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Ultra Warm, Comfortable Car Camping Sleeping Pad: EXPED MegaMat Auto Review

The EXPED MegaMat Auto sleeping pad is an extremely comfortable, well-insulated, durable car camping mattress designed specifically to fit in mid-size truck beds, compact SUVs and sedans, and any Tesla model vehicles.

EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress(Photo/Will Brendza)
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I’ve slept on a lot of different things in the bed of my truck over the years. I’ve used yoga mats and backpacking sleeping pads. On at least one occasion, I used cardboard when I didn’t have another option. Then, for a long time, my girlfriend and I had a big twin-size scrap of memory foam — but it was hardly big enough for the two of us, and the dog was out of luck. Plus, packing that beast away was never easy.

When I first saw the EXPED MegaMat Auto ($400), I wasn’t sure about the idea of a two-person inflatable sleeping pad. I’ve never had great luck with air mattresses. So naturally, I quickly started wondering how long it would take me to poke a hole in this one, or where it would first spring a leak. I worried that before long, I’d be stuck with a big, expensive, unfillable bag of air and back to sleeping on cardboard.

But, when I started testing EXPED’s MegaMat Auto double sleeping pad car mattress, which fits most mid-size trucks, compact SUVs and wagons, and Tesla models, my doubts dissolved. I camped with this car mattress almost every single weekend all spring and summer long.

It had dogs walking on it and random camping items strewn all over it. And, it endured lots of climbing onto and off of in my covered truck bed. It has not punctured once. Nor has it sprung any leaks. In fact, it still holds its firmness as well as the first time I inflated it.

And, I can take it to the airport and fly with it anywhere. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind sleeping in your car, this is a great way to turn almost any rental vehicle into a hotel room on wheels.

In short: The EXPED MegaMat Auto sleeping pad turns your entire truck bed (or vehicle’s interior) into a comfortable, insulated mattress that stows away easily and inflates when you need it. It’s durable and hasn’t proven to be leaky despite continued camping abuse. With an R-value of 8.1 (rated to -40 degrees!), this is a winter-ready sleeping pad, and it’s a comfortable one with 4 inches of loft. It packs down relatively small, making it easy to stow in your car or to travel with it to use in a rental. It’s been a very useful upgrade to my car-camping setup.

EXPED MegaMat Auto


  • Length 76"
  • Top width 52"
  • Bottom width 39"
  • Thickness 4"
  • Weight 136 oz.
  • Packed dimensions 27.6" x 11.8"
  • R-value 8.1
  • Temperature -40 deg. F
  • Pump style Self-inflation/Mini pump
  • Includes Sleeping mat, SideWinder stuff sack, mini pump, repair kit


  • Stows and travels easily
  • Well insulated and comfortable
  • Fits in most mid-size trucks, compact SUVs and wagons, and Tesla models


  • Not ideal for 5-foot truck beds
  • Takes a while to inflate (electric pumps don't get it very firm)

EXPED MegaMat Auto Sleeping Pad: Review

EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
(Photo/Will Brendza)

EXPED is known for its bomber, well-insulated sleeping pads. The environmentally conscious Swiss company has been making its own high-end outdoor products since 1997. It prides itself on making durable, long-lasting, and resource-efficient gear. It encourages repair over replacement, uses high-quality components, and sustainable production processes.

The EXPED MegaMat series is a perfect representation of all that. It includes the one-person MegaMat, MegaMat Duo (for two people), and the MegaMat Auto. They all have the same 4-inch thickness, 8.1 R-value, are self-inflating, and have high-frequency welded seams. MegaMats use open-cell polyurethane foam for insulation and horizontal air channels cored through that foam to reduce the weight.

EXPED similarly designed its MegaMat Duo for two people, and it will fit into a lot of vehicles. But, that double sleeping pad isn’t designed specifically for vehicular use.

The MegaMat Auto is asymmetrical and fits perfectly between the rear wheel wells of most vehicles. For SUVs, wagons, and sedans, lay the seats flat and inflate your mattress. With a truck, just use the bed.

Setting Up the EXPED MegaMat Auto

EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
Setting up the EXPED MegaMat Auto mattress in a truck bed; (photo/Will Brendza)

The MegaMat series are all self-inflating sleeping pads. Simply open the inflate valve and the foam expands, drawing air into the mat. Let it sit for a while, and it will get relatively full on its own. But, it won’t reach comfortable firmness without a little help on the final push. EXPED sells an electronic widget pump that fits the inflate valve and can be used to top off your MegaMat once it’s reached self-fill capacity.

EXPED MegaMat Auto car mattress hand pump; (photo/Will Brendza)

However, I didn’t find that widget pump to be too effective. EXPED also includes a hand pump that works much more efficiently to fill the MegaMat. Once inflated, the MegaMat Auto fits easily into your vehicle.

Unfortunately, I have a 5-foot bed on my truck, and can’t close the gate when the EXPED MegaMat Auto is in it. I’ve also got a platform in my truck, which means I have to bolster the bottom foot and a half of the MegaMat Auto with a milk crate or plastic tub. That’s made for some rude awakenings when stormy weather has rolled in overnight. But, standard truck beds will fit the MegaMat Auto without any issues.

