The 10 Best Camping Sleeping Pads To Buy In 2018

best sleeping pad for camping

Pretty much every outdoor adventurer knows the importance of getting a good night sleep in the middle of the wilderness. Whether you are a camper or a backpacker, it’s essential to get some quality shut-eye every day so your worn-out body could properly revitalize itself. As a result, people often include a sleeping pad in their camping inventory so they could sleep comfortably and peacefully on the road later on. That being said, with hundreds of models and dozens of brands available on the market, it’s difficult to select the best camping sleeping pad. In fact, it’s not uncommon for novice campers to waste a lot of money on less than ideal products.

Best Camping Sleeping Pads Comparison Chart

Sleeping Pads for CampingTypesWeightPriceReviews
ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight SeriesAir 2.35 pounds$$*****
Klymit Static V LightweightFoam1 pounds$*****
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Inflatable Air12.3 ounces$$$$$****
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol UltralightFoam14.4 ounces$$*****
Klymit Insulated Static V LITE 4-SeasonAir1.26 pounds$$$****
ECOTEK Outdoors Hybern8 UltralightSelf-Inflating1.13 pounds$*****
WellaX UltralightInflatable1 pounds$*****
TETON SPORTS UniversalFoam6 pounds$$*****
Nemo Tensor Sleeping PadAir8.8 ounces$$$****
Sea to Summit UltralightAir13.6 ounces$$$***

Top 10 Best Camping Sleeping Pads Money Can Buy

Know very little about sleeping pad and worry that you might also make wasteful investments? If that happens to be the case, this article got something you could definitely use. Down below are a couple of in-depth sleeping pad reviews that talk about some of the most comfortable sleeping pads money can buy nowadays. Take a look at them and you should be able to secure the best camping sleeping pad for your uses.

1. ALPS Mountaineering – Best Of The Best

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Key Features

  • Rectangular shape
  • 1.5 – inch thick open-foam
  • Possesses an R-value of 4

Why It’s The Best  

Easy to use and budget-friendly, ALPS Mountaineering is the best self-inflating sleeping pad available for purchase when it comes to all-around performance. Any backpackers that are willing to carry a bit of weight would definitely appreciate what the ALPS example could offer. Featuring rugged diamond ripstop fabric, the pad would have no trouble dealing with rough applications. In the event of damage, the pad comes with its own repair kit so you could take care of punctures and grazes without much difficulty.  

Thanks to the convenient double valve design, you could deflate and inflate ALPS Mountaineering in a blink of an eye. The use of Jet Stream foam in the ALPS pad also facilitates air movement and gives it excellent handling characteristics. Aside from the pad itself, you would receive compression straps as well as carry bags once you make the purchase. The pad is backed with a limited lifetime warranty and that tells you a lot about the utmost confidence the manufacturers have in their product.  

Pros

  • Quality built
  • Simple to roll
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • A bit on the bulky side
  • Not thick enough for some people

2. Klymit Static V – Editor’s Choice

Klymit Static V

Key Features

  • Secure side rails
  • Deep weld layout
  • R-value: 1.3

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Designed to limit heat loss and deliver enhanced back support, Klymit Static V receives praises for the comfort it delivers. Utilizing raised baffles in conjunction with the roomy sleeping space, the Klymit pad suit active sleepers that tend to tumble. The fabric is 75D Polyester so rest assured knowing that your sleeping pad would not be punctured by abrasive elements. In order to preserve a proper level of hygiene, the pad is incorporated with advanced anti-microbial laminate to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Since Klymit Static V employs a basic twist pull valve, inflating the pad is a breeze and in many cases, it only requires around 10 – 15 breathes. Considering the lightweight and compact packed size, the Klymit pad is thought of as the best sleeping pad for backpacking by experts and experienced backpackers. There are a lot of options regarding the color so you could choose whatever theme that matches your personal taste. Similar to other self-inflating pad, you would be provided with a repair kit to take care of structure damages.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Light and compact
  • Admirable firmness

Cons

  • Mediocre insulation
  • The valve is a bit weak

3. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite – Editor’s Choice

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite

Key Features

  • The R-value is 3.2
  • Ultralight at 0.75 pounds     
  • Heat reflective materials

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Searching for a high-quality sleeping pad for 3 season camping? Then you definitely need to take a good look at Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite. Made to take a negligible amount of room, the Therm-A-Rest example is well received by numerous ultralight campers. Incorporating ThermaCapture technology, the pad is capable of trapping radiant heats and that should keep you warm throughout the night. Once deployed, the highly textured no-slip surface of the sleeping pad would ensure that you would stay at the same spot during your sleep.

