temperature dipped to about 23 °F (-5 °C) overnight, it rained, and snowed with high winds. I pitched a full, single wall tent on a level, precipitation-saturated, and nicely-treed spot. I found myself warm, comfortable and reluctant to leave bed, in the morning.
Since I purchased the Exped DownMat UL 7, anyone who has ventured into the backcountry with me has considered replacing their current mat with an Exped designed mat. From quiet, soft, brushed polyester fabric to larger edge baffles (cradle baffles) to prevent sliding off, Exped seems to have thought of everything. I've found no cold spots, and insulation value is warm considering the weight. The mat width is balanced to save weight but maintain comfort for all sleep positions. The included stuff sack and repair kit is a nice addition, and the pump bag doubles as an ultralight dry bag or pillow bag.
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