Last updated: May 15, 2018 at 8:46 am

Sleeping pads featured image

Camping and hiking, in general, can be pretty interesting and fun. Going on an adventure is more often than not a great idea because it alleviates stress, improves one’s survival skills, and most importantly – it connects one with the Mother Nature. However, not everything is fine and dandy, especially if you’re struggling to find the appropriate equipment for your endeavor. Furthermore, one of the main prerequisites for a good camping experience is a good nights’ sleep on a quality sleeping pad.

Finding a sleeping pad that’s a worthy investment may seem pretty easy and straightforward, but you would be surprised by the number of small and hidden elements that determine whether or not a particular model is worth investing into. Therefore, if you’ve never bought a sleeping pad, there is a big chance that you don’t know exactly what to look for. There’s no need to worry though, we have covered a good number of different models that are available on the market so that you can choose the one you think suits your requirements the most. Take a moment and check our reviews out and you’ll get more than enough insight into the do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying a quality sleeping pad.

If you’re in a hurry, check out the Lightspeed Outdoors Sleeping Pad; This pad is our first pick for three main reasons: it’s made of high quality materials, affordable, and very easy to use.

Product Image
Name
Main Feature
PriceRating
 
Lightspeed Outdoors Small Product ImageLightspeed Outdoors• Soft surface
• Water-resistant
• No plastic odors
• 77" x 30" x 3"
• Weight is 6 pounds
$9.9/10Check Price
Nemo Cosmo Small Product ImageNemo Cosmo• 100% Polyester
• Water-resistant
• Superior spine support
• 50" x 76" x 3,5"
• Weight is 4.2 pounds
$$$9.7/10Check Price
Klymit Static V Small Product ImageKlymit Static V• Simplistic design
• An affordable price
• 72” x 23” x 2.5”
• Weighs 1.1 pounds
• Lifetime warranty
$9.6/10Check Price
Laidback Pad Small Product ImageLaidback• Innovative design
• Quality material
• 3.87" x 4.05"
• Weighing 8.5 pounds
$$$9.3/10Check Price
Exped SynMat 7 Small Product ImageExped SynMat 7• Simple design
• Made of quality materials
• Suitable for all seasons
• 77.6" × 25.6" × 2.8"
• Weighs 1 pound
$$9.1/10Check Price
Teton Sports Camp Small Product ImageTeton Sports• Interesting design
• Made of memory foam
• Water-resistant
• 80" x 30" x 2"
• Weighs about 6 pounds


$9.0/10Check Price
Therm A Rest Ridgerest Classic Small Product ImageTherm-A-Rest RidgeRest• High-quality fabrics and zippers
• Water resistant
• Lightweight
• 20" x 72" x 0.75"
• Weight is 1.1 pounds

$$8.8/10Check Price
Exped SynMat Basic Small Product ImageExped SynMat Basic 7.5 • Design is conventional
• Laminated polyester fabric
• Water-resistant
• 70" x 20"
• Weight is 3.3 pounds
$$$8.7/10Check Price
Therm a Rest NeoAir XLite Small Product ImageTherm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite • Simple design
• Water-resistant
• Comfortable
• 72" x 20" x 2.5"
• Weighs about 12 ounces
$$8.6/10Check Price
Therm A Rest NeoAir XTherm Small Product ImageTherm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm • Simple design
• Durable materials
• Suitable for all seasons
• 77" x 25" x 2.5"
• Weighs 20 ounces
$$$8.5/10Check Price

Best Sleeping Pads Camping Reviews

Lightspeed Outdoors Sleeping Pad product image
Design
Quality
Price

Lightspeed Outdoors Sleeping Pad

Lightspeed is a well-respected brand in this particular industry, and the superb quality of their equipment doesn’t come as a surprise. When it comes to this sleeping pad, it offers an incredibly soft surface, R-Value of 9.66, and it’s made of a special non-slip material which ensures comfort. On top of that, the material of which this pad is made contains non-PVC elements meaning there are no plastic odors nor are there annoying crinkle noises. Therefore, a peaceful night of sleep is guaranteed.

As far as the design goes, it’s pretty conventional, or in other words, there are no special features which would either confuse the user or inflate the price of the model. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with a good amount of useful features that will make your night much easier to handle. The overall dimensions of this popular sleeping pad are 77” x 30” x 3” when opened, and 30” x 7.75” when rolled. The overall weight is 6 pounds which makes it one of the lightest pads around. The important thing to point out here is the fact that it’s very easy to roll this model and compress it to a smaller size. Some other manufacturers struggle to make their models as flexible as possible, but this particular one is quite well-designed.

