Our trail-loving consultants discovered one of the best backpacking sleeping pads for each use and price range. From side-sleeping consolation to ultralight packability, we’ve obtained you coated.
The most important concern with backpacking sleeping pads is discovering the appropriate stability between consolation and weight. And this stability relies upon largely on the person. Ounce-counters could choose the lightest pad potential, even when it means forgoing some consolation.
Nevertheless, different backpackers could choose to surrender weight in different areas to allow them to fortunately carry a bigger, extra comfy sleeping pad.
There are advantages to each approaches, nevertheless it’s price figuring out what issues most to you earlier than persevering with. We’ve damaged down one of the best backpacking sleeping pads into classes that can assist you discover the appropriate sleeping pad for you.
Scroll by to see all of our beneficial buys or bounce to the class you’re searching for. On the finish of our record, you should definitely try our complete purchaser’s information.
The Greatest Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2022
Greatest Total Backpacking Sleeping Pad: Sea to Summit Consolation Plus Insulated
Our editor has been testing this sleeping pad ($219-239) because it got here out in 2015. And as of 2022, it’s nonetheless going sturdy, having by no means sprung a leak.
One in every of our favourite issues about this pad is the double air chambers. This characteristic has confirmed to be integral in stopping tears and offers it a built-in redundancy. If one aspect pops (which it hasn’t in lots of, many tenting journeys for our tester), the opposite ought to nonetheless be good, retaining you off the chilly floor.
The double chambers additionally can help you create a customized firmness. You possibly can inflate it by blowing, which may be very simple to do and doesn’t take many breaths to fill.
You may also use the pump bag that comes built-in into the stuff sack. Both method, it’s quick and straightforward to fill this pad.
At 1 lb 11 oz, this pad is on the heavy aspect for backpacking, however we’re prepared to hold just a little further weight for when temps drop low at evening. The redundancy alone is price a couple of further ounces, and the pad works nice for automotive tenting too.
Though the 40-denier cloth isn’t the hardest potential, we’ve discovered it lots sturdy along with being heat, packable, and comfy. And if one thing does go awry, the pad comes with a restore package. All in all, the Consolation Plus Insulated is a superb backpacking and automotive tenting sleeping pad.
- Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.
- R-value: 5
- Thickness: 2.5″
- Twin air chambers present redundancy and permit for customized firmness
- Packs down small
- Not as mild as different pads
Examine Value at REI
Greatest Sleeping Pad for Facet Sleepers: Massive Agnes Insulated Q-Core Deluxe
Are you searching for a sleeping pad that may hold you comfy and heat even once you’re deep within the backcountry? It’s time you met the Q-Core ($170-250). With an R-value of 4.3, it delivers glorious insulation from the bottom, retaining you cozy all evening.
We additionally discovered this pad extremely comfy. The three.5-inch thickness is sufficient to fulfill even the aspect sleepers amongst us, and the 20-inch width is simply sufficient to maintain most testers glad.
For added consolation, there are broad and XL variations accessible. Simply do not forget that growing the size will add to the load and packed dimension.
It’s not as quiet as foam-insulated tenting pads, however we discovered the slight crinkle degree acceptable. The twin valves made inflation simple, and when you get the cling of it, the inflation sack is useful and breath-saving.
- Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
- R-value: 4.3
- Thickness: 3.5″
- Extraordinarily comfy
- Not the lightest accessible
Examine Value at REI
Greatest Funds Sleeping Pad: Klymit Static V
This pad ($52) is an unbelievable worth. For lower than 60 bucks, you may get a super-packable and fairly comfy backpacking pad. At just a little over a pound, it’s not ultralight, nevertheless it’s definitely on the sunshine finish of the spectrum.
It packs down simply and solely takes a couple of breaths to inflate. We’ve had one in testing that wore out after 6 months of arduous use and stopped holding air, however we’ve had one other in testing for greater than 18 months with no sturdiness considerations.
In the event you sleep chilly or are tenting through the fall or winter, you could wish to contemplate a pad with the next heat score. The Static additionally is available in a lengthy and broad model should you want just a little extra wiggle room. They weigh and price a bit extra, however they provide up extra consolation and nonetheless clock in beneath $100.
- Weight: 18.6 oz.
- R-value: 1.3
- Thickness: 2.5″
- Not insulated
- Lengthy-term sturdiness considerations
Examine Value at REI
Greatest Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir Uberlite
Probably the most spectacular factor about this pad ($190-$250) is the load — or lack thereof. At simply 8.8 ounces, it definitely gained’t weigh you down. And since it packs all the way down to the scale of a soda can, you’ll have extra room in your pack for different gear and snacks.
However what actually gained us over is its consolation degree. We had been pleasantly shocked to seek out it felt nice and wasn’t noisy once we shifted positions through the evening.
