The SynMat 9 Pump DLX has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best air-filled sleeping pads for 2021.
Historic Range: $119.95-$169.00
Reviewers Paid: $114.00-$149.00
This lightweight, warmly insulated, extremely comfortable sleeping mat is the intrepid backpacker's best friend. Exped hit the jackpot with this tough, built-in pump, high quality camping wonder.
- Built-in pump
- Strong/hardy materials
- Well insulated
- Insanely comfortable
- Exped quality
- Multiple inflation options
- One-way air valves for comfort adjustment
When I purchased my EXPED SYNMAT 9 Pump DLX in the summer of 2012 I had planned to use it for the occasional backpack/car/motorcycle camping adventure. Never in my wildest dreams had I envisioned being forced to use this mat for over a year straight (with a few weeks break on the EXPED Comfort Foam mat)!
That is exactly what happened when the ancient and badly damaged plaster and lathe ceiling above my bed fell on me one August night. Due to mold issues and my physical disability I couldn't repair the ceiling alone. It would take a full year before my awesome brother fixed it one long awaited visit.
The EXPED SYNMAT 9 Pump DLX was still sitting in the box when my ceiling nailed me. I had only had it a few days when the necessity to use it began. It took a few times of using the pump for me to find the best way to air up the mat. Due to my small hands I was unable to pump the mat up as recommended. I quickly discovered a fool proof procedure to air up the DLX while avoiding muscle spasms and sore knees.
Here is my procedure:
- Place a closed cell foam mat on the floor/ground. You can use a footprint or the floor of a tent as well. Ensure the surface making contact with the air valve is clean and free of debris.
- Open Air Valve/Port for hand pump. Ensure all other valves are closed.
- Place DLX mat gray side down. (Normally you would have the gray side up) Ensure valve cap is away from valve opening.
- While standing or sitting place foot on pump and begin to work manual pump as you would with your hand.
- When mat is filled flip it over so the cap can be placed back in the closed position. (With practice you can close the valve cap without having to flip).
- Flip mat over so the gray side is down and terracotta side is up.
- Now you're ready to saw the famous logs:)
You can use your hand/hands to air the mat up (and I have done this as well). Just make sure your knees are protected from the hard ground. It does take a few minutes but, it seems to me it took roughly the same amount of time to use my breath on comparably sized mats.
While it is possible to use your breath to inflate the DLX 9 it is not recommended. According to EXPED moisture from our breath negates the insulating properties of the synthetic fill. Also, bacteria can be introduced and subsequently proliferate when we use our breath.
I will say that after a day of backpacking (especially in high altitudes) the last thing I want to do is power breathe for a few minutes just trying to get ready for some shut eye. You can use the schnozzle with this mat as well.
The DLX 9 can be used with or without a mat cover. EXPED sells their version of one in various sizes. The nice thing about this is the mat cover still gives the user access to the two air valves at the top end of the mat. This allows the user to adjust the firmness of the DLX 9 to their liking. Thanks to the outer baffles being a tad larger than the rest the possibility of rolling off the mat is greatly reduced. One of the unsaid aspects I liked about the larger baffles is my feet can be positioned off of the mat with surprising comfort. No foot/calf cramps here.
Even though I am only 5'4" I weigh 200lbs. My brother is 6'2" 175lbs. I picked the DLX 9 so we both could use it. The mat is 26" x 78" x 3.5". With the two dogs I have (Pekinese/Pomeranian mix and Boston terrier/Chihuahua mix) insisting they sleep on the same mat/mattress I am on I needed a wide/long mat. Amazingly, when my brother or I used it all three were snoozing away and fit quite comfortably. I was worried the dogs' nails would puncture the mat but, the DLX 9 resisted them with ease. If anything had punctured it the accompanied repair kit was ready.
Cleaning is easy. Just use a damp washcloth lightly soaped (mild). It is stored in its own carry sack along with a repair kit when in the backpack. EXPED recommends the mat should be inflated and stored standing on it's foot end. This keeps the insulation inside the DLX 9 lofty:)
I've read there are ultra-light enthusiasts (ounce counters) who say the EXPED SYNAMT Pump DLX 9 is too heavy. I for one don't see it. My DLX 9 is the lightest air mat I have ever used and it is dang near bullet proof. The size of the mat with the larger side baffles make this a sleeper's dream! You can use this with or without a mat cover.
Also, the DLX 9 can be used with the Big Agnes sleeping bag system. Rated at an R-6 I was curious to see how well she insulated. Using the mud room as an environment I slept in both hot and humid as well as freezing temps down in the teens. The EXPED SYNMAT Pump DLX 9 worked like a boss. She never disappointed me or my brother.
One last thing. I must say any air mat that can take my weight for a year straight and never miss a beat has my complete confidence. I have absolute faith in this EXPED product. The other EXPED mat we used (the Comfort Foam Mat) is a 2 thumbs up beauty as well. However, due to its weight and bulk it's more for home/RV/car camping/canoe trips.