What makes this product even better is the fact that it doesn’t require a pump or any other proprietary tools. Instead, it features dual oversize air valves which ensure a quick and painless self-inflating process. The same applies to deflating as well.

There aren’t many downsides, but some concerns should be pointed out. The number-one struggle many people fall victim to is rolling the pad back into its original state. Or, in other words, you might find it difficult or/and annoying. While there is no simple solution for this predicament, the easiest way to avoid this experience is to ask for help when rolling the pad.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Affordable
  • Beginner-friendly

Cons:

  • Sometimes hard to roll
Nemo Cosmo Insulated Air product image
Design
Quality
Price

Nemo Cosmo Insulated Air

This pad is made of synthetic materials and it features an integrated foot pump which allows the user to inflate the pad quickly and without too much hassle. The lateral baffles are four inches thick and plush. The baffles are positioned horizontally which is somewhat better than vertical position because the pad resists folding around the body’s long axis. While this pad doesn’t necessarily come with a pillow, the head end is oversized to provide extra loft for one’s head. On top of that, it prevents your pillow from slipping off the surface.

The design is pretty neat. The dimensions are 50” x 76” x 3.5” when fully inflated. As you can tell, it’s not the largest model out there, but it definitely offers more than enough space for a good nights’ sleep. The thing that separates this model from most others is the ease of use. In other words, you don’t have to hassle with proprietary pumps, complex valves, and central points of failure. Instead, all you have to do in order to get the best possible experience is – unpack the pad, inflate it, and you’re ready! Stratofiber microfiber insulation offers softness, superb compressing capabilities, and most importantly – it’s able to cope with wet conditions without breaking a sweat. Stuff sack and repair kit are included.

As far as downsides go, there aren’t any major ones. Some people complained about the process of inflating and deflating being a nuisance, but that’s something that can’t be avoided. On top of that, it’s also a matter of personal preferences and expectations. In other words, you shouldn’t expect it to be an easy task, but it also shouldn’t be a concern thanks to the good quality of the pump. The price is reasonable, although we would have liked it to be a bit lower.

Pros:

  • Quality materials
  • Comfortable and cozy
  • Reliable and trustworthy

Cons:

  • Inflating takes time
  • Can be hard to roll
Klymit Static V Lightweight product image
Design
Quality
Price

Klymit Static V Lightweight

If you’re into peculiar designs and a great deal of comfort, the Klymit Static V might just be the thing you’re looking for. This camping pad is an entry-level one meaning it doesn’t contain as many features as some others on the market. Furthermore, the quality of the materials used in production is acceptable but far from being unprecedented. However, this pad is one of the easiest to use, and on top of that, it’s also one of the most budget-friendly models out there. It doesn’t come with a pump included meaning one has to inflate it themselves (breath).

The design is, as we said, quite peculiar. In other words, it doesn’t look like your everyday camping pad, but instead, it looks more like a pool mattress. The overall dimensions are 72” x 23” x 2.5,” and it weighs only 18.6 ounces. The number of breaths needed for full inflations is about 10-15 according to the manufacturer. In reality, you should expect it to be closer to 25-30 breaths. While some people consider it a downside, inflating a pad without a mechanical pump isn’t as complex and annoying as it seems. The thing most people like about this model is its simplistic design and an affordable price. As we mentioned, it probably isn’t the best possible solution for avid professionals, but it offers more than enough comfort and coziness for occasional campers and hobbyists.

When it comes to the shortcomings, the thing most people complained about is the thickness of this model, or rather, lack thereof. The 2.5 inches of thickness is enough for proper insulation but on the verge of being an issue during particularly cold nights. Therefore, this model is not recommended for particularly cold nights because it might not perform as good as you expect it to.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Good insulation
  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • Lacks thickness
  • Entry-level model
Laidback Pad Memory Foam product image
Design
Quality
Price

Laidback Pad Memory Foam

A massive number of people are praising this particular model for its comfort, quality, and the accompanying innovations which we will point out later. A few things about Laidback Pad Memory Foam are certain – it’s high-quality, comfortable, affordable, and most importantly – it guarantees a good sleep.

The reason why this model is so popular is due to design innovations that have not been seen yet on many other models. The first thing that makes it stand out is the fact that it features a built-in connector which allows the user to connect multiple pads together thus increasing the surface and size of their mattress. In other words, you’ll never run out of free space as long as you have enough pads.

