Exped DownMat 7 Pump Sleeping Mat – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

If you’re something like me, you get pleasure from a great evening’s sleep after an extended day of journey. Due to this fact, it’s necessary that you’ve got a high quality sleeping mat that can assist you keep comfy all evening lengthy and hold you heat throughout the cool, darkish nights.

On this article I will probably be reviewing the Exped DownMat7 sleeping mat – a heat, winter sleeping pad that can be utilized for tenting, backpacking, bicycle touring and a complete host of comparable outside actions. In the event you’re on the lookout for a approach to sleep properly and really feel at residence whereas tenting for both quick or lengthy durations, The Exped DownMat 7 may simply be the sleeping mat you’ve been on the lookout for!

Sleeping Round

There are a selection of various sleeping mats to select from, however for the touring bicycle owner, dimension, weight and sturdiness are of utmost significance.

After having used a number of totally different low-priced sleeping mats previously I spent a number of months looking for a high-quality sleeping pad in each the USA and Switzerland earlier than lastly buying an Exped DownMat 7 Pump sleeping mat. The mat price me 179 Swiss francs (or about $155 USD) – way more than I’ve ever spent on every other sleeping pad previously. Nevertheless, I wished one thing that might not solely hold me comfy throughout my months of long-distance bike journey, however one thing that might final for years to come back.

Would the Exped DownMat 7 maintain as much as my expectations? Wouldn’t it actually be as comfy because it claimed? Wouldn’t it hold me heat in chilly winter environments? And would the mat actually survive years of arduous use?

Hold studying as a way to discover out!

Why Exped?

The three important causes I made a decision on this explicit sleeping mat is as a result of:

1. The mat compacts all the way down to a really small dimension and simply matches inside my panniers (one thing you’ll be able to’t do with lots of the bigger, inexpensive type and Thermarest-style sleeping mats)

2. When inflated, the mat is 2.8 inches (7 cm) thick, which not solely makes it extra comfy as I sleep, however will get me means up off the bottom and helps me to remain hotter on cool nights.

3. I do an unbelievable quantity of tenting through which I’m required to sleep on the bottom… and after years of utilizing inferior merchandise, I made a decision it was lastly time to get the perfect sleeping mat doable.

The factor that basically offered me on this explicit sleeping mat is that in a single explicit sporting good retailer in Switzerland they really let me check the obtainable mats on a mattress of rocks. Sure. A mattress of rocks!

You set a mat down on the rocks and them climbed on high of the mat, identical to you have been going to fall asleep. After I examined a skinny Thermarest mattress, I might nonetheless really feel the rocks beneath my again. It felt fairly good, however I might nonetheless really feel the rocks.

Then I attempted the Exped mat and I couldn’t really feel a factor! It felt unbelievable. I felt like I used to be floating in a pool of water… and I used to be offered!

Different Nice Options

Beside the truth that the mat compresses all the way down to such a small dimension and is thick sufficient to remove any jagged rocks that is likely to be sitting beneath you, the Exped DownMat 7 Pump has a pair different cool options value mentioning.

1. The primary is that the mat is definitely lined with down. Because the product says on its label, “Tremendous gentle 700 fill-power goose down traps air beneath your physique, lowering the heat-robbing impact common air mats have when mendacity on chilly floor. Down’s very good compression issue permits the DownMat to pack comparably with different air or foam pads, and contained in the powerful, UV- and abrasion-resistant polyester material, a Nocar remedy prevents molding and clumping.” (The corporate additionally makes a mat made from artificial materials. The artificial mat is a bit cheaper, but additionally a bit of heavier.)

2. Moreover, the mat has a in-built air pump that’s for use throughout the inflation course of. The advantage of pumping the air in along with your fingers versus blowing it in along with your mouth is that blowing air in with you mouth introduces moisture to the mat and this moisture can truly make you cooler at evening when you sleep (along with inflicting harm to the mat itself, as I’ll talk about on the finish of this evaluate).

3. The mat is simple to deflate and fold into its stuff sack. There’s a giant valve opening on the finish of the mat that merely siphons all of the air straight out of the mat once you roll it up within the morning. Folding the mat into its stuff sack is equally straightforward.

