/ Thermarest Neoair V Exped Down Mat, fight to the death.
Both can be punctured.
One sounds like a crisp packet.
Neither are actually that light.
I used the Neoair for a while but I've gone back to a 3/4 length Thermarest as if any of those get punctured (which is probable on a bivvy) you in for a cold night.
All the best,
I sleep the whole night through, warm and comfortable. It doesn't bother me!
I have the down mat.
I have used it for over 3 years. For over 100 nights.
This has included a month's camping in Botswana, a week's trekking in India, two treks in Nicaragua, sleeping on concrete floors in schools and in bothies, camping in the UK. I have used it in cold weather and in hot.
I have had no reliability problems.
It has always been comfy.
I suspect the down is clumping a bit now, and it doesn't feel quite as warm as it did at first, but it is still good.
Not exactly fast and light but so very comfy!
The Exped mats come with a pump built in. There are two valves: one you open to deflate, and one you open to inflate. You open the inflate valve and then just pump up and down on the pump. It takes a minute or two, which is a drag, and awkward in a small solo tent in bad weather.. However, if you do it just before you go to bed, it warms you up before you get into your sleeping bag :)
i was lucky enough to try an xtherm before industry release and indeed they are good, very good. but the noise, really, shits me. when sleeping is already hard enough due to topography, wind, cramped conditions etc, another factor that i can control makes sense.
over winter i spend +35 nights in tents, so it all adds up.
also, as contingency, if i puncture a down mat i will have 2 layers of nylon blus 1mm of compressed foam under me (folded into 3rds, on top of rope and pack under legs even better), which appeals more than 0.5mm of tin foil.
the drawback is you cant inflate my mouth.
the hand pump mentioned on the regular mats is sloooow (i shared a tent last weekend with a guy who had this), but the UL versions have a dry bag-pump which can work well (a bit shit inside a small tent tho).
as it goes, ive done 23 nights this winter on a down mat, in temps down to about -25c, on ice, snow, frozen soil and concrete and not had issues with cold coming thru. thats impressive i think.
the only system that beats that is 2 closed cell mats, or a closed cell + a regular thermarest. both of which take up much more space.
as yet i still cant see why an inflating mat would be punctured by anything other than a mishap. over several years of using them in winter ive yet to see it happen.
that said, i still plan for it.
Yup, UL down mat, most comfortable bit of gear ever! And inflates with a pump bag that I use as a dry bag for my sleeping bag and then as a pillow as well.
Feels robust and never had any issues with it. Used a Thermarest Neoair which was good, but this is miles better.
mec.ca, which have much cheaper prices than my country, will post Thermarest to my side of the world, but not the Exped mats.
For the same reason anything Jetboil wins over MSR for me.
Noise doesn't phase me, can't phase the gf too much either. We spent a few nights in a tent together, she had borrowed some huge exped down thing - didn't see the model number, I was crinkling away on the xtherm. For xmas she wanted the xtherm :)
Never slept on an exped, so can't compare.
A good night's sleep is Very Important.
Looking around t the prices of gear now is scaring the bejeebers out of me. My ME lightline is now £400, was thinking about replacing it as its over 15 years old, don't think I'll be doing that in a hurry.
Just to confuse the issue, check out Nemo as well. I have a little soft spot for this company.
I used the Nemo Zor for high camps in Pakistan for 3 months last year.
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