View Full Version : ???Big Agnes REM Air Core vs. Exped air mat???

04-30-2005, 14:26
:confused: Anyone have comparative info on these two air mats?

Also, any experience with down or fiber filled air mats? Just hype (weight) or a good thing?

Already fully experienced with old thermarest, new thermarest and Z-rest.


04-30-2005, 20:16
In the field I have used a warmlite DAM and the Pacific Outdoors Insult max-thermo, and tried the exped DAM and the BA insulated air core in a store. I have been using my max-thermo for around two years now. I can't image going back to a therm-a-rest or a close foam pad. I actually sleep through the night and wake up refreshed which hasn't been the case for year with my therm-a-rest.

You will find the exped DAM warmer than the BA insuated air core, and I think that exped is more comfortable (though comfort is a personal judgement, your milage might vary.

One concern with the BA insulated air core. There have been a number of reports on backpacker.com forums of: (1) leaks (2) the primaloft detaching from the top of the BA and settling resulting in cold spots. BA reportedly replaced the problem mats.. and hopefully these were issolated incidents. I haven't heard anyone reporting problems with the max-therma from PO.


04-30-2005, 20:55
I have a BA mica 20 degree bag and decided to go with the insulated air core even though it weighs 21 ounces. I sleep like a baby, well, better than at home. I think it is a great mattress and have had no difficulties with leaks or separation of insulation, yet.

05-01-2005, 10:47
down vs. fiber filled air mats...

While not tried the Exped down air mat I used the Stephenson's down mat for a couple of years and found the comfort and warmth excellent... I have also used the Big Agnes and Insul Mat synthetic insulated air mats which are also very comfortable, but not as warm.

Stephenson's down mat was a hassle to inflate, i.e. can not blow it up because of moisture in breath that would make down ineffective so I have gone to using synthetic insulated air mats for comfort, weigh same or less than self-inflating mat, and have some insulation... but wish they had more insulation.

just hiknthru....

05-10-2005, 02:55
If I could use a Mt Washington pad or similar, I would - but age and back surgeries have made it just too painful to get up in the morning after a night even on a Thermarest LE, which I believe is 2" thick. So like Verber, I go with the air mats. Which are more trouble, but do let me rise without having to wait for the aspirin to take hold. I have used the Exped Foam Air mat, which is about the same packed size as a full length thermarest, and about the same weight - mine is 1 lb 10 oz. Also for colder conditions have the Exped Down Mat, which is really "da bomb" for comfort and warmth. And I actually prefer inflating it with the " pump sack" to blowing up an air mat. Still, it is even heavier. I've cut back in other areas to permit carrying the killer mats - on the Down Mat this weekend, was toasty at 34 degrees in a 32 degree bag that weighs 1 lb 7 oz. I still envy those who can use those tiny light and compact pads. Perhaps one day will try making one of those "balloon beds" discussed at length somewhere here on one of these forums. Meanwhile, air beds are the way for us with skeletal problems. Cheers, Bill a

05-10-2005, 07:22
I own a big Agnes air mat (not insulated) it has been a revelation in sleeping comfort. The mat is noticably cooler which is a plus in Florida. Inflation is easy for these 56 year old lungs. The only downside would be a leak however the material seems durable and a patch kit comes wit the mat. Thumbs up for rating.

05-10-2005, 18:20
I got a BA Insulated Air Core for my section hike last year and had a few problems with a slow leak. Typically I needed to "top it off" once or twice a night. It wouldn't go flat, but would lose enough air that it was no longer comfortable. When I got back I sent it back for a replacement and was promptly shipped a new one (good customer service). I've used the new one a couple of nights with no problem. I'll be taking it out for a few weeks in May/June so will have a better idea on the durability after that.

As far as comfort level, I would hate to go back to a thermarest. Frankly, I would've preferred my "leaky" one to the thermarest I used to use.

Also, I haven't used it in "cold" weather. I would guess the coldest I've used it in would be upper-40's overnight, so can't really comment on the effectiveness of the insulation.