Backpacking and camping endeavors have a number of challenges and demands packing the best of accessories for a perfect trip. Sleeping pads are one common accessory for all camping and backpacking trips and the current models have improved a lot compared to their predecessors.
They are comfortable with advanced cell designs and baffling. Their size and weight continue to drop and have additional features such as warmth and insulation for all weather outdoor trips.
Choosing the right sleeping pad is important to enjoy a comfortable backpacking trip. we have listed some of the top best sleeping pads with their buying considerations to help our readers choose their best companion for a good night’s sleep in the outdoors.
The 6 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads – 
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Backpacking Air Mattress
- Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad
- Big Agnes Q Core SLX Super Light Sleeping Pad
- ECOTEK Outdoors Hybern8 Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad
- Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad
- Gear Doctors- Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads
Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads Reviews
- Mattress dimensions: 20 x 72 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 12.3 ounces
- Reflective thermal-capture technology
- Tapered design that reduces weight
- Inflates in less than 2 minutes
- Includes repair kit and stuff sack
The Therm- a- rest backpacking Air Mattress is extremely ultralight at just 12 pounds, it is an inflating mattress that is ideal for backpacking and mountaineering. It offers the maximum warmth and is ideal for all season adventures. Its reflective thermal capture technology helps in trapping the heat for a long time whereas its triangular matrix baffled construction at its core helps with its stability. It also helps in minimizing unwanted heat loss.
The tapered design of the sleeping pad decreases weight considerably without compromising the warmth. It’s textured and no-slip fabric ensures that they are always ready for good night sleep. The mattress is of 2.5 inches thick and inflates in no time by simply blowing into its value. When not needed it packs back to its regular size of a one-liter water bottle. Along with the pad stuff sack and mattresses repair kit also comes with the shipment.
- Inflating sleeping pad
- Inflated size: 73″ x 21.6″ x 2.2″
- Weight: 16 oz.
- Ultra lightweight sleeping pad
- Patented pad technology
- Abrasion-resistant nylon
- Quick inflation and deflation
- Best quality and everlasting durability
The outdoorsman lap sleeping pad for camping is ultra-lightweight and weighs just 16 ounces making it perfect for camping, hiking, and all backpacking activities. It is generous in size but still fits all types of sleeping bags. It’s patent design involves self-adjusting interconnected air cells that line the shape of the body.
This patent technology helps with excellent support, optimal comfort while sleeping and warmth for all the four seasons. The mattress is of lightweight and abrasion resistant nylon and is thus extremely durable.
The sleeping mat is of high-quality material and is thus drip and water resistant, ensuring a comfortable sleep in the outdoors without any stress. The mattress is pretty simple to inflate and it’s easy to use air valve does quick inflation in less than 15 breaths.
It also deflates in seconds and can roll up to a compact size in the backpack. Thus, it is a lightweight, compact and highly functional sleeping pad for both adults and kids.
- Size when inflated: 20x 72 inches
- Pillow support
- Durable insulation
- Ultralight pad
- Aviation grade TPU lamination
- I-Beam construction
- Nylon ripstop fabric
- Extremely easy to inflate
- Warranty against manufacturing and material defect
The Big Agnes Q Core SLX sleeping pad is designed specifically to enhance the sleep of the camper during outdoor camping trips. It features a quilted top and a cushioned sleeping surface for a comfortable bed. Its I-Beam construction offers excellent stability and also reduces weight considerably.
Its large outdoor chambers keep the person comfortable cradled at the middle. The high-loft synthetic construction offers toasty warm insulation with minimal weight and bulk. Its heat reflective technology helps in maintaining warmth.
The sleeping pad is ultralight, durable and its nylon rip-stop fabric construction enhances its durability and resistance to tearing by 25%. Its aviation grade TPU lamination adds to additional strength. It rolls back into a regular size after deflation and is easy to store and carry in the backpack.
Its high volume value allows easy and efficient inflation. There is also antimicrobial treatment inside the pad, to prevent the growth of microbes. The product has a guarantee against manufacturing and material defect.
