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OR - Exped DownMat 7 Short - Christopher Nicolai

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  • thebootfitters
    Address of HTML version on BPGT.org: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20- %20Exped%20DownMat%207%20Short/ Thanks in advance for
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 4, 2007
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      Address of HTML version on BPGT.org:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-
      %20Exped%20DownMat%207%20Short/

      Thanks in advance for the review!
      ~Christopher



      EXPED DOWNMAT 7 SHORT
      BY CHRISTOPHER NICOLAI
      OR
      November 01, 2007

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Christopher Nicolai
      EMAIL: thebootfitters at yahoo dot com
      AGE: 32
      LOCATION: Seattle, Washington & Minneapolis, Minn
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
      WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

      I have been backpacking for 10+ years in locales from Chile to
      Alaska. I have experienced temps from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38
      C), heavy precipitation in virtually all forms, and winds exceeding
      75 mph (120 km/h) - in everything from desert to rainforest to
      glaciated peaks.

      Most of my trips are 1-4 nights climbing/backpacking <15 miles/day
      (<24km/day) in the Pacific Northwest mountains or canoeing in
      Northern Minnesota. I prefer to pack a tarp and minimal gear (<20
      lbs / <9 kg) for backpacking, but may carry twice that on alpine
      climbs or winter trips to accommodate suitable gear and shelter.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: Exped
      Year of Manufacture: 2006
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
      "http://www.exped.com/" LINK TEXT = "http://www.exped.com/">>
      MSRP: US$130
      Listed Weight: Pad -- 20 oz (580 g) ; Stuff sack -- 4 oz (100 g)
      Measured Weight: Pad -- 21.1 oz (597 g) ; Stuff sack -- 3.7 oz (104
      g)
      Listed Dimensions: Pad -- 47" L x 20" W x 2.8" H (120cm L x 52cm W x
      7cm H)
      Measured Dimensions: Pad (when flat) -- 47" L x 24.5" W (119cm L x
      62cm W) -- including 0.5" (1.3cm) seams on each side
      Pad (when fully
      inflated) -- 46" L x 20.5" W x 3.1" H (117cm L x 52cm W x 8cm H) --
      excluding seams on sides
      Listed R-value: 5.9
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Exped DownMat 7 Short">>


      DETAILED PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

      STUFF SACK
      --------------------
      The Exped DownMat 7 Short comes packaged in its own dark navy blue,
      heavy-duty roll top cylindrical stuff sack (6" diameter x 17"
      length -- 15 cm x 43cm) that doubles as an air pump to fill the
      sleeping pad.

      The bottom of the stuff sack has a one-way air valve with a 0.75" (2
      cm) diameter opening in the center. This air valve is designed to
      fit snugly over the intake valves on the pad itself. The air valve
      on the stuff sack is protected by a plug that is attached in the
      middle of a 1.5" (4 cm) strip of fabric sewn to the outside of the
      circumference of the bottom of the stuff sack.

      The top opening of the stuff sack is lined around the outside with a
      0.75" (2 cm) piece of flat webbing. On opposite sides of the
      opening, the two ends of a quick-release buckle are secured that
      allows the top to roll down and buckle in the fashion of many water-
      resistant stuff sacks and roll bags. Finally, the bottom 7" (18 cm)
      of the sack has a 0.25" (0.5 cm) thick piece of open cell foam
      lining the inside perimeter of the sack to assist in maintaining an
      open cylinder shape when using the sack as an air pump to fill the
      pad.

      The stuffed size of the sack with the rolled-up pad inside is about
      6" diameter x 11" height (15 cm x 28 cm).

      DOWNMAT 7
      ------------------
      The pad itself comes packaged folded into thirds down the length of
      the pad, with nearly all air removed and rolled up tightly. Upon
      unrolling and unfolding, the pad appears quite flat. Opening either
      or both of the wide-mouth intake valves at the corners of the pad
      near the head allow it to start self-inflating slightly.

      The top of the pad is a dark navy laminated polyester fabric with a
      slip-resistant honeycomb texture. The bottom of the pad is a flat
      grey fabric. There are two small loops at the head end of the pad
      spaced about 10" (25 cm) apart are designed to secure a pillow via
      cord or straps. According to the manufacture's website, the pad is
      filled with 5 oz (130 g) of 700-fill goose down, treated with Nocar
      to eliminate the effects of humidity that may reach the pad`s
      interior.

