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Exped Ultra 3R Duo
Check Price at REI
$171.93 at REI
|$125.96 at Backcountry|
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|$65.60 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
$47.95 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, bounce-free design, excellent pump sack||Superior warmth, small packed size, light||Lightweight, warm for the weight, packs small, comfortable, versatile||Great value, wide, reasonably light||Lightweight, affordable, great warmth adding supplement|
|Cons||Dated valves, material fragile||Narrow, expensive||Expensive, edges not as stable as other pad designs||Low R-value, thinner than some||Breaks down over time, dimples gather dirt and moisture|
|Bottom Line||This sleeping pad is incredibly lightweight for a double-size sleeping pad||A true jack of all trades sleeping pad with a highly effective updated valve system||This model boasts a big weight savings, is comfortable, and provides great all around performance||This pad boasts an excellent value in a light and compact package||An 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...|
|Weight and Packed Size (30%)|
|Ease of Inflation (10%)|
|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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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