Exped’s new Dura 8R — a successor to their DownMat collection–fills a distinct niche thanks to its winter-ready air pad construction. Much like the downMat before it The Dura is able to be packed away and is extremely protected by its 700-fill of goose down attached to the interior. It’s also designed to withstand the harsh conditions of winter use by using the tough, nylon shell constructed of dense (75 or 170D) materials and laminates along the interior to ward off moisture and bacteria. In situations where the warmth and size of the pack are important, such as setting up a the basecamp for a mountaineering trip or ski tour trip, the Dura 8R is tough to beat.
Like the DownMat however, the most current Dura 8R ends up near the low end of our list due to its narrow appeal. Most people will abandon it when they go on camping trips in three seasons with its weight of 2 pounds 10.5 grams, it’s certainly not the lightest option to mix in the occasional hiking adventure. Exped makes smaller and less expensive variants of Dura 3R and 5R. 3R and 5R however, both pads utilize synthetic filling instead of down provide significantly less warmth and are about half an inch shorter.