With a standard inflated thickness of 2.5 inches, Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite offers sufficient support to most backpackers in need of a good rest. All it takes to get the Therm-A-Rest pad ready is a couple of blows so the usual setup time lasts for around 2 minutes.  When you need to leave, the pad could be packed down to the size of a one-liter water bottle. As a result, you should experience few handling problems with the pad given that it’s both compact and light.

Pros

  • Good insulation
  • Simple deployment  
  • Great back support

Cons

  • Kind of noisy
  • Slightly narrow

4. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite – Best Valued Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite

Key Features

  • R-value is rated at 2.6
  • Heat-trapping dimples
  • High-grade closed-cell foam

Why We Love It

Durable and reliable, Therm-a-Rest Z Lite is the best self-inflating sleeping pad in term of cost-effectiveness. While the Therm-a-Rest pad possesses modest capabilities, it’s nonetheless an excellent alternative to sleeping on the ground. With soft foam on top and dense foam at the bottom, the pad keeps you away from the cold ground and offer you back supports. Because the sleeping pad features a straightforward accordion-style construction, everyone could fold and then store it with relative ease.

As with any Therm-a-Rest products, Therm-a-Rest Z Lite also utilize ThermaCapture coating to reduce heat loss. Thanks to that, the Therm-a-Rest pad could offer 20% more warmth compared to other models of the same size. Since the pad is rugged, it sees a lot of uses in the hands of backpackers as well as mountaineers who value its structural integrity. Besides using the pad as an independent pad, you could use it in conjunction with sleeping bags, mattresses and alike.

Pros

  • Quite cheap  
  • Foldable body
  • Stable and tough

Cons

  • Mediocre comfort
  • Only suitable for summer uses

5. Klymit Insulated Static V Lite

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Key Features

  • Twist pull valve
  • Durable 30D fabric
  • Got an R-value of 4.4

Why We Love It

Like the idea behind Klymit Static V but wish for something lighter? If that is so, Klymit Insulated Static V Lite would not disappoint you. As it’s 22% lighter than the original version, the Klymit pad is easily the best sleeping pad for camping nowadays when it comes to weight. Thanks to the oversized, body-mapped sleeping surface as well as side rails, the level of comfort is truly superb. Employing the same valve system found on its predecessor, the sleeping pad could be fully inflated in 10 breathes or so.  

Possessing deep weld patterns, Klymit Insulated Static V Lite form expansion spaces and provide the users with improved thermal insulation. The use of 30D fabric ensures that Klymit pad is highly resistant against tears and punctures while remaining exceptionally light. Since the interior laminates have been permeated, fungus, bacteria and others would have a hard time developing inside your pad. For storage, you would receive a stuff sack that let you safely carry the sleeping pad and maintain its compactness.  

Pros

  • Dynamic cushion
  • Respectable ergonomic
  • Light and comfortable  

Cons

  • Inconsistent performance between products  
  • Quality control could really use some improvements  

6. EcoTek Hybern8 Sleeping Pad

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Key Features

  • Multiple applications
  • Woven polyester fabric
  • R-value: 1.8 – 2.3

Why We Love It

Designed with a focus on pressure points, EcoTek Hybern8 proves adept at offering relief to the worn out backs of campers after a long day. As the EcoTek could be used with either a sleeping bag or a hammock, it’s a good choice for adventures in the great outdoors. Because the sleeping pad uses a rapid inflation valve, it doesn’t take too many breathes to get everything ready. In most of the case, you only have to blow in 10 – 15 breathes to inflate the pad.

Made from 70D fabric, EcoTek Hybern8 is able to endure tear and wear much better than its competitors on the market. The presence of the woven fabric on the EcoTek pad also helps to minimize noise and slips throughout the night. In order to deliver constant insulation during your sleep, the pad is equipped with FlexCell technology which regulates air passage.  As the cells get constricted, they would reduce the pad airflow and loss of heat would go down as well.

