Exped SynMat UL 7 Air Pad Review

The Exped SynMat UL 7 sleeping pad is a great, lightweight air mattress that can easily increase the comfort of your next backpacking adventure.  If you don’t sleep well in the woods you won’t be able to enjoy yourself.  A quality air mattress goes a long way to making sleep come sooner and be more rejuvenating.

I’ve tried a number of air mattresses over the years and found that I need vertical air baffles on a mattress to be comfortable.  When using horizontal baffled mattresses, like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir, I get really bad lower back pain.  This is due to how your weight redistributes the air inside the mattress which puts pressure on my lower back. The Exped SynMat UL 7 has vertical baffles – awesome!

Other thoughts about this mattress: Its very lightweight, weighing right around 1 lb, but it has a very low insulation value compared to other air mattresses in the same weight range. This is strictly a summer mattress.  I love how Exped does their inflate/deflate nozzles.  Hands down the best system on the market currently.  If you pair this mattress with the with the Exped Schnozzel Pumpbag (a super lightweight dry sack that allows you to inflate your air mattress without blowing into it) you can inflate your mattress up in about 30 seconds without ever needing to blow into it.  The Exped SynMat UL 7 is very loud.  If you are sharing a tent with someone using this mattress you will be woken up every time they move around.  I’ve even woken myself up moving around on this mattress.

Overall this mattress is one I keep going back and forth on.  The ease of blowing it up using the Schnozzel Pumpbag is so genius that I hate using any other air mattress but the noise it makes when you move around on it coupled with the very low insulation value keeps the Exped SynMat UL 7 Air Pad from being my go to air mattress.


Should you buy this? Maybe.  Buy it from REI or Backcountry.com and try it out.  If you don’t like it take it back.  If you do pick one up make sure you get the Schnozzel Pumpbag – it is the most brilliant piece of gear I’ve used in a long time.

Exped SynMat UL 7