Gear Review: Exped SynMat UL 7

Stay warm and comfy with this insulated sleeping pad.


This light, thick, warm pad saved one tester—or at least her butt—from freezing deep in the Alaskan bush, when the tent she was testing had total seam failure. “I stayed warm—enough—and dry from below because the pad kept me riding almost three inches above the pooling water,” she says. Vertical chambers are insulated with synthetic microfiber—which kept testers warm down to 15°F, on snow—and the 20-denier ripstop nylon is tough enough to endure rocky bivies.

Inflation is fast and foolproof, with a one-way valve for inflating and a one-way valve for deflating. “I had this pad ready in less than 30 seconds with only 10 puffs,” says one tester. It deflates nearly as fast and rolls neatly into its sack (9 by 3.5 inches). Restless sleepers liked the rectangular shape and thick chambers on the edges, which act as guardrails. Of course, such luxury isn’t cheap. $155; 1 lb.; 21”x72”x2.8”;