10 Best Sleeping Pads Reviewed & Compared
Whether you are on a family camping trip, climbing or completing a long hike a good night’s sleep is crucial. In order to the get the rest you need, we highly recommend you utilize the best sleeping pad for you.
With all the options available, we know how difficult it can be to find the best sleeping pad for you. So, we took the time to research and review the best options currently available and have come up with the following list of the top 10 sleeping pads currently available on the market.
The best sleeping pad for everyone should be lightweight enough to carry in a backpack, comfortable enough to “sleep like a baby”, and warm enough to let you sleep through the night. Check out our list of the top-rated sleeping pads currently available below!
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
- Mountain Equipment Aerostat 7.0
- Excellent heat retention
- Klymit Armored V
- Most comfortable
10 Best Sleeping Pads
1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
Even though this is a lightweight option, comfort isn’t sacrificed one bit. It has horizontal baffling that provides stability, with a smooth surface with softer fabrics that are still durable. At 2.5 inches thick, it pillowy without being overly thick, providing just enough cushion.
This sleeping pad has a R-value of 3.2, and is recommended to use as low as 20 degree F. The company claims that is has more warmth per ounce than other three-season options. However, realistically this means there is some warmth provided but not enough for extreme colder weather. In that case use a foam pad and layer up to ward off the cold. Still, it performs well in the mild to warm seasons since it includes the company’s patent-pending ThermaCapture technology that traps in heat. Instead of synthetic insulation, it has the company’s Triangular Core Matrix construction that makes it more durable while keep the weight down. Put simply, it is warm for its weight.
To inflate (and deflate) there is an easy-to-use valve. It takes about 15 breathes to blow up, which is relatively low. Of course deflating is much easier.
This is one of the lightest sleeping pads on the market at just 12 oz heavy. And it packed down great to be the size of a 1-liter bottle to be placed in a backpack when it’s time to hit the road.
- Ultralight weight for those looking for fast packing and light loads
- Warm enough even in cold weather (when paired with a foam pad)
- Compact and easy to pack
- Can be bouncy when filled to the max
- Not wide enough
2. Mountain Equipment Aerostat Down 7.0
This duck down-filled sleeping pad has vertically aligned baffles to decrease movement and increase your overall comfort.
With an 8.8 R-Value, this sleeping pad was built to withstand freezing temperatures. This warmth comes from 4.2 ounces of duck down that the company has packed into the vertical baffles of the sleeping pad. These baffles also prevent down migration from occurring--which helps ensure heat retention.
This sleeping pad is simple and easy to use. It comes with a gas mask valve so you can easily inflate it with just a few breaths. This gas mask valve, combined with the use of the Windsock, allows you to quickly and easily inflate the sleeping pad.
This is one of the most packable options out there. It folds up to about the size of a loaf of bread and weighs a pound and four ounces. It's dimensions are 72.8 x 21.2 x 2.7 inches.
• Composed of 30D ripstop nylon
• Withstands temperatures up to -40 degrees Farenheit
• Compact size
• Filled with duck down
• Vertical baffles that reduces heat migration
• 8.8 R-value, Easy to inflate
• Not suited for warm temperatures
3. Klymit Armored V
This is a both a highly durable and incredibly comfortable sleeping pad. It's 2.5 inches thick and utilizes hexagonal resin plates--making it comfortable in even the most rugged terrain. Its 300,000 armored SuperFabric scales make it slash, puncture, moisture, and abrasion proof. This sleeping pad is sure to keep you comfortable in even the most rugged environment.
With an R-value of 4.4 this sleeping pad will keep you warm, but don't expect to use this one in freezing temperatures.
This sleeping pad is simple and easy to use. Its twist-pull valve allows you to fully inflate it with just 10 breaths.
While this one is a little heavier at 2.9 pounds, it still folds into a compact size that is easy to travel with.
• Fits more than one person
• Easy to inflate
• Compact size
• Not meant for extreme temperatures
4. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm
This is thickness of 2.5 inches, this is a thin and lightweight option. But that doesn’t mean comfort is left out in the dark. It still has enough thickness to be nicely off the ground. It’s fabric is textured, but is non-slip and smooth. It is much more comfortable than other lightweight options, and might very well end up being a go-to for many campers and travelers based on its level of comfort.
