Exped FlexMat Sleeping Mat | Review - Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Gear, Equipment, News, Reviews, Forums, Walking Routes and More at OutdoorsMagic.com


Walking Equipment and Accessories

Exped FlexMat Sleeping Mat | Review

This versatile foam mat from Exped was produced to serve you well on long-distance walks and beyond

Why We Chose It: Lightweight, durable, versatile and surprisingly comfortable

When it comes to getting wild, Exped is a brand that definitely has previous. In 1981, Andi Brun and his wife Heidi disappeared (temporarily, we hasten to add) into the wilderness of Northern Canada. Upon their return to Switzerland, the couple started Exped. Not ones to ever shy away from adventure, the pair once spent time on an uninhabited island in the Great Barrier Reef. 

“It’s clear that Exped is a company that had adventure at the heart of it right from the word go”

These days, travel restrictions permitting, the pair tend to fly off to Asia in the winter months to supervise production of Exped products. While there, they’ve been known to head off into Vietnam and its neighbouring countries armed with their canoe and hammocks. Heidi and Andi, in short, love the thrill of getting out there and exploring.

Why are we telling you all this? We’re telling you because it’s clear that Exped is a company that had adventure at the heart of it right from the word go. Not only that, but it’s two founders (now presidents) continue to live and breathe what the company is all about to this day. This means there’s an authenticity to Exped, and a genuine sense that getting out and enjoying nature is absolutely what the brand stands for.

Some brands talk the talk, Exped walk it. All of which leads us, in a roundabout way, to a discussion of the Exped FlexMat Sleeping Mat – an excellent lightweight option for backcountry adventures, and one that’s well worthy of its inclusion in the Outdoor 100.

Photo Credit: Chris Johnson

Who is the Exped FlexMat Sleeping Mat for?

On paper, the Exped FlexMat is for the adventurous souls who are all about trekking long distances and who want to cut down on excess weight where they can. You know the type. They like to march long distances, only briefly allowing themselves a 15-minute pause at lunchtime, in a bid to cover as much distance as they possibly can. They’re the kind of people who will happily sit you in a corner of the pub and tell you how many grams they saved for their multi-dayer just by cutting their toothbrush in half. 

“We think you’ll like what this item brings to your outdoor excursions”

Weighing in at 308g, which is less than a solitary can of soup, means this sleeping mat won’t be weighing you down anytime soon (wherever you find yourself). However, don’t let its properly lightweight nature fool you. This product is anything but flimsy, and should do a job for you even in certain alpine conditions. 

Whether you’re an alpinist or an ultralight backpacker planning a long-distance summer trek somewhere, we think you’ll like what this item brings to your outdoor excursions. The simple yet effective nature of its design means it’s a great option for those rough, uncomfortable-looking, camping spots you sometimes have to make do and mend with.

Materials and Construction

The Exped FlexMat utilises a high quality and more eco-friendly closed-cell IXPE foam (DWR free). It’s about 1.8cm in thickness and has been given an R-value of 1.5. Any sleeping mat with an R-value below 2.0 is considered a summer product, R-values between 2.0 and 4.0 are three-season options, while items 4.0 and above are labelled for winter temperatures. The Exped temp rating for this bit of kit is 3°C.

The simplicity and durability of this product is one of its most appealing features. One of the big benefits of a closed cell foam mat, over an inflatable mat, is that you don’t need to worry about punctures or going through the rigmarole of pumping it up at day’s end. Despite the thinness of the mat, its dual layer construction and bumped design keeps you off the ground nicely and reduces potential discomfort whatever you’re pitched on.

Photo Credit: Chris Johnson

One of our favourite things about a foam mat like this is its versatility. As mentioned already, the Exped FlexMat feels like it could serve you very well on a long-distance walk. What’s more though, it feels like it could be a great thing to pack to protect the underside of an air mat or increase the insulating properties of your current mat. It’s so lightweight that what could feel like an unnecessarily luxurious extra, simply doesn’t. 

“The simplicity and durability of this product is one of its most appealing features”

Use the bright orange side of the FlexMat when high visibility is the order of the day, and the olive-grey side for ‘stealth’ applications (calm down, you’re not 007).

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“Having mainly only used inflatable mats for the last few years it was actually quite nice to go back to a closed cell one for a change when testing this out for our Outdoor 100. I’d forgotten how surprisingly comfortable they are. Granted this thing’s nowhere near as soft as a Therm-a-rest NeoAir mat or an Exped Synmat but it is at least nice and wide and you don’t end up spending the night fighting to stay on it (that’s normally the case for me with inflatable mats, anyway). There’s also the fact that you don’t have to strain yourself when packing it away in the morning. You can have it in the side of your bag literally within seconds.”

“In fact, using this has made me think that I might carry on with it indefinitely. It’s just the packed size which is the downside. I’d like to use this for some fastpacking, but I need the space in my low-volume running pack. For backpacking, however, that packed size wouldn’t be so much of a problem.”

Exped FlexMat Sleeping Mat

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.