July 17, 2021

7 Best Sleeping Pads

July 17, 2021

7 Best Sleeping Pads

The best sleeping pads can make your outdoor experience extra comfortable. Who wouldn't want to lie cozily on a cushioned pad after a long day hike? These pads are also extra useful if ever you need additional warmth during the cold season.

You shouldn't take these sleeping pads for granted. If you decide to buy one, go for the finest one right away. And if you want to get some recommendations, the following selection of sleeping pads is useful. Keep in mind that the following sleeping pads are rated and tested by other outdoor experts themselves. Hence, picking any of them would benefit you in the long run. 

7 Best Sleeping Pads

 Size Ideal Use
REI Co-op Trailbreak Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad 72 inches x 20 inches x 1.75 inches Camping / backpacking
REI Camp Bed Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad 72 inches x 25 inches x 2.5 inchesCamping / backpacking
NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad 72 inches x 20 inches x 1 inchBackpacking
Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Deluxe Sleeping Pad 72 inches x 20 inches x 3.5 inchesBackpacking
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad 72 inches x 20 inches x 2.5 inchesBackpacking
Overmont Large Sleeping Pad 76.7 inches x 27.5 inches x 4.72 inchesCamping
Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad 72 inches x 23 inches x 2.5 inchesCamping / backpacking

1. REI Co-op Trailbreak Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

REI has produced some of the best pads over the years. One of its opuses is the Trailbreak, which features self-inflating capability. Such an innovative feature lets you lie on it in the most comfortable way possible. With its advanced coring system, your torso gets the warmth and support that it deserves. This sleeping pad does it without compromising its compressibility or weight. It remains light and packable. 

The color-coded valves of the Trailbreak let you inflate and deflate it conveniently. There's no fuss on its setup. Meanwhile, its plush top surface features anti-slip properties without losing its softness. You'll find that its bottom part is durable enough to withstand wear and tear. It is also interesting to note that this sleeping pad has an insulation rating of 5.1. Hence, it is an excellent choice for outdoor trips during the frigid season.

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Rectangular
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Open-cell foam
  • R-value - 5.1
  • Dimensions - 72 inches x 20 inches x 1.75 inches (regular size)
  • Weight - 2 pounds (regular size)

2. REI Camp Bed Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

The REI Camp Bed Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is also a superior option for those who are looking for a premium all-season sleeping pad. It has a self-inflating construction (similar to the first sleeping pad) that lets it transform from a flat pad to a fully cushioned outdoor mattress. It retains its iconic low-profile architecture, with the inclusion of high-flow valves for a more convenient setup. 

This sleeping pad also features a cored foam that eliminates that extra bulk and weight. But at the same time, it remains to be thick, ensuring that you can have a comfortable sleeping platform wherever you want to go. Moreover, its polyester top keeps its user from slipping away from the mattress. All of its seams are fully welded to ensure that no leakages will ever take place. It also has a strong resistance against punctures and scratches, making it one of the most rugged sleeping pads you can get today. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Rectangular
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Open-cell foam
  • R-value - 7.6
  • Dimensions - 72 inches x 25 inches x 2.5 inches (regular size)
  • Weight - 3 pounds (regular size)

3. NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

The NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad applies the ideal close-cell design on its construction, enabling it to become lightweight, comfortable, and durable. These perks alone prove that opting for this outdoor mattress is a choice you wouldn't regret. In fact, it is 20% thicker than most of its counterparts. It offers sufficient cushion and whole-body support minus the cumbersome bulk. Moreover, it comes with tall and wide nodes so that its users can have a plush sleeping experience. 

