I honestly never thought the day would come that I would willingly give up my Thermarest ProLite 4 sleeping mat. We’ve seen the day… I first heard about the Exped sleeping mat while on a trip to Wholesale Outdoor Sports in Nanaimo. Specifically, I was looking to see if they had a Thermarest “Neo Air” in stock so I could have a look at it.
The clerk said “Not yet… But have you ever heard of the Exped Downmats?”… He went onto say “I went on a camping trip a few weeks back and brought one of these along and it was the most comfortable sleep I’ve ever had outdoors”.. “Oh… I said” not really taking much stock in his testimonial, but it did pique my curiosity enough to do some online research and what I found out quite impressed me.
The phone call came yesterday, and my Exped Downmat 7 had finally arrived in the store for pickup… The second good news was to find out it was on sale for $139.99 as opposed to the listed $169.95!
The reasoning for my decision was quite simple… The Exped Downmat 7 seems like a better product. This coming from a guy who’s spent hundreds of nights over the last 20 years sleeping on Thermarests!
Seriously though… Look at the product specifications.
Exped Downmat 7
R-Value = 5.9*
Weight = 1lb 15oz
Fill = Goose Down
Temp Rating = -24 ºC
Thermarest Prolite 4
Weight = 1lb 8oz
Fill = Urethane Foam
Temp Rating = Not Listed
*R-Value is some scientific jargon that measures the transfer of heat through an object. The higher the number the better it’s insulating properties.
For me personally… I don’t mind packing the extra 7 ounces of weight. It provides nearly twice the insulation value and is also twice as thick which means I’m going to sleep warmer, and more comfortable.
Packed up side by side the Exped Downmat 7 is actually slightly smaller than the Prolite 4, which is interesting considering the Exped is also not cut to a taper for your feet like the Prolite 4. My Thermarest hasn’t done me wrong, and it’s held up in some pretty rough and rocky terrain the last few years and still has yet to spring a leak or fail me in anyway. The Exped Downmat 7 has big shoes to fill and with spring bear season fast approaching and sheep season in just a few months I will be trying the exped downmat out on a few planned trips and will be reporting back with a much more detailed review on this product.