Furthermore, the quality of materials used for production is excellent. In fact, the LaidbackPad is one of the best pads we have covered thus far. It offers a great deal of comfort and coziness for a more than a reasonable price. The memory foam that’s included is certified and contains the Cool Flow technology which balances your body temperature and keeps you warm. In addition, the open and closed cell foam mitigates the effect of bumps under the pad and keeps it as flat as possible. Needless to say, it’s definitely a worthy purchase, especially if you’re looking for premium models.

Now, while everything is somewhat perfect, some things should be pointed out. For example, some people said it’s not thick enough and that it can cause issues if you sleep on your hips. Furthermore, you might find this pad a bit narrow as it’s only about two feet wide. However, thanks to the built-in connectors, you can increase the width by adding more pads. It weighs only about nine pounds and it’s easily compressed and folded.

Pros:

  • High-quality materials
  • Reasonable price
  • Great design

Cons:

  • Somewhat narrow
  • Not particularly thick
Exped SynMat 7 Pump Sleeping Pad product image
Design
Quality
Price

Exped SynMat 7 Pump Sleeping Pad

In case you’re looking for simplistic yet effective design, this sleeping pad will meet your expectations. It’s definitely not the best one around, but it offers more than enough comfort and warmth for occasional campers and hobbyists. When it comes to more serious purposes, it can deliver a good experience, but it’s not a guaranteed matter. Therefore, the Exped SynMat 7 is an entry-level sleeping pad with decent features and is made of quality materials.

The design is pretty simple and straightforward. The baffle construction is sufficiently stable and it contains laminate insulation on both top and bottom to preserve and maintain heat. In fact, this popular pad is rated to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit meaning you can use it during cold nights without worrying about losing heat. On top of that, thanks to the innovative technology and insulation, it’s suitable for all seasons, not just winter.

When rolled and compressed, the SynMat 7 model is quite small and compact meaning you can carry it in your backpack without any issues. The dimensions are 77.6×25.6×2.8 inches, and the overall weight is about 1-2 pounds, depending on the model size. Needless to say, it’s quite a lightweight piece of necessary equipment and you can rest assured its weight won’t pose an issue.

Even though this model features an integrated pump which is designed to work without human interventions, the reality is quite different. More than a few people complained about the technology behind the self-inflating concept as it is not always consistent and perfect. However, one can solve this particular issue by manually inflating the pad with their hands (manually). The price is reasonable and should be acceptable even for people who are on a tight budget.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Good design
  • Suitable for all seasons

Cons:

  • The pump tends to fail occasionally
  • Somewhat expensive in comparison to other models
Teton Sports Camp Pad product image
Design
Quality
Price

Teton Sports Camp Pad

The first thing you should be aware of is that this particular model is made of memory foam entirely instead of being inflatable. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to decide, but it’s important to differentiate these from the inflatable ones as some core differences might affect your overall experience.

The design and concept behind this pad are quite interesting. It’s comfortable, thick, and the open-cell foam keeps its shape without any issues. Therefore, you won’t feel a negative impact on your lower back or neck, thanks to the responsiveness of the foam. The other thing one should remember is that there is no cushion or pillow area on this pad. That means you will have to bring your own pillow in case you’re planning on spending the night on the Teton Sports pad.

When it comes to insulation, it’s more or less flawless. In fact, the pad features an additional layer of insulation to ensure minimal heat loss and good thermal conductivity. The item weighs about 6 pounds which is not the lightest thing around, but it’s easily compressed and is not bulky at all. In other words, even though it might weigh a bit more than usual, it’s not hard to carry around, especially when compressed.

The thing that separates this model from the vast majority of others is the fact that it can be used for multiple purposes in lieu of just being a camping pad. For example, it can be a great addition to your bed thanks to its coziness and softness, or it can serve as an extra bed for guests.

As far as the downsides go, we haven’t been able to find any major ones. Some people said that the foam struggles to rebound after being compressed for a long time, but that’s not out of the ordinary.

Pros:

  • Thick and comfortable
  • Easy to compress
  • Multipurpose

Cons:

  • Not inflatable
  • Can struggle to retain its original shape after being compressed for too long
Therm A Rest Ridgerest Classic Regular product image
Design
Quality
Price

Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest Classic Regular

This is one of the most durable and economic closed-cell foam pad on the market. Now, it’s important to differentiate other sleeping pads from this one because they are not the same, especially when it comes to thickness. In fact, the thickness of this pad is about .75 inches which is significantly less than, for example, 2 or 3 inches that are more or less a standard for sleeping pads nowadays.