- Dimensions: 74 in * 22 in * 2.2 in
- Weight: 510 grams
- Hexagon engineered pattern
- Premium 70D woven polyester material
- Ultralight sleeping pad
- FlexCell honeycomb design
- The rapid inflation valve design
- Lifetime warranty
The Ecotek Hybern8 sleeping pad has the most innovative design, its hexagon engineered platform offers a balanced surface for optimal performance and to keep the user off the ground. Its 70D woven polyester material is soft to touch and renders better protection from leaks and tears compared with other sleeping pads in the market.
The product also has a lifetime warranty against defects. The sleeping pad is perfect for all outdoor activities as it is ultraweight and features a catchy dimension.
Its Flexcell honeycomb design makes it a perfect sleeping pad to be used in a chair or a hammock. Its design is such that it fits under and inside the sleeping pad for the best warmth and comfort sleep.
The woven polyester material of the pad decreases slipping and noise that are common with most mattresses. Its rapid inflation valve helps to inflate the pad in less than 15 breaths. It also allows for rapid deflation when it is time to pack.
- Dimensions: 76×23 inches
- Narrow vertical baffles
- Non-slip finish with diamond ripstop
- Comfort, spacious and thick for better insulation
- Synthetic microfiber insulation
- Diamond rip-stop nylon
- Durable and puncture resistant
- Easy inflation and deflation
- Two-way air valve
The recharge sleeping pads have been designed with comfort factors in mind. Its narrow vertical baffles that run across the entire body of the sleeping pad ensures an excellent and comfortable sleep and avoids the feel of an air mattress.
The non-slip finish of the mattress with its diamond ripstop stops the person from sliding off the pad. It offers excellent comfort, is spacious and is thick enough to render excellent insulation for cold nights at the outdoors. The interiors of the pad have high loft synthetic microfiber insulation to decrease air movement and to maximize warmth.
The pad features a large two-way value that makes inflation and deflation easy. The valve has an internal built-in flap to prevent air escape during inflation. Deflation is also pretty easy and takes only seconds.
- Compact design
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy inflation and deflation
- The superior and smart outer shell
- Ideal for all seasons and occasions
- 100% satisfaction challenge
- Thermos insulating foam
- Micro coating green polyester
The Gear doctors self-inflating sleeping pad ensures with ample peace of mind and good sleep, it packs pretty small after deflating and is thus easy to carry as well. Its special thermos-insulating foam has the best R-value.
The pad offers the best insulation and prevents air leaking, thin padding and lumps are no more issues with the pad. There is a lifetime warranty given with the product and the shipment is backed up with the best customer support service.
The sleeping pad has a non-leak valve and a thermos insulating foam. Within a few breaths, the pad inflates efficiently and also holds the air for many days. The superior micro-coating green polyester makes the outer shell of the sleeping pad. This not only renders additional strength to it but also protects it from UV radiations.
The pad is resistant to water and mildew and is also skin friendly and hypoallergenic. The is easy to clean and is ideal for all occasions and seasons. There is an extra surface area for tall and stout people and additional insulation for cold weather. Its compact and light design makes it an ideal sleeping pad for backpacking.
Sleeping Pad Buying Considerations
There are some critical sleeping pad considerations that are worth to note before spending money on them. These factors are,
- Type of the pad
- Repair kit
- The shape of the pad
- Buying online
Good sleeping pads come in a variety of price ranges. It is possible to get a cheap foam pad for about $20 or purchase a high class and efficient sleeping pad for $200. What is important to note here is that it is not a good idea to spend a lot of money for a good sleeping pad. It depends on its usage and how often it is used for backpacking. Most of the frequent backpackers feel it is okay to spend a little more on a pad that they would be using pretty frequently.
The sleeping pad is one of the four heaviest items in the backpack and is thus an excellent place to save weight. Lighter the backpack more comfortable is the hiking trip. All of our recommendations for sleeping pads are light enough to accompany for an excellent weekend camping trip.
The sleeping pad should keep the user warm at night when the temperature drops.
The R-value of the sleeping pad is the measure of how well it insulates the body from the ground that is freezing cold. Higher the R value of the pad, greater is the warmth it renders.
