The Exped Synmat UL 7 packs up small and is ideal for bikepacking. Perhaps you’ve read my review. The downside is that it isn’t self-inflating so manual inflation is required. In simple terms, that means huffing and puffing until it’s filled. It only takes a few minutes to blow it up by mouth, however your exhaled breath is full of moisture, leaving our mouths at about 35°C and 95% humid.
Where does the moisture go? Into your mat, where it can create condensation and that can cause black mould to form on the inside. Not only will it look disgusting, but accidentally breathing in the spores is bad for your health.
Exped make a gizmo called a Schnozzel Pumpbag to make inflation swift. It’s a great word, schnozzel, don’t you think? It’s available for around twenty five british pounds, or forty bucks for those of you from the US. Way too pricey for me. And as I always get the job of blowing up the mats when we’re bikepacking, I wanted an easier way to do it.
So, being a fan of recycling and as tight as a duck’s arse when it comes to spending money, I’ve devised a yoke for inflating this mat that will cost you nothing except a few minutes of your time. All you need is a heavy duty plastic bag, an old plastic coated wine cork, a pair of scissors and a drill. In fact, you don’t even need a drill, I only use it for effect, to make me look a bit tougher than I am. And I took less than six minutes to create the gadget and inflate the sleeping mat in readiness for a good night’s sleep.
DIY pump for Inflating Exped Synmat UL 7
How to inflate an Exped Synmat UL 7 without getting out of breath.
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve? Feel free to leave them in the comments section.