Tuesday, October 29, 2013

EXPEDLIFE blog now found at the new EXPED website

With the launch of our new website on October 28th, 2013, we will no longer be posting here on the ExpedLife blog. You can find our new blog here, on our website.You'll find the same news about Exped - what the Exped team is up to, new product information, photos, video, and the usual silly stuff mixed in.
And with the launch of our new website it will be easier to find information about Exped gear.

Thanks for following ExpedLife.com and see you soon over at Exped.com!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pack testing again...

A great fall day on the local mountain bike trails.

"Let's do it again tomorrow!"

Exped Lightning 60 pack on the trail in the Cascades

Here's a quick video of the Lightning 60 in action. Every time we get out with it we are more impressed with its load carrying capability. So light yet so capable of bearing even heavy loads (over 50 lbs).

Friday, October 11, 2013

Exped Scout Hammock Combi - Set-up and Features

Scout Hammock Combi is a versatile sleep system, whether you have trees around or not. It's warm, dry, bug free, light, and compact. Sleep well!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

EXPED Torrent pack series - closure options

Multiple ways to close the Torrent series packs:

  • Drybag closure
  • Bullet closure
  • Messenger bag closure
  • Grocery bag closure
It all depends on what kind of access you need...

Exped Scout Hammock Combi + MegaMat

We had a question the other day about whether the MegaMat will fit into the Scout Hammock Combi. Well, after extensive testing in the trees outside of our Seattle office, the answer is yes. Works great! Now, let me take my nap...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Some thoughts on R-Value

R-value: putting a number on warmth

When buying a sleeping mat, most people shop around a bit and compare the different brands and models available. Important points such as price, quality, comfort, ease of use, reliability, compressibility and warmth all enter into the equation. But it's that last one, warmth, that's a bit sticky. With all the other parameters it's pretty straightforward to compare mats. Price and quality go together and info about comfort, ease of use, reliability, and compressibility can all be culled from online reviews,  in-store poking and prodding, and manufacturer websites. But this warmth rating, R-value, isn't as easy to accurately verify across brands and deserves an explanation, so we thought we'd clarify a few points.

R-value. Huh?

First, R-value is a measure of thermal resistance and is most commonly associated with the construction industry. When you buy insulation for your house, it's efficiency has been tested and is expressed with a number, it's R-value. This allows you to compare insulation easily. Because it's resistance to heat transfer that's being measured, the higher the number, the more efficient it is at retaining heat. Without getting into the specifics ( R = \Delta T/\dot Q_A), suffice it to say that R-value is a useful way to compare the insulation efficiency of different materials.

Ten years ago, Exped unveiled the patented DownMat. It was revolutionary in many ways (down insulation, 7cm thick and super comfortable, stuff sack inflated) and at that time Exped introduced R-value to sleeping mats. It makes perfect sense to express warmth in this scientifically accurate way.

Independent testing

So, as we just said, R-value is, theoretically, a good way to compare insulation. What? Theoretically? It sounds like double speak. Sorry. But here's why we say "theoretically." Like so many measurements used by various industries (and customers!), the usefulness of the number is based upon whether it can be readily compared across brands. Our mats are independently tested by EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research. In other words, the R-value we state on our mats does not originate from the Exped offices. Rather, it is arrived at by a standard R-value test conducted by a neutral party. Being a Swiss company, we are naturally big fans of tests like this and would love to see standardized tests used by all mat manufacturers. We're not there yet, but the topic is being discussed within the outdoor industry, and that's a start. But certainly, within the Exped line, you can compare mats accurately.

