Chronic Exped Failures

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Have you had an Exped product failure? If so, what was it?

Synmat
16
42%
DownMat
8
21%
Tent
0
No votes
Pack
0
No votes
Something Else
3
8%
My Exped is awesome and amazing and cured my baldness.
11
29%
 
Total votes : 38

Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Sun 20 May, 2018 9:34 am

Looking to do a bit of a survey here.

I've just come back from Bogong Equipment in Melb after a disappointing experience getting a warranty refund for my 2nd Exped Synmat - itself a year-old replacement for a mat that leaked right out of the box. This time round I had a full baffle failure, after about 20 nights worth of use. Within my hiking/riding circle, I'm the 5th of 6 people to have had similar problems, most of us over multiple mats.

Noted that in Bogong's mattress section, theres an entire wall shelf with 2-3 dozen Exped mattresses, and yet only one single lonely Thermarest NeoAir Xlite in the top corner. Had a chat with the sales girl (NOT the warranty staff..) on the floor about why the once-iconic thermarest has seemingly lost its place as the go-to for travelers.

She said the reason was partially the XLite 'crinkly' noise, but more it was simply price - the exped are far cheaper for the 'same' thing. I then asked if they get many back, and after a quick check for anyone in earshot "All the time. Baffle failures are regular, I'm on my third".

So I'm, curious to know, has anyone else had Exped mattresses that echo this?

It's a real bummer because they're quite comfy. But my NeoAir is over 5 years and aside from a few easily patched pinholes it's the same as new and personally I think a bit warmer. I just wish they made a wider variant.
Last edited by jdeks on Sun 20 May, 2018 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 20 May, 2018 10:08 am

I bought 2 Synmats through the forum here and both failed far too quickly for my liking, I was surprised at Exped Australias cavalier attitude to warranty and after many emails I just couldn't be bothered taking the company to small claims and simply decided never to buy an Exped product no matter what.
The product is a POS despite the warmth and comfort. In winter reliability is far more important than either of those. My North American mates have has similar problems with the Synmat
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby GPSGuided » Sun 20 May, 2018 11:07 am

Synmat's design is comfy, lightweight but the baffle weld is not strong enough if placed under significant pressure. In use, it's wise to not over-inflate or even very slightly under-inflate it so that when subjected to quick foot/knee/bum point pressure, it's not going to 'pop' along the weld line. I inflate it sufficiently so that I am fully floating when lying on my side but flattens when kneed or stepped on at point. I am also careful not to play jump castle on it. Gentle and sensible use over a few years have given us many nice sleeps, have not had a failure of two within the household. Treat it as a helium balloon, not a gym ball.

PS. The survey data would not be meaningful without a denominator option being offered.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Sun 20 May, 2018 12:30 pm

Righto, Poll edited, would folks mind recasting their vote?
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby wayno » Sun 20 May, 2018 3:28 pm

their sleeping bags are great
from the land of the long white clouds...

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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby J M » Sun 20 May, 2018 7:49 pm

My last synmat hyperlite copped a couple of punctures in its time and then blew two baffles one night out. I picked up a new one under warranty about 12 months ago and so far it's holding up, but I'd never buy another one. On the other side, my exped pack (lightning) has been going strong for years now and shows that exped can make some nice gear.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby Neo » Sun 20 May, 2018 7:53 pm

My Synmat UL has been great.
Second use I unknowingly placed it on a dry bracken stump and sat on it :(
Patched in the morning with the included kit an six moths later it's still good.

Now I always use a short dense ccf mat under the torso area which is also where I enter and pivot. Just to be sure! Have two Exped backpacks and will probably collect a tent and sleeping bag in time.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Sun 20 May, 2018 8:16 pm

Neo wrote:My Synmat UL has been great.
Second use I unknowingly placed it on a dry bracken stump and sat on it :(
Patched in the morning with the included kit an six moths later it's still good.

Now I always use a short dense ccf mat under the torso area which is also where I enter and pivot. Just to be sure! Have two Exped backpacks and will probably collect a tent and sleeping bag in time.


Mind if I ask how many nights you have on it/how often it's used?

Same goes for anyone else really, failure or not. I'm curious to hear background data on usage patterns.

Follow-up conversation with another mate in the industry today echoed that they get a lot of Exped stuff going out the door and a lot of it coming back in. His observations (paraphrased) are:

- Their business model seems to be based on the assumption that most customers buy them for the 'pro-grade' image, but use them for maybe a dozen or so nights within the warranty period. People who use them frequently seem almost guaranteed to have a problem but they're a minority so on the whole the product sells well.

-While the margin on each mat for a store is pretty normal, he's got a few reason/rumors that lead him to suspect that the margin per unit on the company end is HUGE - ie designed and priced to cover expected replacements.

Not the first time this issue has come up, either...

