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Exped SynMat UL 9

rated 3.0 of 5 stars
photo: Exped SynMat UL 9 air-filled sleeping pad

A good mat that I am very happy with. Warm, comfortable, large enough, and well priced.


  • Really warm
  • Really comfortable
  • Perfect size (nice and large)
  • Easy to pack into its sleeve
  • Quiet when you move on it


  • Heavy at 855 grams (but I knew that b4 I bought)
  • Takes up quite an amount of pack space (I also knew that before I bought)
  • Manufacturer misuses the term 'UL' to describe the mat

This is an oversized mat that is perfect for my long and heavy (it's all muscle — I swear) body. I am 105kgs and 189cm tall. This mat is my one concession to weight (most everything else in my pack is UL). What I like about this mat is its width. I'm a broad bloke and this mat enables my arms to stay on the mat during the night. I also like that I can sleep comfortably on my side with this mat. It is luxurious.

Ease of Use: When coupled with the UL Schnozzle bag it is a very simple bag to inflate. It took me three "gusts" from the schnozzle bag to inflate the mat. I then lay on the mat and adjusted its firmness by releasing air via the inflation inlet (really important you deflate via the inflation inlet and not the deflation nozzle when adjusting for firmness).

Features: The mat uses synthetic microfiber for insulation. And it is warm (pleasingly so). It is also very comfortable to sleep on. Gone are my days of rubber mats that are as effective as reinforced concrete for keeping me comfortable — I'm too old for Bear Grylls sleeping arrangements.  

I've used it on 0 degree nights all the way to 20 degree nights. It kept me warm in the cold and didn't overheat me in the warmth (of course you just sleep in the sleeping bag liner on warm nights — it stops you sticking to the mat).

General: I've had it six months now and am happy. I brought this in the full knowledge it was bulky and heavy. So I cannot complain (even though I've listed these as cons). It is easy to deflate, fold, and roll back into its bag.

The fabric is easy to sleep on albeit sticky on hot nights. Importantly it really isn't noisy, just a little bit of noise when you move around (and didn't wake me as far as I can remember).

My one annoyance is in the manufacturer's comments on Trailspace where they compare this rolled mat to the size of a 1/2 litre bottle. Have a look at this photo of my 750ml (3/4 litre) bottle and see if you can work out what's wrong with the manufacturers sizing claim. A wee bit of an exaggeration, Exped?

Of course I'm not going to give it a 5. A five would be this mat at 9cm thickness with a quarter the weight and the great price point at just over $100 kiwi.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $119 NZD


  • Comfortable


  • Not the easiest to get back in its stuff sack
  • My second Synmat 9, my second air leak

It's a great comfortable mattress, no doubt, but unfortunately I will be moving on to a different manufacturer in the future. I've had two of these, and each one has developed a slow leak after the first dozen or so uses. Simple as that. Regular use, not abuse.

Granted I could patch it (like the first one....) and be on my merry way, but no thank you. Lost the faith, and would rather spend my time doing other things than chasing air leaks every couple weeks or so of use.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Too much

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Price Historic Range: $109.95-$219.00
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