2015 Ski Guide2015 Ski Guide

Description

Add the SynMat UL to your ultralight arsenal.

The ultralight SynMat UL provides some serious insulation when you're counting grams and cutting the tags out of your undies to cut weight. The welded baffles of the SynMat are filled with microfiber insulation to eliminate cold spots and provide a comfortable night's sleep in the backcountry without going over on grams.

  • Ultralight material provides abrasion and puncture resistance
  • Compresses to the size of a 1/2-liter water bottle for easy packing and transport
  • 2011 Outdoor Gold Award from OpPad in Sleeping and Innovation category
  • Stuff sack and repair kit for quick field maintenance

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Exped SynMat UL

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SynMats UL7

SynMats UL7

Posted on

The first item to go inside the tent are most often our comfortable sleeping pads.

4 5

Careful if using out of tent

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My boyfriend and are using this pad for several seasons now. We appreciate the light weight and packability (the packed pad is small, it rolls easily and fits into its stuff sack without difficulties which is a big plus during chilly morning when the last thing on your mind is to fight with your gear).

The comfort is unsurpassed. Once inflated, the pad cushions you from any small rocks and sticks and other objects that you might have missed when cleaning your site, which could otherwise compromise the quality of your sleep.

The R value of 3.1 makes it a good 3 season pad. We take it snow camping but when we do we increase the insulation value but doubling our pads with Thermarest Ridgerest. This set up works great for snow camping.

Be careful when inflating the pads. We made a mistake of over inflating the first set we owned and the seems were not able to hold the pressure and failed. The pads were still usable (fortunately as we were in the middle of multi day trip with no civilization escape close by) but it was quite difficult to attain comfort with a large bubble of air in the middle of the pads.
Learning from this experience, we were more careful when inflating our second set and never had an issue.

We didn't think durability would be an issue; however during our recent multi week trip our pads got little damp on one occasion and we decided to dry them out before using them that night. Deflated we lay them across smooth granite slabs. The wind picked up and shifted them few feet off their original location. Ever since the pads leak. We found several tiny holes that we fixed in field but it appears that the pads got scratched severally and every time a hole is covered, a spot nearby starts leaking.

5 5

Best trail sleep, but don't over-inflate

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Packability:
This was a welcome upgrade from my 1.5" self-inflating Thermarest. The packability of the Synmat UL is virtually unrivaled and was the primary reason for purchasing. It is pretty light (without being crinkly and plasticky like the Thermarest options). Packs down to something about the size of a 1-liter bottle, and still has enough insulation to keep me warm well into the extreme ends of the three seasons.

Comfort:
After several seasons of use, I'm pleased to also report that it allows me to get some of the best on-trail sleep I've ever had. By carefully adjusting the amount of inflation, I'm able to get the mat squishy enough to where my butt almost touches the ground, allowing my spine to assume a more natural position while I sleep. I've used it mostly in 3-season weather down to 25 degrees without any discomfort temperature-wise. The 2.8 inches of cushion feels downright luxurious.

Durability:
At first I was super careful with this, but have become increasingly more confident in it's ability to withstand abrasion and puncture. I've not had a problem yet. Mostly it is in a foot-printed tent, but it has also endured the bare wood of some Adirondack shelters without problem.

The last trip was a measly car camping trip, and I was racing a fellow camper to inflate our pads. I over inflated mine and the adhesive holding the baffles together failed, resulting in a giant tube running half-way up the center of the pad. Super uncomfortable. Fortunately I was able to spin the pad 180 degrees and sleep with the big bubble between my legs, but the pad is definitely ready to be replaced. I will probably stick with this model.

