Exped Ultra 7R ($230)

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Air pad

1 lb. 6 oz.

3.5 in.


One of the highest R-value backpacking pads on the market.

Significantly tapered, relatively fragile, and overkill for most conditions.

The majority of the sleeping pads listed are designed for three seasons with different amounts of insulation. However, for the highest R-value among the backpacking pads on the market, the Exped Ultra 7R tops the cake with 7.1. Uniquely designed, it makes use of 700-fill goose feathers as insulation and the Ultra 7R also is a massive 3.5 inches thick, and is quite comfortable to lie on. It isn’t possible to inflate the pad manuallyas the sweat generated by your breath could damage the filling of the down, however the waterproof compression bag can double as a functional pump bag. Ideal for backpacking during the four seasons or basecamping as well for use as an expedition mat the Exped excels in warmth.

The brand new Ultra 7R improves upon Exped’s older DownMat XP 9 with a lower weight and only minor adjustments in the way of warmth. The Ultra 7R’s recycled 20-denier ripstop polyester is noticeably less durable (the DownMat used 75D) as well as the mummy version of the pad comes with an impressive taper that runs from the shoulders down up to the toes. In comparison to the highly-rated Therm-a-Rest XTherm above it, The Ultra 7R is slightly warmer and is a full inch thicker, however the price is in the form of the weight and durability. The XTherm weighs in at least 3 ounces lighter, and comes with 70-denier bases. The Therm-a-Rest offers a much more complete and reliable product, but the Exped isn’t far behind , and certainly deserves an appearance on our list of top picks.