4. Lastly, the mat comes with a 3-year guarantee, so if there may be any kind of defect within the mat, the corporate will change it at no extra price (I’ll discuss extra about this in only a second). And in case one thing does occur to the mat when you are out on the highway, your Exped buy comes with a patch package as properly – simply in case!

Exped has numerous totally different sleeping mats to select from. All of them come in several sizes and shapes, however listed below are the specs for the DownMat 7 Pump.

Different Specs

Dimension: 178×52 cm / 70×20“
Thickness: 7 cm / 2.8“
Weight: 835 g / 29 oz
Packsack: 140 g / 5 oz
Packed: 19×15 cm / 7×6“
Fill Weight**: 170 g / 6 oz
Temperature: -24°C / -11°F

Does The Exped Maintain Up Beneath Heavy Use?

Replace: The knowledge beneath was added to this evaluate on February 10, 2013.

After practically three years of use, my Exped sleeping mat immediately developed a relatively giant drawback. The issue was that two of the seams holding the center of the mat collectively got here unglued and this triggered two relatively giant bulges to seem close to the foot of the mat.


I used to be concerning the take off on a year-long bicycle tour in Europe and Africa and my sleeping mat now had an enormous bulge on the backside of it close to my ft. Not good!

I thought-about taking the mat with me on the journey regardless of the apparent defect, however on the final second I made a decision to contact Exped and see if they may assist me out. I emailed the corporate and obtained a speedy response asking me to ship them images of the sleeping mat and some fundamental particulars.

When Exped noticed the photographs I despatched them, they instructed me that though my guarantee interval was formally over… and though I had purchased the sleeping mat in a distinct nation… and though I now not had the unique receipt for the product, they have been going to ship me a brand new sleeping mat. Their solely request was that when the brand new mat was delivered, I used to be to take a knife and formally kill my outdated mat. They didn’t need me to attempt to promote the broken mat or let it live on on the planet. So I promised to stab it as soon as my new mat was delivered.

I caught to my phrase too. When my new sleeping mat was delivered a couple of week later, I stabbed an enormous gap in my faulty sleeping mat after which threw it within the trash. Now I had a brand new sleeping mat for my European/African bike tour and I used to be singing Exped’s praises. My sleeping mat had price quite a bit once I first purchased it, nevertheless it was a fantastic product (earlier than the bubble) and the client/guarantee service was very good.

I took my new sleeping pad to Iceland, used it for a number of weeks in England, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany too. Then, after lower than three months of use, my sleeping mat bulged once more! I couldn’t imagine it.


Whereas the bulge on my first mat had been down by the ft, the bulge in my second mat popped up proper in the course of the mat – precisely the place my butt and/or decrease again could be when mendacity down.

Now in Switzerland, only a few miles/kilometers away from the sporting good retailer the place I had bought my authentic Exped sleeping mat a number of years earlier than, I contacted Exped as soon as once more and instructed them about my drawback.

They couldn’t imagine it… and albeit, neither might I. Though, I did have a idea as to why this similar drawback was taking place time and again. It was both a defect with the mat itself… or it was one thing I used to be doing to the mat on my tenting excursions.

Exped mentioned they might ship me a brand new sleeping mat, however they weren’t in a position to get it to me earlier than I left Switzerland, so I had them ship it to me in Istanbul, Turkey and I made supply of the product there. As soon as once more, I took a knife to my faulty Exped sleeping mat and threw it within the trash, whereas on the similar time crossing my fingers and hoping that this new sleeping mat wouldn’t have the identical drawback that the primary two mats had.

Downside Solved – NOT!!!

Replace: The knowledge beneath was added to this evaluate on April 7, 2013.

I used my second new Exped DownMat7 for a number of months whereas bicycle touring by means of Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland. However as quickly as I arrived in South Africa for a 3-month bicycle tour, I unrolled my sleeping mat and immediately found one other giant bubble – one once more, smack dab in the course of the mat. The one bubble rapidly was two.


