Practical Backpacking™ Forums

Welcome to Practical Backpacking™ Forums (PBF).

You are currently viewing PBF as a guest which has limited access. By becoming a PBF member, you will have full access to view and participate in tens of thousands of informative discussions, to view links and attachments (photos), and will gain access to other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free! Click to Become a PBF Member! Be sure to also explore the Practical Backpacking Podcast.


Go Back   Practical Backpacking™ Forums > Practical Backpacking™ Gear Discussion > Sleeping Gear
HOME FAQ PBF GUIDELINES BLOG PODCAST GALLERY STORE CALENDAR Mark Forums Read

Sleeping Gear The Sleeping Gear forum is for the discussion of sleeping gear (bags, mats, quilts...).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-01-2012, 03:26 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Reality Reality is offline
PBF Administrator & PB Podcast Host
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
ContainsImages Exped SynMat UL 7

I've been testing and using an Exped SynMat UL 7 air mattress. Although there are other insulated air mattresses available for under a pound, this particular model stands out for a few reasons.


Exped SynMat UL 7 (Includes packaged size comparison to standard Nalgene bottle.)

The mat has a 3.1 R-value rating. Thus far, I've only had the opportunity to use it down to 45 deg. F. [I'm sure I'll push it beyond its intended 3-season use, so I'll post colder weather use updates soon.]

The SynMat UL 7 is among the most comfortable I've used in its class. The outer baffles are slightly larger than the inner baffles which may help to avoid sliding off the edges. By the way, there are 8 vertical baffles. Thus far, it seems that 8 is better than 6 and vertical is better than horizontal [YMMV].

The fabric is quiet and has a durable feel to it.

I have the Medium size: 2.8"x20"x72". This model weighs 15.75 ounces on my calibrated scale. The size and weight are impressive considering the level of comfort and features. [There is also a shorter 64" model and a longer/wider 77.5/26" model available.]


Exped SynMat UL Valves & Mini Pump

There are two flat valves: one to inflate, the other to deflate. The separate one-way inflation valve keeps air from escaping while inflating. I prefer to avoid the backflow of air - especially if it's old and moist (from a previous inflation). The flat valves are a significant improvement over those that protrude. [I've seen a non-flat valve snag some tent netting.]


Exped Mini Pump Demonstration

If you can brave an extra 1.5 ounces, carry the Exped Mini Pump to inflate the mat without using your end-of-the-day hiking lungs. I've used both methods. The pump works great, but blowing it up by mouth was fairly easy. [Note: Those with breathing difficulties or a compromised/vulnerable immune system may find the pump to be the best way to go.]

The Exped SynMat UL 7 is an excellent 3-season sleeping mattress. The feature set is impressive, and I'm eager to get some more time in with it.

I'll keep you posted on future developments.

Reality
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
  #2  
Old 09-02-2012, 01:19 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Wildfield Wildfield is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 131
Coincidentally, I purchased this same pad yesterday. I bought the small size (15.13 ounces in the stuff sack with patch kit). It measures 64" x 20" x 2.8". I'm 5' 4" so I can just fit on the mat with minimal foot overhang.

After a little research, I concluded that I wanted something with good insulating properties and good comfort. While I am sacrificing light weight (mostly for the comfort aspect), this pad rolls up to be quite compact (as has already been pointed out).

I was hoping to also buy the pump bag (kind of a stuff sack that doubles as a pump) but none of our local outfitters had them in stock. I opted for the pillow pump instead. It took about 20 strokes to fully inflate the pad. The pump pillow weighs 6.12 ounces; yeah, kind of heavy but it can also be used as a pillow.

I felt it was important to buy a pump of some kind, to avoid inflating the mat by mouth. I believe I am trying to avoid introducing moisture and bacteria into the mat per Exped's advice, but I'm not sure how many times you would have to inflate by mouth before there becomes a problem.

My wife came down with the flu yesterday so I decided to sleep on the floor in the family room, to give her some space. Obviously, not a test of its insulating properties, but it sure was comfortable...so I can check that off my list. I am 155 pounds (yes, short and fat) and the SynMat UL7 is plenty firm...my butt and shoulders remained comfortably suspended off of the floor.

Reality - looking forward to reading more, after you have had a chance to test it.

By the way, I'm hoping to get out for a weekend hike in October. If so, I guess I can offer my test report.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:30 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Reality Reality is offline
PBF Administrator & PB Podcast Host
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildfield
By the way, I'm hoping to get out for a weekend hike in October. If so, I guess I can offer my test report.

I look forward to your findings. By the way, if you have a yard, try it out there a few times. Even if you don't tarp in the wild, maybe you can do so (or cowboy camp) in the yard.