This sleeping pad flaunts its proprietary high-density, abrasion-resistant foam. The latter made the layer extra supple for optimal comfort. Its lower year also has stark durability and lower body support. The pad has integrated a thermal reflective film on its interior. In this way, the heat won't escape from your body. The insulation of NEMO Switchback guarantees that you'll never shiver in the cold. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Rectangular
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Closed-cell foam
  • R-value - 2
  • Dimensions - 72 inches x 20 inches x 1 inch (regular size)
  • Weight - 1 pound (regular size)

4. Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Deluxe Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

This sleeping pad from Big Agnes has all that you need for a high-quality winter sleeping pad. It is slightly on the expensive side, but its features and performance are worth its price. It has been tailored with the patented PrimaLoft Silver Insulation, which serves as a reflective layer that prevents your body heat from escaping. Even if the external temperature subsides, you'll remain cozy on this pad. 

With its R-value of 4.3, it is undeniable that it excels in cold weather trips and expeditions. It excels in generating sufficient insulation to defend your body from the cold temperature emitted by the ground. Moreover, this sleeping pad is available in multiple sizes. Regardless of your body size, it can offer the perfect fit for you. Its surface is made from a stretchable nylon-spandex fabric, while its top has been quilted like a real pillow. Such a quality aids in a comfortable, pain-free sleeping experience. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Rectangular
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Synthetic
  • R-value - 4.3
  • Dimensions - 72 inches x 20 inches x 3.5 inches (regular size)
  • Weight - 1 pound (regular size)

5. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

Outdoor enthusiasts like their sleeping pads to be ultralight and highly compact. That's where the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad comes in. This one is notably warm and packable, making it a premium choice for backcountry and backpacking purposes. It utilizes the Reflective ThermaCapture technology that efficiently traps the internal heat of your body. Meanwhile, its Triangular Core Matrix removes any heat loss caused by convection. But even with these parts, the sleeping pad remains to be a lightweight mattress.

The NeoAir XLite is 2.5 inches thick and comes with an innovative internal assembly that enables peerless support and stability. It doesn't go out of shape even in multiple uses. It is also a good option for cold weather adventures given that it aids in-ground insulation. The patented WingLock valve integrated on this sleeping pad optimizes airflow for hassle-free deflation and inflation. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Mummy
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Synthetic
  • R-value - 4.2
  • Dimensions - 72 inches x 20 inches x 2.5 inches (regular)
  • Weight - 0.75 pounds (regular size)

6. Overmont Large Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

Overmont offers an extra durable sleeping pad that fits even burly bodies. Proof of that is its 4.7-inch thick construction. It provides a sufficient distance between you and the ground, which, in turn, prevents the coldness from seeping into your back. It also comes with a built-in ergonomic pillow so that you can sleep soundly wherever you place it. Interestingly, it has a high R-value, which indicates its capability to keep you warm amidst the frigid temperature.

Its architecture features the effective use of a rugged polyester pongee with PVC coating. This particular material is waterproof and prevents air leakages. In addition, it also displays an insurmountable ripstop and anti-skid capability. Therefore, it is not really a surprise that this unit can handle up to 600 pounds of sleepers. Its built-in pump relieves the stress from using traditional pumps. You don't need to blow air onto it. The simple repetition of press and release will get this sleeping pad fully inflated. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Rectangle
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Unspecified
  • R-value - 5
  • Dimensions - 76.7 inches x 27.5 inches x 4.72 inches (regular)
  • Weight - 3.31 pounds (regular size)

7. Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad

PRODUCT LINK

You should also include the Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad in your options, as this is an affordable yet highly insulated sleeping pad. It is designed for 4-season use, given that it is capable of keeping you warm and cozy. Its R-value is at 4.4, which certifies its capability for heat retention. It includes durable synthetic insulation that can withstand continuous use. Furthermore, its V-shape chamber prevents unwanted heat loss from your body. 

Of course, the Klymit Static V guarantees a lightweight performance. You can even pack it down to the size of 5 inches x 8 inches. It also includes a patch and stuff sack so that you can carry it conveniently. Meanwhile, the body mapping technology used on this pad optimizes the comfort that its users can feel, regardless of their preferred sleeping position. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Shape - Rectangle
  • Capacity - 1-person
  • Type of insulation - Synthetic
  • R-value - 4.4
  • Dimensions - 72 inches x 23 inches x 2.5 inches (regular)
  • Weight - 1.5 pounds (regular size)

How To Choose The Best Sleeping Pads? 

