Sleeping pads are often used in combination with a sleeping bag to provide the user with a more comfortable place to sleep that provides additional insulation and padding. There are several different types of sleeping pads available including air sleeping pads, self-inflating sleeping pads, and closed-cell foam sleeping pads.
Air pads are the lightest option and are the easiest to carry in a backpack. Air pads need to be inflated, and some come with a built-in hand pump. They are comfortable and lightweight and are suitable for camping in even warmer conditions.
The firmness can be customized by adding or releasing air as you see fit. Air pads may end up being more expensive than other sleeping pads because of how compact they are. They can also easily become punctured and may require repairs.
Self-inflating pads most often use a combination of open cell foam insulation and air. Some are designed for backpacking and can be folded up to fit the bag. They are comfortable and compact, and you can also customize the firmness by adding or releasing air. However, they are a bit heavier than air pads and are more expensive than foam pads and can be punctured and not as easily repaired.
Closed-Cell Foam Pads
The closed-cell foam pads are the most basic backpacking sleeping pad you can find. They are filled with a dense foam that has closed air cells and can be rolled up or folded. They are generally lightweight and are more affordable than other sleeping pad types.
They can also be carried on the outside of the backpack because you do not risk puncturing anything because it is made of foam and does not require air. However, they can be more uncomfortable than the other choices, and they are bulky and firm.
Backpacking Sleeping Pad Reviews
The following are the best backpacking sleeping pad reviews to make it easier to find the perfect pad for your next camping trip:
The Fox Outfitters Ultralight Series Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is ideal for backpackers, hikers, and campers that are looking for comfort that is lightweight, portable, and compact. It is a premium self-inflating pad that features a unique Rip stop fabric that is abrasion resistant and can withstand even the most rugged outdoor terrain. It has a rapid rise open cell foam design for comfort, and the diamond pattern helps to reduce its overall weight.
|Item Dimensions||4.8 x 6.2 x 10.7 inches|
|Item Weight||1.65 pounds|
- Lightweight and versatile foam core pad
- Abrasion resistant and Rip stop fabric for durability
- Weight reduction design makes it more portable
- Comfortable and supportive
- More suitable for a person with a smaller frame
- Can take up to thirty minutes to inflate
The Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad is a lightweight pad that has a v-chamber design that limits air movement and heat loss to provide you with improved support and comfort. It has easy to use push valves to award you with quick inflation and deflation. It is also constructed from rugged materials which make it durable enough to withstand even rough outdoor terrain.
|Item Dimensions||72 x 23 x 2.5 inches|
|Item Weight||1 pound|
- Comfortable and supportive due to body mapping technology
- Side rails for added security and inhibits air movement
- Deep weld pattern provides thermal comfort
- Made of polyester material for durability and strength
- Super lightweight design
- Includes a storage bag
- Antimicrobial laminate helps eliminate the growth of fungus and bacteria
- May be a bit narrow; shrinks in width and length when inflated
- Material is very thin
The Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad is ideal for campers, hikers, and backpackers that are looking for a more comfortable and portable sleeping solution for their outdoor activities. It has a thick 2-inch pad that includes air cells that can adjust to your particular body shape so that you can achieve optimum comfort, support, and even warmth. It is extremely lightweight which makes it perfect for backpacking and it can roll up to be even smaller than your water bottle or travel umbrella.
|Item Dimensions||73 x 21.6 x 2.2 inches|
|Item Weight||14.5 ounces|
- Ultra-lightweight and compact sleeping pad
- Premium rip stop nylon fabric with a TPU coating for durability
- Air cells provide comfort and support
- Isolated air channels limit air flow and provide warmth even with no insulation
- Large air valves for easy inflation and deflation in just seconds
- Small packaging and rolls up small so it is easy to carry
- Thinner material
- Makes a slight noise when you are sleeping on it
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
The Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad is lightweight, compact, and is made from durable materials that can withstand outdoor conditions. It provides a large sleeping area and can be easily inflated and deflated in seconds and requires only about twenty-five breaths.
It is made from a polyester material that provides superior tear, puncture, and abrasion resistance. It has a streamlined design that offers synthetic insulation and is damp-proof. This sleeping pad is ideal for backpackers because it can be rolled up into a very compact and easily portable carrying size.
|Item Dimensions||75 x 30 x 3 inches|
|Item Weight||26.5 ounces|
- There are clips on the side that can connect two pads together
- Extremely lightweight and compact, so it’s easy to carry in a backpack
- Includes a built-in pillow
- Design creates expansion zones and can provide improved thermal comfort
- Tear, puncture, and abrasion resistant
- Damp proof
- Higher price point
TNH Outdoors Lightweight Foam Sleeping Pad
The TNH Outdoors Lightweight Foam Sleeping Pad is made from an outer polyester shell for increased strength and durability that can withstand punctures or other abrasions. It is easy to inflate and deflate because of the durable plastic valve. Simply twist it open and unroll the pad and it will immediately start to inflate on its own. The thick material also offers added insulation so you can stay warm and you can remain comfortable with the extra cushioning and padding that this sleeping pad offers.
|Item Dimensions||15.9 x 9.8 x 6.5 inches|
|Item Weight||2 pounds|
- Easy inflation and deflation
- Convenient carry pouch and removable compression strap
- Extra cushioning and padding for additional comfort
- Thick polyester outer shell for warmth and insulation
- Lightweight, compact, and easy to carry in pouch or backpack
- May be uncomfortable for a side sleeper
- Width is too narrow
When looking for the best sleeping pad for your next backpacking trip then a comfortable and lightweight sleeping pad would be the best option for you. For more minimalist backpacking, then a more ultra lightweight sleeping pad like the Outdoorsman would be convenient.
However, if you plan on going backpacking for longer and want to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, then a thicker material and larger bed would be best suited.
For this, I would recommend the Hollyweb sleeping pad because you also have the option of attaching other sleeping pads to it to have a larger and more comfortable sleeping area, but they still roll up into a small and compact form that is easy to carry and won’t add extra pounds to your pack. I hope that backpacking sleeping pad reviews was helpful to you.
Searching for an ultralight sleeping mattress for your backpacking trip? Check out this one here.https://intrepidoutdoors.com/best-ultralight-sleeping-pad-mattress/
Need a cold weather sleeping pad? Learn about our favorite one here.
Are you a side sleeper? Read about the best sleeping pad for side sleepers here.