Exped MegaMat 10 Review: The Most Comfortable Pad We Ever Tested?

Written by

Air mattresses are for the birds: The Exped MegaMat 10’s four inches of foam comfort is your ticket to restful sleep in the woods any time of year.
Exped MegaMat 10 - What We Like
Whether you’re sleeping in the tent or lounging around camp after a long hike, the MegaMat is made to relax.



The Exped MegaMat 10

– Price: $240-$260 (depending on the size)
– Weight: 4.6 lbs/ 2.1kg (regular wide), 5.6 lbs/ 2.5kg (long wide)
– R-Value: 8.1
– Dimensions: 72” x 26” x 4”/ 180cm x 65cm x 10cm (regular wide), 78” x 30” x 4”/ 195cm x 75cm x 10cm (long wide)
– Packed Size: 31” x 10”/ 78cm x 25cm (regular wide), 31” x 10”/ 78cm x 25cm (long wide)
– Pad Type: Open-cell foam/air
– What we like: Incredibly warm, comfortable, and durable
– What we don’t: Expensive, much bulkier than a traditional air pad




The Wise Adventurer’s Verdict

Exped MegaMat 10 - TWA Verdict
Four inches of open cell foam between you and whatever you’re sleeping on: This is what outdoor luxury looks like.

This is the Wise Adventurer’s review of the Exped MegaMat 10, fully field-tested, evaluated, and certified for car camping duty. If you’re still spending your front country adventures sleeping on a blow-up mattress or a simple backpacking pad, this is your wake-up call to a solid night’s sleep. 

With four inches of plush open-cell foam between you and the ground, a durable build that’s designed to last, and an outrageous R-value that’ll keep you warm 365 days a year, there’s no car camping trip that can’t be improved with the MegaMat 10. This is one of the most comfortable solo pads we’ve tested to date, which is no small feat considering what’s on offer nowadays. 

If you’re not familiar with the Swiss brand Exped, their story is worth knowing. The brand started back in 1983 as the brainchild of couple Heidi and Andi Brun, who decided (after spending two years living off the grid in a hand-built cabin) that they could make better products than the ones they were buying themselves. 

The company has exploded over the last decade, and Exped’s hard-wearing tents, packs, and sleep systems have become industry favorites all around the world. No single product in their lineup held our attention quite as firmly as the MegaMat 10 however, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try one out first hand this year. 

We’ve spent the last several months toting the MegaMat 10 along on our various car camping trips, and have spent dozens of hours testing, evaluating, and comparing the MegaMat against the industry’s highest-performing sleeping pads and mattresses. If you’d like to read a little more in-depth about our hands-on testing process, you can get all the nitty-gritty details in our dedicated post. 

Alright, let’s dive into our field test of the Exped MegaMat 10!




Detailed Evaluation Of The Exped MegaMat 10

In our field testing process we aimed to put the MegaMat through all the most common scenarios campers will encounter. This includes a diverse assortment of locations, weather conditions, and environments, with the stated goal of getting the most in-depth and comprehensive information possible on everything from the pad’s comfort and warmth to more nuanced details like its material quality and overall value versus the competition. 

Comfort

While it should come as no surprise that the MegaMat 10’s 4-inches of open cell foam padding makes for an awfully comfy pad, we really can’t overstate just how well this pad sleeps in the field. It’s wide enough to accommodate even the largest rectangular sleeping bags, long enough for tall folks to stretch out, and thanks to its unique suede-like tricot fabric, soft enough to comfortably sleep on with an open quilt or camp blanket. 

Exped MegaMat 10 - Comfort
Whether you’re sleeping in the tent or lounging around camp after a long hike, the MegaMat is made to relax.

All that foam also makes for a pad that’s utterly silent throughout the night, no matter how much you or your partner twitch and roll around. It also means that you can lay the MegaMat 10 directly over a lumpy truck bed or uneven ground and still have a completely flat and plush sleep surface. 

It’s a massive upgrade over any traditional backpacking style pad we’ve used to date, but what really surprised us was that it was also better than any full-size inflatable mattress we’ve used as well. We chalk much of that up to the MegaMat’s foam insulation (more on that below) as well as its inherent ability to minimize motion transfer when moving around the pad. To put it simply, you never feel like you’re balancing on a big balloon, which translates to restful sleep throughout the night and none of the usual early morning soreness we associate with tent camping

Weight And Packed Size

There’s no denying that this is a larger-than-average sleeping pad. So much so, in fact, that there’s really no point in comparing it to even the largest backpacking-style pads out there. Of course that’s the whole point in buying a pad like the MegaMat in the first place: This is unapologetically a dedicated car camping pad, so if carrying it on your back isn’t a concern in the first place, why not go as large as possible?

