The Best Sleeping Pads for Camping: Our Top 5

By Published On: October 12th, 20210 Comments
A good night’s sleep is an important part of any camping trip! You’ll want to make sure you get the best rest so that you can have the strength and energy to hike and explore. One way to make sure you get a decent night of sleep is by investing in the best camping sleeping pad for you! Don’t forget to add it to your camping list, whether you’re camping alone or with friends! Why do you need a sleeping pad? Why not just sleep on the ground in your sleeping bag? While some people may opt for this, they likely regret it in the morning when they wake up with a sore back! A mattress or sleeping pad will not only provide you cushioning on the hard ground, but it will make for a more even surface for sleeping on. In addition to this, it can also keep you warmer if the ground is cold while you’re camping in the winter. So how do you find the best camping sleeping pad for you? What should you be looking for? Here are a few things to look for and consider:

Foam vs Inflatable vs Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

The first thing to think about is what type of sleeping pad you want. Foam pads are the least expensive, but they also offer the least amount of support. Inflatable options offer more support and are easy to pack up and transport along with you. Self-inflating pads are kind of the best of both worlds—they feature foam that expands when you open the valve, providing you with plenty of cushioning. These are probably the heaviest option of the three, but they are also very comfortable!

R-Value

The next thing you’ll want to think about, especially if you’re camping in colder weather, is the R-value. The R-value tells you how much resistance it provides to the ground temperature. In other words, pads with higher R-values will have more resistance and keep you warmer while you’re on cold ground.

Size

Next, you’ll obviously want to take size into consideration and find something that will fit you and fit well inside your tent. Take your height into consideration while you’re searching for the best camping sleeping pad for you, but also think about how wide of a pad you want. If you tend to roll around and move a lot in your sleep, or if you’ll be sharing the pad with a partner, you may want something that gives you a little extra space.

Weight

Your camping sleeping mat will likely be one of the heaviest things that you take along with you on your trip, so keep the weight in mind when you’re picking one out! You can cut down on weight by choosing a tapered-shape pad if that fits your needs.

5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads

Here are a few of our favorite options of the best camping sleeping pads!

Therm-A-Rest ProLite

First on our list of best camping sleeping pads is this self-inflating option, which also happens to be the most lightweight self-inflating sleeping pad on the market! This pad is easy to carry along with you on all of your excursions, and it features an R-value of 2.4, making it a good option for fall camping. It comes in a larger size which makes it perfect for those who are a bit on the taller side.

Big Agnes Hinman

For those who are camping with a friend or partner, it’s a good idea to bring along a two-person pad! This can help you make the most of your space when packing as well as keep you warmer if you’re camping in the cold. This is another self-inflating option and features an easy-to-use two-way valve for inflation, deflation, and adjusting it to the softness you prefer. Durable material makes it great for using season after season!

Coleman Quickbed Elite Twin Air Mattress

If you’re in search of a durable inflatable pad, this is a great choice and affordable option! It comes with a built-in 4D pump, so you don’t have to worry about inflating it yourself or finding a place to plug it in. The AirTight system and Double Lock valve keep the air in all night while the soft plush allows for a more comfortable feel. Plus, it even includes a carry bag!  

Eureka Rio Grande

Another great two-person pad is this option by Eureka! This inflatable pad is a queen size which offers plenty of room. The internal stabilization system works to absorb movement and makes this mattress a sturdy choice. It comes with a rechargeable pump, and the integrated raised pillow adds a nice touch! You’re sure to stay comfortable all night long with this pad that works best for summer camping.

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro

Last but certainly not least on our list of best camping sleeping pads is this pad is a great option for winter and cold-weather camping! With an R-value of 4.4, this self-inflating sleeping pad will work to keep you warm all through the night. It inflates quickly and is easy to pack down when you’re on the go. This is a must for those who enjoy camping year-round! Be sure you keep your specific needs in mind as you choose the best camping sleeping pad that works for you before heading out on your next trip!

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