Reality
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
  #4  
Old 01-05-2013, 10:13 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
RBJones RBJones is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
I bought this pad last year and I'm very impressed with it for the reasons pointed out. I also have a Big Agnes inflatable that is just as good, but heavier. I've used various Thermarests for years and still use them for car or motorcycle camping. I found the NeoAir was too noisy--sounded like sleeping on a bag of potato chips. A pump really isn't needed for the UL. Even with my aging lungs I filled it in less than a minute above 10,000 feet.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-07-2013, 01:13 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
3Pinner 3Pinner is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Virginny
Posts: 185
I have an older Dowmat7 that I have used year round, and just bought the wide long Synmat 7, which is larger and 10 oz less than the downmat!
Both provide nice sound sleep no matter where I am.
The Schnozzle bag is lighter than the mini pump, and doubles as a dry sack for both the pad and my sleeping bag

My wife demands to know why this wasn't available when she used to BP with me

Last edited by 3Pinner : 04-07-2013 at 01:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-19-2013, 07:18 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
GingerSnap GingerSnap is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: Kelty Redcloud (temporary)
Sleeping Gear: Kelty Corumel
Shelter: Nemo Losi p3
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 47
I bought this mat a few months ago, but just got to use it. It was relatively easy to blow up without the pump- but I think I'll try to purchase the pump soon. The mat was comfy, no bottoming out unless I was sitting up. It was cozy and comfy. My pillow did keep falling off, so ill either add no-slip stick ons to my stuff sack/pillow or to the pad. I'm super happy with how small it packs and how easy it was to pack .
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
Aquaponics 4 You
  #7  
Old 09-26-2013, 08:29 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
SSDD SSDD is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: No Limits
Sleeping Gear: No Limits
Shelter: No Limits
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Boise ID
Posts: 456
So how does it compare to a Neo Air ?

I need to change my sleeping pad for my Thru hike this spring to help my neck not freak out on me
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-28-2013, 01:51 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
RBJones RBJones is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
To prevent neck problems, especially if you sleep on your side, use a couple of pillows to make sure your head is well supported in line with the spine. I use Exped's inflatable pillow on top of a Thermorest pillow. The Exped can be adjusted to the best level that makes it stay on top of the other pillow. The Synmat UL 7 is excellent. My only concern right now is that it is filling with moisture from my breath. I've got a message into exped to see if they have a solution to this as well as a way to wash the interior of the pad without damaging it.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-28-2013, 06:29 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
richwads richwads is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Shelter: Tarp
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBJones
The Synmat UL 7 is excellent. My only concern right now is that it is filling with moisture from my breath. I've got a message into exped to see if they have a solution to this as well as a way to wash the interior of the pad without damaging it.
I have a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core that I had anticipated having this moisture problem with. I think I've avoided it by doing the following when I let the air out:
1. put it in the sun for a while (while I pack up)
2. open the valve and roll it up tight to push the now evaporated moisture out
3. leaving the valve open, unroll it and leave it again for a few minutes in the sun again (it will inflate slightly from the synthetic insulation)
4. fold it in half and roll it up tight and put it in its sack

If I can't do this every day, no big deal. Also, before I blow it up, I unroll it with the valve open and let it inhale a couple breaths worth of low humidity air from mother nature (reducing the amount I have to blow in).

When I get home I do the "leave it in the sun to inflate, and roll it up again" routine 2 or three times before putting it away.

I'm curious to see what Exped says to do.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-30-2013, 12:52 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Wildfield Wildfield is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Pinner
The Schnozzle bag is lighter than the mini pump, and doubles as a dry sack for both the pad and my sleeping bag.

I am considering a Schnozzle Bag. Seems like a very lightweight (2 ounces according to Exped's website) solution to avoid blowing in moisture by way of your mouth/lungs.

I am currently using the pillow pump which is a less lightweight (6.12 ounces w/stuff sack) solution but also functions as a pillow. As a pillow it is so-so.

I've found I need something to raise my head a little, to avoid an inner ear problem that causes dizziness and a little vertigo. It stinks getting old...but I guess that's another topic all together.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thermarest Neoair or Exped Synmat UL 7 Ironwood Sleeping Gear 6 01-09-2013 07:25 PM
Experimenting with Exped Downmat in Hammock tracyn Hammocks 2 10-30-2008 10:53 AM
Sleeping pad help firefighter Sleeping Gear 17 06-11-2008 11:28 PM
Thermarest Luxury Camp vs. Exped Synmat 9DLX Monkey Sleeping Gear 2 12-18-2007 10:30 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:56 AM.

Backpacking Forums


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2006-2017 Practical Backpacking™
Practical Backpacking is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacker is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Podcast is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Magazine is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™