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Judy Armstrong says this is one of the best sleeping mats you can buy for backpacking


I would cheerfully trade my bed for this: Synmat HL (new in 2016) is supportive, comfortable and warm. It is also astonishingly lightweight and compact, considering the insulation and inflated depth. Exped claim it is “the world’s lightest mat at its warmth and comfort levels” and I’m not arguing. This mat comes with the fabulous Schnozzel Pumpbag to avoid humidity from your breath affecting the insulation. This is a waterproof compression sack which acts as a pump (and a pillow). It’s simple and quick to use, and significantly less effort than blowing into a valve for ages. If you’re gram-counting, feel free to save 61g and blow it up by mouth: unlike the down-insulated versions, you won’t badly affect the synthetic insulation, but it is better to keep it dry if you can. Comfort can be fine-tuned once you’re on board by opening the valve cap and carefully twiddling the little green spike inside to release air. To deflate, press the spike while you roll: yes, men, it’s multi-tasking. The valve is flat, neatly recessed into the underside and the Honeycomb Gripskin coating on the top surface is quiet to sleep on. The tapered shape is almost identical to Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XTherm; Exped say it fits better into small tents by going top to tail, although my plans don’t include sleeping with my nose to anyone’s backpacking feet. Also available in LW (long-wide, £150), repair kit included. As always, there is less to say about perfection than about problems. This is an awesome mattress for price, comfort and weight. What more can you ask?

Overview

  • Overall: 5 out of 5

Pros: low weight/bulk, warmth, inflation system, comform, quiet fabric

Cons: nothing

  • Price: £140
  • Weight: 367g+12g+61g
  • Materials: 20D polyester, TPU polyether film laminate. Top: Honeycomb Gripskin coated. Insulation: 60 g/m² Texpedloft microfibre
  • Dimensions: 183x52x7
  • Packed: 30cm x 18cm
  • R-Value: 3.3
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