Exped Synmat Delamination

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sabrutat
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Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby sabrutat » 5 Sep 2015, 9:29pm

Just got back to the UK from the Belgium/France/Switzerland leg of my incremental world tour, upon which my Exped Synmat 7UL sleeping mattress, a replacement for a previous delamination, developed the same problem. Luckily, this time it was the three centre chambers, so it was still symmetrical, and I was able to use it by only inflating it about halfway. The interesting thing is, over the course of the next two months, it didn't deteriorate further.

So this got me thinking. I'm loathe to give up the Exped, because it is such a comfy mattress and a decent alternative like a Thermarest will be similarly pricey, and Exped are sending me another one under their generous warranty: maybe it won't delaminate at all if used so tactically underinflated? It still kept my hips and shoulders off the ground while lying on my side once I found the perfect pressure, and I'm over 90kg of taut, honed, patchily-tanned muscle.

I will experiment further.

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Stef

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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby rualexander » 5 Sep 2015, 9:36pm

All my Thermarest mattresses have delaminated sooner or later, must have gone through about four or five over the past 25 years, all were replaced under lifetime warranty!

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sabrutat
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby sabrutat » 5 Sep 2015, 9:56pm

Oh, so this isn't unique to the Expeds? Interesting. I've never used a self-inflating mattress, but that's what I was referencing when suggesting a switch to a Thermarest. Of course, they have chambered air mattress models too, but it's the change in style of mattress, from a chambered to a self-inflating, rather than brand switch, I was indicating.

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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby pjclinch » 6 Sep 2015, 9:20am

My oldest T-rest (back when the choice seemed to be Long or Short) self-inflating is 24 years old. It got a hole melted by a camp fire spark once but aside from that has been completely trouble free. Next was an Ultralight, that's about 15 years old now, and again one wee hole once but otherwise no issues.
I have had a bit of delamination in an Alpkit Wee Airic, but that's a circular patch that correlated remarkably well to the hot pan that was put on it... think I can see the problem there!

The Neo-Airs are about 5, but coinciding with adopting two kids haven't had enough use to say with any confidence how robust they are. Over on Outdoors Magic the folk that seem to spend an awful lot of time camping don't seem to be frequently upset with either Expeds or T-Rests, but they do fail from time to time and are replaced. Using some similar bonding technology from the same company (Cascade) are Platypus water carriers. We have about 4, one was sent back delaminating and replaced.

On the whole I think they're probably not as robust as we'd like and part of that is constant market striving for light weight and low bulk. As it is, we get that light and compact, and as long as they limp on through the trip we'll get some sleep and subsequently a replacement.

Pete.
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syklist
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby syklist » 7 Sep 2015, 5:56pm

sabrutat wrote:Just got back to the UK from the Belgium/France/Switzerland leg of my incremental world tour, upon which my Exped Synmat 7UL sleeping mattress, a replacement for a previous delamination, developed the same problem. Luckily, this time it was the three centre chambers, so it was still symmetrical, and I was able to use it by only inflating it about halfway. The interesting thing is, over the course of the next two months, it didn't deteriorate further.

By delamination do you mean that the groove between two "cylinders" comes loose leading to a larger single cylinder? If so, the we have had the same problem with our Synmat 7 (not sure what version).
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sabrutat
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby sabrutat » 11 Sep 2015, 10:14am

Yes. It seems to be very common among long term users: bicycle tourists, backpackers, etc.

I'm going to continue keeping the pressure lower to see if that makes any difference. The advantage with the Expeds is they're so thick; 7 cm, I believe? So lower pressure doesn't necessarily mean your hip or shoulder touches the ground. I use a thin roll mat beneath my inflatable, too, as insurance against punctures, so even if I do end up in some weird sleeping position where part of me is touching, there's still some insulation there.

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simonineaston
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby simonineaston » 11 Sep 2015, 1:11pm

Judging by threads like this, this issue seems not uncommon - not what you'd expect from a premium-priced product - regardless of their apparently generous dealings with warranty claims...
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby PH » 11 Sep 2015, 9:51pm

sabrutat wrote:I'm going to continue keeping the pressure lower to see if that makes any difference.


The advise i was given and follow is that if you kneel on it your knees should just feel the ground. This has made mine a joy to sleep on but sadly hasn't stopped in delaminating.

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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby Heltor Chasca » 12 Sep 2015, 7:43am

simonineaston wrote:Judging by threads like this, this issue seems not uncommon - not what you'd expect from a premium-priced product - regardless of their apparently generous dealings with warranty claims...


I agree. That said: My 3/4 Thermarest is still going strong after 15 years. Yikes! That may just jinx it...b

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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby pjclinch » 12 Sep 2015, 12:33pm

simonineaston wrote:Judging by threads like this, this issue seems not uncommon - not what you'd expect from a premium-priced product - regardless of their apparently generous dealings with warranty claims...

The thing is, part of what you're paying for is light weight, which is an unhappy bedfellow of bombproof.

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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby bikes4two » 12 Sep 2015, 8:20pm

Just waiting for my replacement Synmat 7UL now, the second time I've called on their warranty. Nice mats though and I wouldn't use any other.
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby pjclinch » 13 Sep 2015, 11:18am

One thing about both Exped and T-rest is they offer you heavier, tougher options. But often the case that folk choose the lighter ones.
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simonineaston
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby simonineaston » 13 Sep 2015, 12:35pm

As usual I hadn't read the OP properly :oops: and I see now that it's subject was the ultra light version of the Synmat. I agree that choosing the lightest available option will often mean an increased risk that the materials and construction will fail earlier than the regular weight products, but the trouble is there's also a tendency for the impression to form in the mind of the simpler consumer ( read: SimoninEaston) that "all Exped products are a bit fragile"...
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby PH » 13 Sep 2015, 8:39pm

simonineaston wrote:As usual I hadn't read the OP properly :oops: and I see now that it's subject was the ultra light version of the Synmat. .


I've had both the standard Synmat a the UL, both developed the same problem, the only difference is the UL has a shorter warranty. People are calling it delamination, but it's the high frequency welding of a baffle giving way, I took apart my out of warranty UL. I know a little of HF welding, though on a different scale and in a different industry, every strip of weld has to be finished with a T or better still something through both layers. Neither of these are possible with the design of these mats, neither can I see a way to make it so. You could have separate chambers each with it's own valve, but this would create other problems. The new extra thick model looks to be a different sort of construction, I'd like to see what they've done.
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Re: Exped Synmat Delamination

Postby cjs » 13 Sep 2015, 10:57pm

One of my XL Synmat UL valve flaps came off at the 'stalk' and got lost around the 60 night mark... I emailed the company and asked for a replacement by post as I was on tour (2014) - they declined stating return to main dealer for repair which of course was impractical. 2 weeks later, 3 days after the 2 year guarantee period, 3 of the longitudinal tubes delaminated making a huge sausage - thankfully there was a decathlon nearby for a not so comfortable cheapie... In the bin the Synmat went.. would not consider another UL model.

Replaced with a T-Rest camper XL, far heavier (hopefully more robust?), bigger and just as comfortable but more importantly a better guarantee and decent valves...
Kind Regards
Chris...