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Exped Ultra 3R Duo Review

This sleeping pad is incredibly lightweight for a double-size sleeping pad
exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review
The Schnozzle system is one of the highlights of the Exped sleeping pad line. The pump is made of extremely lightweight material and even the hint of a breeze poofs it to full capacity. This makes pad inflation efficient, though the Ultra 3r does take some time to fully inflate.
Credit: Brian Martin
Price:  $300 List
Manufacturer:   Exped
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 31, 2022
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 15
  • Comfort - 30% 7.0
  • Weight and Packed Size - 30% 8.0
  • Warmth - 20% 5.0
  • Ease of Inflation - 10% 5.0
  • Durability - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Exped Ultra 3r Duo is a lightweight sleeping pad made with backpacking couples in mind. This clever pad allows for a significant comfort boost over single sleeping pads while avoiding the significant weight penalty often found in large tent-floor-style sleeping pads. While it does seem like sacrifices were made in overall build quality, i.e. dated valve design and relatively fragile fabric, it is impossible to ignore how lightweight and comfortable this pad was. We think with a proper repair kit and knowledge of its use, this pad could be a viable option for those wanting to experience the warmth and comfort offered by a tent-floor-size sleeping pad without lugging around two to five extra pounds of material.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Bounce-free design
Excellent pump sack
REASONS TO AVOID
Dated valves
Material fragile

Compare to Similar Products

 
exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review
This Product
Exped Ultra 3R Duo
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $300 List
Check Price at REI
$230 List
$171.93 at REI
$125.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$65.60 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$58 List
$47.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, bounce-free design, excellent pump sackSuperior warmth, small packed size, lightLightweight, warm for the weight, packs small, comfortable, versatileGreat value, wide, reasonably lightLightweight, affordable, great warmth adding supplement
Cons Dated valves, material fragileNarrow, expensiveExpensive, edges not as stable as other pad designsLow R-value, thinner than someBreaks down over time, dimples gather dirt and moisture
Bottom Line This sleeping pad is incredibly lightweight for a double-size sleeping padA true jack of all trades sleeping pad with a highly effective updated valve systemThis model boasts a big weight savings, is comfortable, and provides great all around performanceThis pad boasts an excellent value in a light and compact packageAn effective pad that offers decent three season warmth in a very lightweight package
Rating Categories Exped Ultra 3R Duo Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Klymit Static V2 Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...
Comfort (30%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
1
Weight and Packed Size (30%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Warmth (20%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
2.0
4.0
Ease of Inflation (10%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
Durability (10%)
4.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
Specs Exped Ultra 3R Duo Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Therm-a-Rest NeoAir... Klymit Static V2 Therm-A-Rest Z Lite...
Weight 43 oz 18.2 oz 16 oz 17.5 oz 14 oz
Thickness 3 in 2.5 in 2.5 in 2.5 in 0.75 in
Claimed R Value 2.9 6.9 4.2 1.3 2
Length 77.6 in 72 in 72 in 72 in 72 in
Width 51.2 in 20 in 20 in 23 in 20 in
Packed Volume (L) 5.62 L 1.8 L 1.8 L 0.9 L 1.8 L
Breaths to Inflate n/a 15-20 15-20 12-14 0
Type Air Construction/Synthetic Insulation Air Construction/Baffled Insulation Air Construction/Baffled Insulation Air Construction Closed-cell foam

Our Analysis and Test Results

This svelt double-size sleeping pad is an excellent option for hiking couples looking to keep pack weight reasonable and not compromise on comfort. The eye towards maintaining an overall weight sets this pad apart.

