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Author Topic: The new generation of winter air mattresses  (Read 1785 times)

Offline 300winmag

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The new generation of winter air mattresses
« on: October 22, 2018, 05:51:50 pm »
Most here know that the Thermarest Neo Air X-Therm is, at R5.7, the warmest air mattress.
REI has their winter mattress rated at R 5.2 and I do trust REI's rating. I have their 3 season R 3.7 mattress and it is good to at least 10 F.

Other brands are Nemo, Sea to Summit and Big Agnes. (But a word of warning: Big Agnes owners complain that their temperature ratings are WAY too optimistic.)
Most of these mattresses are insulated with a synthetic fill bonded to the inside top skin with a reflective coating on the inside bottom skin. Thermarest uses only reflective coatings and a double layer tube arrangement.

The reason for using an insulated air mattress is that they are lighter and a bit more comfortable than foam filled "self-inflating" mattresses.

I'm looking forward to testing my 3 season insulated air mattress with my -20 F. down bag to see what its lowest comfort temperatures is. I'll have my Ridgerest mat handy if needed.

Anyone here own a winter insulated air mattress? I'll bet some have the down filled ExPed mattress.

Eric B.



Offline hotelfive

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 07:56:58 pm »
I have a Thermarest MondoKing with an R value of 11.4  It's MASSIVE but for the type of tripping I do (not too far into the back country from my truck - where I can do a couple trips) the added bulk is worth it as it is very thick, very warm and super comfy.

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 02:03:02 am »
That is all we own, insulated winter mattresses that is. a few down mat but we replace them as they die, sick and tired to send them for warranty, i have a thermarest that they don't make anyone that is super thick and really really warm R 10 or so! it packed some what small and is not overly heavy!

Offline UphillHarry

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 07:19:34 am »
I have the Thermarest Neo Air X-Therm.  I bought it for a kayaking trip in Glacier Bay, AK a few years ago and liked it so much that it is now my backpacking pad as well.  I've only used it down to about 30 degrees F. so far in the fall (when the ground was not frozen yet).  I'll bring it winter camping this year.  I also have a Ridgerest that I can put under it for maximum warmth.

Offline lonelake

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 08:59:32 am »
"Most here know that the Thermarest Neo Air X-Therm is, at R5.7, the warmest air mattress.
REI has their winter mattress rated at R 5.2 and I do trust REI's rating. I have their 3 season R 3.7 mattress and it is good to at least 10 F."

The Exped Downmat 9 has a R value of 8.  Exped SynMat p has an R value of 6. I have both. They have been very good to me. The earliest models of the Downmat had some issues, but my current one has been good. The Synmat fills up faster, and packs down to a more manageable size. I regularly camp at sub z-temps and have found these to be the best for my use. Funny how Thermarest advertises that they have the warmest mat, when Exped has higher insulation values across the board.....

LL
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 09:08:05 am by lonelake »
Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.
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Offline troutfisher!

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 09:24:34 am »
I imagine a lot of board members have insulated down mattresses.  Their R-value is higher than an air mattress (Thermarest Neo Air X-Therm is, at R5.7, the warmest air mattress. )

I often hear of issues with the Exped mats and I keep waiting to have problems with mine.  I have had 3 for four years and no problems at all.

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 09:31:06 am »
The XTherm is certainly the warmest "air-only" mat though it does have mylar inside. The others have fluffy stuff inside.

One problem of course is that there is still no recognized standard for calculating R value in sleeping mats though I believe one is coming. Part of the difficulty lies in the loss of insulation as the mat is compressed, particularly a problem for side sleepers.

I use an XTherm, I like how compact it is, but I also take along a thin CCF pad to boost warmth under my hip and just in case of pad failure.
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Offline kinguq

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 09:47:06 am »
The problem with the Thermarest Neo's is that they seem to lose all their insulating value when you move. I surmise that this is because the air inside gets thoroughly stirred up when you roll over, which destroys the temperature gradient in the pad. I really notice this when using the pad at temps below freezing. I find I have to put at least a closed cell pad on top of the Neo for winter use. Not under, on top.