Is it not a surprise that sleeping pads provide the extra comfort and warmth that you need during cold days in the wild. They offer insulation and cushioning, which are both vital when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. 

Of course, choosing the right one can be a stifling process, especially if you don't know where to start. If you are new to this particular outdoor amenity, this guide can certainly help you out. 

Type Of Sleeping Pad

There's no single type of sleeping pad. They come in different variations; they often feature a number of benefits and disadvantages.

  • Closed-cell - This sleeping pad is constructed from highly-dense foam littered with a plethora of small air pockets. Closed-cell mats can't be compressed, so you have to fold or roll them whenever you bring them. They are generally inexpensive and showcase durability and weight management. But at the same, it is undeniable that they are bulky to carry. 

Ideal use: Backpacking and thru-hiking

  • Self-inflating - A self-inflating sleeping pad has a shell that has been integrated with open-cell foam. Once you open its valve, air comes in. In time, it will fill up the foam, which, in turn, causes the pad to inflate. You are free to blow some air if you want the mat to become a little bit firm. With self-inflating, you'll experience decent comfort and insulation. On the flip side, they aren't that compact either. They hold more weight than their air-filled counterparts. 

Ideal use: Car camping and leisure camping

  • Inflatable and insulated - With this particular variant, you can get more insulation due to the fact that they have insulating components inside them. The insulation can either be synthetic or reflective materials. You can fill them by blowing, but you can also use pumps if they are available. Bringing them is a breeze since they are lightweight and compact. Keep in mind, though, that they are slightly costly and aren't that durable. 

Ideal use: Backcountry, backpacking, and winter camping

The R-Value

A sleeping pad finds its true value when it can insulate its user from the coldness of the ground. Typically, the internal warmth of your body is lost because of the natural heat transfer between you and the ground where you are lying. To deal with this problem, sleeping pads utilize a variety of innovations and materials to reduce or stop heat loss from happening. 

The R-value is the measurement of a pad's capacity to counteract heat flow and prevent the gradual loss of your bodily warmth. Basically, a sleeping pad with a high R-value provides better value than those that rank low on this scale. The lowest rating is 0, which means that the pad or mattress isn't insulated at all. Insulation starts when the R-value reaches 2. However, this is still minimal. You can say that a sleeping pad is stuffed with insulation if it has a four or more rating on the R-value scale. 

Because manufacturers use a standard classification of R-values, it is easier to compare the insulating system of different pads, regardless if they are made by different brands. 

Shape And Size

Most of the sleeping pads out there have a size of 72 inches x 20 inches, which is sufficient for a different number of users. But of course, not all individuals may find such dimensions suitable for them. Therefore, it is still essential that you choose based on your size and specification. Even your preference counts.

  • Mummy pads - A mummy sleeping pad is a variation of the standard rectangular pads. It has a tapered construction going to its bottom to reduce its weight and bulkiness. It is an excellent option for backpacking and lightweight outdoor applications. 
  • Short pads - They are great for short adults and kids. Since they are small, they can be a space-saving alternative. Its size ranges from 46 inches to 50 inches.
  • Long pads - If you are gifted with height, you should get a long sleeping pad. Its length starts at 74 inches. 
  • Wide pads - This is an ideal option for sleepers who like to move around when they are dozing off. You can also use it if you have a burly build. 
  • Two-person pads - If you are going with a partner, why not get a two-person sleeping pad? Trust me; it is lighter than two pads spliced together. 

In Summary 

When it comes to the best sleeping pads, your preference and specifications matter. After all, there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all for this particular amenity. You would need to choose the right pad or mattress that can handle your weight, size, and insulation needs. 

I hope that you find this guide useful. If you have something to share, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. 

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