We spent over 55 hours researching and testing 15 different kinds of sleeping pads and found that cushioning, comfort, and size options were most important. The Klymit Static Lightweight Sleeping Pad scored high marks in all areas and is our top pick. There is plenty to like about this sleeping pad. It is lightweight and rugged and works for people of all sizes. The built in side rails provide plenty of support on the pad and inflates easily, just 10-15 breaths. It packs up to a small space so it is easy to carry with you in your backpack. It measures 72” in length so it is appropriate for most adults and children as well.
Introduction to the Sleeping Pads
A sleeping pad is a valuable piece of camping equipment that can make the difference between having a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors, and barely making it through the night. An uncomfortable night’s sleep can ruin an otherwise great camping trip.
Whether you are sleeping outside in a tent or sleeping on the floor, a quality sleeping pad can really make a difference in how well you sleep and how you feel in the morning. A good sleeping pad can help keep you warm on cold nights and can provide cushion and added comfort that you just can’t get from a sleeping bag by itself.
The sleeping pad market has gotten bigger the last few years so there are more choices than ever for the sleeping pad user to choose from. You will need to determine what your needs and priorities are so you can choose the best one for your specific needs and preferences.
Top Rated Sleeping Pads Summary
Sleeping pads have many uses, from making a campout much more comfortable to giving the kids something to sleep on when guests are over or they spend the night at someone else’s house. There are many different types of sleeping pads on the market today. The three top rated sleeping pads reviewed above are all excellent choices when you are in the market for a good quality sleeping pad.
With superior comfort, durable and rugged materials, and easy storage, you will wish you had gotten a sleeping pad a long time ago. They can definitely make camping much more comfortable. Being uncomfortable, sleeping on the hard ground and other factors can bring things down quickly. A good quality sleeping pad can keep things going well and can provide actual rest and relaxation.
Our buyer’s guide below has more tips and strategies for choosing the right sleeping pad for all of your needs. This information covers things you should consider when you start researching all the available sleeping pads on the market.
Compare: The 10 Best Rated Sleeping Pads
|1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||4th Place||5th Place||6th Place||7th Place||8th Place||9th Place||10th Place|
|72 x 23 x 2.5||Short MC|
|75 x 24 x 2|
80 x 30 x 2
82 x 38 x 2.5
|79 x 55 x 6.25||20 x 72 x 0.75|
25 x 75 x 0.75
20 x 48 x 0.75
|72 x 20 x 0.75|
51 x 20 x 0.75
|76 x 25 x 2.5||25 x 77 x 1.5|
20 x 72 x 1.5
|47 x 20 x 1|
66 x 20 x 1
77 x 25 x 1
72 x 20 x 1
|75 x 25 x 1.5|
|1 Year||Limited |
|1 Year||10 Years||Limited |
|10 – 15||10 – 15||NA||NA||NA||NA||15 – 20||10 – 15||10 – 15||8 – 12|
Sleeping Pad Buying Guide
Things to Consider
Each type of sleeping pad has its benefits and drawbacks. The one you choose should fulfill the needs you have and be able to accommodate the kind of activities that you will be using the sleeping pad for. We’ve listed several things that you need to consider.
- The different factors involved in choosing the right sleeping pad include comfort, price, weight, durability and special features. Rank these in order of importance to you so you know which features and specifics to look for first.
- Where will you be using the sleeping pad? If you’ll be using it outdoors, is the terrain soft or is the ground hard and rocky? Are you camping during the summer months or the winter ones where it is colder? These factors all play a part in the thickness of the pad you look for. The harder the terrain and the colder the temperature, the thicker the sleeping pad should be.
- Are you car camping or backpacking? If you are using a campground or campsite that you can drive your vehicle up to, weight is not a factor that will matter. If you’re going to be hiking to your spot, you don’t want to add a lot of excess weight to your backpack. Pick a pad that accommodates whether you will be on foot or in your vehicle to get to your destination.
- The weather you will be camping in also affects the kind of sleeping pad you will want to get. If you’re camping in the winter, you will want to look for a closed-cell pad under a self inflated sleeping pad. This will not only be softer, it will keep you warmer as well.
- How tall are you? Sleeping pads come in different widths and lengths. Look for a sleeping pad that will accommodate the height and width you need. Doing so will prevent you from carrying more sleeping pad than you need or finding yourself running out of pad when you lie down.
