Just like batteries, we need to “recharge” ourselves with a good night sleep to enjoy the new day ahead. For camping enthusiasts, having a comfortable rest at night is even more critical if they want to have enough energy for the next day.
In the world of sleeping pads, there are so many varieties and types that often leave us – the purchasers in a quandary. If you are looking for a sleeping pad to sleep outdoors, you have heard of foam sleeping pads.
Take a look at these top-rated foam sleeping pads for camping below.
Here are the best foam sleeping pads (May 2021 Update):
- Teton Sports Adventurer Camping Pad
- Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress
- Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Reflective Foam Camping Ground Pad
- Teton Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Camp Pad
- Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mat
- Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad
|Top 6 Best Foam Sleeping Pads For Camping|
|Teton Sports Adventurer Camping Pad||Read Our Review|
|Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress||Read Our Review|
|Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Reflective Foam Camping Ground Pad||Read Our Review|
|Teton Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Camp Pad||Read Our Review|
|Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mat||Read Our Review|
|Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad||Read Our Review|
Best Non-Inflatable Foam Sleeping Pads
Teton Sports Adventurer Camping Pad
Teton Sports is one of the popular brands in outdoor gears. Their products are well-received by trekking and hiking enthusiasts simply because of the durability and multiple functions. When it comes to non-inflating sleeping pads, the first item comes to my mind is Teton Sports Adventurer Camping Pad.
One thing about non-inflating pads is you don’t have to inflate the pad. The Teton Sports Adventurer uses open-cells foam as its main component. As soon as you unroll the Adventurer, it is ready to use. The foam is 2” thick that guarantees comfortable nights of sleep. Plus, your pillow will be safe from the dirty ground thanks to the integrated top pocket.
300D Brushed Canvas is used for the shell material. I have to admit that I love to sleep on the brushed canvas rather than polyester, only because it makes me feel like I’m sleeping on my bed. The cover fabric is also easy to keep clean.
If you think the Teton Sports Adventurer can only be a camping pad, you think it wrong. The Adventurer is an extremely versatile product. You have a guest coming over? The adventurer is ready to serve your friend a good night sleep. It can also be used as a stand-alone pad or with a cot.
The biggest drawback of this product is its size. As a non-inflating sleeping pad, it is impossible to pack this pad down very small. Though Teton has included sturdy traps and the open-cell foam is very compressible, the packed dimensions of this item are still too bulky.
|Dimensions||75" x 24" x 2"|
|Packed Dimensions||25.5" x 7.5" x 7.5"|
So the Teton Sports Adventurer is not the cup of tea of backpackers and hikers. However, if you go camping by car, or even if you want to have an additional bed at home, I would say this item makes the best option.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress
If you are looking for a lightweight sleeping pad for summer camping trips, Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Mattress is an excellent candidate. This pad offers an R-value of 2.2 for the small size and 2.6 for the regular size. That means you will sleep comfortably without worrying too much about the uneven ground and the heat. The Z Lite Sol doesn’t have any baffles, but it does include dimples that trap heat.
One more factor that makes the Z Lite Sol an excellent companion for any camping trip in summer is the weight. I dare say that this 10-oz sleeping pad is the lightest thing in your backpack while providing you the utmost comfort at night. While the packed size is somehow space-consuming, I suggest you attach it to the side or front of your backpack. This way, you can save space for other essential gears.
You can fold the Z Lite Sol like an accordion. The after-packing shape is shipshape and well-compressed unlike the counterparts that require rolling. As a resutl, you can save plenty of packing time.
This sleeping pad comes in two different sizes, suitable for both children and adults. It adopts the traditional rectangular shape, proving comfortable surface for users. As an ultralightweight pad, it only offers 0.75-inch thickness that doesn’t provide much cushion.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Mattress uses Crosslinked polyethylene as its insulation. This material provides fairly good warmth and quite durable. The closed cell foam for shell cover ensures that your sleeping pad is 100% waterproof.
The only thing I don’t like about this pad is the width. With the standard width of 20 inches, you don’t have much space to turn and toss freely.
|10 oz/ 14 oz|
|20 x 51 x 0.75 inches/ 20 x 72 x 0.75 inches|
|20 in x 4 in x 5.5 in/ 20 in x 5 in x 5.5 in|
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Mattress is a simply designed and affordable sleeping pad. It provides basic features for a reliable surface for comfy nights of sleep. If you are looking for a lightweight but useful item, consider the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Mattress.
Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Reflective Foam Camping Ground Pad
The RidgeRest SOLite Reflective Foam Camping Ground Pad is another ultralight sleeping pad from Therm-a-Rest. The R-value of this product is slightly higher than the Z Lite Sol. Though both products adopt the ThermaCapture ™ technology that reflects the heat back to the body, the SOLite has a unique design of peaks and valleys to keep and distribute heat evenly.
This pad also uses closed cell foams as its insulation. In general, closed-cell foam offers better thermal performance and high capacity of water resistance. Closed cell foams also offer a soft and relaxing surface to sleep on.
Unlike the Z Lite Sol, you can roll up this sleeping mat. That means you can pack it quite smaller than the standard packed dimensions. I consider this a good thing since you can save extra space in your backpack.
My only complaint is about the regular size. The RidgeRest SOLite regular offers a width of 20 inches, which I find quite unpleasant to sleep on, especially for a side sleeper like me who turn quite often.
Don’t worry too much! If you want to have comfortable sleep, check out the best sleeping pads for side sleepers here.
|9 oz/ 14 oz/ 1.3 lbs|
|20 x48 x 0.625 inches/ 20 x 72 x 0.625 inches/ 25 x 77 x 0.625 inches|
|20 in x 6.5 in/ 20 in x 8 in/ 25 in x 8.5 in|
Overall, the RidgeRest SOLite is a product of value for those who want a lightweight, durable, and compressible sleeping pad. It is also budget-friendly and bestows standard features for comfortable overnights in the wildness.
Best Inflatable Foam Sleeping Pads
Teton Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Camp Pad
Non-inflating pads may be great options for “lazy campers,” but they offer relatively low R-value, which only suitable for summer or early autumn camping. In case you want to have a 3 or 4 season sleeping pad, it’s wiser to look for a self-inflating one. The Teton Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Camp Pad is my first choice when it comes to a durable and versatile 4-season sleeping mat.
The Teton Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Camp Pad offers three different sizes; each with different R-value. The regular size offers an R-value of 4.4, while the other two settles down at 5.2 and 5.9. The high R-value allows the pad to provide adequate warmth throughout the night.
The dimensions of TenTon Sports change accordingly to the sizes. While regular size is 2-inch thick, XL and XXL sizes have 2.5” to 3” thickness. This product features COMFORTLITE™ technology that provides ultimate cushioning. Together with the ideal thickness, the soft surface ensures the utmost comfort.
The shell material is non-slippery and easy to clean. The valve works perfectly, shortening the inflating time. Plus, you can create a double-wide, double-thick pad by joining two similar-size pads together.
The shortcoming of this pad is that it isn’t a great choice for backpacking. If your trip involves too much walking, chances are you should look for other lightweight options.
If you are looking for a light pad for your upcoming trips, why don’t you take a look at the best self-inflating sleeping pads for backpacking.
|2 lb 12 oz/ 3 lb 6 oz/ 4 lb 13 oz|
|72" x 25" x 2"/ 76" x 25" x 2.5" / 78" x 30" x 3"|
|26" x 6" x 6"/ 26" x 6" x 6"/ 32" x 7" x 7"|
|4.4/ 5.2/ 5.9|
I do believe that the Teton Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Camp Pad is the best option for car camping. If you are looking for a pad that provides sufficient warmth and cushion for cold nights in the wilderness, don’t hesitate to buy this pad.
Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mat
First, I want to mention the weight of this product. Though it is an inflatable pad which offers a relatively high R-value, this pad is surprisingly lightweight. The small size is only 14 oz, while the large one is slightly over 1 lbs. As for the packed dimensions, this item is very compressible. For weight conscious travelers, The Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mat is just a perfect element for their outdoor gears.
The R-value of this product is 3.4 so that you can use this pad in summer, early autumn and late spring. I would not recommend you to use it when the temperature drops lower. This is because the thickness of the pad is only 1 inch. It doesn’t provide enough cushioning to separate you from the cold ground.
This product adopts PU foam as its insulation. This is a standard and high-quality material; however, due to the thickness, the PU foam doesn’t have much power to keep you warm, especially when you camp in late autumn or early spring. The Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mat uses Urethane for shell coating. Urethane excels at abrasion and solvent resistance.
|14 oz/ 1.6 lbs/ 1.14 lbs|
|20 x 47 x 1 in/ 20 x 71 x 1 in/ 25 x 77 x 1 in|
|11 in x 4.6 in/ 11 in x 5.6 in/ 13 in x 5.7 in|
The Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mat is not only an ideal starter-kit for first-time campers but also a great option for anyone who wants to upgrade from non-inflating pads to inflatable ones.
Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad
I find Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad is an alternative for campers who want to travel in comfort. The weight isn’t ideal compared for its counterparts like The Trail Scout. However, it is still somewhat acceptable for car camping, especially when you consider the R-value.
This product has an ideal R-value for winter camping. It offers 5.0 rating with the thickness of 2 inches. The Urethane Foam is durable and famous for the capacity to trap and distribute heat throughout. All of these factors make the BaseCamp a great choice for cold winter nights.
Therm-a-Rest uses 75D Polyester for this product’s shell fabric. This is a popular and sturdy material that offers numerous benefits. It is resistant to tear, abrasion and even water.
|2.2 lbs/ 2.12 lbs/ 3.11 lbs|
|20"x72"x 2” / 25"x77”x 2”/ 30"x77"x2”|
|5"x21"/ 5"x26"/ 5"x31"|
Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad is undoubtedly a must-have item when considering its high R-value and all useful features that promise comfortability. This product is suitable for both car camping and can be used all year around.
How To Pack A Foam Sleeping Dad?
As you can see in the review part, there are two types of foam sleeping pads: the inflatable and non-inflating ones. They offer different uses and can be packed differently.
As for the inflatable sleeping pads, it is quite easy to pack them. All you need to do it open to the valve and let the pad deflate itself. As you roll up the pad, use your knee to remove any left air inside. Most inflatable sleeping pads come with a stuff sack with traps that could be used to store.
Non-inflating sleeping pads are quite bulky, even though they are not weighty. This kind of pads can be packed down into the accordion style, so that you can just crease it according to the rectangular-shaped folds . You don’t have to waste any sweets for the folding up. Several non-inflating pads require you to fold it or roll it over. Most people often find this type of pads bulky, space-consuming and hard to compress. My advice is rather than rolling it over and attach it somewhere outside; you should put it into the backpack and let it loose. To save extra space for other essential gears, make sure that there is no extra air in between the folded layers.
How Thick Should A Foam Sleeping Pad Be?
So how thick should a foam sleeping pad be? The answer to this question varies depending on your preferences. Foam sleeping pads can be as thin as 0.6 inches and as thick as 3 inches, as you can see in the list above. The thicker it gets, the better it can insulate you from the cold.
So if you are only looking for a mattress for summer camping, go for the thin ones. You should find an even ground to lay the pad since it doesn’t provide much cushioning. In case you want a pad for low temperatures, nothing is better than a 2-or-3-inch thick mat.
How To Clean Foam Sleeping Pad?
Most foam sleeping pads utilize cleanable fabrics such as Brushed Canvas or water-resistant Polyester. You can easily keep it clean by following the instruction below:
- Step 1: Use a hand-size vacuum to get rid of dust and debris on the pad’s surface.
- Step 2: If your sleeping pad has dirty spots, applying liquid detergent directly on where you want to clean. Later use a wet cloth to rub the dirt away.
- Step 3: In case you want to clean the whole pad, mix a cupful of liquid detergent with water and use the lather to clean the pad. Wash it thoroughly with water and let it air-dry. I wouldn’t recommend to put it directly under the sun since that could make the outer fabric discolor.
Which Is Warmer - Inflatable Sleeping Pad Or Foam?
When it comes to the ability to keep warm, it is hard to compare between inflatable and foam sleeping pads. In general, inflatable sleeping pads often have higher R-value. This is because they use open-cell foams and air as added insulation. The density of air molecules is lower than the one of foam; therefore, inflatable sleeping pads can insulate better. They also offer baffles to trap heat in the surface. Inflatable pads allow you to adjust the firmness and deliver cushioning.
Foam sleeping pads though have less ability to insulate are still popular among backpackers and campers. Many people prefer this foam type because of the reasonable price tag, and ease of use. Plus, foam sleeping pads are perfect for those who don’t have specific needs and if the camping grounds are not too lumpy. However, since most foam sleeping pads are lightweight, their thermal performances are somewhat less effective than those of inflatable counterparts.
In short, if all you need is a portable, reasonably priced and versatile sleeping pads, the foam type is a great candidate. I do hope that the six best foam sleeping pads for camping have provided enough information and comparison that help you make up your mind.