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down vs synmats
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Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
down vs synmats on 03/22/2013 18:43:47 MDT Print View

What is your opinion regarding a comparison of the Exped Downmat UL7 and the Synmat UL7? Seems most people prefer the downmat but not sure why. I don't find my Neoair warm enough and am thinking I want a Synmat, with my REI 20% and dividend. I know that moisture is handled better by the Synmat, but not sure beyond that.

Jan S
Re: down vs synmats on 03/22/2013 18:48:43 MDT Print View

I can't really say anything about Syn- or Downmats, but by the looks of it the NeoAir and the Synmat have the same R-value. Meaning if one is too cold, the other is likely to be too cold, too.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: on 03/22/2013 19:01:00 MDT Print View

Downmat is heavier and warmer - more down in it than syn in the synmat! It also has an extra baffle to keep the down away from the two valves. The downmat also comes with the schnozzle dry bag pump, which does great double duty as a dry bag for your sleeping bag, etc. Using the schnozzle will keep the down nice and dry.

The weight difference is only a couple of ounces, so if you're sleeping cold now, it's probably worth the extra cost and weight. It would be a great thing to use the REI 20% coupon on!

Edited by grampa on 03/22/2013 19:01:47 MDT.

Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
r value on 03/22/2013 19:13:53 MDT Print View

Oh wow, I was mis-remembering the r-value of the Neoair. It is 2.5, very close to the Synmat. Just checked the package. Don't find a downmat UL at

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Down ul vs syn ul on 03/22/2013 20:45:04 MDT Print View

I have both but if I could only own one it would be the downmat ul. Super warm in the winter and no problem in the summer. I am a little cool below freezing on the syn and it just isn't enough on snow for me regardless of the air temp. The other plus is that with a true R-6 pad I have been able to go with a lighter bag.

Hoot Filsinger
(filsinger) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: down vs synmats on 03/22/2013 22:19:59 MDT Print View

I have been using the exped ul7 synmat medium which is warm for me down to about 40 degrees. I just bought the exped ul7 downmat size medium for my wife as a closeout in Medford,OR for $149. I don't know if they are closing them out at all their stores but you may want to give them a call as they are not available online. +1 on Stephan comments.


Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
DownMat Light 5 on 03/23/2013 03:43:58 MDT Print View

You may want to consider this newer Exped Mat. It is a pretty good bargain at just under $100 and has a slightly higher R-value than the synmat at 4.1. The one downside is that you're basically carrying the weight of the DownMat UL7 without having the added warmth. Though you would have saved about half the price.

Also, if you're leaning toward the Downmat UL7 and can't find it through REI anywhere, Camp Saver is also running a 20% off sale right now and they do have them in stock. That's where I got mine and had no problems.

Edited by jeepin05 on 03/23/2013 03:46:14 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
down vs synmats on 03/23/2013 11:11:20 MDT Print View is also having a 20% coupon and carries the DownMat UL7

Edited by saparisor on 03/24/2013 14:18:40 MDT.

Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
Good info on 03/24/2013 14:17:48 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone, good info.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: down vs synmats on 03/24/2013 18:21:51 MDT Print View

Hi Kelly,

I have both if you had any specific questions.