The solar reflectiveness is probably the main selling point of this pad. The patent-pending technology reflects the solar radiation back to the user meaning it utilizes solar energy to improve insulation and keep the pad warm. The overall weight is about a pound which can be considered quite lightweight, but it’s expected as it lacks some of the main features of other pads from our list, such as valves, connectors, pumps, and etcetera.

In case you’re camping during warm weather, turn the reflective side down to avoid high temperatures caused by the reflective solar coating. As you can tell, it’s a somewhat multipurpose pad, but it’s definitely far from being ideal.

There are a few downsides, but it’s nothing major. For example, some people found it too bulky for a regular camping backpack, which is more or less true. However, it is not foreseen to be compact as it contains perforated parts which contribute to bulkiness. Therefore, if you’re planning on carrying it around, it’s probably a good idea to leave your backpack out of the equation. The price is somewhat reasonable, but it could have been a bit lower. It’s a quality piece of camping equipment, but it’s not necessarily budget-friendly. As far as we are concerned, it’s worth checking it out, but you should consider looking into other models before making the final decision.

Pros:

  • Practical
  • Solar-reflective technology
  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • Not as thick as other models
  • Too bulky for an average backpack
Exped SynMat Basic 7.5 product image
Design
Quality
Price

Exped SynMat Basic 7.5

The SynMat Basic 7.5 is quite similar to the SynMat 7 with some minor differences. This model offers quite a bit of padding meaning you can tweak and fine-tune it according to your own preferences or the weather conditions outside. Furthermore, it’s significantly lighter than its equivalents, so if you’re looking for something that doesn’t weigh a ton and is compact enough not to be a burden, then this sleeping pad might be an interesting thing to look into.

As far as the design goes, it’s quite conventional and it offers a good deal of comfort and coziness. The best thing about it is the fact that moving on the material doesn’t produce almost any noise. In other words, it doesn’t contain nylon or other materials which can become quite a noisy nuisance in case several people are camping at the same spot. If you’re a light sleeper, this particular sleeping pad is the right thing for you.

The unit doesn’t feature a pump but instead an inflating concept that allows you to fill the pad with air without investing a lot of effort and labor. It also comes with a repair kit included if you ever stumble upon some issues.  The biggest advantage of this popular model is its ease of use and overall simplistic design. It may not be the best thing on the market, but it does fulfill some of the basic requirements of an average Joe.

As for the downsides, the only thing that might be a concern is the price. It’s not a particularly expensive piece of equipment per se, but it’s definitely not cheap. Some may see it as affordable, but most people who are on a tight budget can and should find something with more features for a pretty similar price.

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Compact and backpack-friendly
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
Therm a Rest NeoAir XLite product image
Design
Quality
Price

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite

When it comes to ultralight air mattresses, this particular one is near the top as far as quality and comfort go. It weighs only about 12 ounces, offers optimal warmth during cold nights, and most importantly – it can be compressed to a size of a water bottle meaning it’s backpack-friendly. Its triangular core matrix construction minimizes conductive heat loss while the reflective ThermaCap technology traps radiant heat. Needless to say, it’s a great choice for both avid hikers and occasional hobbyists.

The design is pretty neat and simplistic. This pad doesn’t come with a pump included, but instead, it inflates via breath. While this fact is somewhat discouraging to many people, there is no need to worry because NeoAir XLite doesn’t require more than a couple of dozen full breaths. In fact, it takes only a couple of minutes between unpacking and having it fully inflated and set up for sleeping.

The dimensions are 72x20x2.5 inches when inflated and only 9×4 inches when packed. Stuff sack and repair kit are included. The good thing about this pad is the fact that its tapered design reduces weight without compromising the insulation properties. Therefore, even though it weighs only about 12 ounces, you can rest assured that it features great insulation capabilities and properties. On top of that, it has a surprisingly high R-value of 3.2.

Not many people complained about this pad at all. Some users said that it’s too narrow for them which makes their arms fall off the side, which is a legitimate but not a game-breaking concern. In case you’re worried about this, make sure you check the dimensions before ordering as there are several sizes available. Other than that, this model seems perfect for a nice hiking adventure with your friends.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Compact
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Somewhat narrow
Therm A Rest NeoAir XTherm product image
Design
Quality
Price

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm

This model is very similar to the aforementioned one, but there are some core differences you should be aware of. The technology within the pad is exactly the same as in NeoAir XLite, but the dimensions are different. This particular model measures 77x25x2.5 inches inflated and 11×4.5 inches packed. As you can tell, it’s slightly larger in comparison to its little brother.

