Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Exped Mega Mat: Luxury Meets Bad Ass

Over the years I've used a lot of different sleeping pads for camping, I've also slept right on the ground with nothing but a sleeping bag.  As a mom, sleep has become top priority.  I never get as much as I need, but things can quickly unravel if I'm dragging too far behind.  This is one of those things that makes family camping intimidating for me.  The thought of not getting any sleep all night and having to deal with all that extra responsibility like keeping my kid safe and the sheer work load of it all--this can be a deal breaker and it's something that's made me put off camping for years. 

I've finally found something that has taken this apprehension away--Exped's new sleep pad, The Mega Mat.    This is a game changer for me and takes the sleep pad to a new level.  Though it is very light weight, it's rather large and is not meant for backpacking, Exped has that covered with appropriate back country sleep pads.  But it is The Ultimate sleeping pad for car camping--it's extra long, extra wide, and unbelievably comfortable. 

I hesitate to use the word "luxury" with Exped because they are sort of a hard core company that provides minimalist gear for expeditions and whatnot.  However, I'm telling you, short of bringing your mattress from home, it's not going to get more comfortable than this.  It's probably a whole lot better than some mattresses.  At the same time, if you have a way to transport it (llamas?) you could use this for sleeping in more extreme conditions.  Exped founder  Andy Brun mentions sleeping on ice in his demo video while he shows you how simple it is to use. 
It comes in a roomy stuff sack with an innovative cloth air pump.  The mat self inflates to a point and you can use the pump to adjust the mat to your comfort level.  It's very straightforward and couldn't be easier to manage.

The appearance is good looking with certified eco friendly non toxic red and gray fabric with a nice honeycomb pattern.  This mat meets Oekotek standards and there is absolutely no chemical smell.  I like that there is a valve for inflating and a separate valve for deflation.  The Mats have toggles so they can connect to each other easily forming a double mat.  I love this attention to detail, and that everything simply works, there's no frustration factor here.
This could easily be used for house guests.  Last year during the holidays, I purchased one of those self inflating air beds for company I was having (I don't remember the brand).  Nice idea, but as soon as I opened the box and started to take it out, the smell almost knocked me over.  It was offgassing  so much that I put it back into the box and returned it.  The Mega Mat, while not raised off the ground like a bed thus posing possible difficulty for older folks, is just as comfy as air mattresses I've tried but has no odor.  It's also easier and faster to set up, take down, and store.

REI is about to have one of their 20% off coupons and I'm going to go and get another Mega Mat with my coupon.  They are a little spendy, I realize that, but this is quality.  You buy it once and you're done.   Click HERE to find the Mega Mat at REI or HERE to find it on Exped's site.

No comments: