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Exped Synmat UL problems
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Rachel Green

Locale: Northwest MT
Exped Synmat UL problems on 07/30/2012 21:49:43 MDT Print View

So I got the Exped Synmat UL M when REI had the sale on them. I also got the pillow pump for it. I finally got to use them for the first time last Monday. They were great, I loved them both and I slept like a rock.
But then I went on another trip this weekend. I blew up the pad, went to bed, and within 10 minutes it was completely deflated. I checked all the valves, and then blew it up again. This time I listened carefully and I could hear it deflating near the bottom of the pad.

I didn't want to mess around trying to find the hole and patch it, so I just slept on my Z-lite which I had under the synmat both nights. When I got back to town I went right back to REI to exchange the pad for another one.

So after only one night it didn't hold air. I babied this pad. Has anyone else had a problem with these pads? I did notice there were quite a few at the last scratch and dent sale that claimed they no longer held air. Should I give it another go? Or return this one and start looking for a different pad altogether?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Exped Synmat UL problems on 07/30/2012 21:52:48 MDT Print View

I've had mine out probably half a dozen times with no issues so far.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Inflatables on 07/30/2012 22:37:02 MDT Print View

Hmmm. I usually inflate a new pad and let it sit for a few days with some books on it (I have lots of those!) to make sure that it holds air. Exped has a good reputation, and REI has great return policy. It's really up to you whether or not you'd trust another one in the field. Reasonable confidence in your gear goes a long way on a trip. For me, after that test, I felt comfortable taking my pad into the backcountry.

Oh--and full disclosure, I have a NeoAir. (It's been mostly good to me so far.)

Edited by GlacierRambler on 07/30/2012 22:37:35 MDT.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Exped Synmat UL problems on 07/30/2012 22:42:55 MDT Print View

I recently bought two Synmat UL pads for my wife and I and I've had a couple similar experiences. I'd used one several times and loved it, and then we were on a trip and my wife's ended up flat. I inflated both at home one morning and left them for a couple days and both stayed fully inflated (noting which one had flattened before). I set it aside to return it to REI, thinking it stayed inflated because it didn't have any weight on it, and went on a solo trip a couple weeks later (with what I thought was the other one) and ended up with a flat pad. Last weekend we took both, so I could make sure which one was faulty, and they both performed flawlessly. I think the key is making sure both inner valve flaps don't have any folds or kinks and that the plugs are secure. That's the only thing I can think of. I hope I can get them consistently working because with the Schnozzle pump they're a joy to use and sleep on.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: Exped Synmat UL problems on 07/30/2012 23:25:40 MDT Print View

No problems at all here after 8 or more nights.

"I think the key is making sure both inner valve flaps don't have any folds or kinks and that the plugs are secure."

Exactly. I've heard that sometimes a bit of plastic, sand, ice, or debris will prevent the valve or plug from sealing completely, resulting in an unpredictable and slow leak.

Joe S
re UL7 on 08/01/2012 05:55:10 MDT Print View

No problems yet, probably 7 nights. For me, the most comfortable mat ever.

Rachel Green

Locale: Northwest MT
Thanks on 08/01/2012 09:30:37 MDT Print View

Wow thanks, I wish I had known that before I returned it for a new one. Ill keep it now and hope that was the only issue and not an actual leak/hole.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Exped Synmat UL problems on 08/01/2012 15:26:18 MDT Print View

Sorry to bear about tht, at least you had a slits with you, I alway carry at least half a zlite or Solite with me for the same reason.

I have used my Symantec for at least 15 nights an no issues with it.

Get REI to replace it and keep it inflated at home for a week and see how it goes.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Turn off your iPad autocorrect on 08/01/2012 17:03:17 MDT Print View

So you slept on your Symantec for 15 nights did you, Stephen? :-) That's too funny.

I've taken to carrying a 1/8" thick pad to place underneath my SynMat UL7 for two reasons - added warmth below 35F, and protection against sharp pointy things on the ground. One of my dogs did a number on the pad when he got trapped under the bed where it was stored. His nails tore a 3"x3" L shaped section, and created a 10" long scratch that was not deep enough to create an outright tear, but still allowed air to seep through. Both were on the 'tougher' underside. Tenacious tape is holding it together for now, but I'll have to send it back to Exped for repair later this year.

Edited by lotuseater on 08/01/2012 17:08:53 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Exped Synmat UL problems on 08/01/2012 18:30:51 MDT Print View

I was going to replace my mat with a Semantic one but in the end it was neither here nor there.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Turn off your iPad autocorrect on 08/04/2012 04:11:53 MDT Print View

I had to laugh when I saw that.

Would It be classed as multi use gear ;-)

"Symantec protecting your pc and your bad back"

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Turn off your iPad autocorrect on 08/04/2012 04:48:43 MDT Print View

Your iPad autocorrect will allow you to make mistakes much faster than you ever could without it.


Derek Kind
Synmat UL on 08/04/2012 12:21:21 MDT Print View

For what it's worth, I've used mine for about 6 nights without any problems, and it's a very comfortable pad - I love the way the larger outer baffles help keep me from falling off either side. I bought mine on ebay, and it had already been patched, which I didn't mind because I figured it saved me some work, but evidently there had been a leak.

My sister had this pad and it did NOT work for her. I don't know the details but it obviously didn't hold air.

With the yellow Synmat it's a clear case of YMMV.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Exped Synmat UL problems" on 08/04/2012 16:57:36 MDT Print View

I've used mine for at least 25 nights going back to last season and have had no problems, EXCEPT on this last trip when I initially couldn't get the schnozzel to pump air. It turned out to be the little flap on the inside of the "gonfler" (love saying that)valve--the inflate valve. I gave it a poke and everything was fine. Maybe this flap, which is on both the gonfler and degonfler valves, can cause leakage problems if it isn't positioned right; or maybe the valve cap isn't snapping closed tight. I personally way prefer this valve design to the old Exped twisty valve, which gave me a variety of problems. Much easier to use and no leak issues for me.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Exped Synmat UL problems on 08/04/2012 20:35:02 MDT Print View

Same as Jeffery - no problems, except one evening the schnozzle pump bag was really difficult to use. Discovered on side of the intake flap had slipped to the outside. Slipped it back, all difficulties done.

Still the best pad I've used.

Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
done fine on 08/05/2012 00:24:25 MDT Print View

I used mine basically every day for the last month with no problems.....base
camping and backpacking with no problems.

Craig Rowland
(craigr) - MLife

Locale: Pacific NW
Exped on 08/05/2012 16:34:20 MDT Print View

I bought one to replace my Big Agnes insulated air core for the weight savings. I have used it about 10 nights so far. It works fine but the material feels much less durable to me than the Big Agnes so I am being even more careful about debris on the mat and inside the tent. I just used it camping on snow this past week and it was OK, but a little chilly when side sleeping as it compressed compared to the Big Agnes.

On snow I'd take a closed cell as added warmth and backup in case the main pad has problems. The valves on mine have been working fine and no debris clogging issues, but I can see how it could be a problem if something got caught in them. Overall I am happy with the pad and comfort.