I love them for 3 season use, but I just don't quite trust them for winter use when the consequences of an irreparable failure are more severe. Therefore I have gone over to using 2 self-inflating thermarests (one long one short) strapped together in the winter. Pretty comfy, warmer and there's some redundancy in case one fails.

Kinguq.

Offline memaquay

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2018, 11:27:45 am »
Tried out my new system last weekend, ridgerest on a cot covered by a sheepskin, with me in my Fatboy 400.  Temp only went down to -7 or so, but I was very toasty.  So it ain't a new generation, those things are too expensive for me, plus they seem fairly fragile.  I'm looking forward to trying the system out at -20 or so.

Offline GearFreak

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 11:52:35 am »
x-ped downmat 9

love it
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Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2018, 12:25:19 am »
I imagine a lot of board members have insulated down mattresses.  Their R-value is higher than an air mattress (Thermarest Neo Air X-Therm is, at R5.7, the warmest air mattress. )

I often hear of issues with the Exped mats and I keep waiting to have problems with mine.  I have had 3 for four years and no problems at all.

I'va had Down mat since the first day they were available in Canada, and we are on #6 or 7 now all had problems some were only slow leaks that we couldn't find, the latest have had delimitation problems in between chambers so you end up with a massive chamber(3 chambers together) and can't use the mattress. Mind you we use these mattresses on average 50 days a year.... So maybe that is to be expected...

I will never buy one again, I will take replacement as log as they will replace them but will never pay for one again!!

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2018, 10:09:15 am »
I imagine a lot of board members have insulated down mattresses.  Their R-value is higher than an air mattress (Thermarest Neo Air X-Therm is, at R5.7, the warmest air mattress. )

I often hear of issues with the Exped mats and I keep waiting to have problems with mine.  I have had 3 for four years and no problems at all.

I'va had Down mat since the first day they were available in Canada, and we are on #6 or 7 now all had problems some were only slow leaks that we couldn't find, the latest have had delimitation problems in between chambers so you end up with a massive chamber(3 chambers together) and can't use the mattress. Mind you we use these mattresses on average 50 days a year.... So maybe that is to be expected...

I will never buy one again, I will take replacement as log as they will replace them but will never pay for one again!!

Sounds like you need the TT version! It has individual air tubes and a much tougher construction.

It would interesting to know what the failure rate is on the various mats. It is probably very low but that doesn't help it it happens to you! We've had various T'Rests over the years, and I started winter camping using a Guide Lite SI with a closed cell pad before ending up with the XTherm.  I used it in my bridge hammock on a recent canoe trip and we had snow and was plenty warm.

I have never had a leak on a T'Rest but would never touch a Big Agnes again after we had a nightmare with porous fabric.
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Offline Forse07

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 10:28:11 am »
I have had the x-ped downmat 7 for roughly 8 years using it 25-30 nights a year and never had an issue. I just wish there was a better way to air it up than doing CPR for 5 minutes.

Offline Soledad

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 01:40:19 pm »
Forse07,

About five years ago, a company that makes the Thermarest micro inflator gave/donated a few of their units to the winter camping symposium.  I have used mine since then every time I inflate my Expeds.  It is fast and hasn't failed me yet.  I use quality rechargeable batteries.  My mats get inflated while the fire gets lit.
https://www.thermarest.com/mattresses/neoair-mini-pump

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: The new generation of winter air mattresses
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 10:01:14 pm »
Forse07,

About five years ago, a company that makes the Thermarest micro inflator gave/donated a few of their units to the winter camping symposium.  I have used mine since then every time I inflate my Expeds.  It is fast and hasn't failed me yet.  I use quality rechargeable batteries.  My mats get inflated while the fire gets lit.
https://www.thermarest.com/mattresses/neoair-mini-pump
I have the inflator but I prefer a pump bag, quieter and one less electronic doodad. For the Exped get the Schnozzel bag.
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