As a general rule, sleeping pads with the R values of 0-2 is ideal for trips happening in warm weather. R values of pads in the range of 2-3 are good for three season backpacking trips. Whereas R values between 4-6 are important for sleeping pads used in temperatures below freezing point. Sleeping pads that are a combination of air pad and foam with 5+ R-value is mandatory for those sleeping literally on snow.
Type of the pad:
The two main types of sleeping pads are foam pads and air pads. Both types can be comfortable and light. But, foam pads are affordable and are quick to set up and they can also be used for multiple purposes. They can be the best support for a frameless backpack or can find use as a seat in the camp.
But foam pads are heavy and bulky to pack and also they tend to compress over time. They also demand to get replaced often. On the other hand, air pads that are inflating are pretty expensive. But they are comfortable than foam pads. They are lightweight and are easy to carry and pack. But they carry the risk of getting flat anytime and demands the backpacker to carry a repair kit at all times.
The squeaky noise the sleeping pad makes is the most common complaint from first-time users. It is a problem for most light sleepers who keep shifting in the bed the whole night. Some pads are capable of less noise compared with others but usually, the noise tends to decrease over time and with frequent use.
For those who want to take the air pad in the wild, it is important to carry a small repair kit. The mattress can suffer a flat from sharp objects such as rocks and thorny bushes. It is also good to inspect the sleeping area before setting up the camp. A flat mattress without any ways to fix it can definitely ruin the entire mood of the camp.
The sleeping pad should have additional space after accommodating the camper. The hips and the shoulders are the biggest pressure points on the pads and thus the pads should support those areas. Backpackers who wish to save weight use torso length pads and let their legs to hang off at the end. But most hikers and casual backpackers prefer full-length pads that cushion their heels and also helps in keeping their feet warm.
The camper should choose the sleeping pad with the right width. This prevents their arms from sliding off and offers a perfect night sleep. This additional width of the pad would weight an additional ounce or two.
The shape of the pad:
Mummy sleeping pads are the preference of most campers as the shape saves weight by cutting out the rarely used corner sections of the mattress. But some people get the best rest on completely rectangular pads. Most back sleepers who wish to sleep with their legs apart in the night prefer to choose rectangular sleeping pads.
Most backpackers feel that thick sleeping pads are more comfortable, but thicker pads give the feeling of a pool float. Structure of the sleeping pad is more important and should also be thick enough for prompt insulation.
Having a sleeping pad that packs perfectly well is an advantage and most of the inflatable pads pack down to extremely smaller sizes. Bulky sleeping pads have to be strapped down from the sides of the bag. Inflating pads are the best and are lightweight to store inside the backpack.
Before choosing to buy the sleeping pad online, one has to check the return policy of the seller and the manufacturer’s warranty against defects. Generally, the product with the longest warranty period is of high quality and is extremely reliable.
Different Types of Sleeping Pads
There are three different types of sleeping pads with different functionalities to match the needs of individual campers. The three types are,
- Air Pads
- Self-inflating mats
- Foam Pads
Air mattress is the most compact of all and is the lightest option of all the mattress. They also offer the best thickness to protect against cold. They feature baffling techniques and insulation to bring about warmth and have a high R-value of 5.7. some of the newer models inflate pretty fast within 10-15 breaths and also deflate easily to store into a compact bag. There is one downside with these mattresses, they are not punctured proof. Sometimes they deflate unexpectedly and ruin the entire trip.
Self-inflating Mattresses :
The self-inflating mattresses are the best idea when it comes to sleeping pads. They combine an open cell foam and also have space for them and to expand and fill up with air. They have great convenience, excellent durability and comfort. Self-inflating mats are more puncture resistant than air pads and retain some padding even if it has to deflate at the middle of the night. But the foam adds up to the weight in the backpack and do not pack down conveniently as that of the air pad.
Campers can completely rely on these foam pads as a tried and tested option. They are not very much comfortable, they do not pack as a small unit and have the highest R values. They carry a zero percent chance of deflating in the middle of the night. The foam sleeping pads also act as a perfect secondary pad for winter camping.
We hope our list of the best Backpacking sleeping pads would benefit our users in their search for an ideal camping companion. Please ensure to following the buying consideration so as to end up in a worthy product