Awesome lightweight pad thats comfy!
I have used a variety of sleeping pads over the years, from a piece of closed cell foam when I was younger and tougher to the fat Exped downmat 9 (which I still use in winter camping). This new pad from Exped is perfect for backpacking and mountaineering. It offers the comfort that I have now become used to, but also packs into a very small package! It's plenty warm enough, easy to inflate with the two flat valves (I like that they do not stick out the end of the pad) and small and lightweight so it's really easy to carry, even if going super lightweight. One of the best things is that they did not make it just look small by squeezing it into it's stuffsack in some never to be repeated manner. It just slides right back into the stuffsack, even if I fold it lazily. Infact, I can make it even smaller. I've used a similar pad from another company prior to this, and found it was not as warm and a little crinkly sounding when sleeping on it. I also prefer the baffels going lengthways on the Exped pad, just seems more comfy to me and allow me to move the air easily and get super comfortable.
Many of my friends have commented that Exped pads are great, but they wanted something smaller and lighter. A few of them have now also bought the Synmat UL after seeing mine. So yes, I'd definitley reccomend this a friend.
Best lightweight pad I have ever used!
I have used Exped mat before (both the Downmat and the Synmat), so I was pretty familar with the quality. But this new ultralight version is even better. Perhaps the only issue with the previous mats is the packed size and weight I ended up carrying. The Synmat UL is really small and light, yet it turns into a super comfortable pad. It's easy to inflate It does take a few breaths, but it's not really that hard. I also use the new snozzle and the Exped shrinkbag to inflate it easier. The shrinkbag doubles as a handy drybag for in my pack. It's a great system.
Once I used the Exped mats, I knew I would not go back to anything else. Perhaps this makes me a little biased for this Synmat UL, but it really is the best lightweight yet comfortable solution I have used. The mat does seem a little more fragile than the downmat, but it's due to the lightweight material used on the UL. I have had mine for about 2 months now and used it a handful of times. So far I have had nothing but a good nights sleep. I did look at some other options for lightweight air filled mats, and noticed this one was quieter and warmer than some others.
Better than my bed at home.
The Exped SynMat UL 7 is one with enough inflatable thickness and synthetic loft to allow me to never feel the cold or hard ground from head to toe and yet be light and small enough to easily stow in a backpack or kayak hatch for multi-day trips. I'm a side sleeper and like the extra large side tubes which help keep me tucked in. Have used it on the rocky shores of a lake and slept comfortable and warm all night in my sleeping bag. The pad's sleeping surface was quiet and didn't wake me or anyone else. The bottom withstood the rocks and sand without a leak since I used of a good ground tarp. Inflating and deflating this pad was not as easy as self-inflatables. I used my own breath the first time, but will soon buy a seperate small inflator unit designed for this pad. The inflator can double as a small pillow surface. Yes, one should always use an inflator and a good ground cloth with this pad, the trade off being that this pad is loftier, lighter and very packable in its own water resistant bag with interagle patch kit. It delivered the best sleep and packability I've ever had in a pad over my 45 years of kayaking & backpacking.
Absolutely great product
My wife and I decided to test these pads for our next major trip, which was to the Yukon for a 3-week trip this fall. We tested the mats in Colorado and Utah from the desert floor to 12,000 ft, including some chilly, rainy nights. They performed flawlessly. But the real test came in the Yukon--3 weeks of wet, cold, snow-sleet-rain-snow-again weather, with a few sunny days in between to dry things out. I can honestly say I've never used a better pad. These things are super lightweight, compact, incredibly convenient to inflate/deflate, and they keep you insulated from the ground chill in very inclement conditions. Also, Exped customer service is impressive. We got some condensation in our mats after 3 weeks of soaking. I called customer service and the tech, Eric, gave me detailed instructions on how best to remove it and prevent mildew. I did as he suggested and it worked great. Kudos to Exped on an innovative and well-built product!
Great piece of gear
This is the best pad I've owned to date. Very light weight and packs small.
I gave it 5 stars even though it's a bit of a pain to inflate because I'm so impressed with the compactness and effectivness (I've used it twice now in sub freezing weather).
I bought the little pump to go with it, because I didn't want to blow hot, moist air in the pad (because then it would deflate as the air temp went down and reduce chance of mildew growing inside). The pump works, but it is slow and tedious. It takes about 200 pumps to get the pad firm.
In any case, this review is about the pad itself which is fantastic!
This pad lives up to it's write up
I've taken this pad with me on several backpacks now, winter and summer. I am amazed at how warm it is compared to other air filled pads I've used. The 2.8 in thickness is wonderful! That it is so lightweight keeps my pack weight down. A big bonus!
I would love to have a wider version (22, 25in?)for all the tossing/turning I do. It's still a bit slippery and inflating it without a pump is slightly more difficult with the larger valves, but not impossible.
best I've owned
Recently bought this in the large size, 26x78, (from another vendor that doesn't offer a review forum. To me it was well worth the extra $ and 4 ounces for the best sleep I've ever had backpacking. I move around a lot and side-sleep, but didn't once roll off or slide around. The larger side rails really helped keep me centered. I felt more like I was in my own bed than I ever did on a self-inflating pad.
Exped Synmat UL 7
When it came time to upgrade my old sleeping pad I didn't even hesitate to purchase the Exped Synmat UL 7. I have spent a couple nights sleep on this pad now and I like it more and more every time I use it. This pad has everything going for it, super comfortable, compresses small and easy to inflate. Exped did a great job on this pad and I am 100% satisfied with my choice.
Exped UL 7
It has been almost a year since my initial review of the Exped UL 7. My original thoughts of this pad are still spot on. Comfortable, warm, compressible etc. I recently spent 12 nights on this pad above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, my UL 7 performed flawlessly and I slept great every night. I am still extremely pleased with this pad and it will be in the quiver for awhile longer!
Thicker but lighter, wonderful combo
Was looking for a full length, lighter but thicker pad and found it with this product.
I have not used it on a backpacking trip as of yet, but gave it a try out of the package when it arrived. Way more comfortable than my 3/4 length, 1 inch I've had for years.