      Seven baffles run nearly the full length of the pad, spaced
      approximately 3" (7.5 cm) apart, giving the inflated pad the
      appearance of a puffy down coat or sleeping bag. The baffles are
      designed to prevent down from shifting excessively within the pad.
      Strips of open cell foam run the width of the pad at either end to
      prevent down from escaping or shifting to other chambers.

      Two wide-mouth intake valves stick out at the head of the pad, about
      2" (5 cm) from either corner. Though there are two valves, the
      entire pad can be filled using only one of the valves. The valves
      are 0.75" (2 cm) in diameter and stick out 1" (2.5 cm) from the pad
      when closed. They open and close with a quarter-turn and "lock"
      shut with a slight click action to ensure they are closed tightly.

      INCLUDED ITEMS
      --------------------------
      Care and use instructions are printed in several different languages
      and are attached to the stuff sack. A small bag is also included
      that contains two 4" x 5" (10 cm x 13 cm) swatches of fabric -- one
      that matches the top of the pad and one that matches the bottom. A
      small tube of textile glue is included in this bag. The fabric
      swatches and glue are designed to repair punctures or tears.





      USAGE DESCRIPTION

      The stuff sack is designed to act as a pump to fill the pad with
      air. (Note that because the pads are filled with down, filling the
      pads with breath should be avoided, as this will introduce moisture
      to the down and diminish the insulative value.) The one-way valve
      in the center of the bottom end of the stuff sack fits snugly over
      either of the air intake valves on the pad.

      With the one-way valve on the stuff sack secured to one of the air
      intake valves on the pad, the open end of the stuff sack can be
      opened to fill the sack with air. The open end can then be rolled
      toward the bottom end, forcing air through the one-way valve and
      filling the pad with air.

      If the pad is allowed to sit for a period of time with the valves
      open to self-inflate slightly before using the stuff sack as a pump,
      it takes approximately four full sacks full of air to completely
      fill the pad. If the pad has just been taken out of the stuff sack
      and has not had an opportunity to self-inflate, it takes
      approximately seven full sacks of air to fill the pad. Each full
      pump from the stuff sack takes me approximately 10 seconds to
      inflate the sack and force the air into the pad in a room-
      temperature interior environment. Depending on conditions, it may
      take slightly longer in the field.

      Generally, the stuff sack will stay attached to the valve during the
      pumping process, provided that care is taken when securing the two
      together prior to filling. However, if air is forced too quickly
      through the valve, the pressure may be too great, and the stuff sack
      may detach. Some air may escape the pad before the valve can be
      closed and the stuff sack re-attached. This has happened to me on a
      few occasions in field use. Avoid forcing air too quickly into the
      pad.

      Before removing the stuff sack from the valve, it is important to
      twist the valve closed with the stuff sack still attached. This
      prevents air from escaping and allows the pad to remain fully
      inflated. Of course, the valves can always be opened momentarily to
      release a small amount of air for comfort.

      When stuffing the pad back into the sack, the manufacturer
      recommends to open both valves first, then roll the pad at full
      width from the foot to the head to force air out of the valves.
      Next, close the valves on the pad and unroll it. Fold it into half
      or thirds along the length of the pad and then roll it tightly
      toward the head. When it is nearly rolled up, open the valves to
      release the remaining air, close the valves and insert it into the
      stuff sack. This process takes me less than 60 seconds in a room-
      temperature interior environment. Again, it may take longer in the
      field depending upon conditions.

      FIELD USE

      I have owned and used this pad for less than a year, but have used
      it in the following varied conditions:
      * Multiple uses on my hardwood bedroom floor (to test comfort and
      usability)
      * Multiple uses on a wooden deck in a backyard, under the stars.
      Overnight lows between 50 F (10 C) and 75 F (24 C).
      * Multiple uses on the ground, with and without a ground sheet
      underneath, under the stars. Overnight lows between 20 F (-7 C) and
      75 F (24 C).
      * In the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota, inside a tent
      pitched on a large rock. Overnight lows of approximately 35 F (2 C).
      * Multiple trips on the flanks of glaciated peaks, inside a tent
      pitched on cold ground, snow, or ice. Elevations up to 10,000 ft
      (3,050 M). Overnight lows several degrees below freezing.
      Significant precipitation (snow/sleet/rain) on one trip.
      * Multiple nights inside the Camp Muir shelter on a wooden
      platform. Overnight low inside the shelter approximately 45 F (7 C).
      * In a Hennessy Hammock hanging between two trees. Overnight lows
      approximately 20 F (-7 C).