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=21348&start=30
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby Neo » Sun 20 May, 2018 8:37 pm

Sure. Nine more nights in a row after the patch. Since then I will estimate another 15+? Usually 2-3 nights in a row.

Edit: gets rolled up each morning. Stored for a couple of weeks between trips, plugs open. I use the Schnozzle to inflate it. Sometimes add a bit more air when the temp drops. Deflate if not putting it away in the day.

Now have a matching pillow since my repair job on an STS aeros wasn't comfortable.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Sun 20 May, 2018 8:52 pm

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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby RonK » Sun 20 May, 2018 9:28 pm

You must have been hiding under a rock or something - Synmat baffle failures have been the subject of much widespread discussion. I have had two failures, and everyone of my circle of acquaintances who bough a Synmat has had at least one failure. And the most annoying thing is that they have know for a long time there was a problem and should have recalled the product, but instead they just replaced them with the same faulty mats.

I will never give Exped another opportunity to sell me another defective product.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby andrewa » Sun 20 May, 2018 9:51 pm

I've got 2 exped standard down mats with the stupid built in inflator, a synmat , and an ultralight down mat. The only failure I've had was a small tear in the ultralight down mat, which was easily fixed with a bandaid, and was sequently fixed with some cuben glued over.

So with 4 mats, 2 second hand, I'm v happy with them ( except for the stupid built in hand pump)

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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby hikingoz » Sun 20 May, 2018 9:56 pm

I went through two Downmats due to baffle failure. The second time Bivouac.co.nz just refunded me.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Sun 20 May, 2018 9:57 pm

Cave, actually.

RonK wrote:You must have been hiding under a rock or something - Synmat baffle failures have been the subject of much widespread discussion. I have had two failures, and everyone of my circle of acquaintances who bough a Synmat has had at least one failure. And the most annoying thing is that they have know for a long time there was a problem and should have recalled the product, but instead they just replaced them with the same faulty mats.

I will never give Exped another opportunity to sell me another defective product.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby LachlanB » Sun 20 May, 2018 10:52 pm

RonK wrote:I will never give Exped another opportunity to sell me another defective product.


It's disappointing that 3 years on from when people started to flag the baffle problems that Exped seems to have done very little to fix the problem.

It's even more concerning if selling junk disguised as a quality product and then replacing it when it breaks is their business model. With that in mind, I don't think I'll be buying anything from Exped in the future, and by the sound of it, I'm not the only person whose come to that conclusion...
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby Lamont » Mon 21 May, 2018 6:58 am

Yes, their reputation for failures has been on BPL for quite a while. I looked at getting a wider torso model and found too much negative feedback. I know Markf bought one, he mentioned on here recently, and he seemed very happy with it so must be quality control or lack thereof.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby drakkar » Mon 21 May, 2018 7:15 am

GPSGuided wrote:Synmat's design is comfy, lightweight but the baffle weld is not strong enough if placed under significant pressure. In use, it's wise to not over-inflate or even very slightly under-inflate it so that when subjected to quick foot/knee/bum point pressure, it's not going to 'pop' along the weld line. I inflate it sufficiently so that I am fully floating when lying on my side but flattens when kneed or stepped on at point. I am also careful not to play jump castle on it. Gentle and sensible use over a few years have given us many nice sleeps, have not had a failure of two within the household. Treat it as a helium balloon, not a gym ball.

PS. The survey data would not be meaningful without a denominator option being offered.



Mine lasted ~7 years treating it like this. I'd average 10-15 nights a year. plus a trip of 1-2 weeks.

Then the baffle blew in the middle of the night for no obvious reason 1st night in on a 4 week trip.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby Neo » Mon 21 May, 2018 7:28 am

It's understandable but silly in my opinion to barr a whole brand because of one product line.

Exped are always on my browsing list for design/weight/price.

Oddly it's the air mats that seem to be stocked the most, other products less common on the shelf.

My gear is a mixture of brands from Aldi and Uniqlo up to STS, Soto, Exped etc. from hours of late night umming ñ ahhing :)
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby slparker » Mon 21 May, 2018 8:33 am

I have had a synmat for a couple of years. It suffered a catastrophic failure when my GSP puppy snacked on it but a
liberal dose of silicone fixed that. Since then it has worked well but I treat it like a piece of UL equipment.

I had a Therm-A-Rest in the 90s that must have lasted the night twice or three times I suppose in 10years.biggest piece of crap I ever owned. If you seek evidence for people’s dissatisfaction on anything you will find it. People who have a piece of equipment that works ok don’t rant on forums.

I don’t deny that the synmat is a piece of crap but mine isn’t yet.
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Chronic Exped Failures

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 21 May, 2018 8:44 am

Neo wrote:It's understandable but silly in my opinion to barr a whole brand because of one product line.


