Expert Review: Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping PadPublished on 07/13/2022 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad which I bought with my own money in December of 2020.
All photos courtesy of Brett K.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the sleeping pad which I bought with my own money in December of 2020.
The Exped MegaMat 10 sleeping pad is fantastic for any car camper or festival-goer, but this is certainly not a sleeping pad to carry into the wilderness.
About the gear
- Model: 2020 Exped MegaMat 10
- Size: Regular
- When I bought it: December 2020
- Days tested: 20
- Total weight: 89.6oz
- Used for: Car camping
- Where I’ve used it: West Virginia, Colorado, Vermont, Virginia
- Seasons I’ve used it in: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
- Height: 5’7’’
- Weight: 125 lbs
- Experience: 10 years of backpacking and camping
How it Performs
What I was looking for
I’ve driven through the night to car camp on the uncomfortable folded-down seats of my car just to get a terrible night’s sleep before a day of adventuring, so I decided I needed a mat that would allow me to get some better sleep in my car. I needed something comfy, warm, and fairly packable.
Why I chose this gear
I had heard of the Megamat multiple times from podcasts and social media users. They all consistently raved about it being the most comfortable surface they’ve ever slept on, so I figured I had to try it.
What I love about it
- Durability: I don’t think I’ve used it quite enough to test its long-term durability. However, I’ve used it a fair amount and have packed and unpacked it several times, squished it up in my car, thrown it around a bit, and so far, it is showing zero signs of wear. It does come with a repair kit in case it gets a puncture.
- Weight: It’s definitely not a lightweight piece of gear, but it’s not really supposed to be. If it were any lighter, it wouldn’t have the comfortable velvety material, the warmth, or durability.
- Packability: For a car camping mat, it actually packs down pretty well. It comes with a stuff sack with an attached shoulder strap and a hand pump. It packs down to about the size of a cheap single-family tent.
- Insulation and R-Value: The R-value is 8.1, so needless to say, it can handle the coldest weather most people will use it for; I used it in the dead of winter in the mountains of West Virginia and slept like a baby.
- Comfort: This thing is incredibly comfortable. It’s thick enough that I never felt the ground (even side sleepers). The top of the mat is made with a soft velvety material. My favorite feature is the release valve, which makes it very easy to dial in my firmness preference.
- Shape: The regular width pad is plenty big enough to fit most people, but they do have long, wide, and double options.
- Noise: This mat is noiseless
- Features: It comes with a hand pump. It works pretty well, but it does take a lot of pumps (especially if you’re like me and want it as firm as possible), and it is kind of hard to get a seal with my hand for a good pump. The air valves work great, and the release valve is my favorite feature.
- Ease of use: Deflating is easy, but the inflating is a little bit of a chore. I would say it takes about 50 pumps with my hand to get it fully inflated, which seems like a lot to me. Also, since it’s a bit bulky, it takes some wrestling to get it into a tight roll.
- Backpacking: Absolutely not. This thing is way too big and heavy for backpacking.
- Car Camping: This is the ideal car camping mat. It has all the comforts I want in a mat and still packs down to a reasonable size. I can also leave it inflated in my car, and it doesn’t lose air.
- Mountaineering: Nope! Way too heavy.
- Thru-Hiking: This mat is the opposite of ultralight, so no.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Durability: I’m not the gentlest on gear! So far, the material has proven to be very durable. I’ve rolled it up plenty of times and thrown it in and out of the car quite a bit. It does come with a repair kit in case I do puncture it.
- Weight: Considering its size and comfort, it’s not too heavy. However, if I am comparing it to lightweight backpacking gear, it can’t hang.
- Packability: I usually leave it blown up and ready to sleep on, but when I do roll it up and pack it away, it’s surprisingly compact. However, it will never pack as well as it did the very first time, and the roll-top carrying case is a little tricky. I would prefer a drawstring or heavy-duty zipper.
- Insulation and R-Value: Insulation is one of the best things about this mat. It has an R-Value of 8.1 and has held up in the coldest temperatures I’ve put it through.
- Comfort: Very comfortable. Warmth and comfort are truly where this mat excels. Something about the combination of foam and air makes this mat both firm and soft at the same time.
- Shape: This is a rectangle pad. It’s pretty much exactly what I want for a car camping mat. For larger people or those who roll around a lot, you might want to go with the duo version of this mat.
- Noise: The Megamat makes very little noise. It’s a joy to sleep on. I’m able to sleep through the night without waking up due to noise or discomfort.
- Features: The inflation/deflation valves work pretty well. Sometimes the air adjustment flap on the inflation valve gets stuck when I try to let a little bit of air out, which can be a pain. It also requires a bit of effort to attach the pump to the intake valve.
- Ease of use: I wouldn’t say inflating the mat is difficult, but it may be annoying. It takes a lot of pumps to get the mat to its firmest. For those who prefer a softer pad, this might not be a big deal. Rolling and stuffing are a little tricky, but that is to be expected with a bulky car camping pad.
- Backpacking: It is the opposite of ideal for backpacking. Just don’t buy this mat expecting to carry it into the backcountry.
- Car Camping: This pad is absolutely ideal for car camping. It’s warm, comfortable, and packs away fairly small. It holds its own in freezing temperatures and is still light enough to toss in and out of my car easily.
- Mountaineering: It is way way way too heavy for mountaineering unless you have some generous porters.
- Thru-Hiking: It’s definitely not for thru-hiking. When you’re thru-hiking, you want to keep your pack light to cover as many miles per day as possible, and the megamat is not “megalight''.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite time to use the Megamat has been during winter car camping near my favorite ski areas. I remember one particular time when I was sleeping in my car on the Megamat in a ski resort parking lot in an insane wind storm. The temperatures dropped well below what was expected (down to around zero Fahrenheit), and the wind was so strong that it was rocking my car back and forth all night long. Luckily, the warmth and comfort of the Megamat allowed me to get a good night’s sleep and have plenty of energy for an epic powder day the next morning!
Value for the money vs. other options
The Megamat is a bit pricey compared to a makeshift mattress or your typical air mattress. However, I’ve never slept on another air mattress that is as comfortable as the Megamat. It’s comparable in price to some of the most comfortable lightweight backpacking pads, like the Nemo Tensor or the Thermarest NeoAir, but it is way more pleasant to sleep on. I would say if you are doing a lot of car camping, you will get your money’s worth out of the Megamat.
The Megamat is ideal for solo hikers, climbers, photographers, etc., who do a lot of car camping. It is sure to improve your quality of sleep so you can have more energy during the day and adventure more efficiently.