This Down mat is part of a family of mats that have nullified the old adage that it is unwise to use an air mattress in cold weather. Exped has brought comfort back to sleeping outdoors without loosing the convenience. The Exped Down mat is filled with 700 Down fill, giving it an r-value of 8 and two valves at the top corners allow it to deflate quickly. The stuff sack doubles as a pump, that when attached to the open valve, acts as a one-way inflation system. It takes about 11-15 sacks-full of air to inflate the sleeping pad. Exped advises against inflating the pad by mouth, as this introduces moisture into the down mattress. A few short breathes at the end to get the desired pressure are however acceptable. A repair kit is provided to fix any unexpected punctures of the mattress. The Down mat 9 comes in 2 sizes, regular (70”x20”) and deluxe (76”x26”).
For anyone who sleeps on their side or stomach, this pad is a lifesaver and for winter camping, it’s almost a must. The 3.5” thickness allows you to put it on irregular terrain (bumps, tree roots, etc.) without feeling the debris. While it takes a little longer to inflate than some other self-inflating mats (about 5-10min), it is worth it once you reach the optimum pressure. I discovered that it helps if you unroll the pad, open the valves, and let it start to self inflate for 5-10 minutes. The pad inflates by using the stuff sack it comes in, which has a valve attachment on it. I found this system to work well, but did find that the pad would occasionally slip off the valve. I also found the stuff sack to work well as a pillow, when stuffed with clothing.
While sleeping on the pad, I discovered that it will slide if there is room in the tent and if the tent is on a slight grade. At 5’ 6” and 130 pounds, I found the DLX to have plenty of room and possibly be too big for my frame. A larger person, or a person that moves around while they sleep, would find this pad to be wonderfully large. While using this pad in a 3 person tent, I discovered there was only room for 2 DLX mats, although this might vary from tent to tent. Due to this, some tents might not have enough room for the larger size of the DLX mats, so check your tent dimensions before purchasing. I also managed to allow water in the tent on one occasion and was glad to discover that this had no affect on the mat.
As I continued to use this pad, I could not help but think that the weight and packed size of the pad might be a little much for extended backpacking trips. With that being said, any camper or backpacker that gets cold, likes to move around while they sleep or has a boney frame, this pad is for you. I continually found this pad to be comfortable and warm, in a variety of conditions. I also liked the ease of inflation and found it to be perfect for car camping, canoeing and a variety of outdoor activities. While this mat might be a little large for me, maybe I will give this pad to someone taller (that I really like), and then get myself the regular sized Exped Down mat 9.