Designed for car campers, Exped made a sleeping pad you will dream about while fast asleep on it.
Planning for an archaeological expedition to the Aleutian Islands is complicated. It’s a long trip from anywhere.
In need of a sleeping pad, I was torn between something light and packable or heavy, large, and cushy. I would be there for weeks and didn’t need to carry it in a backpack. So a large pad seemed smart.
After much deliberation, I decided on the Exped MegaMat 10.
This is not the cheapest pad on the market at $229 retail. And at five pounds, it isn’t the lightest or smallest. But the trade-off for price and size is comfort and reliability.
During 4 weeks of fieldwork in the Aleutians, coming back to my tent and the MegaMat was something to look forward to. It provided the comfort needed after surveying miles of thick tundra and felt close to an actual bed. It was worth hauling to the Aleutians and back.
Exped MegaMat 10 LXW Review:
Being 6’1” and 210 lbs, I needed a sleeping pad to hold my weight. I also needed to fit without sliding off the side. Rolled out and inflated, the MegaMat is 70” x 30” x 4”. It is thick enough to not feel the ground.
It’s also tall and wide enough for me to fit on effortlessly, with a little extra room. The pack down size is 31” x 10” so it is not small, and weighs 92oz.
Exped makes the top comfy with 50D polyester and a honeycomb embossed texture. It is surprisingly soft, even without a sleeping bag. I have used it as a guest bed for myself while traveling with just a blanket and pillow.
The bottom is 75D polyester and is held together with a polyether film laminate. This helps the material maintain a strong bond over time even in contact with moisture.
Vertical Side Walls
The vertical sidewalls increase the usable sleeping surface. This small addition compared to other sleeping pads is instantly noticeable. The walls help keep you dry in really bad weather.
During one stretch, Mother Nature pounded us with rain for 3 days straight. The bottoms of the tents were soaked. The height and larger surface kept me dry and warm even over wet ground.
Inflate and Deflate
The flat inflate/deflate flaps don’t stick out, which is great for rolling up the mat. The inflation valve has a cover flap over it, and the air doesn’t escape while inflating.
At the center of the MegaMat is four inches of open-cell foam. To reduce weight and packed size, the foam has horizontal cored channels that also add to its soft, bed-like feel.
Even though it self-inflates, Exped includes an ingenious nylon foot pump. With the foot pump, I inflated the mat in roughly 5 minutes.
Given the larger volume of air, the mat deflation time does take awhile. But if ultimate comfort is what you are going for, it is worth it.
The R-rating for the mega mat is one of the highest at 9.5. It’s rated to -54.4 degrees Fahrenheit. A stuff sack, pump, and repair kit are all included.
Over time, I tested this pad on everything from thick tundra to windswept plains and forested grounds. I got it wet. I laid on it over roots and rocky ground. It’s even been used as a spare bed for guests.
This pad may be expensive and large, but it provides the most warmth and comfort you can find. Spend one night on this pad, and you’ll know what you’re missing.