Exped MegaMat 10 - Weight and Packed Size
Make no mistake: The MegaMat 10 is much too large and heavy for backpacking duty, but by no means difficult to carry or transport.

With that being said, we will point out that even for a large single-person pad, the MegaMat is particularly large and bulky. Our testers noted it packed down to a little over the size of a large camping chair, which means it’s still plenty small enough to pack into the trunk of any compact car with room left over for all the essentials. 

We’ll also note that despite its above-average size, the MegaMat 10 is surprisingly light, and even in the largest “long-wide” size we tested, the pad weighed in well under 6 pounds. It’s a bit bulky, but between the low weight and convenient sling-style carry strap on the MegaMat’s bag, we have zero complaints with the pad in this regard. 

Insulation 

The Exped MegaMat 10 sports an R-value of a whopping 8.1, which makes it one of the most well-insulated pads currently on the market. Our testers lauded the MegaMat 10’s ability to gather and retain body heat throughout the night, making insulation a major highlight of this model. 

It’s worth noting that the recommended R-value for “extreme cold” is typically somewhere between 6 and 7. That means that the MegaMat not only works as a four-season pad, but is more than capable of tackling temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

Exped MegaMat 10 - Insulation
The Exped MegaMat 10’s four inches of open cell foam is enough to keep you warm in the most extreme conditions, but also works great with a lighter bag in the middle of summer.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a winter-only pad, however. Our testers spent several nights on the MegaMat 10 in the dead heat of a Georgia summer (where nightly lows are typically well over 60 degrees), and found the MegaMat 10 was just as comfortable in hot weather as it was in serious cold. As long as you pair it with an appropriately rated sleeping bag, the MegaMat remains obnoxiously comfortable in every condition we’ve used it, which adds year-round versatility and appeal to this premium pad. 

Ease Of Use

All things considered, we have zero complaints with the MegaMat 10 when it comes to user-friendliness. Unlike its plus-sized cousin the MegaMat Duo 10, which we tested alongside it, the standard MegaMat was a breeze to deflate and get back in the carry bag. 

Exped MegaMat 10 - Ease of Use
One of the major benefits of a car-camping-specific pad is that you don’t have to fold it up or pack it down particularly well. Just roll it up and throw it in the carry bag.

Our testers noted that Exped did a great job of designing an “expandable” bag for the MegaMat 10, which uses a roll-top design similar to a dry bag to ensure the pad packs away easily regardless of how tightly or loosely you roll it back down. We love that there’s no need to fold the MegaMat in half or in thirds like most compact backpacking pads, which further simplifies the deflating process.

All things considered, our tester’s only gripe with the MegaMat 10 was that it required a bit of work to fully inflate on the fly. Exped includes an odd little “hand pump” with the MegaMat to handle inflation duty, but we’d much prefer to see a standard pump sack to take the sting out of airing up the pad. 

We will note that this is a “self-inflating” pad, which means if you unroll it well before bedtime and leave it sitting for a while, much of the heavy lifting will be done by the open-cell foam itself. Topping the mattress off still requires a bit of work, however, and we typically found ourselves inflating it with

Exped’s “Widget” electric pump rather than relying on the included hand pump. 

Durability

Because weight and packed size aren’t of major importance for a car camping pad like the MegaMat 10, we expect thicker, more durable materials across the board. Exped didn’t disappoint in this regard, and our testers all agreed that the MegaMat was the toughest car camping pad they’ve used to date. 

Exped MegaMat 10 - Durability
Exped’s extra-tough 50D face fabric feels considerably tougher than the competition, yet still remains soft and supple to the touch.

Part of that equation revolves around the MegaMat 10’s burly 50D tricot polyester face fabric, which is both more durable and softer than any other mat we’ve tested in this category. We typically see something like a stretchy 30D fabric used here, and the fact that Exped doubled down on protection without sacrificing any comfort left us thoroughly impressed. 

Aside from the elevated face fabric, our testers were also impressed by the MegaMat 10’s durable bottom and sides, both of which are made from heavy-duty 75D polyester. We found it was the same story for the rest of the pad as well: The valves look and feel particularly well made, the outer seams are sealed with a full half-inch weld, and the included carry sack is made from even tougher fabric than the pad itself. 