Pros

  • Sturdy materials
  • Flexible and versatile
  • Helpful customer service  

Cons

  • A bit thin for some users
  • Deflate issues are reported

7. WellaX Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad

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Key Features

  • 2.5 inches thick pad
  • R-value reaches 2.1
  • Stable Chillax air cells

Why We Love It

There are various debates regarding the best budget sleeping pad but WellaX Comfort Plus is one of the strongest candidates. For an entry-level example, the WellaX truly offer the users a lot of value. Boasting dozens of air cells, the level of support provided by the pad is impressive. All things considered, the sleeping pad feels just like an actual pocket sprung mattress. Whether you are a back sleeper or a side sleeper, the pad would never wobble.

A combination of 20D fabrics and TPU layers allow WellaX Comfort Plus to keep its weight low while retaining admirable abrasion resistance against outdoor elements. In addition to that, the WellaX pad is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about water and moistures. The pad is specifically made to take care of all squeaky and crinkly noises which mean you could sleep peacefully. For inflation and deflation, the sleeping pad features separate valves so you could manipulate it without any trouble at all.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Quite firm
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • There are complaints about leakage
  • The repair kit is not included in the purchase sometime

8. TETON Outfitter XXL Camp Cot Pad

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Why We Love It

Feeling reluctant to use air pads as they could always deflate all of the sudden? Then TETON Outfitter XXL Camp Cot Pad is the best camping sleeping pad you can get. As a basic and straightforward open cell foam, the TETON product is essentially what you need on an extended expedition. The pad would retain its shape in a wide variety of weathers and working conditions. Although the 2-inch thickness of the pad is far from impressive, its insulation value is adequate for most camping trips.

Thanks to the presence of integrated roll assisters and traps, TETON Outfitter XXL Camp Cot Pad possesses forgiving handling characteristics. You could roll up, compress and carry the TETON sleeping pad around without much difficulty. Since the pad is a multipurpose example, you would be able to use it in a lot of roles/places. Aside from its basic function, the pad should serve quite well as a cot, an extra bed and so on. The pad is backed with a limited lifetime warranty so you know that you are about to make an effective investment in the long run.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Convenient features
  • Generous sleeping surface

Cons

  • Fairly bulky
  • No carry bag

9.  Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad

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Key Features

  • Sewn-in pockets
  • Bungee attachments
  • 300D canvas removable cover

Why We Love It

Featuring a thickness of 3 inches, Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad has no trouble meeting the needs and requirements of side sleepers. Due to the use of low stretch polyester fabric, the Nemo pad offers much-needed support to the pressure points caused by unequal weight distribution. Through the valve on the sleeping pad, you should be to closely adjust the firmness until it suits your tastes. For most the time, you could inflate the pad within a blink of an eye.

Because Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad utilizes metalized film layer, its insulation is excellent but the overall weight still remains low. Thanks to the incorporation of Thermal Mirror technology, the Nemo pad is capable of trapping the radiant heat and keeps you warm all year long. Designed to work without problem even when the surrounding temperature drops as low as -1 degree Celsius, the pad is a solid choice for casual camping. Through the use of the accompanying repair kit, you could fix minor damages and extend the longevity of the pad.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Warm and soft
  • Useful accessories

Cons

  • High acquisition cost
  • Fabric endurance is mediocre

10. Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat 

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Key Features

  • Weight-saving fabric
  • Multi-function valve
  • Insulation is rated at 3.3 R-value  

Why We Love It  

Lightweight and compact, Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat is highly sought after by weight-conscious campers around the globe. Although it only got 1 layer of Air Sprung Cells, the insulation capability of the Sea To Summit pad is considerable. Consists of hundreds of interconnected air chambers, the pad support your weight and conform to the shape of your body.  Because of that, the level of comfort provided by the pad is comparable to heavier models on the market nowadays.

Beside the air chambers, Sea To Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat also employs Exkin Platinum technology on the surface 40D fabric. The result is a lightweight Sea To Summit pad which is capable of reflecting most radiant heats straight back to the pad user. In most of the case, people could inflate the pad relatively quickly without requiring tools. However, you could always purchase the optional Air Stream Pump and simply let it handle the inflation in your stead.