Now completely out in the course of nowhere, I couldn’t contact Exped or buy one other new mat to sleep on, so I needed to go for every week sleeping on an costly sleeping mat with a really giant bubble within the middle of it. I tossed and turned all evening lengthy and rolled off the mat solely more often than not. I now puzzled how I used to be going to outlive the subsequent two months of tenting in South Africa on this faulty sleeping mat.

By this time, I spotted that I used to be not the issue, however that the DownMat7 has a severe defect – a defect that causes the glue (or no matter it’s that holds it collectively) to come back aside over time and makes the mat totally ineffective.

What Might Be The Downside?

Exped had a number of theories about why the mat is likely to be effervescent aside in the way in which it was.

They thought that the mat might need obtained an excessive amount of publicity to the solar, and it was the warmth from the solar that was inflicting the glue that holds the mat collectively to slowly come undone. However I knew that this wasn’t the case, as a result of I used to be storing the sleeping mat deep inside my rear bicycle pannier. It was coated all day lengthy with a thick, waterproof materials. It stayed cool inside its protecting shell and the solar hardly ever ever reached it. The solar and/or warmth from the solar was actually not the issue.

Exped additionally steered that the mat was being misused ultimately. Possibly I used to be utilizing the mat as a wintertime snow sled? Or perhaps I had inflated the mat and brought it within the pool with me? However once more, I had finished no such factor. I used the sleeping mat for one factor solely – sleeping. I unrolled the tent at evening, slept on it, after which rolled it again up within the morning and saved it inside my rear pannier all day lengthy. I used to be actually not misusing the sleeping mat in any type of means.

Ultimately, neither I or Exped have been ever actually ready to determine what had triggered my three earlier sleeping mats to defect the way in which they did.

Nevertheless, I do have a idea… and it has to do with moisture!

My idea is that the DownMat 7 Pump is solely not meant to get moist.

Identical to a down jacket or down comforter shouldn’t be good to get moist (primarily as a result of it takes perpetually to dry), the Exped DownMat 7 sleeping mat must also by no means get moist.

Moisture from the bottom and condensation that types inside your tent at evening could cause the underside of the sleeping mat to get moist. This exterior moisture, and the moisture that will get contained in the sleeping mat for those who blow it up along with your mouth (which I by no means did), is probably going what’s inflicting these Exped sleeping mats to bubble aside. Both that, or the mat merely falls aside after a brief period of time.

Contained in the Exped guide that comes with the DownMat7 there’s a sentence that claims one thing to the impact of, “if condensation types on the within of your mat, use a hair dryer to dry out the product earlier than additional use.” I bear in mind studying that sentence once I first obtained the sleeping mat, but additionally bear in mind considering how foolish it appeared. If I’m backpacking within the wilderness (particularly for months on finish), when am I ever going to have an opportunity to dry out my sleeping mat with a hairdryer?

Whereas I don’t recall any assertion within the Exped product guide saying that it’s best to NOT inflate the mat along with your mouth, this sentence within the product guide about condensation forming contained in the mat does present that the corporate was at the least considerably conscious of points attributable to condensation and the down materials discovered on the within of the mat.

I additionally suppose that any moisture amassing on the surface of the mat (picked up from both the bottom or the air) could possibly be contributing to this effervescent drawback as properly.

Would I Advocate The Exped DownMat 7 Pump?

I evaluate plenty of merchandise right here on Bicycle Touring Professional. Typically, a product is nice and lasts perpetually. Different occasions, a product falls aside on the primary use and I by no means give it a second probability. And once in a while, a product works splendidly (just like the DownMat7 on this occasion), however then fails unexpectedly and I’ve to determine whether or not the product deserves a second probability or not.

On this case, the Exped DownMat 7 did deserve a second probability (and even a 3rd). However now that the product has failed three separate occasions in precisely the identical means, I can now not suggest this product.

The Exped DownMat 7 is an unbelievable sleeping mat (when it really works), developed by an distinctive firm with a few of the finest customer support folks I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing interacting with. Exped went above and past to assist me out when my mat failed. Nevertheless, I cannot suggest this explicit mat because of the apparent defects talked about on this evaluate.

Be taught extra concerning the Exped DownMat 7 sleeping pad by clicking this hyperlink… or go to www.exped.com for extra data.

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