      Thus far, I have been extremely satisfied with the performance of
      the Exped DownMat 7. I have owned and used nearly a dozen different
      styles of sleeping pads over the years, and I find this pad to be by
      far the most comfortable and warmest of any others I have used.
      Because of the small packed size and relatively light weight
      (considering the warmth), it has become my pad of choice for any
      backpacking outing in any and all conditions.

      There are several different sizes of Exped DownMats, but I opted for
      this particular size to minimize weight and space in the pack. I
      find that the small size makes it easy to fill the pad with air --
      even in a small, cramped tent. -- as it must be laid out flat in
      order to pump efficiently. I typically use the stuff sack filled
      with a small amount of clothing off the head of the pad for a
      pillow. I lay my pack, clothing, or any other insulative article of
      gear at the foot of the pad for my feet. I have not yet gotten cold
      with this system. Based on previous experience in cold
      temperatures, I am confident that I would be comfortable to
      temperatures far below the freezing point with this same system.

      Initially, I was concerned that the fabric would be susceptible to
      damage that would cause air to leak out of the pad, but it has
      proven to be quite durable. I have used it on bare ground without a
      ground cloth with only slight dirt stains to show, which were
      subsequently wiped off with a moist cloth at home. The included
      patch kit offers a bit of insurance if anything ever did happen.

      The fact that the down is completely sealed inside a waterproof
      fabric is reassuring when using the pad in wet conditions. On one
      occasion, the floor of my tent had small puddles of water due to
      melting snow and moisture entering through the door when entering
      and exiting the tent, but I slept soundly knowing that my insulation
      beneath me would not be compromised from the moisture. The pad has
      also survived spills of hot beverages around camp, with no
      compromise of the insulation inside.

      Prior to using the pad, I was concerned about the additional time
      required to fill it with air using the stuff sack. However, through
      experience I have found it usually takes less than two minutes in
      field conditions to fill the pad with air, and less than two minutes
      to deflate and stuff the pad back into its stuff sack. It is more
      work than simply unrolling a closed-cell pad, but the small amount
      of additional time has been more than offset by the greater warmth
      and comfort, in my eyes.

      On one of my first outings with the pad, we set up our tent in
      blowing snow. My two tentmates had self-inflating pads. I was
      amazed at how comfortably and soundly I slept through the night, and
      expressed to my partners my extreme satisfaction with my new piece
      of gear. They both glared back at me while rubbing the kinks out of
      their backs and complaining of being cold throughout the night.

      I have found the pad to make a very comfortable and insulative chair
      when used in conjunction with a sleeping pad to chair conversion
      kit. (Exped sells their own version of a conversion kit, but I have
      used it successfully with a Thermarest kit.) I have never sat in
      camp in that great of comfort!

      SUMMARY

      In summary, I have been extremely happy with this product. It meets
      or exceeds all my expectations I had of the product when purchasing
      it. I intend to continue to use it for the foreseeable future for
      nearly all my overnight outings in which I carry my gear on my back
      to the destination. The extreme comfort and insulation are worth
      the few compromises I have noted here.

      PROS / CONS

      PROS: Extreme comfort and insulation. Great comfort-to-weight
      ratio. Small packed size and compressibility mean it can be kept
      with a sleeping bag in one stuff sack. Waterproofness and
      durability mean it can be used in a variety of conditions with
      little worry.

      CONS: The additional time needed to inflate and deflate. The fact
      that it must be used in conjunction with the stuff sack or pillow
      pump accessory to inflate and the occasional inconvenience when the
      stuff sack slips off the intake valve. The smaller size of a short
      pad means that other insulation must be improvised for the lower
      body. However, it should be noted that these were all compromises
      that I intentionally made and feel that they are outweighed by the
      benefits of using the pad.



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
        This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
        edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
        reviews before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
        The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints,
        to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely
        manner. Once these first two Owner Reviews have been approved and
        you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to
        start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance
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        Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at (mentor (at)
        backpackgeartest.org).