With a R-value of 5.7, the NeoAir Therm is one of the warmest choices on the market. This makes it ideal even for winter, making it a four season sleeping pad. It retains heat well while being light and not bulky like many might assume. It does this by using its ThermaCapture (patent-pending) application that consist of layers with warmth targets, as well as its Triangular Core Matrix construction. This tech consists of hundred different cells that restrict air from flowing inside to keep things nice and warm. With its great warmth-to-weight ratio, this pad is all about keep the consumer toasty, and is it’s main selling point.
This pad has a twist valve that takes about 25-35 breaths to fill it firmly. This isn’t that much, but a little bit than other options. In comparison, it inflates much slower than other Therm-a-Rest options like NeoAir XLite MAX SV, and other company’s products like OutdoorsmanLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad and the Klymit Insulated Static V.
At 15 oz, this really is a lightweight option. What makes it so impressive is how light it is for how warm it is. The two generally don’t go hand-in-hand, especially for a four season option. When filed up, it isn’t bulky and roughly rolls up to the the size of a 1-liter water bottle. It’s light and compact enough to toss into a bag.
- Extremely warm, great for four seasons
- Lightweight, great for backpacking and longer adventures without weighing the consumer down
- A bit narrow
5. Klymit Insulated Static V
Even side or belly sleepers will be comfortable on the Static V. It has a specially developed design with body mapping tech that helps provide support. It has side rails that further give a more secure fit onto the pad, centering the consumer and reducing the amount of air moving around as they shift their weight while asleep. The pattern on the sleeping pad also helps to make it super lofty, meaning lots of cushion and comfort.
This option has a R-value of 4.4, making it nice and warm for those chilly nights, ideal for those cold sleepers who like to be bundled up nice and cozy. Like it’s name suggests, this sleeping bag is designed with V chamber that are filled with the company’s Klymalit synthetic insulation that enhances thermal performance by slowing the transfer or air within the pad.
This pad is equipped with a twist to pull valve with a secure seal that takes about 10 or less breaths to inflate. Of course deflating is even easier, and super quick.
Considering its amount of insulation and overall thickness, this option is surprisingly lightweight and compressible. It comes with a storage bag that makes it portable when rolled up.
- As a microbial finish to prevent germs, bacteria and odor
- Lightweight and compressible
- Super warm
- Expansion zones for full loft
- Side rails can feel constricting for some
- Some slow leaks
6. Big Agnes Q-Core SLX
This is the option for Big Agnes to check out for those who don’t want to skimp out on comfort. Made from ripstop fabric, it has a quilted surface that is pillowy, resembling and having the feel of a home mattress. These quilted baffles also help to remove pressure points from rocks, leaves and other debris. Keep in mind that the quilted surface isn’t smooth, so the small hills might be uncomfortable for some. It’s best to deflate it slightly to increase the comfort in this case. Still, it is 4.25 inches thick, which is a nice amount of padding.
This is a sleeping pad that can be used for three seasons, and up to 15 degree F. To keep it nice and cozy, it is equipped with heat reflective technology to retain body heat, and WRM HL synthetic insulation. The company doesn’t specify it’s R-value, but expect some heat loss in those low temperatures. However, in not freezing temperatures, it does keep the body warm. Just have that super warm sleeping bag and tent ready for colder fall treks.
This sleeping bag has a high volume valve that makes inflating as efficient as possible. However, the consumer still needs to inflate themselves, which takes anywhere between 30 and 45 breaths. There are two different valves for inflating and deflating.
Weighing 16 oz, this is a lightweight option that is ideal for taking in a backpack. It is also lighter more easily packed that some other of the Big Agnes’ sleeping pads. It goes down to 4 x 7.5 inches, and comes with a stuff sack. It is great for hikers, climbers, and longer travels with lots of gear.
- Performs well in comfort, weight and portability
- Provides enough warmth
- Easy to inflate
- Not noisy
- Thicker design that previous models
- Packs down nicely
- Outer edges keep the consumer in the middle, so this might not be as comfortable for some
- Not as durable despite improved tear strength
7. Sea to Summit
The word “ultralight” might scare some consumers off, thinking comfort isn’t a main feature here, but nothing could be further from the truth in this case. It is incredible comfortable, giving the NeoAir XLite a run for it’s money. It is 2-inch thick, and features an unique design. Instead of using horizontal or vertical baffles, the Sea to Summit Ultralight has circular “Air Sprung” cells. As a result, there is limited bouncing, proving a stable and comfortable mattress-like feel.