4 5

GOAT IS GOOD

I own the exped downmat and the LW Synmat UL. Bought the Synmat UL to give me the sweetspot of comfort AND lightweight. Exped mats have been bomber durable for me. Downmat has been to Alaska for remote wilderness raft/fishing trips. LW Synmat UL has done car, river and backpack trips. No punctures or faults to date for the casual use they get (besides the 2 week AK trips every other year, my expeds are used a half-dozen nights or so a year). It was easy for me to stick with Exped when adding the 20? wide full-length as I already have the snozzle that makes filling a snap. I also own the exped chair kits (they make one for the standard and wide width). Sitting in camp with some back support after a grueling long day on foot, by pedal or on the oars is worth its weight in gold in my book (maybe not gold, by titanium maybe?). UL Medium rolls down to smaller than Nalgene bottle and within grams of the other UL mats out there. Having a quiver of mats in the family, nobody reaches for the self inflating units anymore when you can get 3? or more in thickness to smooth out the ground and such a light weight and compactness. So that is all the ?good?. Here?s some other info to inform your purchase? The newer Thermarest chair kit should work with the exped?s and weighs less and costs less (win-win). For that matter, T. Neoair and offerings from Big Agnes look to match the specs of the Expeds for less money??? Regarding a chair?gram counting yet practical/comfort minded friend pointed out that the new alite and similar backpack chairs weigh a bit more than a chair kit, but set up faster (midday for lunch?), can?t puncture and can stay OUT of the tent so you?re not dragging dirt and crap in your tent as you would with a mattress/chair kit?

5 5

So comfortable

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This was an upgrade from my self inflating thermarest and I love it. Originally purchased for a long camping trip where I was looking for something a little more comfortable. Loved the fact it was lighter and smaller (packed) as well.

Dislike, takes a little longer to inflate, but guess that's the downside of more volume.

Has anyone had experience with the exped...

Posted on

Has anyone had experience with the exped SynMat UL 7, the Thermarest NeoAir All Season, and the Big Agnes Q Core? I'm wondering how they compare as far as comfort and durability. I realize that the Thermarest is heavier, but warmer, but the main things I'm trying to sort out is the comfort and durability. Thanks!

Best Answer Responded on

Q core is the most comfortable I've ever slept on (only 1 night on a friend's pad). I own a SynMat UL 7 and love it, but if money weren't a question, I'd go for the Qcore in a heartbeat... better R value, way more comfy (doesn't feel like a pool floaty), and it appears to be very well made.

4 5

Replaced my prolite with this

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I also own a prolite pad which I think is great for packed size and durability but it was no where thick enough to constitute a good night sleep. I've had a crush on Exped pads for a while now but we've been kept apart tell now because of price (they are rather spendy). I bought the synmat UL for me and the downmat for my wife. I like that mine packs smaller while still having plenty of 'cush', I like her's a little more because it's a little less slippery with my mummy bag and her's has larger side baffles than center one's which keep the sleeper in place better. I definitely sleep better now camping. The construction has yet to really prove it's self but gives the impression of not being quite the quality of a Therm-a-rest.

5 5

Great Pad

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Packs down to the size of a gatorade bottle and very comfortable. I was a concerned about durability when I bought it but have had no issues. I even backpack with two dogs who walk all over and have not had any problems. I have only used in temps down to the mid-30's but It worked fine at that level with a 20 degree rated bag. The weight/size to comfort ratio is off the chart for this thing. Even at $100+ well worth the price. Also doesn't have the noise issues that the therm-a-rest UL pads have

5 5

Great mat

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Super light.. (the first one I got was defective and BC sent me a new one lickety split)

I would definitely suggest testing it a few nights at home before you go out into the Forrest. One downside is that the cornbread yellow color shows dirt that you will inevitably pick up whilst backpacking. The stuff sack breaks too, but it's not crucial. The long tubes could be better if they were more quilted like the big agnes q-core, but this pad is way lighter than that one too.

5 5

sleep like a baby

I've used this sleeping pad on three backpacking trips so far and love this pad. Prior to this purchase I've been relying on on a combination of a z-rest pad and a 3/4 length ultralight thermarest for my sleeping solution. The ridgerest for warmth and the thermarest for "comfort". I've switched to using just the exped and it rocks! Much more comfortable than the combination of the other two. And it's lighter and packs smaller. It's much easier to compress than the thermarest. I also boght the inflator bag and it takes about 4 iterations to inflate it (about 3 minutes - I'm not racing) The only downside is it's louder than the other pads were. Kind of a squeaky/crunchy sound, but doesn't keep me awake (or wake me up) after a day on the trail. Haven't had any leaks, so I don't know what repairing it would be like.

what pump are you cats using to inflate...

