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REVISED: OWNER REVIEW - Exped 7.5 DLX Airmat - Brian Mikels

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  • msu1spartan
    Name: Brian Mikels Age: 36 Gender: Male Height: 6 6 (198cm) Weight: 230lb (104kg) Email address: msu1spartan@charter.net City, State, Country: Knoxville,
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2007
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      Name: Brian Mikels
      Age: 36
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 6" (198cm)
      Weight: 230lb (104kg)
      Email address: msu1spartan@...
      City, State, Country: Knoxville, TN USA
      Date: 11/09/07

      Backpacking Background:
      I started backpacking when I was 10 and picked it back up about 4
      years ago. My backcountry companions are my wife & our two 8 year
      old twins. I'm obsessed with light gear; however I tend to err on
      the side of safety, being well fed, and keeping everyone reasonably
      comfortable. I do the bulk of my backpacking March thru November in
      the GSMNP doing 1-3 nighters at 6-12 miles (10-19 km) per day.

      Exped 7.5 AirMat Pump Dlx

      Product Information:

      Manufacturer: Exped
      Year of Manufacture: 2006
      URL: http://www.exped.com

      Listed Product Specs:
      Weight: 31.4oz (890g)
      Length: 72" (183cm)
      Width: 26" (66cm)
      Thickness: 3" (7.6cm)

      As Shipped:
      Weight: 32.8oz (931g)
      Pad: 31.6oz (896g)
      Stuff Sack: .7oz (19g)
      Repair Kit: .6oz (16g)
      Length: 74" (188cm)
      Width: 24.5" (62cm)
      Thickness: 3.5" (9cm)
      Packed Dimensions: 10" long X 5" diameter (25cm x 13cm)

      Product Description:

      The pad comes shipped in its stuff sack complete with a repair kit
      and is constructed of a polyester fabric that is similar to ripstop
      nylon in appearance, minus the slippery surface. The pad has a
      total of eight baffles approximately 3.5" (9cm) in diameter divided
      into 2 separate air chambers. Two plastic deflation/inflation twist
      lock valves are located at the foot of the pad. The integrated pump
      has an open cell foam pad in its center and 2 flexible inflation
      valves on the under side of the pad. There are two small sleeping
      bag attachment loops at the foot of the pad, each 3" (7.6cm) off of
      the centerline for the pad. The stuff sack is constructed of
      ripstop nylon and has a simple drawstring and cord lock closure with
      a 1.5" (3.8cm) wide handle on the bottom of the sack. The repair
      kit comes in a small resealable bag and contains a .2oz (5g)
      aluminum tube of adhesive & two 3.5" (9cm) by 5" (13cm) patches.

      Inflation:

      Inflating the pad using the integrated pump took me a few tries to
      figure out. The deflation valves must first be closed and the
      inflation valve stops opened. Covering the inflation valve with
      your foot and pressing downward forces the air trapped within the
      pump through a one-way valve into the air chamber. Removing your
      foot from the opening allows the foam to expand and the pump is
      ready for another stomp. Describing the pump as a pillow is
      misleading as it doesn't protrude much (if any) beyond the top plane
      of the pad. It's really a pump that's integrated into the pad.
      Once I got the hang of it, I could inflate the pad with very little
      effort in less than a minute. I also have inflated the pad by
      blowing air into it and found the effort required to be minimal and
      was able to fully inflate the pad in just slightly over a minute.
      Although I think the integrated pump design is quite clever, I
      believe it to be an unnecessary luxury and the additional weight
      this feature adds isn't worth the convenience.

      Field Use:

      I'm a warm sleeper and carry a 30F (-1C) Marmot Arroyo Long. When
      the low temps are above 55F (13C), I sleep directly on the pad
      utilizing my unzipped bag as a blanket and have experienced no
      discomfort due to a cold pad. I have used the pad down to 25F (-4C
      with my bag fully zipped, my Capilene 3s on, and a sock hat with
      very little discomfort from the cold.

      I'm a side sleeper and tend to sleep in what could be loosely
      described as the fetal position with a wadded up jacket in between
      my knees. The pad is plenty wide enough to accommodate this
      position and I have found it very easy to keep on the pad throughout
      the night. Sleeping comfortably is a priority for me and I am
      pleased with this pad. On soft ground I have slept well with no
      soreness. On hard rocky soil I learned the importance of getting
      the pad inflation adjusted correctly. The adjustment valves are
      located at the foot of the pad and my wife was quite annoyed by my
      ¡§adjusting¡¨ during the night. I now sleep with the foot of the
      pad by my head to allow for quick and quiet adjustment. I have also
      experienced one of the two air chambers going flat during the
      night. It turned out that the deflation valve wasn't closed quite
      tight enough allowing a very slow leak to ensue. I was too lazy to
      figure that out at 2 AM, so I slept on the half of the mat that was
      still inflated. It took quite a bit of care to not slip off it
      during the night but it wasn't too burdensome. Overall I think the
      pad is pretty comfortable for a backpacking air mattress although I
      do get sore shoulders & hips when using it. My wife (112lb / 51kg)
      finds the pad to be almost as good as a regular matress and
      experiences no soreness. If I were designing this pad I would
      narrow it up, make it a mummy shape, and put all of the weight
      savings into making the pad thicker. My quest for a stripped down
      pad made of the lightest available materials yet thick enough to
      keep me from getting sore shoulders & hips unfortunately continues
      on.

