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How to Choose the Best Camping Sleeping Pad for Ultimate Comfort

best camping air pad

Just because you are camping doesn’t mean that you cannot access the required amount of comfort. Nothing can beat your bed at home but sleeping pads come really close.

You can carry them around with you while camping outdoors or in a car. There are many products on the market but only a few will suit your exact needs. Find out what you need to know about sleeping pads below:

Inflatable Backpacking Camping Sleeping Pad-Mattress for trips, very good, and comfortable to sleep on this.

Inflatable Backpacking Camping Sleeping Pad-Mattress for trips, very good, and comfortable to sleep on this.

What types of sleeping pad do you need?

In the market, there are majorly three kinds of sleeping pads you can access. They include the air pads, self-inflating pads, and foam pads. Out of these, you can select which fits your purpose best.

Air pads

1. WellaX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad

WellaX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad - Inflatable Camping Mat for Backpacking, Traveling and Hiking Air Cell Design for Better Stability & Support

Weight: 14.5 Oz

Thickness: 2.5 inches

R-valued2.1

Dimensions unfurled: 78 x 24 x 2.5 inches

Dimensions packed: 10 x 3.5 inches

2. Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad - Ultra-Compact for Backpacking, Camping, Travel w Air-Support Cells Design…

Weight: ​16 oz

Thickness: ​2 inches

R-value: ​1.3

Dimensions unfurled: ​62 x 22 x 2​ inches

Dimensions packed: ​3 x 8 inches

3. Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad

Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad, Coyote-Sand

Weight: ​18.6 oz

Thickness: ​2.5 inches

R-value: ​1.3

Dimensions unfurled: ​​72 x 23 x 2.5 Inches

Dimensions packed: ​3 x 8 inches

4. CampBro Sleeping Pad Lightweight Camping Mat Backpacking - Inflatable Air Mattress with Snap-On to Double The Size

 CampBro Sleeping Pad Lightweight Camping Mat Backpacking - Inflatable Air Mattress with Snap-On to Double The Size

Weight: ​​1.1 ​pound

Thickness: 2 inches

R-value: 1.3

Dimensions unfurled: 76 x 23 x 2 Inches

Dimensions packed: 3.9 x 9.8 inches

5. ECOTEK Outdoors Hybern8 Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad Hiking Backpacking Camping

ECOTEK Outdoors Hybern8 Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad Hiking Backpacking Camping - Contoured FlexCell Design - Perfect Sleeping Bags Hammocks (Evergreen)

Weight: ​1 pound

Thickness: 2.2 inches

R-value: 1.8-2.3

Dimensions unfurled: 74  x 22  x 2.2 inches

Dimensions packed: 3 x 10 inches

6. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

Weight: 12 oz

Thickness: 2.5 inches

R-value: 3.2

Dimensions unfurled: 72 x 20 x 2.5 inches

Dimensions packed: 4 x 9 inches

You can take these anywhere. They are light to carry, feature adequate insulation and they are durable. If the wanderlust hits you and you need a reliable sleeping pad that can fit on your backpack, air pads perform very well.

You can use your mouth to input the air needed to inflate the air pad but that might take a while. Rather, invest in air pads that can support air pumping. You can get the ones that come with an inbuilt pump or external pump.

Pros

  • ​Lightweight and therefore easily portable.
  • ​They are designed to cover both cold and hot weather seasons.
  • ​You are able to choose your comfort level by adjusting the amount of air in the air pad.
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    ​It is easy to set up especially with a pump. This keeps moisture build up at bay.
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    ​Very comfortable to sleep in.

Cons

  • ​Can get a bit pricey due to frequent repairs.
  • ​Squeaks when one moves.
  • ​Vulnerable to punctures.