I concur. Our Synmat (UL version) is the only product in Exped’s line we treat with some care. We chose it for comfort and weight, so accepted its limitations. A bit like those who buy Ferrari and avoid driving on corrugated dirt roads, here we needed more attention on the inflation and pressures exerted. Of course, it’s not ideal. But until there’s an alternate that can provide a similar or better level of comfort with weight to match, this is what we live with. No need to kill a whole company for a product that does not match one’s usage style. Not as if other sleeping mats from other brands don’t have popping or leakage problems. Inflatable mats when used beyond. The key is whether the spec point is one that suits you.


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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 21 May, 2018 11:57 am

It wasn't just the product that has put me off Exped as a brand; it was and is the Australian agents attitude to product warranty that is coupled with the Exped factory manufacture issues which they failed to rectify quickly enough
I know Exped do make some strong and serviceable gear but that won't get me to buy any after the BS and rudeness I got from Exped Australia.
At least when a ThermaRest gives out and punctures you still have a foam mat to lie on
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Mon 21 May, 2018 7:36 pm

Less than 48 hrs and failure rates seem to double the successful stories. Admittedly small sample, but can't help feel it indicates something...

Whats also interesting is Expeds own listing for the SynMat HL on Amazon has no reviews. Not one.


Oh look what I found over here - viewtopic.php?f=15&t=12945
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby RonK » Tue 22 May, 2018 9:11 am

GPSGuided wrote:
Neo wrote:It's understandable but silly in my opinion to barr a whole brand because of one product line.


I concur. Our Synmat (UL version) is the only product in Exped’s line we treat with some care. We chose it for comfort and weight, so accepted its limitations. A bit like those who buy Ferrari and avoid driving on corrugated dirt roads, here we needed more attention on the inflation and pressures exerted. Of course, it’s not ideal. But until there’s an alternate that can provide a similar or better level of comfort with weight to match, this is what we live with. No need to kill a whole company for a product that does not match one’s usage style. Not as if other sleeping mats from other brands don’t have popping or leakage problems. Inflatable mats when used beyond. The key is whether the spec point is one that suits you.


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So you are blaming the user. It is a slur to suggest all those who have experienced failures either don't know or don't care to use their gear properly.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby north-north-west » Tue 22 May, 2018 5:34 pm

My NeoAirs have always been inflated to the max, every night. They''re knelt on, exercised on, crawled on, you name it and I've done it on the things. Always expired air inflation and they're lucky to get aired out at the end of a walk. Still going strong, no baffle blow-outs, no punctures, no slow leaks.
If Thermarest can do that, no reason Exped can't.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby willem » Wed 23 May, 2018 1:48 am

I've replaced about 5 Exped mates over the years thanfully most on warranty.Some leaked some had baffle problems. When my currant mat dies I will not be replacing out with an e Exped.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby jdeks » Wed 23 May, 2018 9:17 am

Where's the guy who normally shows up in these discussions saying "I've used a $5 CCF foam mat for 65 years and it's never deflated on me!"

Chuckling smugly sitting on their mat, I spose...
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby stry » Thu 24 May, 2018 10:37 am

My U/L Down Mat has done only 10/20 nights with no issues - so far.

Problem is that the things are just so warm and comfy.

NOTE: I weigh only 60kgs, lie down and get up gently (I know - shouldn't have to), am very easy on all my gear, and always carry a thin GG foam mat as insurance. I also carry the GG mat with T'rests.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby stry » Thu 24 May, 2018 10:40 am

jdeks wrote:Where's the guy who normally shows up in these discussions saying "I've used a $5 CCF foam mat for 65 years and it's never deflated on me!"

Chuckling smugly sitting on their mat, I spose...


Nah - he's at the chiro or the physio :lol:
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby andrewa » Mon 02 Jul, 2018 8:59 pm

image.jpeg


Exped downmat 7, prob 5 yrs old, used 12-15 nights, maybe. Blew a whole lot of internal seams last weekend as it was being inflated using the hand pump, spoiling the weekend, as one of us then had no mat to sleep on in the snow. It became completely useless v quickly.

I also have a synmat, which is about 4 yrs old, and used a bit less than the downmat, and no issues with it. And, I have an UL Downmat 7 , which I've had for about 3 yrs, and been used about 25 nights, and only failed last winter when it developed a small repairable cut in it somehow, so it's still going strong.

I always use the stupid pump or a snozzle, ALTHOUGH I think my mate who used my downmat last year ( the one that just failed) might have blown it up by mouth.

So, I'm probably going to replace this dead one with another UL downmat 7, and any further failures will see me with another brand.
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Re: Chronic Exped Failures

Postby warnabrother » Wed 04 Jul, 2018 2:59 pm

I've been through more Exped mats than I can remember.. all Synmats, a few replaced under warranty and some field repaired by myself..
NEVER AGAIN.. I love their tents, have had two and they have been bomb proof, their mats are not well made.. yes they are warm and comfy when they actually work..

We now use Sea to Summit mats and are very happy with them.. I made some simple covers for them and they have quietened down quite a bit
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