Any Exped Megamat Max Owners? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Any Exped Megamat Max Owners?

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TRED LYT

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I have both the duo and standard size Exped Megamat max versions. By far the best portable mattress on the market. I actually sleep better on them than my bed at home. Super comfortable. Great insulation factor on the cold ground. I’m 6’4” and love the duo. Keep it in my Tepui Ruggedized Autana RTT deflated along with my sleeping bag and I’m always ready to go. I always look forward to my best nights sleep when on my Exped. Expensive but worth every penny. I’ve used them as guest mattresses at home and everyone raves about their amazing comfort. I wouldn’t recommend them for backpacking or long hikes as they are heavy, but they weren’t made for that purpose. For overlanding, don’t hesitate, just get one...you’ll love it and wonder how you’ve been doing it without!
 

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I recently went in to my local REI to buy an Exped Duo, but they were out. The Rep there recommended their in-house brand "Camp Dreamer" which was about $80 less expensive than their price for the Exped. I was told it was the same manufacturer with a similar design; one way inflate and one way deflate, and comes with a carrying bag.

We finally put it to work and I must say it was VERY comfortable. I definitely recommend it. Both the wife and I were very satisfied with the sleep. Excellent insulation from the ground and didn't feel the ground at all.
 

syncro

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I recently went in to my local REI to buy an Exped Duo, but they were out. The Rep there recommended their in-house brand "Camp Dreamer" which was about $80 less expensive than their price for the Exped. I was told it was the same manufacturer with a similar design; one way inflate and one way deflate, and comes with a carrying bag.
I hate to be that guy, but the REI employee was wrong. This is not a criticism of you and your pad choice so please don't take it that way. I've been meaning to post my pad experience for a while and your post finally prodded me into action.

This spring I bought ALL (see below for rankings) the pads and tried them out at home over a few days. No Seattle store had everything so I did this to give them a fair head-to-head audition without feeling rushed by store employees or crowds.

Comfort-wise the base Exped duo and REI Camp Dreamer are kinda close, but that's where it ends. As 40-year REI member and former employee who used to process all the broken returns, I hate to say it but the REI pads are kind of crappy and seem to be getting worse. REI really cut some corners with this line of products-- The valves are NOT as good, despite what the employee said, and the size of them doesn't match any of the other brands. Plus the Camp Dreamer uses a proprietary pillow/pump inflator thing (more on that later). The biggest issue with REI's branded sleeping pads? They have essentially no warranty or path to repair. Yes, the pad is covered by REI's satisfaction guarantee but while this used to be "lifetime," they've modified the policy to be a one-year return policy. I know why they did it -- to stop all the fraudulent returns and abuse. The problem here is that they have no mechanism for addressing manufacturing or design defects after that year. If you buy a Patagonia Jacket at REI and the seam sealing fails two years later, REI won't take it back. But Patagonia will -- at the very least they'll repair it. REI doesn't have any backstop like that -- after that year, you're on your own.

That one-year policy would maybe be fine if they had a repair service that handled pads AND they made parts for their REI products available. But they don't. So if you lose your pillow pump, or a valve breaks, or seam splits, or you damage it to the point of not being able to patch it on your own --even if you're willing to pay for a repair - you're screwed. REI's "official" repair service (Rainy Pass) doesn't repair pads. REI also doesn't make replacement parts available. So if you step on your valve and tear it or it otherwise won't seal, you're out of luck. In contrast, Exped has a 5- year warranty and reasonably-priced parts and repair service for out of warranty repairs. Thermarest and NEMO have lifetime warranties and also have reasonable out of warranty repairs (and available parts).

My in-laws have the previous version of REI pad -- the camp bed, I believe. It's about two years old and has been slept on maybe 10 days total. The valves no longer hold air. It's a common fault that people mention in the reviews for this pad. No matter what you do, they're flat in the morning. Unfortunately, these valves are not available from REI or their repair service and REI doesn't stand behind them after a year. Meanwhile, I have 30 year old Thermarest pads that still hold air -- and if they didn't Thermarest would fix them -- but this REI pad has to go in the landfill because there's no way to fix it.

Seriously, spend the extra 30 percent and get (and it kills me to say this) a non-crap brand.


We finally put it to work and I must say it was VERY comfortable. I definitely recommend it. Both the wife and I were very satisfied with the sleep. Excellent insulation from the ground and didn't feel the ground at all.
The REI Camp Dreamer was fine, but placed last in my trials. Here's my ranking of roughly "full-size bed" camping pads (78"x52 or so). Spoiler -- all the other pads are better.