Once it’s inflated and in place, if you need to adjust the firmness, EXPED installed a handy one-way inflate flat valve at the top. That way you can release small, controlled amounts of air, even when you’re lying on it.

Breaking Down the EXPED MegaMat Auto

(Photo/Will Brendza)

Deflating the MegaMat Auto takes a few minutes and a little effort. But it’s manageable with one person and easy with two. You open the deflate valve, fold the pad in half lengthwise, and tightly roll it bottom toward the valve. The internal polyurethane foam compresses as you roll it — but make sure to keep it tight.

When you’ve expelled all the air and the pad is rolled up, plug the valve to seal the deflation. EXPED includes a Velcro strap to hold it together. There is also a bag with a roll-top and shoulder strap for transportation and storage.

(Photo/Will Brendza)

Packed away like this, the dimensions of the MegaMat Auto are 27.6 x 11.8 inches. It’s no larger than a suitcase and will stow away in closets or car trunks easily.


EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
(Photo/Will Brendza)

The quality of sleep from the bed of my truck notably increased after getting the EXPED MegaMat Auto. It’s an exceptionally comfortable car camping sleeping pad. The 4-inch thickness, polyurethane foam, stretch tricot nylon surface, and 8.1 R-value combine to create a sleep surface that rivals my home mattress. It’s also quiet when you move around on it. It insulates extremely well. And, it feels soft to the touch, even when firmly inflated.

And get this: When two people are sleeping on it and one gets up in the middle of the night, the person sleeping doesn’t sink to the floor. That happens with every standard air mattress I’ve ever slept on. And I definitely expected it to happen with a two-person sleeping pad.

However, the EXPED MegaMat’s open-cell polyurethane foam insulation adds structure and support and significantly mitigates that effect. It hasn’t been an issue in months of testing.


EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
(Photo/Will Brendza)

Over the summer, I dragged the MegaMat Auto out of my truck on numerous occasions to take campsite cat naps in the sun. If you were overcome with the urge to sleep under the stars, you could do that as well. Hell, if your tent is large enough, you could set this thing up inside of it and have a nearly full-size mattress to crash on.

As mentioned, I haven’t punctured this sleeping pad yet and don’t really worry about its durability anymore. I trust the MegaMat Auto to withstand the general use and abuse of camping. It’s bombproof, and EXPED also includes a patch kit in case you do manage to spring a leak.

If the patch kit can’t solve your problem, send the pad to EXPED’s in-house gear repair service and they’ll fix it for you. Part of the brand’s mission is to keep its gear out of landfills wherever possible. Having a good repair service is the easiest way to do that.

A Dirtbag Travel Hack?

EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
EXPED MegaMat Auto sleeping pad car mattress; (photo/Will Brendza)

The allure of van life is never stronger than when you’re on a road trip. Don’t get me wrong, I like staying in hotels as much as the next guy. But it’s a luxury that can get expensive if you’re doing it every night and traveling on a shoestring budget (as I often am).

One solution could be to bring something like the EXPED MegaMat Auto sleeping pad. If you’re in a foreign country or another part of the U.S. and plan on renting a car, this handy sleeping pad can turn most vehicles into a condo on wheels — no Sprinter van necessary.

Of course, I’d tell you to check the rules and safety of sleeping in your car if you’re headed someplace unfamiliar. Checking the weather wouldn’t hurt, either — as cars get just as cold as tents. But flying somewhere and using the EXPED MegaMat to comfortably sleep in your rental is definitely a viable option. Just bring your sleeping bag and you’re ready to camp anywhere.

Room for Improvement

EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress; (photo/Will Brendza)

My number one gripe with this thing is that it doesn’t fit in every vehicle size. Yes, it fits most SUVs, wagons, truck beds, and sedans. But as someone who can’t close his truckbed gate when the MegaMat Auto is in use, I really wish there were some different size options.

I’ll also briefly comment on the price: $400. Kelty makes the Kush Air Bed ($105). Klymit makes the Insulated V Double Sleeping Pad ($180). Big Agnes makes the Hinman Double Sleeping Pad ($250), and many other brands make double pads cheaper than EXPED’s MegaMat Auto. However, few offer the durability, comfort, and quietness that EXPED’s MegaMat Auto brings to the table. And, none of them boast an R-value of 8.1.

EXPED MegaMat Auto Review: Conclusions

EXPED MegaMat Auto Double sleeping pad car mattress
(Photo/Will Brendza)

If you’re like me and mostly car camp from the bed of your truck, SUV, or station wagon, you should seriously consider the EXPED MegaMat Auto. I was very skeptical of this double sleeping pad at first — but I’ve been impressed.

The durability, comfort, ease of setup, packability, and overall high quality of the materials and design have made the bed of my truck feel more like an actual bed. I no longer use other sleeping pads, mats, or recycled materials for car camping and have no plans to go back to that lifestyle.

The $400 price tag is enough to make anyone hesitate. But, between EXPED’s bomber design and the brand’s repair program, that’s money that you’ll get a lot of mileage out of. The number of nights I’ve slept comfortably on this pad has already paid off its cost. And, if you travel with it and use it on road trips in different states or foreign countries, it’ll save you even more in lodging costs in the long run.

For car campers, road warriors, overlanders, and travelers, the MegaMat Auto is a piece of gear that will get a ton of use.

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Will Brendza

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