Exped SynMat UL 7 Review & Fault Update

I did a brief pre-review of the Exped SynMat Ultralight 7 back in 2011 and have been using it solidly since then for bivvying and tent camping (but not hammocking) and it has proven to be an excellent piece of kit. It packs nice and small, is a great weight for the gram conscious and most importantly, is comfy. It does take a bit of puff to inflate, I wish I had bought the pillow/inflation device, and deflating is trivial. Sometimes it does feel a bit like sleeping on a bouncy castle – it does wobble somewhat but that’s never been a bother and under-inflation may help. It has also proven warm right through two winters and for something like a sleep mat that only needs to do one job it has performed admirably.

I was wary that because the mat was so light that it might not stick the pace, especially when forest bivvying but it has never deflated and is well sealed. However, on my last trip the plastic flap that stops air exiting the mat during inflation dropped out.

The valve opened and closed. The green you can see inside the open valve is the flap of plastic that has dropped out.

When I poke a finger into the valve opening I can feel two pins that hold it in place but alas, even those with the tiniest fingers would be hard pressed to reclip the flap without fear of dropping it inside the mat. Technically I think the mat may still work as the valve cover closes quite tightly but without the flap, full inflation wont be possible. I’ll give it a test this weekend and report back.

I have contacted Synmat by email, hopefully they’re a helpful sort of company!

This entry was posted in Gear Reviews.

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