Filed under:Camping, Gear reviews, Sleeping Mats, Exped Downmat, sleeping mats
Rhys Jones tries out this luxury mat on back-to-back trips to Kili, but how does it stack up?
Having used various sleeping mats over the years, I was keen to try the Exped Downmat which promises a warm, as well as comfortable, night’s sleep with its use of down. It arrived just in time to take to Kilimanjaro for a couple of back-to-back climbs. Kili is pretty rocky so I was excited at the prospect of a comfortable nights sleep.
I practised inflating the mat, which is done via a built-in pump, which is just a lump of squidgy foam. You put one hand over the air hole whilst you compress the foam, which pushes air from the foam into the mat. There’s a one-way valve too so once the air is in the mat, it doesn’t come out. It inflated to an impressive thickness, and overall its dimensions seemed more generous than some mats I’d slept on in the past.
So I stuffed it in my kitbag and took it to Africa. In practice, the only thing that annoyed me about the mat was the time it took to inflate, a good five minutes. Having said that, the pump is a better option than blowing up a mat at high altitude. Blowing up a Thermarest at 7000m or 8000m is almost impossible (or a recipe for a certain headache at least). Now that’s avoided, because ambient air is used instead of hard-earned lung air. The anti-slip surface of the Downmat also stops you from sliding off too much, and it really is very, very comfortable.