Self-inflating pads

1. Lightspeed Outdoors XL Super Plush FlexForm Premium Self-Inflating Sleep and Camp Pad

Lightspeed Outdoors XL Super Plush FlexForm Self-Inflating Sleep and Camp Pad, Teal

Weight: 6.0 lbs

Thickness: 3 inches

R-value: 9.66

Dimensions unfurled: 77 x 30 x 3 inches

Dimensions packed: 30 x 7.75 inches

2. Lightspeed Outdoors Self Inflating Sleep Pad

Lightspeed Outdoors Self Inflating Sleep Pad (Green/Brown)

Weight: 5.5 lbs

Thickness: 3 inches

R-value: 8.7

Dimensions unfurled:  74.5 x 25 x 3/3.5 inches

Dimensions packed: 26.5 x 7 inches

3. KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self-Inflating Camping Pad

KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self-Inflating Camping Pad (Blue, Deluxe Double)

Weight: 11.5 lbs

Thickness: 2.95 inches

R-value: 7.5

Dimensions unfurled:  77.95 × 51.18 × 2.95 inches

Dimensions packed: 26.37 × 12.59 × 12.59 inches

4. Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad

 Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad, Large - 25 x 77 Inches

Weight: 3.19 ​pounds

Thickness: 2 inches

R-value: 6.8

Dimensions unfurled:  25 x77 x2 inches

Dimensions packed: 26 × 7 inches

5. KAMUI Self Inflating Sleeping Pad - 2 Inch Thick Camping Pad

KAMUI Self Inflating Sleeping Pad - 2 Inch Thick Camping Pad Connectable with Multiple Mats for Tent and Family Camping

Weight: 3.5 lbs

Thickness: 2 inches

R-value: 5

Dimensions unfurled:  26.6 x 75.6 x 2 inches

Dimensions packed: 25 × 7.5 inches

6. Freeland Camping Sleeping Pad Self Inflating with Attached Pillow, Compact, Lightweight, Large

Freeland Camping Sleeping Pad Self Inflating with Attached Pillow, Compact, Lightweight, Large - Light Blue Color

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Thickness: 1.5 inches

R-value: N/A

Dimensions unfurled:  24.8 x 76 x 1.5 inches

Dimensions packed: 15 × 6.7 inches

While they are not as thick as air pads. Self-inflating pads are good options when camping. They consist of open cell foam and in most cases tough nylon exterior. They are warm and offer comfort as long as they are in good condition.

When the valve is open, air will rush in to fill the pad. It just takes a few air breaths to get it to the firmness that you require.

Pros

  • ​Compact and easily transportable.
  • ​Provides insulation for warmth.
  • ​Feature stronger fabric for longer durability
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    ​Offers comfort

Cons

  • ​Can get expensive depending on the quality
  • ​Vulnerable to punctures

Foam pads

1. Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Foam Camping Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Foam Camping Sleeping Pad, Large - 77 x 25 Inches

Weight: ​19 Oz

Thickness: 1.5 inches

R-value: ​2.6

Dimensions unfurled:  ​77 x ​25 inches

Dimensions packed:​ 25 x 8.5 inches

2. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress, Regular - 20 x 72 Inches

Weight: ​​14 Oz

Thickness: ​0.8 inches

R-value: ​N/A

Dimensions unfurled:  ​7​2 x ​2​0 inches

Dimensions packed:​ 20 x 5 x 5.5 inches

3. Better Habitat [New] SleepReady Memory Foam Floor Mattress, Portable Sleeping pad

Better Habitat [New] SleepReady Memory Foam Floor Mattress (75 x 36 x 3). Roll Out, Portable Sleeping pad w/Waterproof Cotton Terry Cover & Travel Bag

Weight: ​​​15.8 ​pounds

Thickness: ​​3"

R-value: ​N/A

Dimensions unfurled:  ​​75 x 36 inches

Dimensions packed:​ ​N/A

4. ​Outdoor Hiking Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat Sleeping Pad​

Outdoor Hiking Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat Sleeping Pad in Tent Dampproof Mattress Foam