The EXPED SYNMAT Pump DLX 9 is a complete sleeping mat I have no reservations whatsoever endorsing! Whether you need it for the house or for the outdoors this Air Mat is a Winner!!! While it is a bit pricey, it can be found for a song when on sale. If I didn't have this one I would be looking at the EXPED DOWNMAT. The perfect DLX 9 would have been without the built in pump (I would use the schnozzle instead). That would have kept what little weight it may have down.
Temperature: -13 °F
Length: 78 in
Width: 26 in
Thickness: 3.54 in
Weight Mat: 41 oz
Weight Packsack: 1 oz
Packed height: 11 in
Packed diameter: 6 in
Warranty: 5 years
This is my first review for Trailspace. I hope to master pictures and videos soon:) If you have any questions please, let me know. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $114.00
After two years of using this pad I though I would update the review. It is still a great pad to sleep on, and although it is more heavy then my new down sleeping bag, I still would not go hiking with out it. I do find that after a long day hiking pumping up the air mattress can be a pain, but in reality it does not that that long. Still getting great night sleeps and have yet to get a hole.
- Not very slippery
- Did I say thick?
- Not real heavy (by my standards, but not a UL pad)
- Big (maybe too wide)
- Weight (though still less then my old pads)
- Pumping up (update)
Size: 77.5" x 26" x 3.5" (197 cm x 65 cm x 9 cm). It's one BIG pad!! And thick, too!
Insulation value: -25 C or -13 F (R value of 6). I have not tried it in the cold yet but when I do I will update the review.
Ease of Use: It takes me about 5 min or less to pump up the air mattress and get it in the tent. If you confined in space, say it's raining out, and your pumping it up in the tent, it can be a little hard, depending on head room and if you can kneel next to it. Deflating is quick and easy, just pop the plug, lay on it and fold it a few times to get all the air out.
Construction & Durability: I have used it for close to two years, not a single hole, no popped seams, and still about the some weight. I have used it on just about every surface, except sharp rocks!
The mat is very large in size compared to most mats, almost too big. At 26 inches wide and 78 inches long, it is as big a me. I'm 6' 6" and 24" across at the shoulders. It also takes up most of my 2-person tent. There is just enough room for my pack and stuff. The big advantage of this pad is the thickness of the pad. At 9 cm, or 3.5 inches, it is quite thick and very comfortable to sleep on.
When un-inflated, which is very easy to do, it rolls up to about 4" x 13" (folded in half). It weighs in at 41 oz, so just over 2.5 lbs. Most UL hikers would find this way too much weight, but for a lot of regular backpackers that may not sound like a lot of extra weight for a good night's sleep. I know for me it is worth every ounce.
Inflating the pad is a little different then the normal blow up pad, but not that hard to do, and it is fairly quick for such a large pad. I would recommend that you try it out at home before your first trip, though, just so you have the hang of it in the field.
Finally, this is not an inexpensive pad. At $149 plus sales tax (for Washington), mine cost just over $163, but how much is a good night's sleep worth to you? To me it was worth it in every way.
One footnote: if REI had the option I may have gotten the SynMat 9 Pump which is 77" x 20" x 3.5". I think this pad would have done just as good, maybe, with my sleeping, but all that I was able to find was the DLX at any of the local stores and I did not have time for an Internet purchase.
Good Sleeping, Wolfman
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $149
The downside to outdoor exploration for me was always discomfort in the sleeping arrangements. No longer. The Exped SynMat 9 Pump DLX brings a blissful night's rest after an active day's hike or paddle. So much so, that I now need an alarm to wake me up. Light, packs up small, easy to inflate and durable, the Synmat 9 has made wilderness sleeping a pleasure!
- Durable — in its fifth year and going strong
- Large enough for you to stretch out in comfort
- Packs up nice and small
- Easy to care for
- Where was the Exped 9 Pump DLX twenty years ago?
This is by far the best camping mattress that I have ever used. It has provided five seasons of comfortable sleep during annual kayak explorations and shows no signs of wear. Our entire kayak group now uses the Exped SynMat 9 Pump DLX and everyone raves about how comfortable they are.
The downside to camping on the often rocky beaches of BC's wild west coast was trying to get a comfortable night's sleep. Too often I would toss and turn all night, warding off cold and numbness, and then, after a fitful night would wake up early and thoroughly miserable.
The first morning after sleeping on the Exped SynMat 9 Pump DLX, on the north coast of Vancouver Island, I woke refreshed and invigorated. Crawling out of my tent I called to my campmates to tell them that breakfast would be in half an hour. hey gave me a series of rather peculiar looks for a moment or two, and then one of them suggested that perhaps lunch would be a better idea. I stood confused and asked, "what time is it"? It was close to noon. I had slept around the clock!
That has never happened on any other camping mattress.
The Exped SynMat 9 Pump DLX brings a touch of luxury to the great outdoors.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Aprox. $140