1). Exped MAX Duo 15. The biggest, thickest (6 inches!), most comfy pad available. Self inflates pretty easily and the small hand pump takes it the rest of the way. Deflation is slow -- there's only one deflate valve -- but not crazy difficult. It's fairly east to roll this thing small enough to fit back in the enclosed sack. I don't know why a pad this big doesn't have two deflate ports -- things would go way faster and only cost and ounce or two.

Though I'd like to ding it some points for the inflation/deflation hassles, I just can't -- the comfort is so far above everything else that it just wins. Assuming you have the room for it, that is. Five year warranty. Parts and service available. We used this on a pasture earlier this summer. The thing had been used for stock the previous year and there was a lot of lumps and dips and sections pushed up from freeze/thaw actions. The Max 15 took it all and made it feel like we had placed our pad on a smooth floor. Most expensive, but whatever. When we're out for multiple days in a row, my wife as been known to say, let's get a hotel tonight, my back is killing me. One hotel night saved over the life of the pad covers the difference.

MSRP $420; REI sale $315 (deal was 25 percent off all Exped; this may repeat in September or at least show up as a 20 percent off one item coupon for the Sept sale.)

2. Nemo Roamer: The most comfortable compactable pad. Easiest to inflate AND deflate (don't underestimate this one). Three valves that are used in adjustable combination for inflate and deflate. A super awesome design that all the pad makers should adopt!. It easily rolled down small enough to fit in all the factory packaging (not just the carry bag - I mean the the plastic marketing wrap that goes around the factory packaged pad -- seriously none of the others could come close to going back in the factory marketing packaging. Roughly 4" thick inflated. Pretty darn comfortable, but not the sleeping-on-a-latex-mattress feel of the Exped Max 15. If I tried (like when getting out of "bed") a knee or elbow could feel the ground. If you're using this on someplace smooth (truck bed, RTT, graded gravel tent pad) that's no biggie and the ease of inflate/deflate would make it a winner. But for lumpy turf (as above) or wood-chip-and-rock laden sections of ground -- or a 55+ year old body -- you might wish you had another inch. But damn, did I mention the compact-ness? And ease of deflation? If I was five years younger, or didn't have a giant rig with lots of room, I'd own this pad. Lifetime warranty. Parts and service available.

MSRP $400; REI sale $320 (deal was 20 percent off a regular priced item. They usually do this 2x/year at the May and Sept sales.

3. Exped Duo 10. A solid, high quality pad. Not as comfortable as the Exped Max Duo 15, but on par with the Nemo Roamer (they're both 4" pads). However the Nemo is waaaaay easier to inflate/deflate and packs up to be significantly smaller. This is a good pad, but I'd either choose the NEMO If you don't need MAX comfort, or get the MAX if you don't care about size and want to float on a cloud.

MSRP $350; REI deal $262 (deal was 25 percent off all Exped; this may repeat in September or at least show up as a 20 percent off one item coupon for the Sept sale.)

4. REI Camp Dreamer: Meh. This purple pad is fine, but was a distant fourth in my test. It's reasonably comfortable, but seems a bit "cheap" in the seams and valves. Thought it felt as comfortable as the other 4" pads, it also was a little more stretchy/bouncy and if you added air to increase pressure, it was inclined to take a slight banana shape. Inflation is via what seems like a cool pump-pillow -- a fabric-covered foam tube that you can use to pump up your mattress and also doubles as a pillow, but a) now you gotta store a big foam tube that doesn't actually work as well as a pillow, and b) the valve connection is proprietary. If you lose this pillow (or break it) you're probably out of luck. REI's lack of parts for their house-brand products means you'll have to find another way to inflate your Camp Dreamer. 1 year sort of warranty. No parts, no service. The price difference doesn't pencil out for something that you're going to use for 5, 10, or 20 years. If it was a hundred bucks? OK, but at $250 or above I'd save up and get ANY of the others.

MSRP $280. REI sale deal $225 (20 percent off one item).

Note: I'm excited to see what Thermarest brings to the market -- maybe a full-size version of their Mondo 3D pad for around $350 would be my guess but I'd be thrilled if they came out with a 6" pad. Hopefully it'll incorporate the best features of the NEMO and EXPED pads while keeping the long-time Thermarest reputation for quality and lifetime service.
 