      Deflation of the pad is easy. I just open both deflation valves at
      the foot of the pad, fold the mat along the long axis into quarters
      and roll it up. I do have to put some effort in keeping the folds
      of correct proportion while rolling it up. After I have it rolled
      up, it slips easily into the stuff sack. I carry the pad on the
      outside bottom of my pack; however it would pack easily on the
      inside.

      Summary:

      All things considered, this pad is pretty comfortable given the
      available alternatives; however I think the width is a little
      excessive. I have recently purchased the Exped 7.5 AirMat which is
      19" (48cm) wide.

      Things I like:
      1. The piece of mind that comes with two separate air chambers
      2. Anti slip fabric
      3. Easy to inflate

      Things I don't like:
      1. Pad does not prevent my shoulders & hips from getting sore
      2. The added weight from the pump
      3. Pad width was wider than what I need
    • rayestrella1
      Hello Brian, Thank you for your Owner Review, your initial edits will follow. They will take the following format; EDIT: must be changed Edit: should be
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 2, 2007
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        Hello Brian,

        Thank you for your Owner Review, your initial edits will follow. They
        will take the following format;

        EDIT: must be changed
        Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
        Comment: just that or something to think about

        When you have made the changes please repost here with REPOST added
        to the subject line. Include your name also please.

        Some very helpful information may be found here;
        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/lesson.php?lesson=BecomeTester&page=1

        Please notice the form that the review should take in the "Examples",
        you may also wish to browse the reviews of other experienced members
        for examples of the proper form.

        Ray




        The first thing you need is (quoted from the lessons) "Name of item
        being tested prominently displayed at top of page."

        And this from the SG, "Requirements: Name of item being tested or
        reviewed, and the report date, must appear prominently at the top of
        the page.

        It should also say "Owner Review" somewhere there. I do mine like
        this;

        Snow Peak Trek Titanium Plate
        by Raymond Estrella
        OWNER REVIEW
        October 14, 2007

        Feel free to see how others do it.

        ***Height: 6' 6" (198cm)
        ***Weight: 230lb (104kg)

        EDIT: you need spaces after all the numbers before the unit
        abbreviations, i.e. 230 lb (104 kg). Please check for all instances.



        ***City, State, Country: Knoxville, TN USA

        EDIT: the state needs to be spelled out for the benefit of our
        international readers.



        ***Date: 11/09/07

        EDIT: the date needs to be spelled out for the benefit of our
        international readers that use different formats. (November 09, 2007)



        ***My backcountry companions are my wife & our two 8 year
        old twins.

        Comment: cool, I have 8 year old twins too. One of each.



        ***I do the bulk of my backpacking March thru November in
        the GSMNP

        EDIT: the first time you use this you need to spell it out. Most
        folks will not know what the GSMNP is. I have to remember that all
        the time with the PCT.



        ***Exped 7.5 AirMat Pump Dlx

        EDIT: DLX (all caps as that is the way the manufacturer does it)



        ***Weight: 31.4oz (890g)
        ***Length: 72" (183cm)
        ***Width: 26" (66cm)
        ***Thickness: 3" (7.6cm)

        EDIT: I don't know which site you are getting these numbers from, but
        neither the US (OR) site or the Swiss site have these numbers as
        listed. (Close though) Did they come from a package or tag? If not
        can you please change them to what they have "listed"?



        ***The repair kit comes in a small resealable bag and contains a .2oz
        (5g)

        EDIT: we are asked to put a zero before the decimal point (0.2 oz)



        ***Covering the inflation valve with your foot and pressing downward
        forces the air trapped within the pump through a one-way valve into
        the air chamber. Removing your foot from the opening allows the foam
        to expand

        EDIT: we need to keep the review in the first person and avoid the
        use of "you" and "your" so as not to project our feelings our
        findings onto the reader. Please replase "your" with "my"



        ***I'm a warm sleeper and carry a 30F (-1C) Marmot Arroyo Long. When
        the low temps are above 55F (13C),

        EDIT: need a space at the temps too. 30 F (-1 C), etc. Please check
        for all instances.



        ***My wife finds the pad to be almost as good as a regular matress

        EDIT: mattress
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