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Exped Downmat 9

by Tyler

Update Here

The Exped Downmat 9 (our sleeping mat) has a foam(?) insert that provides a barrier between the down inside and the air nozzles used to to inflate it. Over the course of the last week the insert for both mats broke loose. This means that when we deflate them if we're not careful they either spew down everywhere or get completely clogged and won't deflate at all until you blow the airway clear. In addition to this, a new problem cropped up when we were making camp yesterday. The mats have six air 'cells' rather than one large airspace. The division between two of the cells broke on one of the mats so it now has 4 normal sized cells and one double sized cell that makes the mat completely uneven and impossible to lay on without rolling off. Lastly, the mat which still has six cells recently started suffering from a slow leak I cannot locate to patch.

When we were testing our gear before we left one of our mats failed with the down spewing issue. I had my reservations about using them but the reps at Exped assured me that it was a manufacturing defect that they see very rarely. We received a replacement and had no further troubles. After just over 70 days on the road both of our mats are nearly unusable.

I've just sent an email to Exped hoping that they can help in some way. Until Exped changes the way their Downmats are constructed I must strongly recommend against their use on any 'Exped'ition. I'm loathe to report this as they are incredibly comfortable and we took very good care of them. We'll suffer for a few more days until we hear back from Exped; hopefully they'll 'exped'ite us a shipment of some other, more capable sleeping mat.

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This is Sean Gauvreau. Glad to see you're doing well! I've been working in the outdoor industry for 5 years now and although I don't have much experience with Exped mats I do know that in the camping/hiking community they are seen as a step up from Thermarest. Bummer to see that they're not living up to that.

Not sure if you're keeping up on new gear while you're on the road, but Thermarest has a new ultralight sleeping pad that when packed is the size of a Nalgene bottle.

Posted by a guy who likes to cook. on June 15th, 2009 at 7:10 AM

I've definitely stopped following gear since we left. Our primary concern when it comes to sleeping mats is comfort so we don't mind carrying a bit more or packing a bit less efficiently. Those mats you posted look pretty awesome in all respects though.

I'm not sure what we're going to do just yet but I really hope Exped comes through for us; their gear wasn't cheap.
Posted by Tyler on June 15th, 2009 at 8:26 AM
I too am about to go on an adventure in the coming months, and have opted for the Synmats from Exped. A bit cheaper, same weight, and a bit less R value. I hope mine do not suffer for my partner like yours did.
Posted by Dave on June 20th, 2009 at 7:16 AM