As one tester famous, “It was simply as comfy as different air mattresses of the identical thickness. I might sleep on my aspect at my most well-liked air strain with out shoulder or hip ache.
“I flip sides whereas sleeping, and the UberLite was worlds quieter than the XLite, one thing tentmates and campsite neighbors will recognize. I’ve had neighboring campers rise up and transfer in the course of the evening due to the crackling of my XLite.”
Since 2020, Therm-a-Relaxation backpacking sleeping pads have featured the WingLock Valve. The wings toggle for one-way inflation, making it far simpler to explode. It’s the identical easy-to-use Therm-a-Relaxation valves we’ve reliably used for years, besides enormously improved.
It’s additionally accessible in a giant model, which retails for $250 and weighs in at 12 ounces.
- Weight: 8.8 oz.
- R-value: 2
- Thickness: 2.5″
- Extraordinarily mild
- Packs all the way down to the scale of a soda can
- Not as heat as insulated pads
Examine Value at REI
Most Snug Sleeping Pad: NEMO Tensor
The NEMO Tensor Sleeping Pad ($190-220) has all the time been broad, supportive, quiet, and comparatively heat. The unique Tensor was someplace between good and nice. It’s been upgraded for 2022, and the outcomes are top-notch.
The pad’s enhancements come from the within out. NEMO redesigned its Spaceframe — what the model calls the structural baffles contained in the pad that give it assist and stability — to make each the insulated and uninsulated pads hotter.
The brand new baffle design nonetheless has particular person tack factors that forestall the pad from feeling like a raft beneath you, and the insulation remains to be woven between the baffles in a method that retains it quiet. There’s no pad squeaking or crinkling whereas rolling round.
The pad comes with the NEMO Vortex Pump Sack, which inflated all sizes of the pad rapidly and effectively with out filling the pad with moisture from my breath.
It’s accessible in mummy and rectangular shapes, two lengths, and as each insulated and uninsulated choices. Although this pad is mild and compact sufficient to make use of for backpacking, it’s lots comfy and sturdy for automotive tenting too.
Learn our full assessment.
- Weight: 13.8-15 oz.
- R-value: 4.2 (insulated), 2.5 (uninsulated)
- Thickness: 3 in.
- Very comfy
- Stays quiet when rolling round
- Secure but plush
Examine Value at REI
Most indestructible: Therm-a-Relaxation Z Lite Sol
There’s a cause closed-cell foam is a cult traditional. It’s mild, it’s heat, and it’s nearly indestructible. It’s no shock that you simply frequently see it listed amongst thru-hikers’ favourite items of drugs.
The aluminized floor (the silver aspect) of this pad ($55) displays warmth again towards your physique and gives further heat at evening, whereas the egg-carton sample will increase consolation and insulation.
Even should you don’t plan to make use of this as your sole sleeping pad, it’s an incredible addition to no matter else you select to make use of on high. It gives unmatched sturdiness and additional insulation, that are integral elements for getting evening’s relaxation at camp.
- Weight: 14 oz.
- R-value: 2.6
- Thickness: 0.75″
- Not as comfy as different sleeping pads
Examine Value at REI
Better of the Relaxation
Therm-a-Relaxation ProLite Plus
This Therm-a-Relaxation sleeping pad ($110-140) is comfy and heat with out sacrificing a lot within the realm of value and packed dimension. Created from a mixture of foam and air baffles, it presents a superb warmth-to-weight ratio.
We gave it a few breaths to high it off and had been instantly happy with the consolation and insulation. It packs down smaller than a roll of paper towels and weighs just a little over a pound.
With an R-value of three.2, this could possibly be a year-round sleeping pad for many who run hotter. For individuals who are likely to get chilly at evening, you’ll almost definitely choose one thing extra insulated in winter.
It’s additionally accessible in a girls’s-specific design.
- Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz.
- R-value: 3.2
- Thickness: 1.5″
- Not as mild as some pads
Examine Value at REI
Sea to Summit Ether Gentle XT Insulated
This insulated sleeping pad ($179-209) packs down small and has some further options that make it stand out.
First off, we favored the built-in pump bag that’s constructed into the stuff sack (referred to as the Airstream pump). Mainly, you flippantly blow into the bag after which squeeze the air into the pad. It appears bizarre at first, nevertheless it’s a lot much less energy-intensive than instantly blowing up the pad.
This pad additionally has a “pillow lock” that helps sure Sea to Summit pillows keep in place. Its sticky felt grabs onto the pillow to maintain it from shifting round whilst you sleep. If you have already got an Aeros Pillow, this could possibly be nice. If not, it won’t do you any good.
These options apart, the Ether Gentle XT gives further insulation for chilly nights and is mild sufficient to simply take backpacking. It’s not the most cost effective on the market, however this is a wonderful alternative if further insulation and fewer weight are necessary to you.
- Weight: 15 oz.
- R-value: 3.8
- Thickness: 4″
Examine Value at REI
The NEMO Flyer ($120-140) combines one of the best of foam-core consolation with air mattress packability. At 1 pound 6 ounces, it’s not the lightest choice, however the added consolation is price it should you don’t thoughts a couple of extra ounces.
As our reviewer famous, “The NEMO Flyer is a light-weight, three-season pad that hits the candy spot between an air pad and a self-inflating foam pad. The distinctive air-filled foam baffles create secure, cushioned thickness with extra sturdiness and resistance to bottoming than an air pad, with a slight weight and bulk penalty. However it’s lighter and packs smaller than a self-inflating pad.”
- Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
- R-value: 3.3
- Thickness: 2″
- Foam sturdiness and padding
- Plus air pad consolation
- Heavier/bulkier than another choices
Examine Value at REI
Why You Ought to Belief Us
Purchaser’s Information: The Greatest Backpacking Sleeping Pads
A restful evening’s sleep units you up for achievement on a full day of backpacking adventures. Previously, individuals rightfully assumed sleeping on a pad on the bottom might merely by no means match the consolation of an actual mattress.
Nevertheless, in recent times, sleeping pads have improved considerably. Now, with developments in cell design and baffling, many high-quality sleeping pads supply distinctive heat and luxury.
Whereas consolation requirements have elevated, packed dimension and weight have additionally dropped, and the ensuing pads are mild, simple to make use of, and great to sleep on.
As a result of there are such a lot of nice pads in the marketplace, it may be troublesome to choose. On this information, we break down among the most necessary issues for buying the proper sleeping pad.
From weight and thickness to sturdiness and value, we hope to reply your entire sleeping pad-related questions on this purchaser’s information.
Sorts of Sleeping Pads: Foam, Self-Inflating, and Air Pads
There are three kinds of backpacking sleeping pads: air pads, foam pads, and self-inflating pads. Every class has its personal record of professionals and cons, and it’s necessary to grasp the variations between them.
Air pads are the lightest and most compact sort of sleeping pad. When not in use, these pads are deflated and in a position to pack down right into a small stuff sack concerning the dimension of a water bottle. As a result of most of their insulation comes trapped in air, they’ll change into fairly thick with out extra weight or bulk.
In comparison with different classes, air pads are probably the most weak to punctures and air valve points. Often, punctures are fixable with the right provides, however some individuals steer clear of air pads as a result of puncture threat.
Self-Inflating pads have been round for a lot of many years. Most pads on this class mix inflation with open-cell foam to lower puncture threat and improve sturdiness.
Nevertheless, self-inflating pads don’t pack down as small as air pads, and so they are typically a bit heavier. If these pads do puncture or deflate, you’ll nonetheless have some padding between you and the bottom, nevertheless it gained’t be a cushty evening’s sleep.
Closed-cell foam pads are the unique backpacking sleep system expertise. Though these are typically the least comfy pad type, they’re extraordinarily dependable and might final for many years if handled with care.
On a foam pad, you’ll be able to sleep soundly with out worrying about punctures. Often, foam pads fold or roll to pack away, however they take up far more room in your pack than different kinds of pads and infrequently must be strapped to the surface.
For backpacking, the purpose is all the time to attenuate the whole weight of your pack. Nowadays, thick and comfy pads which are additionally light-weight supply a perfect resolution to backpackers.
Some single-person pads are as mild as half a pound, whereas heftier choices could weigh 2 full kilos. For stability between weight and sturdiness, contemplate a pad that weighs round 14-18 ounces.
On uneven or rocky floor, a skinny pad will really feel solely barely higher than mendacity on the naked earth. As a normal rule, thicker pads are extra comfy. Nevertheless, thickness does add weight and bulk, so we recommend you purpose to discover a glad medium.
If you’re a again sleeper, your weight can be a bit extra evenly distributed and also you might be able to get by with a thinner pad. Facet sleepers are likely to choose thicker pads.
Any inflatable pad over 3.5 inches thick can be on the extra plush aspect, whereas most foam pads are lower than 1 inch thick.
Typically, pads made for backpacking can be much less plush than pads made for car-based tenting. As a result of backpackers purpose to attenuate weight, pure consolation just isn’t the precedence.
Nonetheless, many fashionable pads supply a beneficiant mixture of insulation, padding, and sleeping space all in a light-weight package deal. For some backpackers, a bit of additional weight is a small value to pay for added consolation.
The R-value of a pad describes the quantity of insulation between the person and the bottom. Insulation prevents your physique warmth from escaping into the earth beneath. With out a well-insulated pad, sleeping on the bottom may be very chilly, even when the air temperature in all fairness heat.
In hotter situations, a sleeping pad with an R-value of lower than 3 must be enough. Nevertheless, should you plan to backpack within the shoulder seasons, you’ll be higher off with the next score (between 3 and 5). For winter tenting, an R-value of no less than 5 is the way in which to go.
