Exped UL 7 vs the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core

littlebrotherC

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I have five year old Big Agnes IAC pad that I love. I sleep better on it than I do on my Tempu-Pedic. However, it's been patched too many times and I can't get it to hold air anymore.

With that said, I went down to the gear shop today ready to buy the Exped Ul 7 all y'all so highly tout. It felt very similar to my Big Agnes, but as I'm about to throw down all the money for an air mattress the store informs me that I have to buy a 2.5oz bag pump. I haven't heard anyone talk about said pump and I'm wonder if you just bypass this apparatus and blow it up the old fashioned way. If I do need this pump I now have a 18.5 oz pad instead of the listed 16 oz sleeping pad.

Now I'm not sure of my decision and I turn my gaze to the new Big Agnes Insulated Q-core. This feels extra deluxe and weighs in at 21 oz. Only 2.5 oz more than the Exped plus pump bag.

So here's my question. Anyone sleep on both the Exped and the Q-core? All the reviews I've seen are comparing the exped to the I-Air-Core. My second question; is the pump bag apparatus truly necessary?
 

dotman

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That is a good question, I haven't heard that requirement mentioned yet either. I have been thinking about the UL7 too.
 

armyjoe

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I have the new Q-Core and I can tell you, its heaven on Earth for a sleeping pad. BUT - its heavy as sin compared to the UL7. My buddy has the UL7 and I tried it out last season. Yes it is lighter and pretty damn comfy too. I'd say you can't go wrong with either but if your trying to go light, then the UL7 is the best and most comfy you can get for light weight. The Q-Core is more comfortable but its 27oz compared to 16oz.

The pump - IMO, waste of money. I've only owned air pads but never used nor needed the pump bag. Save some cash I'd recommend
 

pyroducksx3

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I agree with armyjoe. I went to rei and tried all they had. The q-core was most comfotable and I got it significantly cheaper than the ul-7. The ul-7 was still comfortable and lighter, I like the way the q-core feels vs the pool toy feel of the seperate liniar tubes of the ul-7. For me the price difference and comfort were worth it. If trying to get ultralight I would go the ul-7 but the q-core is so nice
 

JG358

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Don't see why you'd need the pump, I blow my UL7 up the old fashion way... haven't Had any problems. I just store mine hanging up with the deflate valve open to allow the inside to dry out. They may just recomend it to prevent any moisture issues from using lung power to fill the pad.
 

Ironman

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I don't have either pad, but have been researching them. Blowing up the pads with lungs supposedly can cause bacteria to grow inside pad. Truth or not, I don't know. I would think that the down filled UL7 could be more of an issue with the moisture from your lungs. Drop the R value, and more susceptible to bacteria growth.
Keep in mind that the bag pump serves dual purpose, as it is also a dry bag. Use the dry bag/pump, and drop one of your existing dry bags. My .02.
 
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Backpack Hunter

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For me I would choose the weight savings and go with the UL7. It has synthetic insulation, and I blow it up with lung power with no problems. The pump bag is not required.

I do not have much experience with the Q Core, about all I can say is it felt comfortable for the few nights I used one. It also was heavy.
 

Beastmode

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I have the DM ul7 and love it. It comes with a bag to pump it up. I think it called a schnozzle. Not sure though. Bag is very comfortable and lightweight for the r value. The hand pump/bag means No moisture from blowing up with mouth.
 

Buckman

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As others have said the pump bag is so no moisture from your breath gets in the insulation. You can get a pillow pump so it does double duty. Pumps it up, don't get dizzy and have a pillow. This is what I have and works great.
 

slim9300

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Don't see why you'd need the pump, I blow my UL7 up the old fashion way... haven't Had any problems. I just store mine hanging up with the deflate valve open to allow the inside to dry out. They may just recomend it to prevent any moisture issues from using lung power to fill the pad.
That's correct. It may add some longevity to the pad but it's not necessary. I blow my UL 7 up and don't have any problems.

What's the warranty on BA pads? Edit: Never mind. I just looked, it's pretty ambiguous. I would suggest you go with the Exped. They are far and away the best company I have ever dealt with when it comes to warrantying something that wasn't their fault. BA clearly states they wouldn't have warrantied my pad had it been a BA instead of an Exped.
 
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sk1

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just ordered the exped myself.....

campsaver.com has a long wide for $123! I hope that's accurate and i get the right product, everywhere else is $175ish
 

Mckinnon

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I sleep on the q-core. Got it because I have a bad back, let me tell you that thing really saves me some pain in the mornings!
 

Backpack Hunter

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What's the warranty on BA pads? Edit: Never mind. I just looked, it's pretty ambiguous. I would suggest you go with the Exped. They are far and away the best company I have ever dealt with when it comes to warrantying something that wasn't their fault. BA clearly states they wouldn't have warrantied my pad had it been a BA instead of an Exped.
Both companies state they will not cover your issue under their warranty...assuming you were talking about popping your pad.
Direct from Exped.
"Exped UL products carry a 2 year limited warranty. All other products carry a 5 year warranty on defects in materials and workmanship. At our discretion, Exped will repair or replace any part that fails due to a manufacturing defect. Failures due to normal wear, negligence, and acts of nature can usually be repaired for a nominal charge."

Direct from Big Agnes.
"All Big Agnes products are guaranteed against manufacturing or material defect. Items will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of Big Agnes. If replacement product is not available credit will be given for the original purchase price when returned with a receipt. We do not warranty products damaged from normal wear and tear, alteration made by owner, misuse, accidents or damages caused by uses other than intended."

Pretty cut and dry with both companies. Just as you have had good experiences with Exped customer service others have had good experiences with Big Agnes customer service.
 

evan williams

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I run the Exped UL 7 and just blow it up. Haven't had any issues and I hang mine after hunts like JG does. Best night sleep in the high country I have had in more than 15 years of hiking/camping.
 

bigeasygator

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I don't have either pad, but have been researching them. Blowing up the pads with lungs supposedly can cause bacteria to grow inside pad. Truth or not, I don't know. I would think that the down filled UL7 could be more of an issue with the moisture from your lungs. Drop the R value, and more susceptible to bacteria growth.
Keep in mind that the bag pump serves dual purpose, as it is also a dry bag. Use the dry bag/pump, and drop one of your existing dry bags. My .02.
Pretty sure the UL7 isn't down filled. If I'm wrong please correct me!
 

JG358

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Pretty sure the UL7 isn't down filled. If I'm wrong please correct me!
They make an UL down mat 7 and a UL7. The UL down mat7 is as its name implies, down filled. The regular UL7 is not down filled. I'm sure over time the moisture from blowing up either pad via lung power will eventually cause issues with the integrity of the pad. On the plus side, Exped has great cutomer service. :)
 
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bigeasygator

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They make an UL down mat 7 and a UL7. The UL down mat7 is as its name implies, down filled. The regular UL7 is not down filled. I'm sure over time the moisture from blowing up either pad via lung power will eventually cause issues with the integrity of the pad. On the other hand, Exped has great cutomer service. :)
Gotcha. Thanks for setting me straight! I assumed based on the weights discussed in the first post that the user was talking about the regular UL7.
 
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