Performance Comparison


exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review - the ultra 3r double sleeping pad is a truly light weight option for...
The Ultra 3r double sleeping pad is a truly light weight option for couples looking to boost their comfort while backpacking.
Credit: Brian Martin

Comfort


Overall we found the comfort offered by the Ultra 3r Duo to be notable. The fabric is textured and quiet, there are separate air chambers for each sleeper, and the three inches of air padding was more than adequate. We found the separate air chambers to be a highlight in the comfort department. Each individual can move and bounce without the effect being felt at all by the other sleeper. Separate air chambers allowed us to dial in the desired firmness for each individual and surprisingly there was no void or ridge felt between the two separate chambers, allowing for trouble-free spooning!

exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review - completely separate air chambers allow each individual to adjust the...
Completely separate air chambers allow each individual to adjust the firmness to their own needs. The seam between each chamber is not noticeable which we appreciated mid snuggle.
Credit: Brian Martin

Weight and Packed Size


Forty-three ounces might sound like a big number, but it's barely heavier than two individual lightweight sleeping pads and offers some significant benefits for that bit of extra weight. In truth, we found 43 ounces to be very lightweight considering this pad covers the entire floor of our Black Diamond Firstlight Two-Person tent. Not only does it cover the entire floor, but it also pushes the walls out a touch making the tent feel a bit bigger.

We also found the packed size to be completely reasonable. It's not much larger than our standard one-liter french press. Yes, this package is harder to find space for in a small pack but some clever packing can make hauling the Ultra 3r Duo a snap.

exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review - next to our one-liter french press, the ultra 3r shows its packed...
Next to our one-liter french press, the Ultra 3r shows its packed size. Not so big it took up our entire pack but also large enough to necessitate thoughtful packing.
Credit: Brian Martin

Warmth


Typically, with new ASTM r-value standards, the r-value is incredibly informative regarding the overall insulation properties of a sleeping pad. Duo pads come with some benefits single pads don't have, which, in our experience, boost the overall warmth. The Ultra 3r Duo was no exception. We felt it outperformed its 2.9 claimed r-value as we stayed toasty warm with 30-degree sleeping bags on a chilly fall night at about 8000 feet.

exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review - the ability to have the entire tent floor covered with padding and...
The ability to have the entire tent floor covered with padding and insulation gives the overall feeling of a higher r-value than the Ultra 3r is rated for.
Credit: Brian Martin

Ease of Inflation


While having two separate air chambers does allow each individual to fine-tune the inflation, it does add to the already laborious nature of inflating this pad. We didn't find inflation of this pad particularly difficult, however, and the included "Schnozzle" pump sack is feather-light and works incredibly well. Even at a brisk pace, it took us about 5-8 minutes to fully unpack and inflate the Ultra 3r Duo.

exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review - the schnozzle system is one of the highlights of the exped sleeping...
The Schnozzle system is one of the highlights of the Exped sleeping pad line. The pump is made of extremely lightweight material and even the hint of a breeze poofs it to full capacity. This makes pad inflation efficient, though the Ultra 3r does take some time to fully inflate.
Credit: Brian Martin


Durability


Unfortunately, during our testing, while our 120lbs gear tester was sitting in the center of one side of the pad, a muffled popping sound was heard followed by rushing air. A .5 cm by .5cm triangle-shaped hole appeared without provocation. This was on the top face of the sleeping pad without any involvement of sharp objects or anything that might inflict this type of damage.

The pad did come with two large fabric sections, Expeds own brand of textile glue, and patching instructions. We found the instructions to be easy to follow and were ultimately able to repair the sleeping pad. We feel that this may be an isolated event and we were able to fix the pad without rendering it unusable.

exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review
Credit: Brian Martin

Value


While the price tag may seem steep, we found the Ultra 3r Duo to represent a solid overall value. It's comfortable, very lightweight, and does the job of two sleeping pads! The material durability may be a question mark, but in the end, the included repair kit was more than adequate with all necessary materials and instructions. If you and your hiking partner are looking to boost your overall comfort on the next backpacking trip the Ultra 3r Duo is worth a look.

exped ultra 3r duo sleeping pad review - the exped ultra 3r is indeed a svelt package offering comfort...
The Exped Ultra 3r is indeed a svelt package offering comfort without weighing you down.
Credit: Brian Martin

Conclusion


With some durability concerns, we wouldn't recommend using this sleeping pad for heavy car camping and instead, feel that it's light weight and packability make it a uniquely capable backpacking dedicated duo sleeping pad. The comfort offered by individual air chambers and having the entire floor of the tent covered in padding and insulation made for some very pleasant nights of sleep.

Brian Martin
 
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