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Hands-on Gear Review

Exped MegaMat 10 Review

The 2017 MegaMat 10
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $229 List | $141.71 at MooseJaw
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Pros:  Very comfortable, R-value of 9.5 is super warm, good value.
Cons:  Takes a while to deflate, challenging to roll up, large packed size.
Bottom line:  The best mattress in the review, the one we would lend to a friend.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Exped

Our Verdict

Through three years of testing camping mattresses, the MegaMat 10 still can't be beat. This large, self-inflating model provides incredible comfort and warmth. Compared to other camping pads, the MegaMat actually feels like a memory foam mattress. Some of our testers were reluctant to go back to the mattresses in their bedrooms after overnighting on this product. Four inches of foam filling both insulates from the cold ground and supports the pressure points of a sleeping body and dampening the "riding on air" effect of all air mattresses. With a retail price of $229 it is not cheap, but it's worth it. While it is super comfortable and warm, it does suffer compared to the competition when considering its massive size both packed and ready to use. But these small complaints are pretty insignificant when assessing its overall awesomeness which is off the charts! In short, if you want the best camping mattress you can buy, look no further.

Product Update — May 2017
Exped aims to improve upon an already excellent product with a few changes in 2017. The latest iteration, now pictured above in green, includes a new stuff sack and a larger deflate valve which should make packing up faster. Check out the details below!

If need a narrower pad, we recommend the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D, our second highest scorer. We thought the MondoKing might unseat the Exped this year, but it just couldn't compete on comfort.


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Score Product Price Our Take
86
$229
Editors' Choice Award
The best mattress in the review, the one we would lend to a friend.
83
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Our favorite option if you need a narrower comfy pad. The second highest scoring pad in our tests.
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Top Pick Award
The most versatile option among the car camping mattresses while still performing excellently.
78
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Top Pick Award
The Best Car Camping Mattress for Couples
76
$120
A good option for those who already own a sleeping pad but want an upgrade in warmth and softness for car camping.
70
$169
A can't-miss choice for a self-inflating mattress, although not as high scoring as our Editors' Choice winner.
68
$130
Best Buy Award
A fantastic pad for the money, backed by REI's 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
59
$130
Tied for the best air bed in the review, with its own unique perks and detractions.
59
$119
The best choice among air beds for its firm feel and low cost.
55
$120
The lowest scorer in our review, not a product we would recommend.
45
$22
Best Buy Award
Lowest scoring in our tests but a cheap option for the occasional camping trip or house guest.

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Andy Wellman
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Friday
May 19, 2017

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The 2017 MegaMat 10 vs. the 2016 Version


Exped's 2017 version of the MegaMat seeks to improve the deflating and packing of this mat. The deflate valve has a larger diameter to speed up deflation, and the new stuff sack opens from the side, increasing the ease of sliding the mat into the sack. The 2017 MegaMat 10 is available in three sizes, labeled MW (72" x 25.6" at $189), LW (77.6" x 25.6" at $209), and LXW (77.6" x 30.3" at $229). The LXW size most closely resembles the dimensions of the 2016 model we reviewed. Check out the side-by-side photo comparison of the 2017 MegaMat on the left and the 2016 model on the right.

The 2017 MegaMat 10
 

The key differences between the old and new versions are as follows:
  • New Sidewinder Stuff Sack — Exped dropped the top-loading stuff sack for a new one called the "Sidewinder". This new stuff sack opens along its side for a much larger opening, which we expect will make less-perfect folds of the mattress easier to pack up. There is also extra space for bedding and/or pillows in the sack, and there is an attached shoulder strap for easy carrying.
  • Larger Deflate Valve — The new deflate valve's diameter is larger than that on the predecessor, which should increase the speed of deflation and decrease packing time.
  • Green! — Exped added a new shade of green to the color options of this mattress.

As packing up this mattress wasn't our favorite part of this product, we are stoked for these updates. We just purchased this new version, and after a complete review of the updates, we will publish a revised review. Until then, the text below speaks to our experiences with the 2016 model.

