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

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  • msu1spartan
    Exped AirMat 7.5 Pump DLX by Brian Mikels OWNER REVIEW November 9th, 2007 Name: Brian Mikels Age: 36 Gender: Male Height: 6 6 (198 cm) Weight: 230 lb (104
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 3, 2007
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      Exped AirMat 7.5 Pump DLX
      by Brian Mikels
      OWNER REVIEW
      November 9th, 2007


      Name: Brian Mikels
      Age: 36
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 6" (198 cm)
      Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
      Email address: msu1spartan@...
      City, State, Country: Knoxville, Tennessee 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 Great Smoky Mountain National Park doing 1-3 nighters at 6-12
      miles (10-19 km) per day.

      Exped AirMat 7.5 Pump DLX

      Product Information:

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

      Listed Product Specs:
      Weight: 31 oz (895 g)
      Pack Sack: 0.5 oz (16 g)
      Length: 72" (182 cm)
      Width: 26" (65 cm)
      Thickness: 3" (7.5 cm)
      Packed Dimensions: 10" x 6" (25 cm x 16 cm)
      Temperature: 52 F (11 C)

      As Shipped:
      Weight: 32.8 oz (931 g)
      Pad: 31.6 oz (896 g)
      Pack Sack: 0.7 oz (19 g)
      Repair Kit: 0.6 oz (16 g)
      Length: 74" (188 cm)
      Width: 24.5" (62 cm)
      Thickness: 3.5" (9 cm)
      Packed Dimensions: 10" long X 5" diameter (25 cm x 13 cm)

      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" (9 cm) 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" (7.6 cm) 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" (3.8 cm) wide handle on the bottom of the sack. The repair
      kit comes in a small resealable bag and contains a 0.2oz (5 g)
      aluminum tube of adhesive & two 3.5" (9 cm) by 5" (13 cm) 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 my
      foot and pressing downward forces the air trapped within the
      pump through a one-way valve into the air chamber. Removing my
      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 30 F (-1 C) Marmot Arroyo Long. When
      the low temps are above 55 F (13 C), 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 25 F (-4 C
      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 (112 lb / 51 kg)
      finds the pad to be almost as good as a regular mattress 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" (48 cm) 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
      Hi Brian, Much better, it looks good. I found a few edits and once they are corrected you can repost here. You can also put a HTML copy in the Owner Review
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 4, 2007
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        Hi Brian,

        Much better, it looks good. I found a few edits and once they are
        corrected you can repost here. You can also put a HTML copy in the
        Owner Review Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of
        reviews on the main page or here;
        http://tinyurl.com/4mfwa

        The free BGT Report Writer for HTML creation may be found here;

        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/lesson.php?lesson=RR&page=1

        If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
        support group,

        BGTFileUploadHelp @

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/?yguid=209560176


        Please let me have a link to the review or at least the name once you
        have it uploaded.

        Ray




        ***Date: 11/09/07

        EDIT: since you have the date above this one does not need to be
        here. If you would like to keep it the date should be spelled out as
        you did above.



        ***The repair kit comes in a small resealable bag and contains a
        0.2oz (5 g)

        EDIT: needs a space before "oz"



        ***I'm a warm sleeper and carry a 30 F (-1 C) Marmot Arroyo Long.

        Edit: you should probably say that it is a sleeping bag and
        the "long" is not capitalized. (Marmot Arroyo long sleeping bag)
      • msu1spartan
        Exped AirMat 7.5 Pump DLX by Brian Mikels OWNER REVIEW November 9th, 2007 Name: Brian Mikels Age: 36 Gender: Male Height: 6 6 (198 cm) Weight: 230 lb (104
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 4, 2007
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          Exped AirMat 7.5 Pump DLX
          by Brian Mikels
          OWNER REVIEW
          November 9th, 2007


          Name: Brian Mikels
          Age: 36
          Gender: Male
          Height: 6' 6" (198 cm)
          Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
          Email address: msu1spartan@...
          City, State, Country: Knoxville, Tennessee USA

          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 Great Smoky Mountain National Park doing 1-3 nighters at 6-12
          miles (10-19 km) per day.

          Exped AirMat 7.5 Pump DLX

          Product Information:

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

          Listed Product Specs:
          Weight: 31 oz (895 g)
          Pack Sack: 0.5 oz (16 g)
          Length: 72" (182 cm)
          Width: 26" (65 cm)
          Thickness: 3" (7.5 cm)
          Packed Dimensions: 10" x 6" (25 cm x 16 cm)
          Temperature: 52 F (11 C)

          As Shipped:
          Weight: 32.8 oz (931 g)
          Pad: 31.6 oz (896 g)
          Pack Sack: 0.7 oz (19 g)
          Repair Kit: 0.6 oz (16 g)
          Length: 74" (188 cm)
          Width: 24.5" (62 cm)
          Thickness: 3.5" (9 cm)
          Packed Dimensions: 10" long X 5" diameter (25 cm x 13 cm)

          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" (9 cm) 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" (7.6 cm) 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"
          (3.8 cm) wide handle on the bottom of the sack. The repair kit
          comes in a small resealable bag and contains a 0.2 oz (5 g) aluminum
          tube of adhesive & two 3.5" (9 cm) by 5" (13 cm) 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 my
          foot and pressing downward forces the air trapped within the pump
          through a one-way valve into the air chamber. Removing my 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 30 F (-1 C) Marmot Arroyo long
          sleeping bag. When the low temps are above 55 F (13 C), 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 25 F (-4 C) 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 (112 lb / 51 kg)
          finds the pad to be almost as good as a regular mattress 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" (48 cm) 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
        • msu1spartan
          Ray- Thanks for the help! Here is the link: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/REPOST%
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 4, 2007
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            Ray-
            Thanks for the help!

            Here is the link:

            http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/REPOST%
            20-%20OR%20-%20Exped%207.5%20AirMat%20DLX%20-%20Brian%20Mikels/

            On the personal side....

            My twins are boy/girl also. Do you take them out with you? I've
            been a little afraid to push it too much with them. We have done a
            few 2 nighters with them w/o too much complaining. I've got them
            carrying about 6 lbs (sleeping bag, foam pad, clothes, and 16 oz of
            water). The hardest leg I've taken them on with their packs was
            4,500 ft in 7 miles. Just curious what your experiences have been.
            I'm always a little hesitant to push them too much as I don't want it
            to turn into a negative experience. On the other hand, I can't wait
            til they can start humping more miles and carry their fair share of
            gear. I don't know if I'd know how to act carrying only my gear!
            I'd have to get a different pack for sure!

            Brian
          • rayestrella1
            All right Brian, This looks good. You can put it in its new home here; http://tinyurl.com/3cbbhv Be sure to select the Owner Review button. Congratulations
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 5, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              All right Brian,

              This looks good. You can put it in its new home here;

              http://tinyurl.com/3cbbhv

              Be sure to select the "Owner Review" button.

              Congratulations on completing your first review.

              Ray
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