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
        These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
        carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
        review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things
        easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
        line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit
        Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
        list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an
        Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post
        their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you
        have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in
        the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they
        will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
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        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
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        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • rayestrella1
        Hello Christopher, Good to see you are back with a second review. I know the snow has to be calling to you. We just got a bunch in the local mountains. (SoCal)
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 9, 2007
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          Hello Christopher,

          Good to see you are back with a second review. I know the snow has to
          be calling to you. We just got a bunch in the local mountains.
          (SoCal) I am heading up on Wednesday. Then to MN where they have been
          getting a lot also.

          Thank you for your Owner Review, and for putting it in the test
          folder. 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, along with a corrected HTML version in the test
          folder.

          Ray




          EDIT: I do not know where you got the picture of the mat. They can
          only come from the manufacturer or taken by you. It looks to me like
          you got it from REI.com or one of the other retail sites. That is not
          allowed.



          ***There are two small loops at the head end of the pad spaced about
          10" (25 cm) apart are designed to secure a pillow via cord or straps.

          EDIT: There are two small loops at the head end of the pad spaced
          about 10" (25 cm) apart "that" are designed to secure a pillow via
          cord or straps.



          Two wide-mouth intake valves stick out at the head of the pad, about
          2" (5 cm) from either corner. Though there are two valves, the entire
          pad can be filled using only one of the valves.

          Comment: I have always wondered why they put two of them on it. (I
          have the 9)



          ***this will introduce moisture to the down and diminish the
          insulative value.

          EDIT: insulative is not a word. Try, diminish the insulating value.
          (This is in a few places.)



          ***Depending on conditions, it may take slightly longer in the field.

          Comment: I have found the worse the conditions the longer it takes
          me. It is funny how little patience I have at zero and the wind
          howlingÂ…



          ***My two tentmates had self-inflating pads.

          EDIT: tent mates



          ***I have used it successfully with a Thermarest kit.

          EDIT: you should just say "a chair kit from another manufacturer"
        • thebootfitters
          Ray, Thanks for the edits and comments! I am in MN now (and operating from my BlackBerry), but will be back home in Seattle tomorrow night to make the changes.
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 10, 2007
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            Ray,

            Thanks for the edits and comments! I am in MN now (and operating from my BlackBerry), but will be back home in Seattle tomorrow night to make the changes. I also plan to 'revise' the review slightly, as I had an opportunity to use it last weekend in temps of about -10F. I was a little less impressed in such cold temps. Insulation was great, but pumping it up was quite the [insert expletive of your choice]! The valve was too cold and must have expanded or shrunk or something, because it kept slipping off the intake valve! I feel I should add a paragraph about that experience.

            I recently dropped my camera from 40-ft up a rock face, so didn't have pics of my own; the Exped site didn't have good pics of just the 7 Short alone. Regardless, I have now secured another camera and taken some pics in the snow. I'll post them tomorrow and remove the pic from the online retailer. (I missed that guideline, so thanks for pointing it out!)

            Hey, I checked dictionary.com for "insulative" and it shows up as a valid word with a definition that fits my context. Are you okay with me leaving it in there? I was pretty certain it was a valid word, but figured I'd check the 'dictionary' to be certain.

            Look for my repost within the next day or two. Thanks again for taking the time to review!

            ~Christopher
          • rayestrella1
            ... wrote: Hi Christopher, Sure if it is used now go ahead and keep it in. (Mine did not have it as a word, although I do like it.) As you
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 11, 2007
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              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "thebootfitters"
              <thebootfitters@...> wrote:

              Hi Christopher,

              Sure if it is used now go ahead and keep it in. (Mine did not have it
              as a word, although I do like it.)

              As you know I have the 9 also and have had a lot of fun trying to
              inflate it when conditions are bad. The length of mine forces me to
              be out of the tent (why are 4-season tents so short?)
              while "pumping", and I have experienced that popping off too. Once I
              just finished blowing it up by mouth knowing I was heading back down
              the next day, but I let it sit out and opened for a month to make
              sure I got the moisture back out of it.

              It looks like this is going to be a good cold winter in MN. I am
              hoping for some -40 nights. Last winter I never got any real cold
              nights.

              I will watch for your repost,

              Ray
            • thebootfitters
              Ray -- As I mentioned, I have revised the OR slightly based on my experience last weekend. No major changes. I removed a few superlatives from my
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 12, 2007
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                Ray -- As I mentioned, I have revised the OR slightly based on my
                experience last weekend. No major changes. I removed a few
                superlatives from my descriptions and added a couple paragraphs
                under the "field use" section. I'm not clear if I should have used
                the REPOST or REVISED subject title, but I opted for REVISED since I
                made changes other than those requested in your edits.