Hands-On Review of the 2016 MegaMat 10


The MegaMat 10 is our favorite camping mattress because it is the most comfortable, relatively easy to use and incredibly warm qualities we prize above most others when we want the ultimate in sleeping decadence. If you were to put a pea under this mattress, we promise you that the princess would not feel it! That's a good thing because chances are you will throw this pad down on ground much rougher than a squishy little pea. While its dimensions of 77 inches long and 30 inches wide place it squarely the same as most of the giant camping mattress competition, its four-inch thickness, supported by compressible foam and held upright by vertical sidewalls, sets the standard for a self-inflating mattress. And while we have to admit that some of its attributes were not as convenient or versatile as other options in this class, comfort is king, as they say, and this is where the Exped MegaMat really stands out. Unless of course, we wanted to share the bed with our partner — for that we would bring the MegaMat Duo 10.

Performance Comparison


Comparison testing each of the single mats one after the other to more easily discern the differences between their relative comfort levels. The relaxed smile says it all about this mattress.
Comparison testing each of the single mats one after the other to more easily discern the differences between their relative comfort levels. The relaxed smile says it all about this mattress.

Comfort


Comfort is king when it comes to sleeping mattresses, and this pad was the clear cream of the crop. But while we can proclaim loudly, "This is the most comfortable mattress," you might be wondering, "In what way?" Let us tell you.

The ultimate in camping comfort  the Exped single mat at use in this two-person tent.
The ultimate in camping comfort, the Exped single mat at use in this two-person tent.

The foam filling not only insulates, it gloriously pads pressure points, like the butt, feet, and shoulders, where your weight sinks deeper into the pad. It also evens out the cushioning under your body, dampening the air mattress effect. We felt that the most comfortable way to use this pad was happily much less inflated than other camping mattresses, to let the foam really work its magic. That way your body is equally supported by the air and the foam and the mattress isn't so full of air that when one part of your body sinks into the pad, the other parts rise with the displacement. Luckily, the inflation valve has a rubber flap that impedes air from escaping during inflation, allowing you to blow this thing up as rigid as you want it. You can then let air out gradually while lying on it until it feels like Goldilocks' bed just right. Even more impressively, we thought, the foam in the MegaMat is so surprisingly conforming, it reminded us of memory foam! The face fabric is also very smooth and soft to the touch, without a hint of rubbery, nylon-y, or plastic-y feel.

Besides its crazy high amount of comfort, one of the things we liked best about the MegaMat is how it combines that comfort with an enormous size and vertical sidewalls, ensuring that you can use the entire surface for your sleeping pleasure. At 30 inches wide and 77.5 inches long, the MegaMat is a great option for taller and wider people or anyone who loves to sleep like a starfish. While these dimensions are on par with some of the other mattresses in this review, like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream and the Therm-a-Rest Luxury Map, the added comfort and support of the MegaMat really make this an ideal choice for larger campers, side and stomach sleepers, and anyone who typically struggles with uncomfortable pressure points. While testing the mattresses in this review side-by-side, the MegaMat was the one our reviewers found themselves fighting to relax on. Overall, we give this mattress a 10 out of 10 for comfort.

Ease of Use


When it came to inflating this mattress, there are several factors that can make your life easier or harder. Firstly, Exped recommends leaving the MegaMat to sit and inflate for 10 minutes and then use the included foot pump to inflate the rest of the way. We found that if we left this mattress for a longer period of time 40-50 minutes it self-inflated all the way up to our desired comfort level with only a few breaths to top it off. The included foot pump we found very easy to use much easier than getting using your mouth on the large, flat, awkwardly placed intake valve, which feels a bit like giving CPR to a camping mattress. It was also very simple to make minor fullness adjustments while laying on the MegaMat by using one finger to push in the intake valve in small increments.