Sleeping Pad Dimensions
Sleeping pads usually are available numerous sizes, and customers can select the choice that most accurately fits their physique and preferences. Widespread sizes embrace common, which is often round 6 toes lengthy, and huge, which tends to be nearer to 80 inches. Pad width additionally varies, however anyplace between 18 and 26 inches is pretty customary.
Most backpacking pads are semi-rectangular in form, and a few taper down and change into extra slender towards the toes. Two-person sleeping pads are additionally accessible, however they’re fairly cumbersome and usually not excellent for backpacking.
A pad’s packed dimension depends upon development, supplies, and the quantity of insulation. Air pads with minimal extra built-in insulation are likely to pack down smaller than all different kinds of pads. Most air pads match simply right into a backpacking pack — some aren’t any bigger than a soccer.
Packed dimension will be a difficulty for foam and self-inflating pads. As soon as totally rolled, these pads will be fairly cumbersome, and so they typically must be carried on the surface of the pack.
Inflation and Deflation
Whereas foam pads don’t require inflation to make use of, all different pad varieties are constructed with an built-in air valve. Traditionally, valves have been the weak level of sleeping pads, and they are often troublesome to exchange as soon as damaged.
However now, good-quality backpacking pads include dependable valves which are hermetic and supply fast and straightforward inflation and deflation.
Most air pads have flat valves, which embrace an inner flap that forestalls air from escaping in between inflation breaths. These valves are easy and sturdy, and most pads with flat valves will be inflated with someplace between 10 and 25 breaths.
Self-inflating pads are designed to refill on their very own as soon as the valve is open, however they often want some common inflation breaths to completely pump up and change into agency.
Sturdiness and Care
With correct upkeep, backpacking pad can final for a few years with common use. Foam pads can take plenty of abuse and final perpetually, however inflatable pads are fragile and should be dealt with with care.
Punctures are the principle menace to air pads. As with all out of doors gear, abrasion resistance and cloth thickness are measured with a denier score. Thick cloth is extra immune to punctures. Air pad denier scores differ broadly, from round 15-denier to 80-denier.
As a rule, all the time clear away any probably sharp objects from beneath your sleeping floor earlier than organising your tent. When sleeping in your pad, using a tent footprint creates an additional barrier between your pad and the bottom. It’s additionally clever to maintain your pad away from fires which will spit sparks and bits of sizzling ash.
As the usual has moved towards light-weight backpacking pads, many firms are utilizing skinny and probably weak supplies. As with all ultralight gear, sturdiness just isn’t the precedence. The lifespan of a light-weight pad will depend upon how effectively it’s cared for.
Greatest practices for storing a pad depend upon the kind of pad you personal. Self-inflating pads must be saved unrolled with the valve open to take care of the loft of the insulation. Air pads will be saved rolled up, however all the time hold them in a stuff sack and ensure they’re totally deflated.
For foam pad storage, keep away from leaving heavy gadgets on high of the pad. Additionally, should you retailer a foam pad rolled up, it is going to be troublesome to get it to put flat sooner or later, although the z-pad design prevents this.
Pump Sacks: Do They Work?
Some air pads include pump sacks that can help you pump up your pad with out respiration right into a valve. Pump sacks lower inflation time and forestall moisture from getting inside your pad (which might result in a wide range of issues). Additionally, many pump sacks double as stuff sacks, so that they shouldn’t add a lot weight to your setup.
Nevertheless, many backpackers really feel pump sacks have solved an issue that didn’t exist within the first place. Whereas some individuals swear by them, they aren’t a vital merchandise.
The worth of sleeping pad varies from lower than $50 to effectively over $200. Foam pads are the most cost effective, and light-weight air pads are often the costliest.
As you establish your sleeping pad price range, keep in mind your pad is a crucial piece of drugs that may have an effect on your high quality of relaxation after an extended day on the path.
What Is the Most Snug Backpacking Sleeping Pad?
Completely different backpackers have completely different consolation preferences. Probably the most comfy pad is the one which lets you sleep soundly after a full day of mountaineering. Earlier than you buy a pad, be sure that it meets your standards for dimension, thickness, supplies, value, and above all else, consolation.
What Is a Good Weight for a Backpacking Sleeping Pad?
On the low finish, light-weight air pads will be as little as 8 ounces. Heavy foam pads could weigh effectively over a pound. A four-season pad will include extra materials and insulation, and a complete weight between 12 and 18 ounces is regular.
What Is the Greatest Sleeping Pad for Facet Sleepers?
Facet sleepers will need a thicker pad than again sleepers. In the event you persistently sleep in your aspect, contemplate buying an air pad that’s no less than 3 inches thick. The Massive Agnes Q-Core scored excessive marks from our aspect sleepers.