Downmat alternatives

GS

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Bugger, my long serving original Downmat 7 has started delaminating...at least it's occurred before the first snow trip rather than on the trip.

I haven't been keeping up with advancements in mats, should i just get another downmat or are there better/different alternatives these days? What are you using?
Thanks
 
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Slowman

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Bugger, my long serving original Downmat 7 has started delaminating...at least it's occurred before the first snow trip rather than on the trip.

I haven't been keeping up with advancements in mats, should i just get another downmat or are there better/different alternatives these days? What are you using?
Thanks
I have been using a Thermarest Neo Air All Seasons for a while. It seems fine. Packs up nice and small. I also always carry a repair kit.
 
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Billy_Buttons

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Chaeron

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Can't top Exped downmat in 1st place, with Thermarest 2nd. Open question whether Thermarest is tougher, but the Exped series has the better insulation, and more of a size range.
 

Telezacski

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I've never had an issue with my neo air and I have used it in all seasons and in some pretty frosty situations.

I'm pretty sure the r rating (whatever that is), is in the 5's, I'm not sure how this compares to the downmats. The Neo's would have to be lighter and pack smaller.
 
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satanas

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I'd say anything is preferable to an Expletive Deleted, er Down mat - they seem to be horribly unreliable, bulky, expensive, hard to inflate, etc. They are warm, but so are other things. If bought locally you could try getting a warranty replacement, but IME the importers (and those for Thermarest) are unlikely to be helpful.

The nails would be more compact, and wouldn't deflate...
 

AndrewA

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Not had any issues with my Exped mats to date. My "Big Agnes" synmat seems to leak, but this is the first issue I've ever had.


A
 

skifree

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I shared a tent with a bloke who had a down mat. It was. Very noisey, used to keep me awake at night.
 

satanas

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FWIW: A group of us all had Downer Mats. 4 out of the 5 failed; the last belonged to a partner, and saw only a few days use. The importers were not helpful when they broke. Now maybe I'm unreasonable, but I would have thought an expensive product should last more than two seasons before total failure; I've had old style Thermarests last 20+ years. OTOH, my 4 season NeoAir has some (non-fatal so far) issues which the agent refused to do anything about.

It seems to me that sleeping mats appear to be expendable items, with no real warranty if they fail early on. Note that I'm careful with gear, and don't expect warranty to cover abuse, but it should cover something...
 

Mark F

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Australian distributors offer very poor support and gouge consumers. MSR (Thermarest) have a very good reputation for customer support os as does Exped. If you want to buy a Thermarest or Exped look at a UK site such as ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk. Postage is cheap and service good.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I use an synthetically insulated EXPED SYNMAT, the long one with the built in pump. It is a chore to pump up but it is warm and comfy womfy. I have used it for green season hiking and BC snow camping here in Ozstriya as well as for high elevation trekking in NW India.
When my first one failed , (a baffle burst), with proof of purchase , I was given a replacement unit , under warranty, by the shop " Wilderness Equipment " in Box Hill , here in Melb.
 
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satanas

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I recently borrowed a Synmat after having problems with yet another mat - on its 2nd use, first time outdoors - and agree they're comfy. However, I couldn't make the pump work, and inflating by mouth is slow and annoying. Maybe the pump was defective(?), or else I was. The older style Thermarests are looking better to me all the time, even though they're slightly heavier; the bigggest issue for me is the extra bulk.
 

luke1234

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my backpack has a removable close cell foam mat as it's backrest, so I just combine that with a non-insulated mountain designs blow up mat (which packs super small) and that seems to work a treat!
 

GS

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Fwiw, I found blowing up the old Downmat with the supplied stuffsack very easy, but it was the original type, dunno if it was any different to later systems.
 

ladycamper

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As long as there's not overhanging vegetation on the trail to make bits break off, a 10mm foam roll provides basic redundancy in case of air mat failure and can be used for sitting on outside the tent.
 

GS

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New mat arrived today. Very impressed with the Schnozzle bag inflation, 3 loosely filled bags and mat is inflated, much quicker than the old system. Not to mention the dedicated deflation valve, mat rolled up and back into stuffsack in no time.
Scales at work show just under 700gms for everything including the repair kit in the stufsack
 
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Moondog55

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Does the Sea 2 Summit comfort plus rate with you learned folk?
Very very highly but much warmer in the insulated version. I like the redundancy of the dual layers just in case and I find it easy to get comfortable by adjusting the pressures in each layer and like Ladycamper I always carry some sort of CCF pad or bubble wrap to protect the bottom of the mat from damage. I'm saving for another one in regular size as mine is large wide for snow camping. The S2S mats punch well above their weight
 

Peagreenboat

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I still love my Thermarest Neoair Max. It is so light and I did try the DownMat, but as another person on another forum said there appeared to be insulation missing from the sides: and I held it up in store to see this still seemed to be the case. As a person who sleeps on my front mostly with my leg hanging over the edge, I've found it warm and suprisingly stable and less bouncy than the other mats (though I know some like the cocooning feel of the Exped Downmat). The full version only weighs 490g and for me that was important. I sleep with it on tent carpet (and I'm a light sleeper), so there were no noise complaints on the snow, but I have not camped on a hard surface which I think might be a concern. It made such a huge difference on my previous insulated mat and I sleep better than on my mattress (which is weird)...
 

GS

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Just adding a bit of feedback...used the Exped Synmat UL Winter for the first time on snow and very impressed. More comfortable than the Downmat 7, seems just as warm and is lighter and less bulky. Schnozzle bag works well.
 
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satanas

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The Neoair has now failed almost totally, with split seams towards one end giving an unwanted "pillow" bulge there. I've been using a Synmat in the interim and have a STS Comfort Plus insulated (regular, tapered) on order. I like the ideas of redundancy and no stupid pump, plus it's supposed to be 55cm wide rather than 51cm for the Neoair, which should be about right; the Synmat is a bit too huge in width, several cm wider, plus rectangular. STS have been good about warranty in the past too, so here's hoping...
 

Ziggy

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I got a Synmat 7LW (Long Wide) for the Ziggette's desert camping and lord it's comfy.
But why the pump? Is hot breath corrosive?
 
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Time

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Neo Air Xtherm R Value 5.7 for Aus Winter and light weight winter trips
Xped down Matt 9 R Value 8 for stupid cold.

HIGHLY recoment the Neo Air X-therm. Have been EXTREMELY impressed and happy.
 
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