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Car Camping Mattresses-comparison question

Hi all,

I'm hoping to start taking my son out camping this summer, but I need to upgrade my sleeping situation before then. The last time I camped was a few years ago and shared a classic air mattress with my wife (both slouchy and bouncy somehow) and before that my camping was done on a old 1.5" inflatable therm-rest on top of a yoga mat. I really want to do more camping especially with my son, but my body needs more comfort now.

I'm trying to decide between the following mattresses:

  • Thermo-rest MondoKing
  • Exped Megamat
  • REI Camp Dreamer
  • Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe SI

The pad would be used for car camping a few times each summer. I've read all the reviews different places but I'm hoping people can provide some comparisons from personal experience. Anyone tried more than one of these?


7 Replies

Hi @friendlyFool008!

I have used both the Exped Megamat, and the REI Camp Dreamer Double. The former I used while staying at a friend's house for a couple of days, and the latter I used on a three day car camping trip. I found both of them to be comfortable, but the Exped was perhaps a touch too soft for my sleeping preferences. I enjoyed the experience on the Camp Dreamer in part because my husband was also using the pad which made my side feel more firm, but my husband would have preferred that we used two single pads rather than one double, as he was irritated by my motion at night (whoops!)

It's well to note that the Exped and the Camp Dreamer compress into a pretty large roll--nearly a foot in diameter. Though I enjoyed my experience on both these mats, I prefer a backpacking pad designed for side sleepers to meet my storage needs. 

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thanks for you’re input!


I've also used the megaman and REI dreamer. The megamat is by far the better option. How hard or soft it is depends totally on the amount of air put in it. The megamat comes with a little pump that's quick and easy to use for inflation. Get it as hard as you want it. It you get it to hard you can easily hit the fill valve to let a little out while you're laying on it. I did that last night infact.

If there is an REI near you go try them out in the store. Sleeping comfort is so personal. If no store near by, order both and return the one you don't want.

Enjoy your camping!

Found Myself Outside

The Exped Megamat is excellent.  Highly recommend. 


I think the type of sleeping pad you choose will depend on the type of body you have (height, weight, etc.). I haven't personally tried the pads you mention, but I have tried many different pads ranging from just putting my jacket and sweater underneath my sleeping bag, to a really thick, airy, and bouncy air mattress (not fun or comfortable!). In between, I have also used simple thin-foam pads and air mattresses 1 inch and 2 inches thick.

My Goldilocks zone for a sleeping pad is 2 in thick (e.g. a Therm-a-Rest Basecamp); less than that and I still feel the ground underneath, more than that and it feels too bouncy and unstable. Also, most people get used to sleep on the ground after 2 or 3 days (I almost never sleep really comfortable the first night). In my experience, being exhausted when you go to sleep is the best mattress 🙂

Farther. Higher. Longer.

I would throw the Klymit Static Double insulated on your list. We use it for car camping and its been quite comfy and insulated "enough". Now, we are smaller people at 5'10" - 150lbs and 5'2" - 110lbs. And that does make a big difference in how comfy a pad will be for you. But, we have used the insulated and uninsulated static doubles for several years now without any issues. 


I have the Megamat 15 for cold camping adventures. It’s super comfortable and warm. You can adjust the firmness.  The only downfall is it is bulky.