The MegaMat 10 is one of our favorite camping mattresses because it is 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 versatile as other options in this class, comfort is king, as they say, and this is where the Exped MegaMat stands out. Unless, of course, we wanted to share the bed with our partner — for that we would bring the MegaMat Duo 10.
The Megamat was our Editor's choice until it was finally unseated by the easier to inflate REI Co-op Camp Dreamer. The Sea-to-Summit Comfort Plus SI rivals the Megamat in comfort and inflates much faster, even without the foot pump. The Alps Mountaineering Outback also boasts a similar comfort level and R-value. What keeps the Megamat ahead of the pack? It gets more points in our "ease of use metric" thanks to its roll-top closure carrying sleeve. We can roll up this mat and be on our way in under five minutes while packing away the other mats is more like a 10-minute wrestling match.
If staying warm and comfy on car camping trips is your jam, this mat plays the right tune.
Comfort is king when it comes to sleeping mattresses, and this pad was the clear cream of the crop.
The foam filling not only insulates, it gloriously pads pressure points. The foam really works its magic when you underinflate the mattress a smidge, keeping your body equally supported by the air. The inflation valve has a rubber flap that impedes air from escaping during inflation. Then, 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! And the face fabric feels like fabric. No skin sticking to plastic if you roll out of your bag.
Comparison testing each of the mats one after the other to discern the differences between their comfort levels. The relaxed smile says it all about this mattress. Shown here is the 2016 model, which offers the same comfort as the new 2017 model.
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 an excellent 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, the added comfort and support of the MegaMat 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.
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 still takes about a minute and half for full inflation.
Ease of Use
When it came to inflating this mattress, several factors 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 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 pumps to top it off. We found the included pump to be very easy to use — much easier than 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 straightforward to make minor fullness adjustments while laying on the MegaMat by using one finger to push in the intake valve in small increments.
The diameter of the deflate valve increased to 1.375 inches. This larger diameter allows internal air to exit the mattress faster than in the previous version. In the photo, the 2017 model is on top with the 2016 model on the bottom.
Deflating the MegaMat 10 is easy! It took us an average of one minute and 38 seconds to deflate and roll-up this mattress. Because the valve opening is large, the air rushes out faster, although it is helpful for the user to use their body weight to fully push out the air. 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 some of the competition), 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.
Deflating the MegaMat is easier and faster with the 2017 model as opposed to previous versions, yet it will still take around 90 seconds to do so.
The Sidewinder stuff sack is a welcome feature for storing the MegaMat. The stuff sack opens from the side, which drastically improves the ease of getting the mat into its sack. Once you roll up the mat, just drop it inside. The sack is spacious, meaning it can fit an imperfectly-rolled mat plus extra bedding and/or a pillow easily. The leash that buckles to close the sack doubles as a shoulder sling for easy transportation.
Our testers enjoyed the improvements to the stuff sack in 2017. Seen here, it easily accommodates the foot pump, a pillow, and a sleeping bag liner with plenty of room to spare.
There's plenty of foam cushioning in this model, which helps push its R-value to 9.5. What's that mean? The higher the R-value, the better the mattress is at insulating; most winter campers recommend a sleeping pad R-value of at least 4. 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 other mattresses boast even higher R-values, 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.
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. It lacks the versatility of some of the more versatile mattresses that separate into two 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 6 lb 5.9oz beast very far from your car.
The MegaMat also loses points for versatility because of its gigantic proportions. While a 30.3-inch wide, 77.6-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.
The MegaMat barely allows room for a narrow sleeping pad beside it in this backpacking tent.
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 others we reviewed while being one of the most comfortable.
The shoulder sling on this model makes moving it from car to campsite a breeze.
The MegaMat is among the most expensive of the self-inflating, single-person air mattresses in our review. However, it's one of the best camping mattresses 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!
The Exped MegaMat 10 is incredibly comfortable and made our reviewers rock, paper, and scissor to see who got to sleep on it each night. 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!
This mat truly is a game-changer for car camping comfort. We love it!