EXPED AIRMAT BASIC UL 7.5: [rating=4]
Reviewer: Patrick Hutchison
My Gear Style:
Use It ‘Til It Disintegrates
I’ll be honest, after a long hike, I could probably fall asleep on a burlap sack filled with cans of soup. So, to tell you that I’ve been happy with Exped’s Airmat Basic over the last few months of use in the field shouldn’t convince you to get one. But here’s what should: I started writing a review of this ultra-lightweight air mat about 4.5 hours ago. As of now, 25 minutes of that has actually been spent writing, with the remainder spent enduring a fresh “test” of the mat on the hallway floor. It’s comfortable enough to drive me into a nap only hours after I’ve had a full night’s sleep on a real mattress.
As for all the other things that matter to a proper gear junkie. It is incredibly light, with the standard versions coming in just under 12 ounces, packing down smaller than the size of a Nalgene. It is not, however, for cool weather use, with an R-value of only .7 you’d want a very warm sleeping bag or added insulation if you planned on using it beyond the warmer months. But, this makes it perfect for summer camping, where more insulated mats might leave you sweating through the night.
BIG UPS: It works with Exped’s Schnozzel Pump-bag, an ingenuous bellows-style inflation system. This pump-bag doubles as a waterproof ditty bag but my personal favorite use for it is as an air filled pillow.
DOWNERS: Some friends that tried out the Airmat didn’t care for the ribbed surface. If you favor a more traditional, flat pad, this may be a deal breaker for you.
Check out this product on the Exped website!