                Thanks again for your review! I'm getting excited to test some gear!

                ~Christopher

                The link to the HTML is below:
                http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-%
                20Exped%20DownMat%207%20Short%20-%20C%20Nicolai/

                And here is the updated text:

                EXPED DOWNMAT 7 SHORT
                BY CHRISTOPHER NICOLAI
                OR
                November 01, 2007

                TESTER INFORMATION

                NAME: Christopher Nicolai
                EMAIL: thebootfitters at yahoo dot com
                AGE: 32
                LOCATION: Seattle, Washington & Minneapolis, Minnesota
                GENDER: M
                HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
                WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

                I have been backpacking for 10+ years in locales from Chile to
                Alaska. I have experienced temps from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38
                C), heavy precipitation in virtually all forms, and winds exceeding
                75 mph (120 km/h) - in everything from desert to rainforest to
                glaciated peaks.

                Most of my trips are 1-4 nights climbing/backpacking <15 miles/day
                (<24km/day) in the Pacific Northwest mountains or canoeing in
                Northern Minnesota. I prefer to pack a tarp and minimal gear (<20
                lbs / <9 kg) for backpacking, but may carry twice that on alpine
                climbs or winter trips to accommodate suitable gear and shelter.

                PRODUCT INFORMATION

                Manufacturer: Exped
                Year of Manufacture: 2006
                Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
                "http://www.exped.com/" LINK TEXT = "http://www.exped.com/">>
                MSRP: US$130
                Listed Weight: Pad -- 20 oz (580 g) ; Stuff sack -- 4 oz (100 g)
                Measured Weight: Pad -- 21.1 oz (597 g) ; Stuff sack -- 3.7 oz (104
                g)
                Listed Dimensions: Pad -- 47" L x 20" W x 2.8" H (120cm L x 52cm W x
                7cm H)
                Measured Dimensions: Pad (when flat) -- 47" L x 24.5" W (119cm L x
                62cm W) -- including 0.5" (1.3cm) seams on each side
                Pad (when fully
                inflated) -- 46" L x 20.5" W x 3.1" H (117cm L x 52cm W x 8cm H) --
                excluding seams on sides
                Listed R-value: 5.9



                DETAILED PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

                STUFF SACK
                --------------------
                The Exped DownMat 7 Short comes packaged in its own dark navy blue,
                heavy-duty roll top cylindrical stuff sack (6" diameter x 17"
                length -- 15 cm x 43cm) that doubles as an air pump to fill the
                sleeping pad.

                The bottom of the stuff sack has a one-way air valve with a 0.75" (2
                cm) diameter opening in the center. This air valve is designed to
                fit snugly over the intake valves on the pad itself. The air valve
                on the stuff sack is protected by a plug that is attached in the
                middle of a 1.5" (4 cm) strip of fabric sewn to the outside of the
                circumference of the bottom of the stuff sack.

                The top opening of the stuff sack is lined around the outside with a
                0.75" (2 cm) piece of flat webbing. On opposite sides of the
                opening, the two ends of a quick-release buckle are secured that
                allows the top to roll down and buckle in the fashion of many water-
                resistant stuff sacks and roll bags. Finally, the bottom 7" (18 cm)
                of the sack has a 0.25" (0.5 cm) thick piece of open cell foam
                lining the inside perimeter of the sack to assist in maintaining an
                open cylinder shape when using the sack as an air pump to fill the
                pad.

                The stuffed size of the sack with the rolled-up pad inside is about
                6" diameter x 11" height (15 cm x 28 cm).
                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Stuffed">>
                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Unstuffed">>

                DOWNMAT 7
                ------------------
                The pad itself comes packaged folded into thirds down the length of
                the pad, with nearly all air removed and rolled up tightly. Upon
                unrolling and unfolding, the pad appears quite flat. Opening either
                or both of the wide-mouth intake valves at the corners of the pad
                near the head allow it to start self-inflating slightly.