Value

Price will be the main barrier to entry for most campers, as the MegaMat 10 runs well over the $200 mark, even in the smaller of the two sizes. The long-wide version we tested bumps the price up even further (MSRP is $260 at the time of this writing), which is on par or slightly more expensive than other major players in this genre like the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe and Nemo Roamer.

Exped MegaMat 10 - Value
There are larger pads out there like Exped’s own MegaMat Duo seen here, but the original MegaMat 10 delivers year-round comfort for one at a more affordable price point.

With that being said, there’s really no guessing where your money goes with a pad like this. Upgrading from a standard backpacking pad or even an inflatable mattress to the Exped MegaMat 10 is like going from a Greyhound bus to a private jet: The added luxury really can’t be exaggerated. 

If you’re willing to invest in a good night’s sleep every time you go camping, the MegaMat simply can’t disappoint. We’ll also point out that even for a plus-sized foam pad, the MegaMat gets a notable bump in durability over the competition, which bodes well from a long-term investment perspective. 

What We Like

Surprise, surprise: Comfort was the single largest highlight reported among our testers. The verdict was unanimous in this regard: The Exped MegaMat 10 is either as comfortable or more comfortable than every other 4” foam pad we’ve tested over the years, and some of us went so far as to say it was more comfortable than our bedroom mattresses back at home. 

Exped MegaMat 10 - What We Like
The MegaMat 10 is the ideal pad for big car camping tents, but it fits in smaller shelters as well, which adds value in our book

We also love the fact that the MegaMat’s whopping 8.1 R-value makes this a true year-round sleeping pad. It works great in hot weather, but also insulates well enough to deliver a cozy night’s sleep on below-freezing nights, which adds considerable value to such a substantial investment. 

Durability was the other major highlight of our time with the MegaMat 10. Between the pad’s above-average 50D face fabric and ultra-tough 75D bottom, we’d have zero concerns throwing this pad straight into the bed of a truck, and we all expect the MegaMat to hold up to years of heavy car camping use. 

What We Don’t Like

Our biggest complaint with the Exped MegaMat 10 is its asking price. At well over the $200 mark, campers will have to cough up some serious cash if they want serious comfort, but then again, pretty much every major manufacturer has a flagship pad somewhere north of $200 (especially those with a four-season R-value).

Exped MegaMat 10 - What We Dont Like
We appreciate Exped including a hand pump with the MegaMat, but we strongly prefer using a portable electric pump like the Exped Widget seen here for such a large pad.

Aside from the asking price, our only other real issue with the MegaMat 10 is that we don’t particularly enjoy inflating it with the included hand pump, which simply can’t match the speed or ease of use of a simple pump sack. While we get the feeling Exped is trying to offer a unique and “premium” inflation alternative here, we’d like to see an update in the future that works well enough to make an electric pump superfluous. 

Alternatives: 

  • Nemo Roamer: Another 4” foam pad with similar dimensions and comfort, albeit with a slightly lower R-value. XL size costs a few dollars less, but lacks the strength and refinement of the MegaMat’s tricot face fabric.
  • Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe: If there’s one pad out there that can go toe-to-toe comfort-wise with the MegaMat 10, this is it. Soft and stretchy face fabric delivers serious comfort, but isn’t quite as durable as the Exped. 
  • REI Co-op Camp Dreamer XL: A plus-sized 4-inch thick foam pad below the $200 mark. Lacks some of the MegaMat’s durability and refinement, but delivers serious warmth and comfort on a budget. 

The Bottom Line

If you’re shopping for the most comfortable car camping pad money can buy, you’d be wise to bet on the Exped MegaMat 10. This 4-inch thick slab of cozy foam turns sleeping on the ground into an absolute pleasure for back and side sleepers alike, and its year-round versatility makes a strong argument for its considerable asking price. Ever since we first began testing this pad, it’s become the one we reach for on every car camping trip we take: Nothing else quite compares. 

It’s an expensive piece of gear, but if you’re a frequent car camper, it’s tough to put a price on a guaranteed good night’s sleep every time you’re out in the woods. The MegaMat’s added durability over the similarly built and similarly priced competition also makes it a standout option in our opinion, so if you’re on the fence between Exped and the competition, you won’t regret going with the MegaMat.

Leave a Comment