Weight: ​​​​​0.84 ​lbs

Thickness: ​​​1.2-1.6 cm

R-value: ​N/A

Dimensions unfurled:  ​​​190 x ​55 cm

Dimensions packed:​ ​​55x17x13 cm

5. ALPS Mountaineering Foldable Foam Mat

ALPS Mountaineering Foldable Foam Mat

Weight: ​​​​​​10 oz

Thickness: ​​​​0.75 inches

R-value: ​N/A

Dimensions unfurled:  ​​​​22  x 71 x 0.75 inches

Dimensions packed:​ ​​22 x 5 x 5.75 inches

These are simple structures created of closed cell foam. There is no air input needed. You just roll them out like a yoga mat and lie down. They are not expensive and thus make a good addition to your camping gear.

They are not as warm or as comfortable as the air/self-inflating pads. What they lack in comfortability they make up in durability.

Pros

  • ​The material used to create the pads is durable
  • ​They are inexpensive
  • ​Can be utilized as seat pads while camping

Cons

  • ​Quite stiff
  • ​Not as comfortable
  • ​Offers limited warmth

Weight and packed size

There are two things to consider in this case. The overall weight of the sleeping pad and your weight. First, you need to get a sleeping pad that is able to accommodate your weight without compromising your comfort. The last thing you want is to go camping and feel stones press against your back.

Another thing you have to think about is how much weight you are willing to carry. In the case you are trekking, you want something light that won’t weigh you down. Look at the weight of the compact sleeping bag and decide whether you can manage moving it around. Foam sleeping pads are a bit bulky to carry compared to air pads.

Insulation

Sleeping pads that offer insulation are of great importance, especially in the cold season. The insulation layer allows heat to be trapped providing warmth. The type of insulation used is also important.

Sleeping pads with synthetic insulation are able to be used for both summer and winter. Sleeping pads featuring down insulation are preferred for freezing conditions.

The R-value is something that you need to keep in mind. It tells you how much heat flow the sleeping pad is able to resist. The higher the rating the more protection you get from cold surfaces.

Losing heat while you sleep may result in uncomfortable sleep which is why this is important. If you want to go the extra step, you can get sleeping pad models that feature extra insulation in some areas to keep you warm. Women are advised to purchase sleeping pads with double insulation around the feet and core area.

Comfortable dimensions

We like to be comfortable. All creatures on the earth do. When it comes to getting the best camping sleeping pad you want to make sure that yours is long and thick enough to hold you.

If you are extra tall, it only makes sense to get a sleeping bag longer than the regular 72inches. In the case that you are short, you can pick the smaller sized sleeping pads. They will be lighter and more pleasant than struggling with the larger sizes.

The width in many sleeping pads is usually around 20 inches. People or children who happen to roll over in their sleep much should seek sleeping pads. This is so that with a wider width so that they can roll around while sleeping without getting into contact with the cold ground.

Ease of use

There are a few features that you may find in one model but lack in another. These features make interaction with the product a better experience.

Some sleeping pads have rails or raised borders. The function of these rails is to prevent the user from rolling off during sleep. These are useful especially when you have children around.

What kind of surface are you sleeping on? There are the squeaky ones or much quieter materials like a brush/textured fabric. Textured fabrics will reduce the noise disturbance just in the case you are around light sleepers.

Pumping valves make inflation and deflation a manageable process. It is very important that the valve and the pump are compatible. This is to avoid any air leaks during inflation.

These leaks make the sleeping mad take up more time to fill up. It is possible to get sleeping pads that feature separate air chambers. If one layer deflates, the other is still standing.

Patch kits are handy when a sleeping pad puncture needs repair. If you are a backpacker then these patch kits may prove valuable at a certain point. If the patches are not offered, buy them independently and have them close just in case.

Final words

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get the best camping sleeping pad. You just need to get one that fits what you want, whether short term or long term.

After that, you can find the best deal out there and get what you want. We hope that this has been an insightful piece in your quest for a reliable sleeping pad.


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