Sleeping Pads: How to Choose

Sleeping Pads

Sleeping Pads: How to Choose

Having a good night’s sleep is always a healthy body function, which if skipped, can cause intermittent health issues. When camping or backpacking in the countryside, you have to get a comfortable sleeping bag to slide into. But as most of you might know, lying on the ground with a thin material as that of the sleeping bag, might not give you the peace you need. Sleeping pads play a crucial role in putting you to sleep during such adventure trips. What most people think the pads offer is cushioning to assure a comfortable surface to lie on; insulation is another feature it carries to keep you warm all through the night. Choosing a sleeping pad for your trip might become a strenuous task with plenty of options available. Let us have a look at the various factors to check when buying a sleeping pad.

1.      Types of Sleeping Pads

You need to understand the benefits of using each type of sleeping pad; choosing one from the three varieties should be done only after trying all of them in person.


Air Pads

Two varieties are available for air pads: lightweight and extra-thick. The former one is best to be used when you want to go backpacking, and the latter is ideal for glamping. Insulation or reflective materials have been added as a feature to most air pads these days to increase warmth. Alternative inflation methods can also be used here without the need for breathing air into it. They are comfortable, compact, and lightweight, making the packing easier. Customization of the firmness is also possible with this mattress by adding or releasing air through the valves. Drawbacks are that they can be easily ripped or punctured since they are delicate, and it is also expensive since it is lightweight.

Self-Inflating Pads

Open-cell foam insulation and air are offered by the self-inflating pads. When the valve is opened, the foam expands inside the pad and air is brought in automatically. Designs fit for both backpacking and camping are available with different folding patterns. They are compact and reasonable, and it also offers excellent insulation. On the contrary, it is more expensive and heavier than the simple foam pads.

Closed-Cell Foam Pads

Dense foam with tiny closed air cells is present in these pads that are tailor-made for backpacking, and these pads are rolled up in the formation of a Z. They are durable, lightweight, and have consistent insulation but are less comfortable and are bulky and firm.


bulky and firm.

2.      Use of the Pad

You need to consider the intended purpose of these pads when purchasing. Go for the self-inflating or hick air pad when you are off on a car camp. Lightweight self-inflating pad or air pad will provide you with great sleep and comfort when you go backpacking or kayaking.

3.      Warmth

This is another feature that you need to check in the sleeping pads as warmth is essential in a good night’s sleep. If the pads can successfully resist heat loss to the ground, the measured value, R, will be higher.

Apart from these features, you also need to check for the sleeping system and other important aspects such as weight, size, cushioning, and ease of inflation.

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