Chances are that we backpackers have already experienced a few sleepless nights due to poorly insulated, uncomfortable sleeping pad. Finding the most comfortable backpacking sleeping pad, thus, becomes an urgent task.
Below you will find 6 items that not only provide you high R-value to survive cold nights but also offer unlimited comfort for comfy periods of sleep.
Here are the most comfortable backpacking sleeping pads you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall (Inflatable): WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad
- Most Compact: Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best for Side Sleepers: Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
- Best Overall (Self-Inflating): Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad
- Innovative Design: IFORREST Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Best for Winter Campers: Gear Doctors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
Best Overall: WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad
Easy to inflate
When it comes to the most comfortable inflatable sleeping pads, Wellax Ultralight is the most well-rounded option. With the design of flexing air cells, the pad acts like a mobile sprung mattress at home, giving you comfortable night sleeps.
Thanks to the air cells, the pad weighs only 14.5 oz and can be packed down very small (10”x3.5”). A pad that requires no extra space in your rucksack, no added effort to carry is certainly a dream choice.
Wellax Ultralight offers a revolutionary design, with Laminated 20D Rip-stop Nylon and the TPU Layer. Both protect the pad from abrasion, tear, and water, and at the same time, keep your body warm by reflecting radiant heat back to you.
This pad features 2 flat valves, making it quick to inflate and deflate (maximum 6 puffs to inflate!). With the R-value of 2.1, it makes an excellent 3-season mat.
WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad Specifications
78 x24 x2.5 inches
4 – 6
Laminated 20D Rip-stop Nylon
Laminated 20D Rip-stop Nylon, the TPU Layer, silent, waterproof, abrasion / tear resistant
A combination of durability and ultra-comfort, WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad will be your faithful companion for your every sleep.
Most Compact: Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
Pack down very small
A noiseless sleeping pad
It feels a bit narrow.
Sleepingo Camping pad is compatible with all terrain types. The durable TPU nylon material allows the pad to stay tough even on rough and uneven ground. It is noise-free and abrasion-resistant.
This product not only protects your beauty night sleeps but also save you from an overloaded backpack. This 14.5 oz sleeping pad can pack down to 8x3.5” – the size of a water bottle! You have tons of space for other important stuff.
What’s more, Sleepingo is designed for an extended camping trip. The interconnected air cells offer ultimate sit-and-sleep space for users. You can have all the features in one single pad with an affordable price.
Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad Specifications
8 x 3.5 inches
10 – 15
Packs down to the size of a bottle, made of super strong waterproof and camping grade ripstop nylon fabric
Looking for the most compact camping pad without spending an arm and a leg? Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is exactly what you need.
Best for Side Sleepers: Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
Small pack size
V-baffle design is helpful for side sleepers
Quickly and easily inflate
Quite hard to get all the air out when deflating.
As a side sleeper, I understand how frustrated it is to sleep on the “wrong” camping pad when you keep waking up at night because of deflation and your own noise. Klymit Static V has literally saved my life, and I will tell you why.
This camping pad offers an amazing design suitable for side sleepers. It features body mapping technology with V-shaped design, which helps you sleep comfortably on your side or stomach.
Klymit also comes with side rails, reducing air movement, preventing deflation during use.
The deep weld patterning maintains the thermal comfort through the night. This camping pad is certainly rugged since it resists to tear, puncture and abrasion. Plus, it includes a patch kit and anti-microbial laminate, which keeps the pad durable.
This item is certainly the heaviest one compared to the two options above. Nevertheless, it weighs only 18.1 oz with an exceptionally small pack size 3”x 8.
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad Specifications
72 x 23 x 2.5 Inches
3 x 8 Inches
V-chamber design, 10-15 Breaths, lightweight, ade of durable and rugged 75D polyester fabric
So side sleepers, Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad takes care of your sleep every night. It deserves a place in your backpack!
Best Overall: Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad
Great product for a decent price
Built-in pillow for added comfort
The pillow isn’t self-inflating.
As for self-inflating sleeping pads, the Coleman camping pad ranks the first place for its best overall. The tufted design provides an added layer of cushioning, making it more comfortable to sleep on.