                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Flat">>

                The top of the pad is a dark navy laminated polyester fabric with a
                slip-resistant honeycomb texture. The bottom of the pad is a flat
                grey fabric. There are two small loops at the head end of the pad
                spaced about 10" (25 cm) apart that are designed to secure a pillow
                via cord or straps. According to the manufacture's website, the pad
                is filled with 5 oz (130 g) of 700-fill goose down, treated with
                Nocar to eliminate the effects of humidity that may reach the pad`s
                interior.

                Seven baffles run nearly the full length of the pad, spaced
                approximately 3" (7.5 cm) apart, giving the inflated pad the
                appearance of a puffy down coat or sleeping bag. The baffles are
                designed to prevent down from shifting excessively within the pad.
                Strips of open cell foam run the width of the pad at either end to
                prevent down from escaping or shifting to other chambers.

                Two wide-mouth intake valves stick out at the head of the pad, about
                2" (5 cm) from either corner. Though there are two valves, the
                entire pad can be filled using only one of the valves. The valves
                are 0.75" (2 cm) in diameter and stick out 1" (2.5 cm) from the pad
                when closed. They open and close with a quarter-turn and "lock"
                shut with a slight click action to ensure they are closed tightly.

                INCLUDED ITEMS
                --------------------------
                Care and use instructions are printed in several different languages
                and are attached to the stuff sack. A small bag is also included
                that contains two 4" x 5" (10 cm x 13 cm) swatches of fabric -- one
                that matches the top of the pad and one that matches the bottom. A
                small tube of textile glue is included in this bag. The fabric
                swatches and glue are designed to repair punctures or tears.





                USAGE DESCRIPTION

                The stuff sack is designed to act as a pump to fill the pad with
                air. (Note that because the pads are filled with down, filling the
                pads with breath should be avoided, as this will introduce moisture
                to the down and diminish the insulative value.) The one-way valve
                in the center of the bottom end of the stuff sack fits snugly over
                either of the air intake valves on the pad.

                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Attachment">>

                With the one-way valve on the stuff sack secured to one of the air
                intake valves on the pad, the open end of the stuff sack can be
                opened to fill the sack with air. The open end can then be rolled
                toward the bottom end, forcing air through the one-way valve and
                filling the pad with air.

                If the pad is allowed to sit for a period of time with the valves
                open to self-inflate slightly before using the stuff sack as a pump,
                it takes approximately four full sacks full of air to completely
                fill the pad. If the pad has just been taken out of the stuff sack
                and has not had an opportunity to self-inflate, it takes
                approximately seven full sacks of air to fill the pad. Each full
                pump from the stuff sack takes me approximately 10 seconds to
                inflate the sack and force the air into the pad in a room-
                temperature interior environment. Depending on conditions, it may
                take longer in the field.

                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Full of Air">>
                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Full Thickness">>

                Generally, the stuff sack will stay attached to the valve during the
                pumping process, provided that care is taken when securing the two
                together prior to filling. However, if air is forced too quickly
                through the valve, the pressure may be too great, and the stuff sack
                may detach. Some air may escape the pad before the valve can be
                closed and the stuff sack re-attached. This has happened to me on a
                few occasions in field use. Avoid forcing air too quickly into the
                pad.

                Before removing the stuff sack from the valve, it is important to
                twist the valve closed with the stuff sack still attached. This
                prevents air from escaping and allows the pad to remain fully
                inflated. Of course, the valves can always be opened momentarily to
                release a small amount of air for comfort.

                When stuffing the pad back into the sack, the manufacturer
                recommends to open both valves first, then roll the pad at full
                width from the foot to the head to force air out of the valves.
                Next, close the valves on the pad and unroll it. Fold it into half
                or thirds along the length of the pad and then roll it tightly
                toward the head. When it is nearly rolled up, open the valves to
                release the remaining air, close the valves and insert it into the
                stuff sack. This process takes me less than 60 seconds in a room-
                temperature interior environment. Again, it may take longer in the
                field depending upon conditions.