Posted on

what pump are you cats using to inflate this synmat ul 7 ? many thanks!!

Best Answer Responded on

Schnozzel or the pillow pump.

Schnozzel- Granite's video below

Pillow Pump- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGIi7Of2ZFU

Plan C- good, old-fashioned lung power

4 5

Bought the UL 9 Version

I have a UL 7 in regular and in LW and tried the UL 9, in regular (it is listed in the options). The UL 9 M is 21.9oz vs the 20.9oz UL 7 LW. The UL 9 is much bulkier when packed, is very hard to fit into the included bag, whereas the UL 7's are easy. The UL 9 is undeniably warmer and more comfortable, I just did not expect the bulk! Also, the valve on the UL 9 is different, it makes a really loud farting sound when inflating. I would recommend the UL 7 unless you want the warmth and are using the Pump bag to minimize the farting :) I think backcountry.com should separate the 2 thicknesses as separate products.

2 5

I've had 2 of these - both had problems

One ended up with thousands of small holes due to faulty material, while the replacement the baffle blew creating one large baffle from two baffles. I looked after both as per instructions. Thermarest have been better!

Inflating Exped Mats with Andy Brun

Posted on

Andy Brun from Exped gives tips to inflate Exped mats with an integrated pump.

Deflating Exped Mats with Andy Brun

Posted on

Andy Brun from Exped gives tips to deflate your mat

SynMat UL 7

Posted on

SynMat UL 7 is designed for the ultralight backpacker, cyclist, traveler or anyone who needs sleeping comfort and warmth with a minimum of weight and bulk. Kaj shows us the details.

Exped Schnozzel Pumpbag

Posted on

New for spring 2012 is the Schnozzel Pumpbag. Doubling as an ultralight waterproof stuff sack, the Schnozzel Pumpbag is used to inflate Exped mats without integrated pumps, such as the DownMat UL 7, SynMat UL 7, SynMat Basic 7.5, AirMat Basic 7.5, AirMat Basic UL 7.5.

5 5

The whole package

This mat has it all, and it should for its category leading price. The size, weight, comfort, and included repair kit are the main selling points and aren't equalled by any other mat I've seen. My backpacking buddy uses a Thermarest that's larger, warmer, and thicker, and I always look at it with a little envy when setting up camp, but when packing my bag or wearing my backpack, I'm always thankful I bought this. I've used it in sub-zero conditions, on multi-night backpacking trips, car trips, and even for guests at my house and my hips and shoulders never touch the ground while using it (even sleeping on my side). Proper inflation level is key, so figure out what's best. No rips or leaks, easy and quick to fill and deflate, and doesn't make as much noise as a Thermarest.

5 5

Buy the Schnozzle Pumpbag

  • Gender: Male

I have a Reg UL and a LW UL and I wouldn't go any where with out one. If I'm hiking or kayaking with my OR Advanced Bivy I use the regular size as it gives me a little more room, otherwise I use my LW for everything else. I like the extra comfit of the LW. I would highly recommend getting the schnozzle pump bag. I also have a Synmat7 Reg with the built in pump and using the pump bag I can fill the LW UL in a quater of the time it takes me to pump up the Synmat. You can also use the pumpbag as a dry bag to keep your mat in while hiking. I have had the reg UL for over a year and have used it in some pretty nasty places with just a tarp and no ground sheet (expecting to wake up on hard ground) but still no punctures. The material is a lot tougher than it looks. In summer I use a Therm-a-rest fitted sheet on my mats (a lot cheaper and easier to purchase than the Exped fitted sheets) as I don't like the mat material touching my skin, it can get a little clammy but the fitted sheet fixes that issue.
Great year round mat.

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