Whether you’re hiking, traveling or moving, having a portable sleeping pad at your disposal can turn a restless night into a relatively peaceful one. While many people think that these pads are always uncomfortable, the truth is that this the market is very wide and there are varying levels of comfort and durability that can match your preferences and price point. The best sleeping pad for camping will be easy to carry around, take only a handful of breaths to fill up and will give you a good night’s sleep. Here are the best products based on price, features, and practicality.
At less than $10, this entry-level item is the a good sleeping pad if you’re looking to save money without sacrificing sleep quality. The mattress is capable of withstanding more than 200 pounds without popping (and often will only bottom out at 250) and comes with a fabric top that makes sleeping even more comfortable. The wave beam finish gives this a traditional mattress feel to improve sleep quality, and the fabric is waterproof to help it withstand outdoor conditions. When it’s time to get up and go, you can easily deflate the pad and pack it up. The lightweight material won’t weigh you down as you’re trekking along, and it can fit in very small bags and spaces.
While this is one of the best in this price point in terms of sleep quality and durability, you are making some sacrifices due to the low price. Perhaps the biggest sacrifice is the number of breaths needed to inflate the pad. Unlike premium products that clearly display how many breaths are needed, this one doesn’t give that information. On average, it will take you about 30-45 minutes to inflate the pad. It’s highly recommended that you buy a pump to make this process a little easier, otherwise you might be a little lightheaded after you’re finished. Also, while the pad itself is definitely comfortable, there’s a very clear difference between this product and premium offerings.
If you need something that gets the job done without any frills and a low price point, then the Intex is the best for you. However, if you want more features, then continue on to the other items on this list.
While this is technically a hybrid sleeping pad since it is part air and part foam, it’s definitely one of the best sleeping pads available. Clocking in around $40, this gives you some premium features and comfort without the extra cost. As stated above, this is a hybrid pad, which gives you the pros of each with only a few cons. The foam section is where most of the comfort comes from. It’s about 1.5 inches thick and fairly firm, but just enough to give you a good sleep and lay comfortably over sticks, seams and other bumps that could disrupt your sleep.
The sleeping pad adds about another inch to the thickness and gives it a touch of extra comfort and durability. As you can guess from the product’s name, the sleeping pad portion inflates on its own. Just open the valve and let air come in. You will have to give two or three breaths to top it off (be careful not to overinflate it as this can cause rips). The whole process of getting the pad ready is very easy and should only take a minute or two.
Durability is always important, especially if you are on rocky terrain or a sleeper that often twists and turns. This product comes with a 75D polyester covering that is very resistant to rips and tears. If you need something that will live up to any terrain, then this product is a great fit for you.
You might be a little worried about the foam making this pad hard to pack. You’d be very wrong. While it’s a little bigger than some other sleeping pads, it’s still very easy to roll up and pack into a small bag. It is, however, a tiny bit heavier than other portable sleeping pads. It comes in around two pounds, which really shouldn’t make your trek too difficult.
Another con of this pad is that it’s great for warm weather but bad for cold weather because it’s doesn’t retain that much body heat. This might be a benefit if you prefer cooler sleeping surfaces. Otherwise, this is one of the best around and nearly qualifies as a premium product due to its comfort and ease of use.
There’s no way to complete a list of sleeping pads without mentioning this one. It’s so close to a premium product it almost hurts. Whether you’re looking for something light, comfortable, packed with features or just great to sleep on, this is the perfect sleeping pad. It’s hard to know where to start, but let’s talk about one of its most innovative features: air pockets.
When you think of sleeping pads, you probably think of a fairly flat pocket of plastic with some ribbing here and there for comfort. This OutdoorsmanLab product will completely change your perspective. It is constructed with individual, interconnected air pockets that are designed to mold to your body shape. Each pocket fills with enough air to support you with ease, while the design allows the pockets to give you optimal comfort. This design allows the mattress to hold adequate amounts of heat to keep you warm throughout the night.
Another great thing about this design is that, even though the sleeping pad is plump and full, only requires very little air. You can actually fill this within 10-15 breaths, so no lightheadedness or extended periods of trying (miserably) to fill the pad. While you can use an air pump to make it even easier, be careful to not over inflate.
Worried about durability? This thing is made for punishment. It’s made from Ripstop 20D nylon, which is thick enough to resist rips and punctures that would destroy most other sleeping pads. The covering is also laminated to prevent water damage and to resist environmental forces.
You’ll find this is the best if you need portability. It can be packed tightly into a bag that is smaller than an average water bottle, and it’s so light that you may forget it’s there.
This sleeping pad is a wonder and has so many features and is so comfortable it’s definitely a top of the line product that will keep you happy both awake and asleep. If you want the best of the best, then you’ll love this product.
This sleeping pad stands at the pinnacle of our list. In many ways, it’s similar to the OutdoorsmanLab pad above, but there are just a few features that edge it to the top. The price point is only slightly higher as well, so you won’t be breaking the bank to experience this level of comfort while sleeping outdoors.
The Klymit comes with its own unique design and style that serves a very practical purpose. The reason it’s called the “Static V” is that there are V-shaped air pockets running down the length of the mattress. This has been specifically made through their body mapping technology. These pockets allow the item to adjust to your personal shape while cradling you in softness. Another benefit is that this shape greatly reduces air transfer and heat loss, ensuring that you stay warm and toasty throughout the night.
Along the sides, you will see small rails that are meant to keep the pad in place while you sleep. Aside from centering you, the rails dramatically reduce air movement and prevent that rocking feeling you get if you move around at all.
Pumping up the pad is incredibly easy and will only take a few minutes. Within 10-15 breaths the Static V will be ready to go. It’s also amazingly durable. The 75D polyester covering offers superior tear and abrasion resistance, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about random punctures from giving you a good sleep. The laminate covering the polyester provides dual protection against water and microbes.
Weighing in at just 18 ounces, you can easily stow the pad in its small carrying case that’s about the size of a water bottle. This pad is slightly easier to deflate and fold than the OutdoorsmanLab offering.
All of this combined makes the Static V a premium offering that you will absolutely love. While definitely at a higher price point than your common sleeping pad, you will instantly fall for the comfort and features when you give this item a try. If you’re thinking a sleeping pad isn’t right for you, take a look at the air mattresses I looked at.