Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Very comfortable, easy to clean non-slip surface, comes with hand pump, very warm
Cons: Slowest pad to inflate manually, expensive
Best Uses: General car camping
This is arguably the most comfortable sleeping pad we tested and wins our Top Pick award. The Therm-a-rest Dream just barely beats it out because the Dream is cozier and easier to manage. However, the Exped is wider, easier to maintain and maybe the most comfortable pad we have tested. It also has a higher R-value than the Dream. Both are quite expensive, but worth it if you spend a lot of time car camping. See our complete Camping Mattress Review.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This is arguably the most comfortable sleeping pad we tested. Because it has squared off edges instead of the more rounded edges that the other pads have, it feels even wider than 30 inches. The square edges also means that two pads can be easily put side-by-side side with the included two strap coupler. No other pad came with this feature.
Ease of Use
This pad has the highest volume of any tested and therefore is the hardest to inflate without a pump. It comes with an innovative, compact, and lightweight hand pump that is much easier than blowing up the pad without it. However, using this pump is still a chore and takes 5-10 minutes. We highly recommend using a hand pump like the Kwik Tek Airhead Hand Pump or Kwik Tek Airhead 12V Air Pump for all the pads in this review. Unfortunately the MegaMat uses a unique valve that doesn't work well with most hand pumps. In contrast, almost all the other pads use tapered valves that a hand pump plastic fitting easily slides over. We recommend using a 12v pump that plugs into your car to get the pad 90% inflated, and then finish with the Exped included hand pump.
With an R value of 9.5, this is the second warmest pad behind the Therm-a-rest Mondo King which has an R Value of 11. But since the Mega Mat is wider and less slippery, you could argue it could be even warmer than the Mondo King as you are more likely to stay complete on it throughout the night. Either way, it's very warm and suitable for the coldest winter conditions.
This is a very expensive sleeping pad and tied with the Therm-a-rest Dream for most expensive pad in the review. If you are only going to car camp less than seven days a year, we recommend the REI Camp Bed 3.5 which is not as high-scoring but half the cost. If you sleep out a ton, we feel this sleeping pad is worth every penny.
The Down Mat Lite 5, $115, claims to provides outstanding warmth at a great price.
The Ultralight 7, $250, is an ultra light-weight mat with high insulation value.
The Exped DownMat 9, $240, is the warmest "portable" sleeping pad we've tested.
The Exped Mini Pump, $20, is an ultra light and super compact pump for all Exped mats without integrated pump.
Use the Schnozzel Pumpbag, $38, can be used to connect to current pads that do not have an integrated pump. Doubles as waterproof gear or stuff sack.
— OutdoorGearLab Review Team
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Most recent review: August 19, 2014
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