- Are you a light sleeper? If you have trouble sleeping or wake up for the slightest disturbance, you will want to invest in the most comfortable sleeping pad you can afford. The extra cushy padding will help provide a more comfortable sleep for you.
- Are you camping alone or with a spouse or partner? If you’re camping with a significant other, look for sleeping pads that are designed to hook together. There are usually coupling kits available as well.
- Measure your tent so you know how much room you will have inside for a sleeping pad. You don’t want to have the sleeping pads overlapping or not fitting inside the tent completely.
Types of Sleeping Pads
There are several different types of sleeping pads available for you to choose from. We have outlined the different types below so you can look at the different kinds and see what their characteristics are.
- Air Pads – An air pad will have tubular rows that run the length of the pad. These rows fill with air from a pump or some are designed to be blown up by a person. They are lightweight, compact and offer the sleeper comfort that can b e adjusted to fit preferences based on the air pressure.
Air Pads vary in length, width, cut, thickness and weight. There are several that, despite being a regular length pad, still weigh under a pound. A thinner pad will not be as comfortable as a thicker one. They also weigh less and can be folded up more compactly.
There are several models of air pads that contain open cell foam that is inside the mattress. This will affect the insulating capability of the mattress. If you aren’t sure about the insulation capability, check the R value of the sleeping pad.
- Self Inflating – Some of the sleeping pads on the market advertise as self inflating. These pads have a combination or open cell foam and air for cushioning. These areas will blow themselves up whenever a valve is opened. These take a lot less effort to blow up than a regular air pad.
If you store them while they are inflated and only deflate and roll up when you are traveling, the self inflation feature will work much better. Self inflating sleeping pads weight a little more than the other types because more material is used in the pad to press it open from the inside.
- Closed Foam – Closed foam sleeping pads are good choices for car camping because they don’t pack as well as the other types of sleeping pads. They do offer superior cushioning and insulation, so this is something you will need to factor in to your decision and decide which is more important.
They are lightweight, so they don’t add a lot of excess weight to a backpack, but they don’t store as compactly. They can’t be punctured and are very durable, making them ideal for cold weather camping.
Sleeping Pad Specs
- Length – Some of this is up to personal preference. Many want a pad that runs the full length of their body so they have complete comfort. Others are fine if their legs are not on a sleeping pad. There is a large variety of lengths available so look for one that will accommodate your height if comfort is a high priority for you.
- Width – You also want to make sure that you choose a sleeping pad that accommodates the width of your body. Sleeping half on and half off your sleeping pad isn’t very comfortable. When companies list width, they are figuring on the width at the shoulders, so measure your shoulders across the width of your shoulders.
- Weight – Sleeping pads will vary greatly in weight. Some focus on offering sleeping pads that weigh as little as possible without giving up too much comfort. They can range anywhere from 8 ounces to 6 pounds or more. The heavier pads are usually more comfortable and they have a higher R value so their insulation level is greater as well. These heavier pads are harder to carry and compress and may not be the best choice for backpackers.
- Thickness – This is where your comfort lies and is a very important feature to consider. The thickness of the sleeping pad determines how hard or soft it feels and and how much cushioning there is to enjoy. It will also deter mine how well it cushions you from the hard ground.
- R-Value – R value is the measurement of the material’s insulating capacity. The higher the value the warmer the pad will feel underneath you. If you are camping in cold weather, you will want to look for a sleeping pad that has a high R value.
- Packability – Most of the sleeping pads on the market are the same basic shape when laid out but they can be quite different when they are rolled up. If you’re backpacking, look for sleeping pads that roll up as compactly as possible to add the least amount of bulk possible. If you’re car camping, this doesn’t really matter at all.
It will not really be possible to find a sleeping pad that has EVERYTHING you are looking for, so you have to decide which factors and features are the most important to you. Is comfort the main goal? Look for thick cushy sleeping pads that offer a lot of support for you. If backpacking is your thing, look for sleeping pads that are super lightweight and compact for carrying easily.
With all of these choices on the market, there is no reason why you won’t be able to find one that has most of what you are looking for. A good quality sleeping pad will improve the camping experience because you will be much more comfortable and sleep better as well.
If you will be using your sleeping pad a lot, be sure to invest in a high grade model that will last you a long, long time while providing as many of the desired features as you can get.
- Klymit – https://www.klymit.com/
- Alps – http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/
- TETON – http://www.tetonsports.com/