                FIELD USE

                I have owned and used this pad for less than a year, but have used
                it in the following varied conditions:
                * Multiple uses on my hardwood bedroom floor (to test comfort and
                usability)
                * Multiple uses on a wooden deck in a backyard, under the stars.
                Overnight lows between 50 F (10 C) and 75 F (24 C).
                * Multiple uses on the ground, with and without a ground sheet
                underneath, under the stars. Overnight lows between -19 F (-28 C)
                and 75 F (24 C).
                * In the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota, inside a tent
                pitched on a large rock. Overnight lows of approximately 35 F (2 C).
                * Multiple trips on the flanks of glaciated peaks, inside a tent
                pitched on cold ground, snow, or ice. Elevations up to 10,000 ft
                (3,050 M). Overnight lows several degrees below freezing.
                Significant precipitation (snow/sleet/rain) on one trip.
                * Multiple nights inside the Camp Muir shelter on a wooden
                platform. Overnight low inside the shelter approximately 45 F (7 C).
                * In a Hennessy Hammock hanging between two trees. Overnight lows
                approximately 20 F (-7 C).

                Thus far, I have been quite satisfied with the performance of the
                Exped DownMat 7. I have owned and used nearly a dozen different
                styles of sleeping pads over the years, and I find this pad to be by
                far the most comfortable and warmest of any others I have used.
                Because of the small packed size and relatively light weight
                (considering the warmth), it has become my pad of choice for any
                backpacking outing in any and all conditions.

                There are several different sizes of Exped DownMats, but I opted for
                this particular size to minimize weight and space in the pack. I
                find that the small size makes it easy to fill the pad with air --
                even in a small, cramped tent. -- as it must be laid out flat in
                order to pump efficiently. I typically use the stuff sack filled
                with a small amount of clothing off the head of the pad for a
                pillow. I lay my pack, clothing, or any other insulative article of
                gear at the foot of the pad for my feet. Even in temperatures down
                to -19 F (-28 C), I have not yet gotten cold from using this system.

                Initially, I was concerned that the fabric would be susceptible to
                damage that would cause air to leak out of the pad, but it has
                proven to be quite durable. I have used it on bare ground without a
                ground cloth with only slight dirt stains to show, which were
                subsequently wiped off with a moist cloth at home. The included
                patch kit offers a bit of insurance if anything ever did happen. My
                only concern is whether the patch kit would work in the field in
                temperatures far below the freezing point if the pad were
                compromised.

                The fact that the down is completely sealed inside a waterproof
                fabric is reassuring when using the pad in wet conditions. On one
                occasion, the floor of my tent had small puddles of water due to
                melting snow and moisture entering through the door when entering
                and exiting the tent, but I slept soundly knowing that my insulation
                beneath me would not be compromised from the moisture. The pad has
                also survived spills of hot beverages around camp, with no
                compromise of the insulation inside.

                Prior to using the pad, I was concerned about the additional time
                required to fill it with air using the stuff sack. However, through
                experience I have found it usually takes less than two minutes in
                field conditions to fill the pad with air, and less than two minutes
                to deflate and stuff the pad back into its stuff sack. It is more
                work than simply unrolling a closed-cell pad, but the additional
                time has been offset by the greater warmth and comfort, in my eyes.

                On one of my first outings with the pad, we set up our tent in
                blowing snow. My two tent mates had self-inflating pads. I was
                amazed at how comfortably and soundly I slept through the night, and
                expressed to my partners my extreme satisfaction with my new piece
                of gear. They both glared back at me while rubbing the kinks out of
                their backs and complaining of being cold throughout the night.

                I have found the pad to make a very comfortable and insulative chair
                when used in conjunction with a sleeping pad to chair conversion
                kit. (Exped sells their own version of a conversion kit, but I have
                used it successfully with a chair kit from another manufacturer.) I
                have never sat in camp in that great of comfort!

                On my most recent overnight outing, I experienced my first
                disappointment with the pad. I was inflating the pad under a clear
                and moonless sky when the ambient air temperature was approximately -
                10 F (-23 C) with no wind. Presumably due to a slight change in the
                size of the valves from the low temperature, the valve on the stuff
                sack slipped easily off the air intake valve on the pad. With great
                care -- and ultimately with the help of my trip companion, who held
                the sack and pad together while I pumped -- I was able to fill the
                pad with air in approximately 10 minutes. It was a bit frustrating
                to experience this issue considering the ease with which I had
                filled the pad previously. However, once the pad was inflated, it
                provided sufficient insulation from the hard packed snow on the
                ground. The temperatures dropped as low as -19 F (-28 C). Only my
                extremities felt cold, but I attribute that to the fact that I opted
                to use a down suit rather than a sleeping bag for insulation. My
                core felt warm and comfortable through the night.