The action of inflating this mat using the included mini-pump. The hole under the foot is where the balloon inhales the air  which is then stomped (covering the hole) into the mattress. We appreciated not having to use our arms or lungs for this process  but it was still quite time consuming and a bit tedious.
The action of inflating this mat using the included mini-pump. The hole under the foot is where the balloon inhales the air, which is then stomped (covering the hole) into the mattress. We appreciated not having to use our arms or lungs for this process, but it was still quite time consuming and a bit tedious.

Deflation of this mattress also required a bit of extra thought and care. While the deflation valve means you don't have to open and close any two-way valves while working to roll this mattress up (unlike the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing ), it also isn't a perfect one-way valve you do need to close this valve after rolling up the MegaMat, otherwise it will take on air during storage. In general, you can expect to use your full body weight to deflate any self-inflating mattress, and even more so when that mattress is packed with 4 inches of dense, comfortable foam like the MegaMat is. While this process takes patience and time, compared to the stiffness and inconvenience of the 2-way valves found in its closest competitor, the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D, we felt that the MegaMat wasn't terribly difficult to pack up. Considering the pros and cons of both the MegaMat and the MondoKing, we felt they were equal in terms of ease of use. We give the MegaMat a 7 out of 10.

Although only half the trouble of the larger Duo  this mat is still the most annoying to deflate. The foam cushioning inside does not easily compress and traps a lot of air  making it hard to squeeze all the air out. Things go quicker if you use your finger the manipulate the rubber flap that inhibits airflow from the deflate valve. Regardless  patience is needed during this process.
Although only half the trouble of the larger Duo, this mat is still the most annoying to deflate. The foam cushioning inside does not easily compress and traps a lot of air, making it hard to squeeze all the air out. Things go quicker if you use your finger the manipulate the rubber flap that inhibits airflow from the deflate valve. Regardless, patience is needed during this process.

Warmth


The ample foam cushioning that is found inside this mattress helps it to provide an R-value of 9.5 but what does that number really mean? R-value is a measure of how well any given material, or combination of materials, impedes heat or cold transfer. The higher the number, the better an insulating job it does; most winter campers recommend a sleeping pad R-value of at least 4. Other self-inflating mattresses, like the REI Camp Bed 3.5, had a rating of around 5, while three Air Beds only had an R-value of 1, and the Intex Classic has no R-value at all! With an insanely high R-value of 9.5, you can comfortably sleep out on the snow or even a glacier using the MegaMat. While the MondoKing 3D also boasts a crazy high R-value of 11.4, the highest in this review, we can find no reason to complain about the MegaMat's R-value of 9.5. The MegaMat 10 does a phenomenal job keeping us warm even in the Sierra's snowiest winter on record, so we give it 10 out of 10 points.


Versatility


Considering the size and weight of the MegaMat, this isn't the camping mattress you'd choose to take on the John Muir Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Unlike the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream or the Big Agnes Sleeping Giant, this mattress doesn't separate into two component parts, and it doesn't pack down into a small and convenient travel package. It is huge, heavy, and fat. You really won't want to lug this 5lb 7.3oz beast very far from your car.

The MegaMat also loses points for versatility because of its gigantic proportions. While a 30 inch wide, 77.5-inch long surface is ideal for starfishing and tall folks, it completely takes over a two-person tent. As your average two-person tent is 50-55 inches wide, this mattress only leaves room for a second sleep system that is very small, which we doubt your partner will find nearly as comfy as your MegaMat. To fit two MegaMats into a tent, you would need to have a two-person tent that is at minimum 60 inches wide! So check your tent dimensions before purchasing this comfy mega-monster or consider checking out our second-best rated mattress in this review, the MondoKing 3D which we found to be nearly as comfortable as the MegaMat and a functional five inches narrower! Considering the size, weight, and dimensions of this oversized camping mattress, we give it a 6 out of 10.