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HaVeeBear

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Wow, that Exped Max Duo 15 must be like sleeping on a cloud...I'd be anxious to try the others if they're even more comfortable than the REI Camp Dreamer. I have to agree that the pillow-pump that comes with it is pretty useless. I just put my mouth to the valve and gave it about 5 full breaths to make it a bit firmer. The valves held up fine over night, but I'll monitor to see how they hold up over time.

Very good reviews. Thanks for the info.
 
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syncro

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Wow, that Exped Max Duo 15 must be like sleeping on a cloud...I'd be anxious to try the others if they're even more comfortable than the REI Camp Dreamer. I have to agree that the pillow-pump that comes with it is pretty useless. I just put my mouth to the valve and gave it about 5 full breaths to make it a bit firmer. The valves held up fine over night, but I'll monitor to see how they hold up over time.

Very good reviews. Thanks for the info.
Glad you didn't mind the big info dump. One comment about breathing into these pads as an inflation method -- you're putting water in there with your breath. It can (eventually) add up to more weight, decreased R-value, decreased cushion, and possibly some icky stuff like mold. The OG thermarest pads specifically told campers breathe into them to inflate but a) they didn't really know not to recommend it, and b) they didn't have as much foam to "soak up" the air, and c) are small enough that it doesn't take up a lot of space to store them with valves open.

For people using their lungs as an inflation device, I'd recommend storing the pad (they say to do this anyway, but no one ever does) uncompressed (flat or on it's side) in a warm, dry, low-humidity location with the valves OPEN. That should help the pad dry out and re-fluff between uses and make it last longer.

Happy sleeping!!!
 

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I've have the Exped Mega Mat 10, LXW for 6 years now. With having the trailer and RV I don't use it as much as I used to, but it still has a ton of nights on it and it still works great with no leak-down. I'm a bigger guy (6' ~275... yeah yeah I need to work on that) and a side-sleeper and I love it. I just loaned it to a buddy for our last trip (since I used my teardrop) and he loved it. I don't think I could recommend a sleeping pad more highly. I'm sure the Duo version is just as good, though I like other folks' suggestions of 2 separate mats for "flexibility" for tent-based situations.

That said, I like these things so much I'm thinking about replacing the mattress + topper in my Krawler 459 with a Duo myself. The setup in my trailer is super comfy initially, but a bit too soft for my weight and being a side-sleeper so I wake up several times a night to "rotate." The interior of the Krawler is 53x80" and the Duos are 52x77.6" so they're basically perfect. The Duo 10 (bigger version of what I already have) is only 3.9" thick so it would give me more foot-room under my drawers than I have now, and the 15 is a whopping 5.9" so it'd be about the same as now. Hmmm...

-TJ
 

syncro

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I've have the Exped Mega Mat 10, LXW for 6 years now. With having the trailer and RV I don't use it as much as I used to, but it still has a ton of nights on it and it still works great with no leak-down. I'm a bigger guy (6' ~275... yeah yeah I need to work on that) and a side-sleeper and I love it. I just loaned it to a buddy for our last trip (since I used my teardrop) and he loved it. I don't think I could recommend a sleeping pad more highly. I'm sure the Duo version is just as good, though I like other folks' suggestions of 2 separate mats for "flexibility" for tent-based situations.

That said, I like these things so much I'm thinking about replacing the mattress + topper in my Krawler 459 with a Duo myself. The setup in my trailer is super comfy initially, but a bit too soft for my weight and being a side-sleeper so I wake up several times a night to "rotate." The interior of the Krawler is 53x80" and the Duos are 52x77.6" so they're basically perfect. The Duo 10 (bigger version of what I already have) is only 3.9" thick so it would give me more foot-room under my drawers than I have now, and the 15 is a whopping 5.9" so it'd be about the same as now. Hmmm...

-TJ
If you're thinking of the Duo10, check out the NEMO Roamer. Just as comfy (actually, maybe a bit more -- the textured top finish might help airflow on warm nights), inflates/deflates easier, and packs way smaller and lifetime warranty. Also, I didn't keep track of all of them but the Exped Mega Duo 15 Max is slightly wider/longer than advertised because the sides bulge out with all that thicc. I wanna say it's about 53x80?
 

tjZ06

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If you're thinking of the Duo10, check out the NEMO Roamer. Just as comfy (actually, maybe a bit more -- the textured top finish might help airflow on warm nights), inflates/deflates easier, and packs way smaller and lifetime warranty. Also, I didn't keep track of all of them but the Exped Mega Duo 15 Max is slightly wider/longer than advertised because the sides bulge out with all that thicc. I wanna say it's about 53x80?
Good info, I'll ahve to look into the NEMO. As for the Exped Duo 15, 53x80' would be the exact interior dimensions of my 459 Krawler... so that would work.