The polyester shell protects the pad from abrasion and tear. It can handle rough terrains and stays durable after a multiple-day trip. The Coleman pad features a pillow for extra comfort. Sleeping on the ground doesn’t seem to be tricky anymore.
One thing to keep in mind: the pillow isn’t self-inflating. You will need to spend a few breaths to make it usable.
The free flow valve from Coleman works perfectly. It takes a few minutes to inflate and deflate the pad. Thanks to the compression straps, you can pack and transport the pad more easily.
Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad Specifications
76 x 25 x 2.5 inches
Tufted design provides an extra layer of padding, durable polyester shell endures tough use, compression straps force out air for quick deflation
Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad provides extra comfort with a decent price. It is hands-down a must-have product for backpackers and campers.
Innovative Design: IFORREST Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
Comfortable design with armrest and pillow
Self-inflating works great.
A long sleeping pad
Hard to deflate
Iforrest has upgraded their sleeping pad into a new luxury. A typical pad will offer a comfortable sleeping space, but Iforrest provides a safeguard for your nights of sleep. With both pillow and armrest, it helps you recharge and get ready for the next morning.
The armrest acts as walls to protect you from falling off the pad. The sleeping pad is quite long, so it can accommodate people of different sizes. The self-inflating works perfectly, holding air for days. The waterproof 190T polyester protects the pad from water, fungus, tear and abrasion.
What I love about this pad is the size. Being the longest pad in the list, it can accommodate users of different heights. However, some people complain that it is quite narrow. Plus, since it can hold air long, the pad is hard to deflate.
IFORREST Sleeping Pad with Armrest and Pillow Specifications
77 x 26 x 1.2 inches
17.7 x 6.3 x 6.3 Inches
Waterproof 190T Polyester, with armrests, durable
If comfort is the most important element you are looking for in a sleeping pad, IFORREST Sleeping Pad with Armrest and Pillow is certain your cup of tea.
Best for Winter Campers: Gear Doctors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
Easy to clean
Compatible with hammocks
A bulky pad because of foam filling.
Looking for a well-insulated sleeping pad for winter camping? Gear Doctors has a lot to offer. The self-inflating pad features a premium non-leak valve, which makes it easy to inflate and deflate. It can hold air for an extended period.
The Superior Micro Coated 75D green Polyester resists water and UV light, making sure that you sleep on a cozy and clean bed. Gear Doctors self-inflating pad offers 15% more surface so that it fits people of different sizes. Adopting Special Thermo-Insulating Foam, this model offers premium insulation to keep you warm when the temperature drops low.
The foam filling insulation also makes the pad quite bulky once it is inflated. However, the pack size is totally ideal, only 8 x12 inches. With R-value of 4.3, the Gear Doctors self-inflating pad is a great option for winter campers.
What I also like from Gear Doctors is a detailed and carefully written manual. You will learn how to use, clean, repair and preserve the item like a pro with a repair kit.
Gear Doctors- Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Specifications
74.6 x 24 x 1.5 inches
8 x 12 inches
Special Thermo-insulating Foam
Premium NON-LEAK Valve
Gear Doctors- Self Inflating Sleeping Pad with utmost comfort, durable design is a certain choice for backpackers and campers in all weather conditions.
How To Choose The A Comfortable Sleeping Pad?
New to camping gear shopping? You probably have no idea how to choose the most comfortable sleeping pad. Following are some take-home tips for you!
What do you use a sleeping pad for? Clarify your intention of use will help you to choose the right type of sleeping pad. For example, backpackers should look for air pads or lightweight pads since they can pack down very small.
People who do car camping, on the other hand, can buy thick self-inflating pads because they don’t have to worry about space and weight.
A comfortable sleeping pad should offer a decent thickness. If after inflation, you still feel the ground beneath, this isn’t a good choice. For first-time buyers, you should aim at the thickness of at least 1.5 inches.
R-value and insulation
Even summer sleeping pads require good insulation to prevent heat loss during sleep. Most air sleeping pads provide an extra layer of synthetic insulation inside so that you can cope with different weather conditions.
Another important factor in choosing comfortable sleeping pads is R-value. This rating indicates the pad’s capacity to resist heat. Sleeping pads with high R-value can help you stay warm during cold nights.