Packed Size


While not the most important feature of a car camping mattress, packed size is still something to consider. After all, with a whole family trying to fit into the Subaru for a weekend of camping, there is only so much space to be filled, and a heap of giant mattresses could easily take up most of it. Rolling up to a whopping 10 inches by 31 inches, this mattress doesn't pack down very small at all. On the other hand, it is roughly comparable in packed size to the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D, its closest overall competitor in this review, and is much smaller than the MegaMat Duo 10. While not nearly as comfortable, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream or any of the Air Beds, like the Lightspeed 2-person, manage to fit in a bag about half of its size. We give it 6 out of 10

On a car camping trip  we realized that the Duo mat was too big to fit in this small backpacking tent  but luckily we also had the van. A look at the packed size comparison of these two Exped mats.
On a car camping trip, we realized that the Duo mat was too big to fit in this small backpacking tent, but luckily we also had the van. A look at the packed size comparison of these two Exped mats.

Best Applications


This is a single person mattress, so it is most appropriate for one person, and not a couple (duh!). Due to its large packed size and inability to split up into different component parts like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream and the Big Agnes Sleeping Giant, it is best used close to the car, or in the car for that matter! Because of its comfort, support, and large dimensions, the MegaMat is a great solution for people who are typically uncomfortable while camping tall folks, heavy folks, side sleepers, stomach sleepers, starfishers, and folks with back pain or uncomfortable pressure points. Using the MegaMat may even make those who have given up on camping altogether reconsider their choice and head back out to the great beyond! The MegaMat also makes a fantastic extra mattress for visiting friends and relatives, and is comfortable enough you can feel confident that even your mother-in-law will be hard-pressed to complain!

The Megamat Duo perfectly fits in the back of a pickup truck  making for a wonderful night's sleep in a wonderful location!
The Megamat Duo perfectly fits in the back of a pickup truck, making for a wonderful night's sleep in a wonderful location!

Value


Along with its closest competitor in this review, the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D, the Exped MegaMat 10 retails for around $210. This makes it among the most expensive of the self-inflating, single-person air mattresses in our review. But considering the quality of sleep you'll get on a mattress so large and comfortable, we feel it is a fair price to pay. We feel that it's the best camping mattress we have slept on, and never makes us crave our beds back at home. You won't regret purchasing this mattress after all, you can't put a price on good sleep!

Conclusion


The Exped MegaMat 10 is our Editor's Choice for Best Overall Camping Mattress. It is more comfortable than any other mattress that we reviewed, and made our reviewers compete to sleep on it. It also presents an excellent value for the crazy-good quality of sleep that you will get. If you've ever had the thought that you never want to go camping again, we would highly recommend giving this mattress a try!


Sweet dreams! The XL camping mattresses will certainly help you sleep soundly out in the wilderness  but are so big that there might not be room for anyone else in the tent.
Sweet dreams! The XL camping mattresses will certainly help you sleep soundly out in the wilderness, but are so big that there might not be room for anyone else in the tent.

Other Versions and Accessories


Exped MegaMat Duo 10
Exped SIM Mega Mat Duo
  • Cost - $349
  • Top Pick for Couples, same mattress in a bigger size
  • Our favorite overall camping mattress

Exped Air Pillow
Exped Air Pillow
  • Cost - $40
  • Packs to fist size
  • Inflates with a few breaths
Andy Wellman

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 19, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
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2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Apr 3, 2017 - 09:42pm
SavoryScot · Kayaker · Austin, TX
The Exped MegaMat is the pinnacle of comfort. Don't worry about the high R value being too high in hot weather.

I'm 6 foot tall and weigh over 300lbs and this mat supports me perfectly for side sleeping, back sleeping or stomach sleeping.

The OGL review is dead on about the functionality and performance of the Expend MegaMat 10.

Follow the instructions and be patient, it's slow to inflate at first.


Combine with the Nemo Fillo camping pillow and the Coleman Carlsbad 6 for the most comfortable sleep environment possible for warm weather camping.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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