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Flat EXPed UL 7
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Terry Sparks
(Firebug) - M

Locale: Santa Barbara, CA
Flat EXPed UL 7 on 12/06/2013 13:35:42 MST Print View

I need some help with this, I'm a side sleeper and both my hips are sore (again) for the last time. I bought an EXPed UL 7 WL last spring and it did very well for about 300 miles, after that, I mostly sleep on a flat EXPED than an inflated one. My hips are sore again (oh, already said that) and on my last trip, I was just plan cold with no insulation underneath me at 20F, for two nights. I have 7 patches on the matterss already and after the last patch, on my last trip, it will hold air for about 3 hours at best, before I'm sleeping on the cold ground and waking up to re inflate the damn thing. For the most part, I'm hiking with worthless dead weight and I'm getting rather tired of it.

What do I need to do to extend the life of this mattress, if possible, and/or if I buy a new mattress, how do you care for your mattress to extend it's life. I'm scheduled to start a PCT thru starting around May 1, I need to get my sleep system squared away soon.

Thank you,


Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Flat EXPed UL 7 on 12/06/2013 14:09:20 MST Print View

I'd suggest giving the valves a good cleaning. I used a Synmat UL for a while and gave up on it because it's impossible where I usually hike to keep sand out of the valves. Seems like any bit of grit against the plastic flaps keeps them from sealing.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
Leaks on 12/06/2013 14:31:51 MST Print View

Have you inflated the pad and submerged it in water to see where it is leaking? I've spent many nights on inflatibles, always in a tent or bivy and never had a leak. What I have had where pads that got kinda flat because the were filled at a noticably higher temp than night time lows. It sounds like yours is dead flat so fix it and experiment with different ground protection till you have a solution you're happy with. All that said, I wouldn't consider taking that pad on a thru hike since you've had so many problems.

I have that pad and I find it very slippery. It seems credible that the chance of a puncture goes up as it shimmies across the ground/floor with your weight on it. Maybe a throw rug grippy pad from ace hardware would stop the slipping and add a small measure of protection.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Leaks on 12/06/2013 19:16:06 MST Print View

Goodness gracious what are you doing with your pad??

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Leaks on 12/06/2013 20:08:49 MST Print View

"Goodness gracious what are you doing with your pad??"

Rocking the Casbah so to speak?


More seriously, do use any kind of ground cover underneath it? Perhaps it's a lemon, maybe Exped will replace it? Have you contacted them?

Edited by ArcturusBear on 12/06/2013 20:12:05 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Leaks on 12/06/2013 20:31:38 MST Print View

Where are you hiking? - Desert, Beach, Mountains?

Where are the holes - Top, Bottom End, Middle?

How are you locating the holes? Sound, or Immersion?

If immersion - running water, or pressurized in the bath tub?

How are you patching - dabs of SeamGrip, dabs of AquaSeal?

How old is the matt? The first run had problems with the laminate leaking air.

Your experience is not typical. Something is wrong somewhere, and more information will help figure out what is happening.

Edited by greg23 on 12/07/2013 11:29:16 MST.

Josh Thomas
(JtPeso) - M

Locale: Louisville, Ky
Re: Exped on 01/04/2014 16:30:02 MST Print View

Hey man,
A few months ago, I ran into the same problem. Cleaned the valves and patched one visible leak, and did the submersion test, which it passed with flying colors. But I left it inflated to test it's holding power, and within a few hours, it was dead flat. After searching in vain for another solution, I called Exped to see if I could get them to find what was wrong with it. I checked my receipt and it was literally two weeks outside of my warranty. The guy at Exped said no problem, they'd check it out, fix it and ship it back. As it turns out, THEY couldn't even fix it. But the great thing is, they sent me a brand spankin' new one. They even rushed the new one back to me because I was leaving on a plane to the Wind River Range in 3 days. They had it to Kentucky (from Washington state) the next day. Awesome, awesome customer service.

So give them a call to see if they'll fix it! Or, if it's still under warranty, if they'll give you a new one!

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
The Best Customer Service on 01/04/2014 21:35:02 MST Print View

Exped has the BEST customer service I've ever dealt with. Call them and I'm sure they will take very good care of you. I know they did for me.



Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: The Best Customer Service on 01/05/2014 07:31:50 MST Print View

+1 on the Exped's customer service. My dog jumped on mine while it was inflated and the darned thing literally exploded, all the way through...the tear was probably 8 inches long and through the whole pad - front to back. There was NO way I could repair it. They told me to send it in to see if they could repair it...I totally wrote it off. Then lo and behold...a brand new synmat UL7 showed up at my door.

This company is simply awesome.

AT Hiker

Locale: East TN
Inflatable Care on 01/05/2014 08:37:38 MST Print View

I always blow up my inflatable mattress inside my tent. Once inflated, a mattress is very easily blown into a bush. When in shelters, I use my ground cloth to protect it from splinters / debris. I can't comment on EXPed, but I used a NeoAir Xlite for my AT thru hike without any issues.