Getting a decent night’s sleep is important no matter where you are and having one of the best sleeping pads will help make that a reality. Whether you’re spending an entire week sleeping under the stars in the desert or prepping for a weekend camping in your backyard, sleeping pads can add a bit of extra comfort to your traditional sleeping bag.
But, not all sleeping pads are created equal. You’ll have to first choose between a foam mat and an inflatable style. Keep in mind, while inflatable pads more closely resemble a true bed, they are more susceptible to puncturing if you run into rocks and sharp objects.
And, while this might seem obvious, inflatable sleeping pads have to be inflated, so close access to either a power source or a strong set of lungs is crucial if you’re opting for inflatable over foam.
Regardless of style, you’ll want a sleeping pad made of high-quality materials, and with airtight valves so it doesn’t deflate overnight. And lightweight sleeping pads are a great purchase if you’re headed on a weeklong trip and your hiking backpack is already full to the brim.
To assist, I’ve gathered a list of the best sleeping pads of all types to help you sleep well on your next adventure.
Constructed with tough, ultra-durable closed-cell foam, this sleeping pad is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a decent pad that will work well without breaking the bank. At 14 ounces, it’s super lightweight and boasts an ample half inch of thickness. It features soft, cross-linked polyethylene which means that, in contrast to the inflatable types, you can’t puncture or break it. This sleeping pad even has a peaks-and-valleys pattern that traps heat in the crevices, keeping you extra warm. The only drawback is that, unlike the deflatable options, you can’t stuff it into a compact sack as easily.
For a higher price, you can get this top-of-the-line sleeping pad from Sea To Summit. Designed with temperature-regulating Thermolite fabric and 548 air sprung cells, this sleeping pad is seriously comfortable no matter where you’re spending the night. Something to note: It is an inflated pad, though, so a little bit of extra effort will be required to get it set up. But, it’s high-quality valve allows you to customize the exact amount of air pressure in your pad, all in just 8 to 12 breaths.
This durable double sleeping pad is made of rugged polyester pongee with TPU lamination that makes it strong and waterproof. It weighs less than 4 pounds — impressive for a double pad — and comes with an easy-carry stuff sack. The material is puncture-resistant (although not entirely resilient against sharp rocks), and each side showcases two valves for easy inflation and rapid deflation.
If you’ve never tried a self-inflating sleeping pad like this one from TNH Outdoors, here’s how it works: You simply twist its valve open and wait as this pad starts to inflate itself. Because of the ease of use, self-inflating pads are a favorite amongst people planning long hiking or camping trips, where they know they’ll be low on energy when they decide to finally hit the hay. This pad, specifically, is 1.5-inches thick for extra comfort, coated in a 75D polyester outer shell for extra durability, and comes with a lifetime warranty. It even has it’s own carrying sack, so you can take it with you just about anywhere. For just $35, this sleeping pad is a steal.
In case you haven’t quite warmed to the idea of “roughing it,” this durable air mattress will give you all of the comforts of a full-sized mattress without the weight. It features a super silky, plush top with reinforced construction that makes it firm yet comfy. The mattress’s double lock valve technology ensures it won’t leak or get saggy while its ‘Wrap ‘N Roll’ storage system keeps it portable and easy to carry. Lightweight enough to pack with you on your next camping trip, this mattress is a great alternative to a sleeping pad.
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