The simplistic and straightforward design of this pad is what makes it desirable and perfect for both avid professionals and hobbyists. In case you’re planning on taking a hiking adventure and are in a dilemma when it comes to which pad is the best for the occasion, don’t hesitate to give this one a minute of your time and you’ll see it probably meets most of your requirements. It’s not the best possible offer out there, but it’s definitely worth a check. It doesn’t come with a pump included but instead requires inflating via breath.

There’s no reason to worry though because it only takes about 20 deep breaths to fill this model with air. Make sure you read the instructions first because there are some things you should be aware of before you start inflating. Some of those tips will help you do it quicker and with less effort involved. The materials used for production are durable, trustworthy, and most importantly – lightweight.

There aren’t many disadvantages to begin with, but some people complained about the lack of mechanical pump as it seems quite exhausting to inflate such a big pad. As we mentioned, there is no need to worry because even though it might seem massive, the overall volume of air it requires is not as large as one might expect thanks to the triangular core matrix design.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Easy to inflate
  • Quality materials

Cons:

  • Doesn’t feature a pump
  • x-Noisy material
Woman lies in a tent

How to Choose Sleeping Pads for Camping

Coming up with a good hiking plan is far more complicated than it actually seems to people who haven’t had the opportunity to experience such adventures. As you can assume, it requires thorough planning and more importantly – high-quality equipment. Going camping or hiking with equipment of questionable quality will only cause issues and will never yield good results. You might be thinking you’ve got something for cheap, but you can rest assured that decision will bite you back as soon as night falls. That’s why it’s important that you get familiar with the do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying the right sleeping pad, or else you’ll end up wasting money as well as ruining your long-planned adventure.

The type

The first thing you should think about when looking for a good sleeping pad is the type. There are several types including:

  • self-inflating,
  • air pads and
  • closed-cell foam pads.

They all have advantages and shortcoming, so make sure you’re familiar with them before opting for a particular type.

For example, air pads are incredibly comfortable and lightweight. It is also the most compact type of them all meaning you shouldn’t have issues with compressing and packing an air pad into your backpack whatsoever. The disadvantage of this type is the fact that they are usually significantly more expensive than others. These pads can also be punctured relatively easy, but most manufacturers include a repair kit.

Self-inflating pads are comfortable and compact, and they offer better insulation in comparison to air pads. They also feature much stronger fabrics which makes them a good choice for children. The disadvantage is that they are usually heavier than other types and are also prone to punctures. However, field repairs are a piece of cake.

Closed-cell foam pads are made of dense foam but lack some of the features other types have. This particular type is viewed as the simplest and most compact one, although it doesn’t perform nearly as good as other types.

The dimensions

Even though it might not seem as relevant, the dimensions are extremely important, especially if you’re a somewhat restless sleeper. The main rule of thumb here is to always invest in a slightly bigger pad so that you have enough room and comfort to move at least a few inches. Getting a model with exact dimensions as your body won’t make your experience a memorable one.

As a bare minimum, you should consider getting a pad which is wide and long enough to fit your head, shoulders, and legs. More often than not, your arms will fall off the side, so make sure there’s enough width to mitigate that issue. You won’t be able to eliminate it fully, but it can be alleviated by a large margin.

The weight

Some people consider the weight to be an irrelevant concern, but you can rest assured that it plays a major role in the whole equation. In fact, a difference of only a couple of ounces can have quite an impact on your overall experience, especially if you’re backpacking. Therefore, always look for lightweight models but make sure they are resilient and trustworthy enough to endure through tough times. Ultralight pads may be a bit more expensive in comparison to regular ones, but they are definitely a worthy purchase in specific occasions.

The conclusion

As you can tell, there are plenty of different models to choose from, and it’s not easy to find the best-suiting one. Hopefully, by using some of our tips and reading through our reviews, you can get a bit more insight when it comes to do’s and don’ts related to investing in a new model.

The important thing here is to find the model that suits your needs the most. It’s recommended that you read through some of the reviews and impressions of other people who already bought a particular model, but don’t blindly trust in everything you read on the Internet. Making your own decisions will always yield better results in lieu of listening to other people’s opinions.

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