Feb 21 2013

1st Look: Exped’s Downmat Lite 5 – budget luxury

Some of you may have read my review of the Exped Downmat UL7 with some interest, then dismissed it because it is simply too expensive. While it may be more expensive than many competitive products, the old adage that “you get what you pay for” comes to mind. Quality is rarely cheap, but usually worth the cost in the long run. Regardless of value or worth, it may just be beyond your budget for a sleeping pad.

Exped’s Downmat Lite5 – the warmth and comfort of a down insulated mat for a realistic budget.

Enter Exped’s newest product, the Downmat5, with the insulating properties of down, at a more reasonable price. To reduce the cost Exped had to cut a few corners. Instead of 700 fill down, they are using 650; a noticeable change for price, a miniscule difference in loft, but hardly noticeable for warmth. Instead of using I-beam construction on the baffles, the baffles are sewn through. And the channels on the outside are without down, just air. The bulk of the mat channels have 650 fill down that delivers an overall R value of 4.5. Not quite as good as the 5.9 you get with a regular Downmat7, but still better than most mats on the market. Plus it is still a solid 3cm thick for plenty of comfort.

Exped’s classic hand pump for easy inflation.

Here’s the clincher – the small size comes with an external hand pump, and stuff sack, for the price of a Franklin. So the overall performance remains above what other inflatable mats with foam or synthetic can deliver, for about the same price. If you’re in the market for a new mat, this should be on your short list of contenders.

Downmat Lite5

Size Dimensions Open Dimensions Packed Weight Price
Small 64″ x 20″ x 2″
(163 x 52 x 5 cm)
4″ x 9″ 1 lb. 5.1 oz.
(600 g)
$ 89
Medium 72″ x 20″ x 2″
(183 x 52 x 5 cm)
4½” x 9″ 1 lb. 6.6 oz.
(640 g)
$ 99
Long Wide 77½” x 26″ x 3″
(197 x 65 x 7 cm)
4½” x 10½” 1 lb. 13½ oz.
(830 g)
$ 139

Related Post
Exped’s DownMat

© 2013

  • teletilyouresmelly

    hmm- next replacement for close-cell foam pad!

  • jimothyGator

    I asked Exped, via their YouTube channel, whether the schnozzel bag works with the Downmat 5 Lite, and they responded yes.

    I’ve got a 7 UL, and am considering a 5 Lite for my son. I would be able to take just the one schnozzel bag, leave the pump at home, and inflate both bags.

  • Dostie

    Indeed it do, but some of the older downmats have a different sized valve so you need an adaptor to use the schnoozle on them.

  • John Yates

    I’ve had two Downmats and both have died after a short time. The Schnozzel bag I had split two seams, although it worked well before it died.

    A baffle failed on the first Downmat and the down started coming out the deflate valve. On the second Downmat, both the valves didn’t seal tightly and the mat defalted after a few minutes. It had worked OK at home, but on the first night of a 6 day trans-Sierra ski traverse, it didn’t hold air. I was able to fix it by putting a piece of plastic bag over each valve hole and then closing the flap over the piece of plastic and the hole. It sort of worked.

    The schnozzel failed at the part of the seam that wasn’t sewn. If you have two snozzels, I would take a spare.

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  • Jun P

    Do you have a pic of where the seams came apart? I’m having the same problem. Were you able to repair it?