Exped SynMat HL Test – Comfortable and minimalistic ultralight sleeping pad from Exped in a practical test

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The Exped SynMat HL* combines minimalist luggage and comfortable lying in a lightweight sleeping pad. The ultralight air mattress is suitable for three-season use.

In the test you will find out in detail what is good and what is bad about the Exped SynMat HL and whether the Exped sleeping pad is suitable for you.

Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL Diagonal
Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL Diagonal

You’re in a hurry? Click here to go directly to the Exped SynMat HL

Exped SynMat HL*

Weight: 435 grams (self-weighed)
Isolation/R-value: 3.3
Outer material: 20 D polyester, TPU polyether film laminate,
Inner material: 60 g/m² Texpedloft microfibre
Valve: combined flat valve
Pack size: 19 x 9 cm
Size: 183 x 52 x 7
Thickness: 7 cm
Scope of delivery:
Extras: Pump bag
Application range: 3 to 4 seasons

* Werbung - Aktualisierung am 2022-08-10, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen, Bild:Amazon

Weight and pack size

Exped is a Swiss manufacturer and says itself about the Exped SynMat HL, the ultralight sleeping pad is the “world’s lightest mat for its warmth and comfort!”. Is that right? That’s what we have to find out now in the test.

The Exped sleeping pad scores points for weight and pack size:

Everything you need is included: pack sack, pump sack and also a repair kit. The accessories fit easily into the official pack sack: the complete pack size is approx. 19 × 9 cm. This makes the Exped sleeping pad about the same size as a 950ml bike water bottle, and it fits easily in a backpack or bikepacking bag.

Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size
Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size

Exped SynMat HL in the pack from above

Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size Pack size
Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size Pack size

LoreExped SynMat HL in the pack sack from below

Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size trekking
Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size trekking

The material of 20D nylon is typically used for ultralight sleeping pads. The material thickness offers a good balance between light weight and small pack size on the one hand and durability and thermal insulation on the other.

Ultralight sleeping pad Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size comparison with bottle Exped SynMat HL
Ultralight sleeping pad Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL small pack size comparison with bottle Exped SynMat HL

The SynMat HL weighs just 435 grams including the pack sack and pump sack. I tested the size M with a length of 183 centimeters. This length is also available as a wider wide version and a longer and wider version of the SynMat HL are also available. At the end of this test article I have listed the different types of sleeping pads for you.

Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL Weight
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL Weight

Inflate and deflate

The combination valve of the SynMat HL is used for inflation and deflation at the same time: Very flat it is embedded in the mat. Due to this sophisticated design, damage to the valve is unlikely.

Inflation and deflation of the Exped sleeping pad can be easily and quickly – some details should be noted, however: Either with the mouth or with the enclosed pump bag, the mat can be inflated. What is the difference and how long does it take to inflate?

The short answer is that it takes about 1 to 1.5 minutes to fill the sleeping pad with air. So you can inflate the SynMat HL quickly and do it all even after a long outdoor day.

With the mouth man can inflate the Exped mat quite simply. In the process, however, also penetrates some saliva including bacteria in the sleeping pad. In the long run, this could also cause mold to appear on the inside. A better solution is therefore to use the pump bag: this ensures that hardly any moisture and certainly no bacteria get inside.

The pump bag is conveniently already supplied: With only about 2 fillings, the SynMat HL is fully inflated. However, the pump bag itself can hardly be filled completely and requires some practice. You will quickly get used to using the pump bag and the SynMat HL will be fully inflated in the 1 to 1.5 minutes already mentioned.

The next morning it goes to the Insomatte bleeding: For this you simply stick your finger in the check cap of the valve and the air escapes. When folded further, the remaining air is then pressed out of the Ultralight sleeping pad. Before the sleeping mat is completely stowed away, it must be folded as in the original: To do this, fold in the sides and fold the mat in the middle. Then the sleeping pad can be rolled up and stowed away. Also for venting and stowing you need a few times, then the venting works fast and uncomplicated.

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Exped SynMat HL Valve
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Exped SynMat HL Valve
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL pump bag and repair kit
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL pump bag and repair kit

Lounger and sleeping comfort

How comfortable can you lie and especially sleep on the Exped sleeping pad?

Lying comfort

The shape of the SynMat HL is based on that of the human body:

  • The mattress is wide at the top to support the upper body and to allow space for comfortable lying
  • The bottom of the mat is narrow: The legs still have enough space and it saves weight and space.

The Exped sleeping pad is very comfortable to lie on and only rocks minimally. Thanks to its thickness, even side sleepers can sleep comfortably on the SynMat HL. The Exped sleeping pad is specified with a thickness of 7 centimetres. That’s a bit optimistic and the SynMat HL doesn’t come close to that. I am therefore somewhat puzzled by the manufacturer’s statement. That the mat does not reach this thickness completely is already very obvious at the first inflation. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the comfort and one lies very comfortably on the SynMat HL.

Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL Thickness
Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL Thickness

Sleeping comfort

The width of 52 cm is chosen optimally: As a back and side sleeper you have exactly the right space on the mat and the narrow cut saves weight. There is not enough room for rolling back and forth. For this, there is the WIDE version of the sleeping pad with 13 centimetres more, i.e. 65 centimetres wide.

Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL comfortable
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL comfortable
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL Comfort
Ultralight sleeping pad comparison Exped SynMat HL Comfort

Which material is used? 20D polyester is used on the top and bottom. For added strength, a laminate of TPU polyether film has been applied. For a good grip on the upper side, this was coated with so-called anti-slip GripSkin in honeycomb optics. The thickness of the material used is quite suitable for an ultralight sleeping pad: The thin material is light as a feather and at the same time still offers enough resistance.

The insulation capacity is increased by laminated material inside the mat: synthetic microfibre fleece is attached to the inside of the ultralight mat. The fleece is only 60g/m2 and carries the brand name Texped-Loft. When you lie down on the sleeping pad, you immediately feel its warming effect.

Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Exped SynMat HL Detail
Ultralight Camping Mat Comparison Exped SynMat HL Detail

In total, the SynMat HL has an R-value of 3.3: An R-value below 3 typically indicates a summer mat. From an R-value of 4, a sleeping pad is suitable for winter use. The Exped sleeping pad is therefore fully suitable for 3-season use and should be fine for temperatures down to around minus 6 degrees Celsius.

Explanation of the R-value: The R-value describes the insulation performance of an insulating mat. The higher this value, the better the insulation of the sleeping pad from the cold. A more detailed description including a detailed R-value table can be found in the ultralight sleeping pad guide test & comparison.

Tip for reading: Ultralight camping mat guide – the TOP ultralight camping mats in the practical test and many more in the large market overview comparison.

Durability

The long-term durability of the Exped SynMat HL is still pending. One thing is certain: 20D nylon is durable for a long time if treated properly. As with any ultralight sleeping pad, an ultralight pad should always be used with the SynMat HL. Personally, I use my sleeping pad exclusively in the tent in most cases. The tent floor then protects the sleeping pad from most sharp objects.

By the way, the repair kit also finds room in the pack sack of the sleeping pad. If the sleeping pad should ever get damaged, the patch set is immediately at hand.

Available sizes

Exped SynMat HL*

M: 183 × 52 × 7 cm at 350 grams
MW: 183 x 65 x 7 cm at 415 grams
LW: 183 x 65 x 7 cm at 445 grams

* Werbung - Aktualisierung am 2022-08-10, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen, Bild:Amazon

Conclusion: Exped SynMat HL

When it comes to minimum pack size and weight, the Exped SynMat HL scores. The lightweight sleeping pad offers high lying and sleeping comfort and is suitable with the R-value of 3.3 as a full-fledged three-season sleeping pad. Camping in slightly sub-zero temperatures is also possible with the Exped sleeping pad.

With these properties, the Exped sleeping pad is particularly suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling and bikepacking.

The narrow variants are best for minimalist outdoor activities and I would always prefer the narrow variants. If you want more sleeping comfort, you can also take a very close look at the Wide variants.

Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL foot side
Ultralight sleeping pad test Exped SynMat HL foot side

Good

✅ small pack size
✅ very light
Excellent ratio between weight and thermal performance
✅ High R-value
✅ Good sleeping comfort
✅ Easy to inflate and deflate

Bad

❌ High price

Alternatives

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite and NeoAir Series

Of course I also draw the comparison to the NeoAir series from Therm-a-Rest and we clarify the question: Is the Exped SynMat HL a real NeoAir alternative? As a NeoAir alternative, I have high expectations of the sleeping pad! The technical values are very close to those of the Therm-a-Rest air mattresses: weight, R.value and thickness are almost identical. There are big differences in the construction: The sleeping pads have a completely different material for insulation inside.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite

Small: 119 x 51 at 230 grams
Regular: 183 x 51 at 340 grams
Regular Wide: 183 x 64 at 430 grams
Large: 196 x 64 at 460 grams

* Werbung - Aktualisierung am 2022-08-10, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen, Bild:Amazon

To the detailed Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Test & Experience)

What do you think of the Exped SynMat HL? Feel free to write me your questions, your opinion or a suggestion about the topic.

The trekking air mattress presented here does not suit you? In the article Ultraleicht Isomatten Test & Vergleich – you will find the great practical test and comparison of many recommended ultralight sleeping pads. In the article there is also an extensive guidebook. You will learn many important aspects to consider when buying an ultralight sleeping pad. I keep the article up to date on a regular basis.

Geschrieben von Michael Luplow
Hallo, ich bin Michael, Bikepacker, Abenteuerfan und der Mensch hinter Bikepacking-Adventures. Die Idee für bikepacking-adventures.com entstand direkt hinter dem Fahrrad-Lenker! Nämlich als ich auf einer Fahrrad Tour von Deutschland nach Istanbul war. Hier geht es um Abenteuerreisen mit dem Fahrrad und um Bikepacking auf allen Kontinenten dieser Erde! Du möchtest mehr wissen oder hast Tipps? Schreib mir einfach!

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