Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Equipment, Travel > Camping Equipment and all Clothing

Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 5 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Australia.
Posts: 669
Exped Synmat or Downmat?

I want to upgade the thermarest to the Exped mats and can't really decide between the down and synmat. The price difference is quite a bit and I don't really camp cold climates much. Nothing I can't do with the thermarest ultralight. But all the hype is on the downmat.

What do you reckon??
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 5 Feb 2009
mattcbf600's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 706
Obviously you're on the right track with the Exped - I really can't shout enough at how amazing they are.

On our trip to Russia I had a down mat and Patrick had the syn mat - the most obvious difference is the size - the syn mat was a little smaller and certainly looked easier to roll-up of a morning.

The other thing which I thought was good about the syn mat was the morning Patrick woke up in 2 inches of water in his tent - his mat dried very easily and didn't seem to be affected by it. My downmat also got 'damp' rather than wet - but it did dry out very well and very quickly.

I don't think there's a great deal between them and if I was faced with the choice now I still think I'd go with the down - but for no other reason that I quite like the idea of real down in my mat!

Here's a short review I did of the 7dlx a while ago

__________________
------------------
http://thelondonbiker.com/blog

Watch some of my camp cooking videos

AIM: mattcashmore
SKYPE: matthewcashmore
MSN: matthew@matthewcashmore.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 6 Feb 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London, England
Posts: 142
After reading the rave reviews on the internet, I was tempted towards the Synmat for a cold camping trip.

Now that I own it, I'm not so sure - for me it's just a furry lilo with a built-in pump. I can sleep OK on it, and sure it will smooth out any bumps in the ground, but it wasn't the sleeping revelation I was expecting. I'm still not sure it deserves a space in my panniers.

Hope that helps.
__________________
http://bigben.to/ London to....? The big bike annual rally.
http://www.mongolbikers.com 125cc London -> Mongolia.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 6 Feb 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Two Mats

Has anybody tried two air mats strapped one on top of the other? I know air circulation might limit insulation but two Fat Airics from alpkit.com are more versatile than one expensive exped mat. Linzi.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6 Feb 2009
Pumbaa's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On our bicycles, probably pushing up a hill!
Posts: 431
I was going to get the Exped 9 (down) as well, but after trying it in the shop decided against it. I got the Thermarest instead. The reason was that it was a bit too high/thick, and my arms felt very uncomfortable on it (definitely not uncomfortale for the rest of my body). I'm fairly big, and lying on my back, my arms would slip off the sides the whole time. I know the thermarest is a similar width, but I never really noticed.

I also got the Thermarest at an excellent price of GBP38...., where the Exped was on sale at GBP89.

Will have to wait and see if its the right choice.
__________________
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
www.seeyouwhenwegetthere.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6 Feb 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Closed up

Alpkit.com just answered my question about two mats--too thick! But they used a closed cell mat and thick air mat on frozen ground and it worked well. Linzi.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 6 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Salisbury UK
Posts: 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linzi View Post
Alpkit.com just answered my question about two mats--too thick! But they used a closed cell mat and thick air mat on frozen ground and it worked well. Linzi.
I've used a cheap closed cell mat with a 'Wee Airic' on top and it was toasty.

Wasn't frozen though, so maybe that doesn't count.
__________________
I've a feeling I'm not in Kansas anymore.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 6 Feb 2009
Tim Cullis's Avatar
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Putney, SW London
Posts: 1,336
Brilliant review, Matt.

I'm also looking for an alternative to my 2.5mm Thermarest. I want something thicker, warmer and wider, so the Exped 9Dlx sounds absolutely ideal.

There's now two versions of this, one with a build-in pump for another £20 or so, see the bottom of Exped Downmat 9 Pump

Tim
__________________
"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
Irving Mather (1892-1966)

Access the Morocco Knowledgebase
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 8 Feb 2009
mattcbf600's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 706
The 9 mat is rather thick it has to be said - in fact when I started looking at mats my first thought was the 9 - but after speaking to Les at Traveldri Plus he suggested I didn't really need the 9, but the 7 would be more than sufficient.

He did point out that the 7 DLX was better to go for because it's both wider and longer than the standard - but still only 7cm deep - so still packs up much smaller than the 9.

And I can testify after taking it to Morocco and sleeping on it for a few weeks there and back, and then to Russia and doing the same - I've never had an uncomfortable sleep on the 7 DLX - and I'm rather large and have poky out hips. The DLX part of the equation is a must though - that extra width makes a hell of a difference.

and without going over the top on the recomendation front - Les at Travel Dri Plus - Traveldri-Plus - really is the place to get this kit from - give him a call and ignore the prices on the website - he'll do you a great deal and give you fantastic advice - I've never met anyone more knowlageable about this stuff and so consistenly spot on with his advice - even if that means you spending less money with him.
__________________
------------------
http://thelondonbiker.com/blog

Watch some of my camp cooking videos

AIM: mattcashmore
SKYPE: matthewcashmore
MSN: matthew@matthewcashmore.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 9 Feb 2009
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 147
eXped 9DLX

Got this last year. Is the best and most comfortable air matt I've ever had. Adjustable air from stiff to soft. Takes maybe 10-15 pumps with the supplied filler. Folds small - I just roll it and lay it into the duffle. Well worth the extra money! Younger people or those who tolerate a bit rougher night maybe won't value it as much as us older folks.