Exped mats offer a wide range of R-values and there is a mat for every need. The following list shows the R-value of our mat line, low to high:

·         All AirMats                          0.7
·         MultiMat                              1.2
·         SynMat UL 7                       3.1
      DownMat Lite 5                   4.1
      SynMat 7                             4.9
·         DownMat 7                         5.9
·         DownMat UL 7                   5.9
       SynMat UL 9                      6.0
·         SynMat 9                            6.0
·         SIM Comfort 7.5                 6.4
·         DownMat 9                         8.0
      DownMat XP 9                   8.0
      SIM Comfort 10                  9.5
·         MegaMat 10                       9.5

R-value and warmth

The whole idea of expressing mat warmth with an R-value is to make buying a mat easier. Remember, the higher the number, the warmer the mat. But not every situation requires the very warmest mat. There's a big difference in nighttime temperatures between Florida and Alberta. Very warm summer nights often require little or no insulation and warm sleepers will be especially happy that they are not overheating. On the other hand, anyone doing any sort of snow camping will always be happy with a warm mat. And as always, cold sleepers should always look for the warmest mat they can afford. Pretty obvious why R-value is a useful tool, eh?

Here's another thing to consider. The warmer the mat (higher R-value) you use the more impressed you will be with your old sleeping bag. You know, the one that's rated to 20° F. but never seems warm enough below 32°F. We've come to understand this not just from our personal experience, but from countless emails and phone calls from our customers who report it to us. It turns out that most of the heat loss you suffer during the night is going into the cold, hard ground - not through your sleeping bag into the atmosphere. By improving your ground insulation you will be substantially warmer and you'll like your sleeping bag again!

So R-value can be very helpful when buying a sleeping mat. Just remember that not all measurements are created equally.

Sleep well!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

EXPED Torrent 30 pack - keep your growler cold on the way home

The Torrent 30 is waterproof both ways. Perfect for keeping that growler of beer cool on the way to wherever you are going.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

High tide under the tarp

A tarp is essential for protection against water falling from the sky. But it's not much help when the water rises up from below.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Scoping ski lines while enjoying a hike...

This time of the year we find ourselves on beautiful hikes in crisp fall air and we can't help ourselves - dreams of skiing those nice lines just won't stop. Guess we'll have to return in a few months...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Exped Torrent 30 backpack - rain is coming!

For bike commuting, wet weather hiking, paddling, rafting,caving, canyoneering, or just everyday use, the Torrent 30 is a go-everywhere workhorse of a pack. And with fall weather coming our way, it's the right pack to sling over your shoulders.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Exped office dog update...

Another friend of the Exped/Seattle crew, Raley. Helping us keep it real.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cool places Exped gear can help you get to...

A moulin (also called a glacier mill) is essentially a hole in a glacier into which rivers of water flow. They are amazing! Just don't fall into one...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

EXPED Gemini IV Tent - Tandem Bike in Vestibule

A tandem bike easily fits in the vestibule of the Exped Gemini IV - with room to spare for another bike or a pile of gear. When used in this way it's best to use the opposite door/vestibule as the entry/exit point.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

EXPED/Seattle crew and the 2013 Bike MS Event

This past weekend the Exped/Seattle crew was part of a great group of people riding bikes and raising money to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. We were part of a very spirited team of riders called the Fighting Axons, who have, so far, raised over $38,000 during the 2013 fundraising effort. The riding took place in western Washington out of the town of Mount Vernon on Saturday and Sunday. What a great time for a great cause!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello from the Exped/Seattle office!

Well, just another day when Dave's the only one working...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Exped flag waved by Seattle Seahawks 12th Man

Exped/Seahawks fan, Jordan, was waving the Exped flag last night at the Seahawks game.

Thanks Jordan!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In praise of tarps

We build tarps because they are one of the most useful pieces of outdoor gear one can bring along. Whether it's rain or sun you are trying to get some relief from, a tarp can make a big difference in comfort and fun. In an all-day rainstorm, a group of people can hang out, tell stories, read books, cook and eat, and just plain enjoy themselves. The alternative - a camp without a tarp - is separate pods of tentmates hunkered down inside tents wishing and hoping for the rain to stop so they can come out and party.

Paddling and rafting trips are well known for the inclusion of tarps, but backpacking outings should also include this great item of gear. With a few trekking poles a very nice group shelter is just a few minutes away.


Monday, August 26, 2013

EXPED DreamWalker - casting a moon shadow

On a recent paddling trip our tallest team member was able to capture the moon, if only for a moment.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Exped Air Pillow reviewed on SectionHiker.com

Here is a post on SectionHiker.com about the Exped Air Pillow

Exped Air Pillow UL in my Bivy Sack

I am a side sleeper, but I sometimes have a hard time staying asleep all night on backpacking trips because I don’t have a pillow to cradle my head and prevent me from rolling onto my back.

