Now, I have pads for the whole family, except my daughter who is not that interested in having one yet anyway, but I am still keeping one eye open. I don’t need any more pads, and there are definitely other things I could be buying. But something happens once you start buying gear. You don’t want to stop…..
…..and I came across a super sweet deal on an Exped Synmat 7 Pump.
I got this pad for $39 on sale at Alabama Outdoors. I had always dreamed about getting one of the Exped mats, but never wanted to drop the money on them (they are typically around $100), but if I were to get one, now was the time, and so I pulled the trigger. This is a pretty sweet pad. It weighs in at 31.5 oz with the stuff sack so it’s a little heavier than the ProLite or the Lite-Core by about 5 ounces. However, this pad is nearly twice the thickness and is a rectangular cut rather than a mummy cut. Also, the R-Value is 4.9, which is considerably higher than the other two pads.Not to mention, this pad too came with a repair kit, and a light weight stuff sack, which totally made it pretty sweet.
Airing up the pad is just like doing CPR. There is a small chamber with a piece of foam in one corner and a one way valve inside the chamber that goes into the pad. You just open the valve cover at the chamber, cover the hole with your hand and push down. When you let up, move your hand away from the outside valve so the foam can expand and draw in more air, then cover the hole and press down again. Just keep doing that and eventually the pad will be filled. It can take a little while, but the comfort, as well as the warmth is well worth the efforts. (Just a note, you can also stand and use your foot to pump the pad, just be sure that there is nothing sharp under the pad, which should always be done with air pads anyway.)
So, I have only had this pad about 2 months, so after I have it a while longer and can actually take it out on a backpacking trip, I will do a more thorough review on it.