The Best Sleeping Pads
Even if you’re roughing it outdoors, you want to be as comfortable as possible when it’s time to crash. We’ve got the definitive list of the best sleeping pads for your next camping adventure.
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Sleeping on the Go: The Best Gear
Pack the right sleeping pad that will last you for scores of adventures, and you can count on many restful nights, no matter where you travel.
You want to find a sleeping pad that will keep you warm and elevated off the ground, as well as one that conforms to your body so that you can replicate your own bed while sleeping under the stars. And of course, you want one that can fit into your camping budget. We’ve got you covered with our list.
How to Pick the Right Sleeping Pad
- Just as with finding the right sleeping bag, tent and tarp, the right sleeping pad depends on its primary usage. If you’ll be on a lot of long backpacking trips, you’ll want to take weight and portability into account. You’re not going to want to bring along an air pump or bulky sleeping pad when every ounce matters.
- But if you’re newer to camping and you want to test the waters, then comfort might be a lot more important than how well it can be stored. Will you need four-season gear for winter and alpine adventures? The extra weight you’ll need to stay warm could cost you. In addition to a higher price, it may also cost you some valuable space if you’re backpacking versus car camping.
- Price is also a major factor. If you only camp on rare occasions, then you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a sleeping pad that you will only use a handful of times. A great sleeping pad is just like a mattress. It will last you for years on end, and you want to make the smartest investment up front.
- Additional factors include body size, whether you are looking for a two-person pad (especially if you have a two-person sleeping bag), durability, and whether you prefer sleeping on your back, side or front. Once you have your sleeping bag and pillow, the layer between you and the ground is going to make the largest difference in how you feel in the morning.
Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir Xtherm Max boasts the best pound-for-pound warmth in its class. When it comes to weight and travel, you’re not going to find a better sleeping pad for how well it compacts and how much comfort you get for the size. It uses over a hundred individual cells to trap warm air and conform to your body in case you move around while you sleep.
You can inflate it by blowing into the valve or using the separate pump to squeeze air inside for additional comfort. It weighs less than a pound, promising the best night of sleep with minimal weight while you travel, and starts at around $199.95.
The Therm-a-Rest DreamTime is all about trying to replicate the feeling of your own bed while you’re on any kind of outdoor adventure. It does that with a three-layer system of mattress, foam pillow top, and fleece cover to keep you warm and stable while you sleep. It’s filled with a soft foam with a polyester, soft-to-touch fabric so that you might forget that you’re camping. Starting at $199.95, the DreamTime is for people who like to glamp, and they won’t be disappointed.
Best Sleeping Pad for Car Camping
The Big Agnes Q-Core SLX is one of their newest and most advanced sleeping pad; it integrates all the best features needed for a comfortable and cushioned night of sleep. The Q-Core SLX is all about warmth without sacrificing durability and compactness. Constructed with rip-stop fabric and layered with a quilted sleeping surface, the three-season pad has a suggested use all the way down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has an easy-to-use valve and storage sack that makes it very easy to unroll when you get to camp and pack up when you leave. It isn’t nearly as expensive as the competition either, with its price starting at $139.95, although it runs to $219.95 (depending on the size).
It’s a little heavy and a bit pricy, but coming in with 4.7 inches of air between you and the ground is the Exped SynMat Mega. This is as close as you’ll get to packing an air mattress on your next four-season adventure. It’s the thickest mattress they’ve constructed to date and requires a separate pump sac to accommodate all the extra air inside the mattress. It’s closer to a bed than anything else and would also be a good option for car camping. It runs between $159.20 and $229 (depending on the size), and weighs around 3 pounds, but it’s tough to beat for warmth and comfort.
Best Double Sleeping Pad
The Klymit Double V is the lightest (and one of the most affordable) two-person sleeping pads on the market, making it great for camping with your significant other. Running at around $129.95, it combines all the comfort of their extremely popular Static V with the 47 inches of width for two people to comfortably rest on top. Its air chambers are designed to keep you still if your partner moves around all night, and includes a small air pump that also doubles as the stuff sack.
Best Sleeping Pad for Big Guys
The Therm-A-Rest Mondoking 3D is as big as it sounds. With 4 inches of thickness and availability in only large and extra-large, the Mondoking can be purchased in a size as large as 30 inches by 80 inches (just shy of 7 feet long). The largest sleeping pad that Therm-a-Rest makes, it doesn’t sacrifice comfort or portability either, weighing around 6 pounds. The Mondoking starts at $179.95.
The REI Stratus, which starts at $79.95, is a solid and thick sleeping pad with a comfortable I-beam design. The tubes keep you centrally located on the sleeping pad, and it comes with a compression strap and stuff sack. Weighing less than 2 pounds, it makes for a great and simple pad for either car camping or backpacking adventures.
There you have it—solid choices for the sleeping pad that will be just what you need after a full day of outdoor adventuring.
Where to Buy Sleeping Pads
Backcountry: Current Promotions
Moosejaw: Current Promotions
Walmart: Free Shipping with Site to Store.
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