Lately, I’ve been bringing an inflatable Exped Air Pillow with me on backpacking trips and it’s really improved my sleep while helping to keep my snoring volume level down (especially important in shelters) because it keeps me on my side all night long. Weighing just 2.6 ounces, it’s a little luxury that makes a big difference in my comfort and has quickly gained a permanent place on my gear list.

This pillow is also cleverly designed. It has two separate values on the back for inflation and deflation which lay flat and don’t alter the height of the pillow. The surface fabric is quite comfortable on one’s face and doesn’t slip, and the front and rear sides of the pillow are at different heights: side sleepers (high position) and back/stomach (low position)

The Exped Air Pillow comes with a repair kit and stuff sack – both of which I promptly lost and discarded. I store the pillow deflated with my NeoAir Xlite and roll them both up into my bivy sack so I don’t need to carry 2 storage sacks. At night, the air pillow stays in position on my pad because it’s held in place by the mosquito netting on my pad, although the Air Pillow does come with side eyelets that one could use to couple the pillow to one’s sleeping pad.

I haven’t used the Air Pillow yet with a hooded sleeping bag, but I plan to this winter. I really hate sleeping in mummy bags because they force me to sleep on my back, so if the air pillow can let me use a mummy bag and still sleep on my side, I’ll be in heaven.

Exped has recently come out with an even lighter weight version of this pillow called the Exped Air Pillow UL, which weighs one ounce less but has the same design as the Exped Air Pillow.

Disclosure: Philip Werner purchased an Exped Air Pillow with his own funds. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Breakfast in the Swiss Alps

Hiking in the Swiss Alps is a fine thing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Coming in 2014 - EXPED Tempest Duffle Bags

New for 2014, the waterproof Tempest Duffle Bags (70, 100, 140 liter). Perfect for measuring the volume of your friends.

Monday, August 5, 2013

EXPED MegaMat featured in The Huffington Post

Here's a link to the recent mention of MegaMat in The Huffington Post. 

Their comments are short and right to the point: 

This is the ULTRA of pads. It is extremely comfortable. I highly recommend it and felt like I was sleeping in my bed at home.

The Exped MegaMat 10 is the right tool when the job is staying comfortable on a camping trip. The vertical sidewalls allow its 10cm thickness to extend right to the edges, providing maximum comfort. Stretchy surface fabric and 30" width add to the comfort and make MegaMat the most comfortable mat available.

Like your bed at home!

Friday, July 26, 2013

EXPED Hammock Mosquito Net

The Exped Hammock Mosquito Net turns a hammock into a comfortable haven from the bugs. Designed to drape below the hammock so bugs can't bite through the taught fabric. Poles or sticks can be used at three points over the top to spread out the netting and increase internal volume.

Get out of the biting horde and have a nice nap!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Equal and opposite reaction - thanks Mr. Newton!

A long day of paddling requires an equal and opposite reaction. Hang time!

[Apologies to Sir Isaac Newton]

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Exped on Denali

Each year at this time we hear from a number of Exped customers who are returning from Denali, the highest peak in North America. It's a brutally cold and inhospitable place - a place where staying warm is very important. The mat in our line that is specifically tuned to these kinds of conditions is the new (for 2013) DownMat XP 9. XP stands for expedition - those long, difficult, cold, and potentially very nasty kinds.

What makes the DownMat XP 9 particularly good for trips like Denali is its combination of extremely high R-value of 8.0 (warmth!), durable 75 denier shell, baffled construction (even insulation), and quick and easy inflation. This mat is sold with the Schnozzel Pumpbag, which doubles as a waterproof stuff sack. The Schnozzel Pumpbag attaches to the mat via the inflation valve and allows the mat to be inflated with just 2 or 3 bags of air - particularly welcome at high altitude after a long day of hauling sleds.

Here's a video showing the XP 9 features, including the pumpbag:

We're looking forward to another trip on Denali one of these days...this time maybe up the Muldrow and down the Kahiltna. On skis. With extra butter.