Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet the Exped SynMat 7 UL - Rival to the NeoAir

In July 2010 at an Outdoor Show in Germany, Exped ( revealed a sleeping pad which would easily compete with the famed NeoAir. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of the NeoAir for many reasons, but it does have a following. More correctly, people either love it or hate it and one could probably read between the lines a bit when it was announced that Thermarest was redesigning the NeoAir for the coming future.

The Exped SynMat 7 UL in an insulated sleeping mat which weighs just 16.57 ounces (470 grams) for a rectangular 72.04"x 19.68" (183x50cm) and an intriguing R-value of 3.5. Insulation is synthetic which is laminated to the top and bottom of the inner walls. This makes it significantly warmer than the NeoAir which is claimed to retain an R-value of 2.5 for nearly the same size and weight of 14 ounces.

Like the NeoAir, the Exped SynMat 7 UL packs down to the size of a half-liter water bottle and comes with a unique "flat-valve" system which enables the inflation and deflation valves to be separated and thereby is claimed to be easier to operate.

If you aren't a fan of lighter and cheaper (but more bulky) closed cell foam pads, and the NeoAir isn't in your gear closest for one reason or another, the Swiss Exped SynMat 7 UL might just be an answer for you...when they are put on the market. So when it that? Well, in north America it won't be until March. At that time, two sizes will be available (Small 64"x21" and Medium 72"x21"). There is discussion on a larger size which is believed to be 78"x20".


The Odyssee said...

It looks like they have made a product having listened to all the gripes myself and others have had about the neo-air. Although a pillow section would have been better.
But Exped make a seperate pillow don’t they.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great alternative for those that don't like the NeoAir. I wonder how "thin" the material feels... :)
Anyway, I am a fan of the NeoAir. I have a SynMat 7 also, but find the comfort of the Neo superior to that of the SynMat. Just my opinion. Glad to hear that there may now be something for everyone...

terrybnd said...

I'm one of those who likes the NeoAir - it's horizontal tubing I do find more comfortable than many alternative mattresses.

But this one looks very intriguing.

The NeoAir is great for late Spring to early Autumn use but other than that - a waste of money considering other methods and products to keep insulated from the cold ground.

Nice blog by the way!

markswalkingblog said...

I have been looking at this product for a while and I think this will be spot on the 3 season use. I have the Exped Down mat. Excellent quality and innovation.

Dave said...

Got to try one at REI. The material composition feels like a much higher quality material than the Neo. It doesn't feel like it's a toy or going to pop on you when you handle it. It also doesn't look and feel like a pool inflatable. I would definitely get this over the Neo and plan too later this month.

Anonymous said...

I have tried the Exped 7 and it did great. Easy to blow up and deflate. Best of all it did not make alot of sounds when you move, unlike the Neoair. I would suggest that they make the stuff sack a little bigger