Chris Townsend tests out the latest sleeping mats best for the winter months. On test Exped Down Mat Lite 5 M sleeping mat
Exped’s Down Mat are noted for their luxurious comfort and warmth. They are also very expensive. Now though Exped has produced a much less pricey version. This has less down than the other mats and the down has a lower fill power so it’s not as warm. It’s still thick and comfortable though and should be fine for all but the very coldest UK winter conditions. Like the other Down Mats the Lite version has thicker tubes on the sides to help stop you rolling off the mat, a textured non-slip upper surface and internal baffles to stop the down migrating. The mat comes with a foam-filled pump that makes inflating it easy. You shouldn’t blow it up by mouth anyway as moisture in your breath could damage the down.
This mat packs up reasonably small but is relatively heavy. However the cost is very good for a down-filled mat and the comfort is superb. If you want even more warmth I suggest the DownMat UL 7 M, which weighs less at 575 grams (due to much lighter shell fabrics) but is filled with 170 grams of 700 fill power down and has an R-value of 5.9 and a temperature rating of -24C. It’ll cost you £190 though.
Reviewed in January 2015 issue