-TJ
 
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syncro

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Good info, I'll ahve to look into the NEMO. As for the Exped Duo 15, 53x80' would be the exact interior dimensions of my 459 Krawler... so that would work.

-TJ
For what it's worth, I just don't know if the 15 Max is necessary in something like a trailer. I'd probably save some money and space and go with a 4" pad. Old body and ground tent, sure. But for trailer -- even for an XL sized side sleeper like me -- I'd think anything over 4" would just be luxury for luxury sake (not that there's anything wrong with that).
 
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thalooch

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I hate to be that guy, but the REI employee was wrong. This is not a criticism of you and your pad choice so please don't take it that way. I've been meaning to post my pad experience for a while and your post finally prodded me into action.
nono, we NEED that guy. As much as I love REI they are still a giant corporation and clearly have succumbed to cutting corners and squeezing a little more profit wherever they can.

The MegaMat is on my short list and I'll probably eventually get it for tent/cowboy camping setup when I find a partner to cozy up with on my travels. For my pickup bed setup though I'm leaning more towards custom cushions that are modular and can be setup in different configurations for both sleeping and sitting. I'm considering having half the pickup bed be a full time sleeping platform and the other half is modular to allow it to be setup for two or also broken down for something else (what....I don't know yet)

Great writeup, thanks a lot for that.
 
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syncro

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nono, we NEED that guy. As much as I love REI they are still a giant corporation and clearly have succumbed to cutting corners and squeezing a little more profit wherever they can.

The MegaMat is on my short list and I'll probably eventually get it for tent/cowboy camping setup when I find a partner to cozy up with on my travels. For my pickup bed setup though I'm leaning more towards custom cushions that are modular and can be setup in different configurations for both sleeping and sitting. I'm considering having half the pickup bed be a full time sleeping platform and the other half is modular to allow it to be setup for two or also broken down for something else (what....I don't know yet)

Great writeup, thanks a lot for that.
Thanks for the kind words. And Yeah, if you can make them work for your space, custom foam cushions are totally the way to go! (more durable, cheaper, modular, etc)
 
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thalooch

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After much research I went with the Megamat Duo 10. The Max looks nice but takes up more space when rolled up, is much harder to roll up, and the 10 is already super luxurious. I couldn't find any reviews that stated the max was really head and shoulders above the 10, so the space savings and ease of portability steered me towards the 10. And of course the extra money saved over the max.

I have a single Exped mat as well, the Deepsleep 7.5, which is even thinner. I have been sleeping on this every night for months and it is perfect and ridiculously comfy. I purchased it on impulse at REI as it was a return and only cost like 90 bucks. Best 90 bucks I ever spent!
 
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OverLamb24

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After much research I went with the Megamat Duo 10. The Max looks nice but takes up more space when rolled up, is much harder to roll up, and the 10 is already super luxurious. I couldn't find any reviews that stated the max was really head and shoulders above the 10, so the space savings and ease of portability steered me towards the 10. And of course the extra money saved over the max.

I have a single Exped mat as well, the Deepsleep 7.5, which is even thinner. I have been sleeping on this every night for months and it is perfect and ridiculously comfy. I purchased it on impulse at REI as it was a return and only cost like 90 bucks. Best 90 bucks I ever spent!
Wife and I passed on a return megamat that was discounted like 80 bucks. The tag on it said it was not comfortable. I could not imagine what they were comparing it to for comfort in the wilderness.
 
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thalooch

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Wife and I passed on a return megamat that was discounted like 80 bucks. The tag on it said it was not comfortable. I could not imagine what they were comparing it to for comfort in the wilderness.
I would have bought it. That's clearly a bs reason.
Tag on mine said it was the wrong dimensions.....

If it says won't hold air.....now that's a different story....
 

OverLamb24

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Wife and I passed on a return megamat that was discounted like 80 bucks. The tag on it said it was not comfortable. I could not imagine what they were comparing it to for comfort in the wilderness.
I would have bought it. That's clearly a bs reason.
Tag on mine said it was the wrong dimensions.....

If it says won't hold air.....now that's a different story....
We almost did, but decided to not dip into our next purchase budget for something we didn’t truly need yet.