The long-awaited Exped SynMat Winterlite insulated sleeping pad is a very lightweight, high R-value sleeping pad (R-Value = 4.9) that is warm enough for camping on snow, in addition to three season use.
Mummy-shaped, the SynMat Winterlite is filled with a synthetic microfiber insulation which is bonded to the top and bottom interior of the pad, with baffled chambers, running lengthwise, that trap warm air heated by your body in between. In fact, I can feel warmth radiating from the sleeping pad into my back when I sleep on it. The outer fabric has a very soft hand that’s very warm and comfortable, and not at all crinkly sounding when you move around.
The SynMat Winterlite is available in three sizes, including one very lightweight model which is a seven-tenths of an ounce lighter than its chief rival, the 15 ounce Therm-a-Rest XTherm insulated sleeping pad.
- Size ‘M’, weighing 14.3 ounces that is 71″ x 20″ at the chest
- Size ‘M Wide’, weighing 18.3 ounces that is 71″ x 25.5″ at the chest
- Size ‘L Wide’, weighing 20.3 ounces that is 77.6″ x 25.6″ at the chest
Mummy-shaped, the width measurements listed above are given for the chest width only, although the pads also taper towards the legs. On the ‘M Wide’ size, that I’ve been sleeping on since last autumn, the width at mid-thigh is 18″ (while the chest width is 25.5″, as listed above).
Despite weighing a few extra ounces, having a 25″ wide pad in winter is much more comfortable than a narrower pad and worth the added weight, especially when my giant winter sleeping bag is full of hot water bottles and boot liners, to keep them freezing at night!
The SynMat Winterlite, like all of Exped’s other sleeping pads and inflatable pillows has a flat valve without any mechanical parts because most sleeping pad failures occur when the valve breaks, freezes in place, or detaches from the main body of the sleeping pad. Tubular, twist-open style valves that stick out from the body of a sleeping pad are particularly prone to this kind of gear failure.
To inflate, lift the outer valve cover exposing the air valve. There’s a piece of green plastic inside the valve which closes the hole and prevents air inside the pad from escaping.
Find the small plastic wand attached to the valve cover on a string, and push it against the side of the green flap, propping it open so you can blow more air inside it. Deflation is similar: you prop open the green flap with the plastic want and compress the pad to force air out through the valve.
When fully inflated, remove the plastic wand and close the opening with the valve cover.
Once deflated the Exped SynMat Winterlite rolls up slightly larger than a Nalgene bottle, but 1/3 of the size of Exped’s old DownMat 7 sleeping pad which used to be state of the art six years ago. The difference in size and weight is pretty incredible
If you use the stuff sack provided with the SynMat Winterlite, it’s best to deflate the pad and fold it up into thirds, length-wise, before rolling it up, so it will fit into the stuff sack.
The Exped SynMat Winterlite sleeping pad is a very comfortable and warm insulated sleeping pad with a high R-value, suitable for winter camping. Mummy shaped, it is available in narrow and wider widths depending on your comfort preferences, including a long 77″ version for taller individuals. With a non-mechanical inflation valve, the Synmat Winterlite is not susceptible to the inflation valve failures that are common on tube-like inflation values, and is immune to freezing, which can sometimes occur on stick shaped valves you blow into, a serious consideration for winter use. While deflation requires a little practice, the SynMat Winterlite folds up into a compact package for winter travel when pack space is at a premium. The Exped SynMat Winterlite is a very nice inflatable sleeping pad, that is suitable for four season use, and should be on your short list if you are looking to upgrade your sleeping pad.
Size tested: M Wide
Weight: 18.3 oz (18.9 oz tested)
Thickness: 2.5 in
Packed dimension: 4.5″ x 10″
Disclosure: Exped provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a sample SynMat Winterlite sleeping pad for this review. This post contains affiliate links.
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