Pros

  • Easy to deploy
  • Preserve heat well
  • Convenient storage

Cons

  • Pretty expensive
  • Seem to be slightly noisy

How to Choose The Best Camping Sleeping Pad

It goes without saying that different people would have different preferences which mean each camper could express unique opinions regarding the best camping sleeping pad. So the most sensible method to acquire a quality pad is to compile a set of requirements and crosscheck them with products on the market. Here are some critical criteria that you need to keep in mind while shopping for the best camping sleeping pad.

#1. Acquisition Cost

best camping sleeping pad

The price of a camping sleeping pad could go as low as 20$ and as high as 200$, depending on the model. Generally speaking, unless you are a hardcore adventurer and have some money to burn, there is no need to go after the high-end product. With times and efforts, you could locate a reasonably priced sleeping pad that offers the value you are looking for.  Nonetheless, it’s also worth noting that there is a subtle connection between the price tag and the field performance. That mean dirt cheap models would not have features found top-of-the-line examples. So it’s a good idea to spend a bit of cash to make sure you get a solid pad.

#2. Weight And Size

In most of the case, campers that own vehicles should worry little about the weight and size of their pad. On the other hand, if you intend to rely on your feet, you don’t want to get stuck with an oversized and cumbersome pad. Since you are going to haul everything by yourself, it’s strongly recommended to keep thing as light as possible. The lighter the pad, the easier it is for you to reach your camping destination without wasting too much stamina. This article got some of the best ultralight sleeping pads the market has to offer to check them out if you hate dragging heavy pads.

#3. Thickness

Needless to say, thick cushion feels great but if it gets too thick, you would feel like a pool afloat. For most of the time, back sleepers could settle for relatively thin sleeping pads as their body weight is equally distributed across the sleeping surface. In comparison, back sleepers need considerable cushions as a high percentage of their weight concentrate around the hip and shoulder. Take your sleeping pose into account and you would be able to figure out what kind of thickness you want. The thickness of the pad also determines the distance between your body and the cold, uneven ground so be thoughtful.

sleeping pad reviews

#4. Packed Dimension

Inexperienced campers often focus all of their attention on the deployed size of the pad and neglect the packed dimension. No matter if you travel on foot or by car, having a compact packed sleeping pad around is always nice. When not in use, you could leave such pad pretty much wherever you want and it should take little room.

Many modern-day models are accompanied by purpose-design stuff sack so you could pack the pad quickly and conveniently. Certain sleeping pads could even be compressed down to the size of a soda can which eases transportation and storage.

#5. R-Value

What is R-value anyway? Well, people use R-value in order to measure the insulation capability of specific objects. In this case, you could think of R-value as a way to tell the usefulness of particular sleeping pad in certain weathers and temperatures. For instances, the best backpacking sleeping pad for summer trips would likely have an R-value of 2 or around that. On the other hand, if you need the best backpacking sleeping pad for winter expeditions, the recommended R-value is 8. All things considered, assessing the R-value is a crucial task if you wish to have a comfortable outdoor experience.

Types Of Sleeping Pads: What Every Outdoor Enthusiast Need To Know

While searching around for the best camping sleeping pad, you should come across several unique types with distinct construction/operation. By having a firm grip on different types of sleeping pads, you would have no trouble obtaining the product that suits your situation the most. Check out the following overviews and then remember the fundamentals.

best backpacking sleeping bag

 

  • Air: Light, highly compact and well insulated, air sleeping pads are the best choice for backpackers. On the downside, they are vulnerable to punctures and unexpected deflation remains a constant worry.
  • Self-Inflating: Compared to the average air pads, self-inflating pads have excellent resistance against punctures and they could even provide some sort of cushion once deflated.  However, these pads are cumbersome and don’t pack down as compact as air pads.
  • Foam: While ordinary foam sleeping pads have less than ideal R-value, packed size and level of comfort, they all utilize a very well tested design. Hence, there are few chances models in the category would fail without warning right in the middle of the night.
The 10 Best Camping Sleeping Pads To Buy In 2018
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