When it comes to staying warm in winter weather you need an insulated sleeping bag. Most sleeping pads use foam to provide that extra warmth, but a few use down instead. Down has a few advantages, the most obvious being that it tends to weigh quite a bit less than foam, while still providing the same amount of warmth. As with any down product, however, you want to be sure not to get the down in your down sleeping pad wet, or it wont do nearly as good a job of keeping you dry.
Down Sleeping PadWhat to look for when shopping for down sleeping pads.
- R-Value – The warmth of a sleeping pad is delineated with an R-value. A high R-value, of 8 or 9, for instance, is extremely warm, while a lower R-value, of 2 or 3, is quite cold, and wont provide much warmth. So buy a sleeping pad with an R-value that is high if you plan to be camping or backpacking in cold conditions.
- Shape – Another feature that you have to pay close attention to when buying a sleeping pad is the shape of the pad itself. Mummy shaped pads are great for those who don’t move around much when they sleep, but if you’re the kind of person that tosses and turns, a rectangular sleeping pad may be a better fit for you.
Best Down Sleeping PadThere aren't too many of them, but here are some of the best down sleeping pads.
- Exped DownMat 9 - When it comes to down sleeping pads there is nothing better than the DownMat 9. It has a very impressive R-value of 8, which will keep you warm down to a very impressive -36, and it uses 700+ fill down to achieve that. It's also rectangular, so plenty of room to roll around at night, and comes with a built in pump for proper inflating. And at 3.5 inches thick, it will be a very comfortable night of rest. The whole package weighs 34.6 ounces, which is 980 grams. It also comes in a deluxe version, which is both wider and longer than the full size version, for a nice, roomy sleep.
- Exped DownMat 7 - The DownMat 7 is the lighter, colder version of the DownMat 9 above. This version uses the same 700+ fill down, but only has an R-value of 5.9, which will keep you warm down to -11. This version also only has a thickness of 2.8 inches, but is the same rectangular length with built in pump that the 9 is. This version comes in three sizes, a regular, a shorter version ideal for women and shorter men, as well as the extra large and wide version that the 9 comes in. The regular size weighs 32 ounces, or 880 grams.