R-value ranges from 1 to 11 or even more. A 3-season sleeping pad should have an R-value of 2.5 to 3. Winter sleeping pad should have a rating of 4.
Comfort also comes from packing. Backpackers certainly don’t like sleeping pads that are too bulky, consuming space inside their rucksack. Therefore, when shopping for a pad, take a look at its packed size.
Which Brands Make The most comfortable backpacking sleeping pad?
This is no stranger in the community of camping enthusiasts. Gear Doctors’ products can accommodate users of all size, thus, providing extra comfort and room. Their sleeping pads are also famous for long air retention, durable shell, and superior insulation.
IFORREST always pays attention to users’ comfort. Their innovative design emphasizes on the convenience and ease of use. IFORREST’s products are affordable too.
Coleman has everything to offer, from camping gears to mobile kitchen equipment. Their products are always leading in the market simply because of their superior quality, durability, and convenience.
Coleman offers a wide range of choices with different price tags, so you can easily pick your favorite one.
Klymit’s signature design V-shaped pattern is loved for many reasons. The V pattern features body mapping technology, which provides a safe and comfortable bed for side, stomach and back sleepers.
Their products often come in many sizes, suitable for kids and adults. 3-season sleeping pads from Klymit are comfortable and lightweight, perfect for backpackers.
Wellax has long been a source of inspiration for camping enthusiasts. They provide hi-quality camping gears and comfortable sleeping pads with innovative designs.
As a new manufacturer, Sleepingo has learned the mistakes from their competitors. Their products are wallet-friendly and very lightweight.
Do I need a sleeping pad for backpacking?
Are you going to die from not having a sleeping pad? Certainly not. But your journey will be much more comfortable having one. A sleeping pad not only provides you extra insulation but also offers a safe and soft ground for your body to rest.
Even in summer, you need insulation because it will help to prevent heat loss during the night. Sometimes finding a good spot to sleep could be a luxury. A sleeping pad will cover the rough ground and allow you to rest and recharge for the next morning.
Does the sleeping pad go inside the sleeping bag?
Putting the sleeping pad inside your sleeping bag isn’t a great idea since it could eat up the room inside your bag. However, some people complain that their pad is so slippery, they tend to slips off the surface when they move around while sleeping.
What should you do?
In this case, consider buying a big agnes sleeping bag. This bag comes with no insulation under the back but an extra big pocket so that you can put the sleeping pad into. Problem solved!
Do you need a sleeping pad with a hammock?
A hammock brings you enough comfort, you don’t need an added pad to get comfy. However, when the temperature drops below 70 degrees, having no insulation isn’t a great idea. Of course, the choices aren’t limited to only sleeping pads. You can choose pea pods or underquilts too.
When it comes to versatility, hammock campers often go for sleeping pads rather than other insulations. You can use the pad to sit on in the morning or to chill in the evening before going to bed. Clearly, it is a useful option compared to other choices.
Do I need an insulated sleeping pad?
The cold ground is every camper’s nightmare. Even in summer, the ground can absorb your body heat and leave you in cold. Many people have already experienced the cold due to ineffective sleeping pads as well as sleeping bags.
Having an insulated sleeping pad isn’t a must, but I would never say no to it. The sleeping pad is an important part of the insulation system that you need when camping in any season.
How do you make a sleeping pad warmer?
There are a few tricks to heat up your sleeping pad.
You can put your sleeping pad inside your bag. Your body heat will be trapped inside the bag and insulated by the pad.
Use an emergency blanket under your pad. The emergency blanket doesn’t really help you insulate from the ground. However, it can reflect the heat back to you. In case you don’t have an emergency blanket, you can also use windshield protectors.
Spread your clothes underneath you. This will add another layer of insulation and allow you to sleep comfortably.
Use a hot water bottle. Be careful with this trick because you don’t want to spray water all around. Put your hot water bottle in a sock and roll it over the pad to warm up the surface.
Saying goodbye to cold grounds and sleepless nights, your most comfortable backpacking sleeping pad will be your trusted companion miles after miles. Don’t forget to read carefully the buying guide and company’s review before making any purchase.