A new mat on its way…..The Exped UL Synmat LW

What? Another purchase? Yes it is but I have sold rather a lot of unwanted kit recently, so much so I am still in credit, even with my latest purchase.

So, why another mat and why this one…?

I have several mats currently and they all do a specific job for specific conditions. I have an exped downmat 7 LW for winter camping, a POE 2/3 elite AC for 3 season lightweight adventures and a evazote mat for uberlightweight adventures where bulk isnt an issue (or hard ground). What I feel I am missing is a lightweight “big” mat capable of coping with all but the worst winter conditions. I tend to thrash around in my sleep and the downmat being wide copes well with my movements! The POE elite doesnt cope so well with my movements however being quite narrow.

Spending some time looking at available mats, I settled on the new Exped UL synmat LW. Its R value is very close to the elite (but obviously less than the downmat) and its a BIG mat being 197cm by 65cm by 7cm (the same dimensions as the downmat I have). It claims a weight of 590g which is close to half that of the downmat and yet also claims to be ok down to -4degreesC. If the weight and temperature claims hold true I reckon this could be a real winner for me. There have been times when I have wanted to take the downmat on trips but left it at home for bulk and weight reasons (and then regretted it). The bulk is more than the elite but a lot less than the downmat or the evazote mat so again a good compromise and acceptable to me. Make sense so far?

So, decision made and I am looking forward to getting the mat and seeing if my reasons for choosing it hold true when in use. I didnt really need that long to decide as I hovered over buying the old synmat version previously which is 200g heavier than the UL version. Being less than 600g (claimed not tested yet!) clinched it for me. I could be seen as having too many mats to some but the older I get the more I need to watch my sleep and look after my back! Therefore having several mats depending on different conditions seems perfectly logical to me these days.

And yes, I stillΒ have a positive balance for buying gear too πŸ˜€


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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12 Responses to A new mat on its way…..The Exped UL Synmat LW

  1. terrybnd says:

    You’ll love it mate. I got the first version of the Exped Synmat UL last year. Still going strong. Without a doubt my favourite mat for 3 season use. Guaranteed good nights sleep every time. Packs tiny too.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      thanks Terry. If its anything like the downmat it’ll do the biz for me πŸ™‚

      • terrybnd says:

        Well, my mat as you can imagine has had a hammering. Bar some minor signs of wear and tear, it’s still going strong. I use the medium too like Robin. I find I end up curling my feet up on the mat anyway like I’m at home in bed! lol

        Which in itself tells you how good these Exped mats are. I got the regular one too for winter…again another great mat but tougher πŸ™‚

        • backpackbrewer says:

          pure unadulterated luxury having the long πŸ™‚

          yes, the medium would be fine lengthwise but for a little extra weight i can have the equaivalent of a small bed for camping /

          • terrybnd says:

            LOL That’s one way of putting it πŸ™‚ I often wake up at camp and think I’m at home in bed when using these Exped mats

          • backpackbrewer says:

            rather than a crumpled bit of human misery if the mat is too small πŸ˜€

  2. Stuart says:

    It’s a lovely piece of kit – bought my LW a few months ago. Very comfy, at a small weight and pack space penalty over the standard width/length model. But it’s quite fragile, or rather the thin denier is susceptible to things like dog claws. I learned the hard way, with two tears on the underside, both larger than Exped’s repair kit could handle. Out came the Tenacious Tape. So far so good, but future field repairs may be necessary.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      thanks for the info Stuart. I dont have a dog but rough ground might still hold the same issues for the mat. Touch wood, I’ve never had a mat go flat on me before but there is always a first time. I think I will probably end up taking my usual piece of laminate floor underlay to protect it against sharp edges. The weight penalty is non existent although it is a small amount of extra bulk

  3. Robin says:

    It’s very comfortable. Surprised you got the long. I’m comfortable on the medium, which is plenty long enough for me. Worth getting a pump sack. Much better than blowing it up by mouth.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      lol on the long size. Its not length that is important here Robin, its girth! πŸ™‚

      The long is the only size that is extra wide (65cm) for the UL synmat, the medium is 52cm wide. I just want a bit more wriggle room πŸ™‚

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