LIke Matt, I can't say enough good things about it.

Stephen

Last edited by STG06; 28 Feb 2009 at 21:49.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 23 Feb 2009
John in Leeds's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Leeds
Posts: 20
Word to the wise

New Downmats arriving in UK with latest fabric. Expect better air retention.

5 year Guarantee
__________________
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -Bertrand Russell
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 28 Feb 2009
John in Leeds's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Leeds
Posts: 20
Latest Downmat

New Downmat 7 short just arrived. Looks like a good upgrade with built in pump. Inflation so much easier and needs less space than previously. New fabrics and repair kit (did I mention 5 year guarantee, hope it's not needed). Nice and comfy so far but will post after some trials.
__________________
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -Bertrand Russell
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 8 Apr 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 10
SynMat vs DownMat

tmotten,
this reply is coming rather late so might not be any help at this point. Anyway, you received a lot of good guidance already.

I would just add that Exped is insistent that their DownMats must NEVER receive inflation by mouth. Moist air from your lungs must not enter the mat's down insulation. You shouldn't even top off the mat by mouth. That's why Exped has transitioned to Pump mats. If you are inclined to top off your mat's inflation by mouth from time to time, the DownMat is not for you.

Exped isn't in favor of their SynMats being inflated by mouth, either, but it isn't as big a deal as with the DownMats. You should be able to top off a SynMat by mouth rather than by flipping the mat over and using the built-in pump.

The DownMats have a significantly more impressive r-factor, but I'd side with the SynMat because of the convenience of by-mouth inflation.

I'd also go with the 7 instead of the 9. There is virtually no comfort difference, as far as I've been able to tell. The DLX is also the way to go - long and wide but still a reasonable packed size.

I've had a lot of experience with Exped mats as my company, Full Throttle Camping, carries them. Full Throttle Camping
__________________
www.fullthrottlecamping.com
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 8 Apr 2009
mattcbf600's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 706
Quote:
Originally Posted by FTCamping View Post
Exped isn't in favor of their SynMats being inflated by mouth, either, but it isn't as big a deal as with the DownMats. You should be able to top off a SynMat by mouth rather than by flipping the mat over and using the built-in pump.
The original range of synmats had a binding inside them that quietly broke down if you topped up by blowing in them - bacteria in your breath according to Exped. The new model (this years) doesn't have that binding and Exped say it's perfectly safe to inflate with your breath, but still advise against it as you're introducing moisture to your sleeping mat.

Obviously you don't want to top up your downmat with your breath, down and moisture are not a happy pair.

If I was buying again I'd go for the synmat over the downmat and the model I got is perfect, even for a large gent like myself - the 7DLX

Thanks for the heads-up on your store FTCamping - always love to find another camping retailer for me to spend my hard earned cash with!

Another good place to grab this gear is TravelDri-Plus - Les carries the whole range and is always on the end of the phone to offer advice on which model will suit you best.

m
__________________
------------------
http://thelondonbiker.com/blog

Watch some of my camp cooking videos

AIM: mattcashmore
SKYPE: matthewcashmore
MSN: matthew@matthewcashmore.com
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 8 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Britain
Posts: 73
FTcamping: good luck with your venture. I'm sure no-one would mind if you added a link to your website as your signature.

I'll have an exped 7 dlx one day, though it is of course possible to get too obsessed with kit. Not that there's anything wrong with a bit of obsessing over kit.

For a laugh, I bought a balloonbed 2h from ebay for £10. Haven't tested it properly yet. Blowing it up is tricky. I can only just do it using my lungs rather than the little pump. I intend to see if I can add some sort of valve to each balloon. And if I'm feeling really bonkers, I may try putting some down from an old duvet into the balloons. Ahem.

Last edited by SpitfireTriple; 8 Apr 2009 at 20:56.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sleeping mat - EXPED Downmat 7 dlx mattcbf600 Equipment Reviews 21 25 Jul 2010 02:17
exped down mattress stevie Equipment Reviews 11 1 Dec 2009 13:31
Exped skylight Easy Solar Torch stuxtttr Equipment Reviews 2 4 Apr 2009 20:39
Exped prepped 110 hardtop for sale billh 4WD for Sale / Wanted 17 17 Apr 2007 10:08
Camel Exped by John Hare - Nigeria - Libya Toby2 Sahara Travel Forum 0 8 Jan 2003 14:41

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 16:35.