                Though it took longer than I had expected to inflate the pad in the
                low temperatures, I was still glad I had the 3" (8 cm) of insulation
                beneath me. Next time I venture out in temperatures that low, I
                plan to wrap a thin strip of athletic or duct tape around the valve
                on the pad, hoping that it will create a better seal while inflating
                the pad.

                SUMMARY

                In summary, I have been extremely happy with this product. It meets
                or exceeds all my expectations I had of the product when purchasing
                it. I intend to continue to use it for the foreseeable future for
                nearly all my overnight outings in which I carry my gear on my back
                to the destination. The extreme comfort and insulation are worth
                the few compromises I have noted here.

                PROS / CONS

                PROS: Extreme comfort and insulation. Great comfort-to-weight
                ratio. Small packed size and compressibility mean it can be kept
                with a sleeping bag in one stuff sack. Waterproofness and
                durability mean it can be used in a variety of conditions with
                little worry.

                CONS: The additional time needed to inflate and deflate --
                especially in temperatures far below freezing. The fact that it
                must be used in conjunction with the stuff sack or pillow pump
                accessory to inflate and the inconvenience when the stuff sack slips
                off the intake valve. The smaller size of a short pad means that
                other insulation must be improvised for the lower body. However, it
                should be noted that these were all compromises that I intentionally
                made and feel that they are outweighed by the benefits of using the
                pad.



                This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
                Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
              • rayestrella1
                Hi Christopher, I am out the door for a couple of days so am getting this done so you can graduate. The pics are nice. I only see one edit that I missed the
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 12, 2007
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                  Hi Christopher,

                  I am out the door for a couple of days so am getting this done so you
                  can graduate. The pics are nice. I only see one edit that I missed
                  the first time. After you fix that you can put it here;

                  http://tinyurl.com/2dqprg

                  I will check out the uploaded version either Thursday night or more
                  likely Friday morning.

                  I have my first real winter load today, funny how we forget what all
                  that stuff adds.

                  Here is my canned info for second reviews;

                  As this is your second approved review, if you have submitted a Tester
                  Agreement, for which see:

                  http://tinyurl.com/dndp

                  that has been acknowledged, you are now eligible to participate in
                  the testing process by applying for tests. If you have not sent your
                  paperwork in, please do so at your earliest opportunity.

                  For further details see

                  http://www.backpackgeartest.org/lesson.php?lesson=BecomeTester&page=9

                  You will also need to join:

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/backpackgeartesters/

                  This is where everything related to Tests and Testing takes place.

                  However, please don't stop writing Owner Reviews. The more Owner
                  Reviews you write, the better you will get at report writing and this
                  won't go unnoticed when Test Moderators are choosing testers.

                  Congratulations!

                  Raymond Estrella



                  ***Manufacturer: Exped

                  EDIT: it is Expedition Equipment (I got this edit back when I wrote
                  my review too)
                • rayestrella1
                  Hi Christopher, I just got a chance to look at your uploaded review. I missed this in my edits and just noticed it. A bunch of your numbers (see below) need
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 14, 2007
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                    Hi Christopher,

                    I just got a chance to look at your uploaded review. I missed this in
                    my edits and just noticed it. A bunch of your numbers (see below)
                    need spaces between them and the unit abbreviations. Example; 120 cm
                    L x 52 cm H

                    If you could fix those that would be great. You should be able to
                    delete your review still. If you can't let me know and I will remove
                    it for you.

                    Ray




                    Listed Dimensions: Pad -- 47" L x 20" W x 2.8" H (120cm L x 52cm W x
                    7cm H)
                    Measured Dimensions: Pad (when flat) -- 47" L x 24.5" W (119cm L x
                    62cm W) -- including 0.5" (1.3cm) seams on each side
                    Pad (when fully inflated) -- 46" L x 20.5" W x 3.1" H (117cm L x 52cm
                    W x 8cm H)

                    The Exped DownMat 7 Short comes packaged in its own dark navy blue,
                    heavy-duty roll top cylindrical stuff sack (6" diameter x 17" length -
                    - 15 cm x 43cm)
                  • thebootfitters
                    Oops... Thanks, Ray! I thought I had already fixed all those, but I guess I missed a few. I ll update when I get to my home computer tonight.
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 14, 2007
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                      Oops... Thanks, Ray! I thought I had already fixed all those, but I
                      guess I missed a few. I'll update when I get to my home computer
                      tonight.
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