Select Page

Gear Review: Exped SynMat Hyperlite Air Mattress

Exped SynMat Hyperlite with Schnozzel Pumpbag UL.

Exped SynMat Hyperlite with Schnozzel Pumpbag UL.

Insulated Air Mattress
Exped SynMat Hyperlite
$169, 14 oz. (medium, including stuff sack)
Sizes:
Medium (72×20.5×2.8 ins., packed size 3.5×7.5 ins.)
Medium wide ($179, 72×25.6×2.8 ins., packed size 4×7.5 ins.)
Long wide ($189, 77.6×25.6×2.8 ins., packed size 4×8 ins.)
moosejaw.com

How light and compact can an air mattress get and still deliver a comfortable night’s sleep on the ground? Under a pound for a full-length, insulated air mat, I discovered after using the SynMat Hyperlite on backpacking trips on the 34-mile Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon, the 41-mile Timberline Trail around Mount Hood, the 34-mile Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, and a weekend of camping at Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve.

A full-length air mattress with nearly three inches of thickness, the SynMat Hyperlite nonetheless packs down to the size of a one-liter bottle and weighs under a pound—less than every other air mat I’ve reviewed except the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, which is slightly thinner. Credit the compact package to a few design factors: light, 20-denier fabric (compared to more-durable 75-denier in some air mats), which is also used in Exped’s SynMat UL and DownMat UL; a tapered, mummy-style design, which is fine for people who don’t flop around a lot in their sleep; and using less insulation while retaining enough insulation for three-season camping.

 

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter, or enter your email address in the box in the left sidebar or at the bottom of this story. Click here to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Follow my adventures on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Youtube.

 

Exped SynMat Hyperlite and Schnozzel Pumpbag.

Exped SynMat Hyperlite valve and Schnozzel Pumpbag.

I slept comfortably every night, on ground of packed dirt at Mount Hood and the City of Rocks, and on a flat, sandstone ledge and atop ground littered with small stones in the Grand Canyon. I could inflate the SynMat with 14 strong puffs of breath. But I preferred using the Exped Schnozzel Pumpbag UL ($39, 2 oz., medium), which has a valve that mates with the SynMat’s valve: Using it, I could inflate the air mat in about a minute. (Connect the valves, open the sack to fill it with air, then roll it up to force air into the air mat). The Schnozzel doubles as a roll-top, water-resistant stuff sack large enough for a sleeping bag.

The SynMat Hyperlite carries an independently measured R-value of 3.3—pretty respectable for its size and weight. (R-value is a measure of the insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer—to prevent your body heat from passing readily through the air mat to the colder ground.) Temps dropped to around 50° F on my nights in the Grand Canyon, on the Timberline Trail, and at the City of Rocks, for which the mat had more than enough insulation. Exped provides a temp rating of 21° F for it.

 

Plan your next great backpacking adventure using my downloadable, expert e-guides.
Click here now to learn more.

 

Exped SynMat Hyperlite packed

Exped SynMat Hyperlite packed.

Microfiber insulation fills each of the tubular chambers making up the SynMat. Exped bonds the insulation to both the top and the bottom of each chamber, so that the insulation expands and fills the chamber after you unpack the mat; otherwise, synthetic insulation can remain compressed, compromising how well it insulates you from the ground.

While it’s not quite as plush as the most comfortable backcountry air mattresses I’ve slept on, it’s certainly comfortable, which makes its low weight and compact size very attractive.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to buy an Exped SynMat Hyperlite air mattress at moosejaw.com or rei.com.

 

Tell me what you think.

I spent a lot of time writing this story, so if you enjoyed it, please consider giving it a share using one of the buttons below, and leave a comment or question at the bottom of this story. I’d really appreciate it.

 

See my other reviews of backpacking air matresses that I like and all of my reviews of backpacking gear. See also my Pro Tips articles “How to Choose a Sleeping Bag” and “Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag.”

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.

—Michael Lanza

 

The Big Outside helps you find the best adventures. Subscribe now to read ALL stories and get a free e-guide!

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

2 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Avatar

    How does the Hyperlite compare to the Sea to Summit Comfort Lite Insulated?

    Reply
    • michaellanza

      Good question. Both are quite nice. I think the Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated air mat is really uniquely comfortable, and it carries a significantly higher R-value–meaning it insulates better on cold ground (which wouldn’t matter if you’re generally camping in mild to moderate temps, well above freezing). But the Exped SynMat Hyperlite is nearly a half-pound lighter and slightly more compact, while still being pretty darn comfortable. So that’s the tradeoff, and it comes down to you choosing between prioritizing weight or maximum comfort and insulation.

      Reply

Welcome to the Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This