Hi Coy Boy,
I attach my Field Report for the OR Exped SynMat LT7 for your edits and
The tinyurl for the link in the test folder is:
Cheers for 2008.
2nd January, 2008
I have taken the Exped Synmat LT 7 on two backpacking expeditions during
this phase. The first was an overnighter to a campsite on the Coastal
Plain Trail. I slept in the simple three-sided timber and iron sleeping
shelter in early December. The average overnight temperature was 12 C
(53 F) and the elevation is 71 m (262 ft). I slept on the sleeping
platform with a groundsheet under the mat for protection and to help in
keeping it clean. As no pillow pump was supplied I had to supply my own
and inflate the mat by blowing my breath into it. This only took a few
minutes to inflate the mat to my satisfaction. The mat was not blown up
hard as I like a bit of softness when I lay on it and the mat can then
mould itself to my body in whatever position I toss and turn.
The second backpacking trip was a four nighter traversing the Nuyts
Wilderness where elevations as far as sleeping went ranged from sea
level to 53 m (174 ft). Average overnight temperatures were in the range
of 12 C (53 F) to 20 C (68 F). Three of the nights I slept in a tent and
for the one night I slept in the inner of the tent pitched on a sleeping
platform of a simple three-sided timber and iron sleeping shelter at
I did not use any protection under the mat. All that was between the mat
and the ground/sleeping platform was the floor of the tent which is made
out of silnylon which is a very thin piece of material.
On the first night of the trip we camped in an old quartz quarry and I
was very worried about puncturing the tent floor and sleeping mat but
that night passed uneventful. Like a good scout, I did have the repair
kit in the backpack but it never saw the light of day.
quartz gravel pit
quartz gravel pit
The above photo shows the base that the tent was set up on.
I did not feel the stones under the mat when I fully laid on it. The
only time that I felt stones was when I sat up to get out of the tent,
or when I sat on the mat to get into the tent, after removing my shoes
with my feet over the doorway of the tent. Even then the stones did not
feel too rough on my bottom. The ground was still warm when I went to
bed but cold the next morning. My sleep was very comfortable and I do
toss and turn. I must admit that I was very surprised at how comfortable
the night sleep was as I was half expecting a puncture and/or some
deflation through the valves. None occurred.
My next night was on a sleeping platform at Long Point. This was a very
straight sleeping arrangement, inner tent, sleeping mat and sleeping
gear on a level smooth surface. Absolutely no dramas at all.
Long Point campsite
Long Point campsite
The next two nights was at the same location, Thompson Cove. The tent
was pitched on a slight gradient with the head end higher than the feet
end. The ground was covered in short grass and small ground covers. The
ground was moist but not wet. If I knelt on the ground my pants at the
knees would get ever so slightly damp after a few minutes. Moisture did
not come through the bottom of the tent and wet the mat.
Thompson Cove campsite
Thompson Cove campsite
My tent is the yellow one at the rear and the ground gradient can be
seen. My head was at the high end.
I had to be careful not to be blowing the mat up like a bull at a gate
because I suffer from high blood pressure and I am on medication. Once
when I blew it up very quickly I became very giddy and dizzy and I put
this down to my medical condition. When I took my time to inflate the
mat by blowing it up I suffered no ill effects. I estimate that it took
about two minutes to bring the mat up to my desired firmness.
As it is currently summer I was not looking for extra warmth but a good
insulator from the ground and this mat provided this. I was not able to
feel the heat from the quartz stones and cool dampness from the ground.
One day we had a rest afternoon so I laid directly on the mat with the
sleeping bag pushed to one end and I stripped down to my jocks as the
afternoon was around 28 C (82 F). I had a comfortable few hours sleep in
the afternoon and did not perspire onto the mat, nor did the mat make me
feel hot and sticky. Most impressed.
The inflated length of 178 cm (70 in) and width of 54 cm (21 in) was
very generous for my build. I had plenty of leg space when stretched out
and could curl up into a foetal position very comfortably without bits
hanging over the sides. I had to bend the mat slightly to get it inside
the door of my tent as I inflate the mat outside the tent. My hips do
not touch the ground when I lay on my side which I greatly appreciate.
It is so comfortable.
The valves have not given any trouble when I open or close them, nor
have they come open accidentally when I have bumped gear against them
inside the tent. I tend to place gear around my head for easy reach such
as a headlamp, water bottle and extra clothing should I get cool during
This operation is very easy. I open up both valves and roll up the mat
to expel as much air as possible. I then close off the valves so no more
air sneaks in and repeat the process until I trap any remaining air at
the valves end. I then open the valves and complete the rolling for the
last bit to expel the air. I then close off the valves, fold up and put
it in the stuff sack. The stuff sack fits very neatly inside my backpack
down near the bottom alongside my sleeping bag. They are both the same
When my backpacking companions saw me inflating my mat they immediately
saw that it was very different to their self-inflating mats and examined
it. They were all impressed with the light weight and how thick the mat
is when inflated and could visualize the comfort that I enjoyed compared
to their comfort level. Needless to say, questions were asked.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report should be completed
in approximately two months time. Please check back then for further
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