After a long and tiring hike, it’s important to get a good sleep so it’s essential that you pack the best backpacking sleeping pad. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro hiker, it could be difficult to choose a sleeping pad that is both comfortable and backpacker-friendly. So we’ve come up with a list to help you narrow down your choices.
Getting through the trail is tiring enough. You don’t want your sleep to leave you with muscle aches or back pains, too. So, to save you from sores, you can check our top picks for the best camping chairs.
You also need to make sure that it’s warm enough to protect you from the cold. Most of all, it needs to be safe.
Our Pick: TNH Outdoors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
Combining comfort, convenience, and a great value for money, the #1 Premium Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Lightweight Foam Padding and Superior Insulation Great For Hiking and Camping Construction and Thick Outer Skin is on the top of our list. This one is self-inflating so you don’t need to spend a lot of time setting up. It uses an easy twist mechanic to pull it open and once you unroll the pad, it will easily inflate by itself.
This is great for outdoors because the mattress is designed so that you don’t feel the bumps and uneven surfaces on the ground. It’s thick enough but still compact so that it’s easy to pack.
The material is durable so you don’t need to worry about punctures. You can bring it for long trips and not worry about it getting busted along the way.
Runner Up: Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
Its V-chamber design limits air movement so that it’s stable enough and comfortable. The material also prevents heat loss so it’s perfect for camping on cold nights. The color may be a bit too bright though. But if the outer design is not your priority, this is a really great alternative.
It’s suitable for ground, cot, or even in a hammock. It comes with a stuff sack for easy packing and a patch kit too. Best of all, a lifetime warranty.
If you want a simple yet durable sleeping pad the Camp Solutions Lightweight Self-Inflating Air Sleeping Pad is also a great option. It comes in three really nice bright colors that you can choose from.
This one is less expensive but is sturdy enough for outdoors. It’s lightweight and is small enough to fit in a backpack. It’s easy to inflate with a simple valve that lets air enter the pad automatically. Though you may need to inflate the pillow attachment with your mouth.
The foam is designed with a non-slip soft touch and waterproof skin so you don’t need to worry about wet surfaces. It’s comfortable and is really compact.Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress has a much simple design but serves its purpose. It’s compact and has an easy-fold design so it’s hassle-free to pack. It may not look as fancy as the other brands but it’s quite durable, equipped with a closed-cell foam that also brings extra comfort. It traps heat so you’re well protected from the cold. It’s soft on the surface but dense on the bottom so it’s still suitable for outdoors.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Rest ‘N’ Roll Easy Store Single Camping Sleeping Pad With Carrying Straps will go easy on your pocket but would still be great for your backpacking needs. It’s one of the most affordable pads and is durable enough so it’s a really good value for your money.
It’s lightweight and as the name suggests, quite portable. It comes with two elastic bands to keep the pad rolled tightly so it’s easy to carry while hiking.
How to Choose the Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad
Packing a suitable sleeping pad is really important when backpacking. Sleep is crucial for you to continue the rest of your journey, otherwise you may not have enough strength for the day ahead.
Choosing the best sleeping pad could be intimidating. You might find the expensive brands disheartening but don’t worry because the guide below will help you find one that’s reasonably priced with all the right features.
Perhaps the most essential of all factors is that your sleeping pad is lightweight. You can’t go backpacking with a heavy load. It’s important that it can be easily folded, stored, and carried. If you have a heavy backpack, you might not make it to the end of your trek.
The material of the pad is also very important. There are two major types of pads that you can choose from. Foam pads are probably the most common and they’re less expensive, too. A foam pad is quick to set up since you don’t need to inflate it but it could be bulky. An air pad could be more pricey but a lot of hikers prefer it for its comfort. It also offers additional support. One disadvantage of a foam pad is the possibility of it getting punctured out in the field. That’s why on our list, we made sure to include the ones that are really durable.
If you decide to go with an air pad, it is a must that it comes with a repair kit. Even if it’s durable, you never know when it’s going to be punctured. There are rocks and other sharp objects outside so it’s better to be safe.
Choose one that has the ability to store or trap warmth, especially if you expect to be hiking in cold weather. This is important during the night time. You need to make sure that it will insulate your body from the cold ground.
You need to check how compact it is after packing. Make sure that it can be packed into a small size and that it easily fits into a hiking backpack. Having a bulky sleeping pad might require you to carry it separately or outside of your bag, and that’s really not ideal for backpacking.
For these types of products, it’s really important that you seek the opinions of those who have tested them, so make sure to read the reviews as well.