View Full Version : Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm v's the Exped SynMat UL 7

02-14-2014, 05:43
Morning all.

Last night I came across a great article comparing the Exped SynMat UL 7 Air vs. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir. Great article and can be found under http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?72854-Exped-SynMat-UL-7-Air-vs-Therm-a-Rest-NeoAir

Has anyone got any advice when comparing the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm against the Exped SynMat UL 7. Does the same apply?
Will the Exped SynMat UL 7 be warm enough when it gets really cold on the AT? It is rated to -4 C / 25F and I have a Zpacks 20F sleeping bag.

A collegue of mine lent me the Exped Downmat UL 7M. This is an awesome product, it's just it is more expensive and heavier than the Exped SynMat UL 7. It also goes down to -24C which I feel may be a little excessive.

The scores on the doors are as follows:

Exped SynMat Ultralite 7 Sleeping Mat Yellow M
W=52cm / 20.5inches
L=183cm / 72inches
T=7cm / 2inches
Weight = 455g
Rvalue = 3.1
Packed dims = 24x9cm / 9x3.5 inches
Temp rating -4c

Exped Downmat UL 7M
W=52cm / 20.5inches
L=183cm / 72inches
T=7cm / 2inches
Weight = 630g
Rvalue = 5.9
Packed dims = 23x11cm / 9x4.3 inches
Temp rating -25c

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Kind Regards,


02-14-2014, 10:04
I'm fairly certain the Xtherm is lighter than the Downmat UL 7M. (comparing medium to medium). The R values appear similar so in theory the warmth would be the same.

You can make up the R-value on the Synmat by adding a foam pad, but then you're carrying a heavier air pad AND a foam pad.

That said, I use an XTherm in the winter and bring half of a z-rest foam pad for sitting on, anti-slip in the tent, and as a backup in case my inflatable fails.

02-14-2014, 15:23
Thanks for your advice Mobius. From what I haver read I still favour the sound of the Exped, but that's just me. I suppose it's now just a case of choosing between the all singing all dancing Exped downmat UL7 or the Exped Synmat UL 7. I think with my sleeping bag then this should provide enough warmth if the temperatures drop below the -4C rating.

Would you agree that the Exped Downmat UL7 is overkill?

Kind Regards,


02-14-2014, 15:24
Oh and thanks for the Private message by TM. I did try and reply, but for some reason typing in the PM interface wasn't that responsive.

02-16-2014, 10:46
So sorry to repost this message, but I was hoping that someone there would be able to help.

Should I go for the full fat Exped Downmat UL7 or is this overkill when compared to the Exped Synmat UL7.

If anyone can shed any light on this matter it would be much appreciated.

02-16-2014, 11:34
I've never used either (I have an XLite) but yesterday I posted in the Gear forum that the Xtherm is on sale at Amazon. Posting here in case anyone was making a decision based on price.


02-16-2014, 11:40
I think the Symat UL7 with a Gossamer Gear 1/8" Thinlight pad is a great combination for the AT. The pad can protect the inflatable, and provide some backup if you spring a leak. The Downmat is likely overkill for much of the trip.

02-16-2014, 23:04
For the AT, at least from April to October, I'd go with the lighter pad. Actually, I'd go with a full-size, 25" wide NeoAir XLite (http://www.rei.com/product/829851/therm-a-rest-neoair-xlite-sleeping-pad#specsTab) cut down to a 45" torso length (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?93767-Re-sizing-your-NeoAir-Not-as-daunting-as-it-sounds!&highlight=neoair+iron)weighing 10 oz with a 3.2 R-value. If it gets very cold (below say 25F), then you can put leaves and/or clothing underneath your pad. If you're concerned about springing a leak, then go with a poly-cryo groundcloth (http://gossamergear.com/polycryo-ground-cloth-medium.html)(1.6 oz).

Tim Causa
02-18-2014, 16:23
I have the Syn Mat ul7 and it's been plenty of warmth for most "in season" hiking. I used it recently with temps down to 15 degrees with a 3/4 foam pad underneath and it was plenty.

02-18-2014, 16:58
I've slept with an Xtherm right on snow and I was fine, took it out in warmer weather and flipped it over, was much cooler. Obviously I had less clothing on too.

02-19-2014, 10:54
I tested my ExPed Synmat UL 7 down to 10*F, and slept comfortably in a tarptent. The bag was a WM Alpinelite.

02-19-2014, 18:45
Nobody has mentioned the Exped SynMat UL 9 vs. DownMat UL 7 vs. Downmat Lite 5 vs. NeoAir Xtherm.
R values are close to equal. Weight for the standard 72x20 size are equal for the Exped mats while the Xtherm is lighter. Price is similar after you factor in the cost of a pump for the SynMat UL 9.
The sleeper in the lot of insulated/reflective/higher R value inflatables is probably the Exped Downmat Lite 5. R-4.1, 23 ounces, $100. Win. Win. Win. It also comes with a more durable cover material and 5 years, versus 2 years for the UL models.
Pondering replacing my ancient Therm-A-Rest self-inflating pad.

02-19-2014, 20:16
I tested my ExPed Synmat UL 7 down to 10*F, and slept comfortably in a tarptent. The bag was a WM Alpinelite.

I crawled into my Marmot Helium with the Exped in a Tarptent at 15 degrees and had to take the long john off after a couple of minutes due to sweating, slept cozy all night, did freeze my buns off however at a higher temperature in a shelter on a windy night (I'm guessing 25 degrees), IMO, shelters sleep about 15 degrees colder on a windy night than in a tent.