This Ultralight comes in either uninsulated or insulated options. The insulated version has a R-value of 3.3, whereas the alternative only has a 0.7 ratings. Insulated is definitely the way to go, and it won’t be too warm for summer backpacking. It features Exkin Platinum fabric and Thermolite insulation to prevent heat loss and retain body heat. Warmth really isn’t its strong suit, but when using in mild to moderate spring and warm summer weather, it’s all features outweighs this factor.
This sleeping pad has an integrated Airstream pump at the base of its stuff sack that makes it extremely easy to inflate, with just about 15 breaths. If the consumer inflates too much, they can simple press the middle of the valve to adjust the amount of air.
Weighing 12.5 oz, this is an ultralight option that is easy to carry. It does come with a stuff sack, and folds up to be smaller than a liter. This makes it one of the best when it comes to how portable and easy to pack it is.
- Lightweight, easy to pack
- Super comfortable with unique construction
- Easy to inflate and adjust air
- Bottoms out a little when sitting up
- Not warm enough for cooler weather
8. NEMO Tensor Insulated
The Tensor Insulated sleeping pad has a rectangular shape with 3 inches of cushioning. While this is enough thickness, consumer’s will also get a comfortable night’s sleep thanks to its lateral baffles with a bubble-shape design. It provides a close to mattress feel for when camping.
NEMO doesn’t provide the exact R-Value of this sleeping pad. Instead, it claims it keeps consumers warn as low as 15 degree F temperatures. Realistically, this is extremely cold and chances are sleeping on the floor outdoors will stile rough. With that said, this is a synthetic insulated option that has PrimeLoft that provides warmth comparable to down. It uses a thermal mirror that reflects heat, so it is a good option for chillier nights.
This sleeping pad does take a bit longer to inflate and deflate than other options on the list. It does so with an air valve that has a small piece piece that esquires the consumer to manual blow up. While this sounds tedious, it does inflate with just a few breathes.
This option comes with a stuff sack, and rolls nicely into among the size of a large water bottle. This makes it extremely portable since it will pack nicely in just about any bag or backpack.
- Rectangular shape makes it roomy
- Thick and mattress-like cushion
- Less noisy than Big Agnes Insulated Double Z
- Fabric is a bit thin so be careful not to puncture
9. Big Agnes Insulated Double Z
Lightweight, but still at 4 inches thick, this pad delivers on the comfort front. Not only is it super thick, but it also features a stabilizer construction that distributes the consumer’s weight evenly. This calls for a smooth surface with no pressure points that makes it comfy to sleep on opposed to feeling like some body parts are “sinking in.” It is extremely comfortable to sleep in any position with this one. It is also wide, giving plenty of room to turn over and side sleep.
This sleeping pad has a R-Value of 4.5, which isn’t the warmest on the market, but it does do a great job at providing warmth. It is equipped with Primaloft Silver synthetic insulation, with an internal polyurethane coating. This makes it warm even down to 30 degree F weather, but also light which aids in its packabiltiy.
This option as a 2-piece valve, with a 1-way inflation that doesn’t loose air. It also does the job by itself. Without the consumer having to inflate, they can focus on setting up camp. It also deflates in just 4 breaths, great for a quick pack up.
This option comes in regular, regular wide and long wide, with the regular weighing 1 lb 5 oz. This is light enough to take when traveling or backpacking. It also comes with a stuff sack that makes it portable.
- Thick cushioning with lots of warmth
- Easy to inflate and deflate
10. Exped Megamat Lite 12
This is one of the most comfortable mattress pads out there--it's 4.5 inches thick and can be used in even the roughest environment.
This is a 4 season sleeping pad that can withstand temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. It also utilizes Texpedloft, Bluesign-certified insulation Texpedloft to retain heat and keep you warm throughout the night.
This sleeping pad is easy to use and inflates in under 5 minutes--and deflates just as quickly--thanks to its pump bag.
As far as packability this sleeping pad is a bit bulky and weighs 2.9 pounds. While it works great for backpackers, take into consideration the weight and bulkiness beforehand.
• Highly comfortable
• Easy to inflate and deflate
• 4.5 inches thick
• Can withstand temperatures as
low as -4 degrees F.
• Bulkier than other options
The Criteria Used For Our Evaluation
If you aren’t an avid camper then you might assume that a sleeping bag should provide the sufficient amount of comfort, warmth, and protection during those cool nights spent under the stars–especially if you are in a tent. Unfortunately, this is not the case–sleeping on the ground can be highly uncomfortable and sleeping bags alone don’t offer the comfort you need. This is why we recommend every outdoor enthusiast consider investing in a sleeping pad–they are designed to be lightweight and give you the rest you need.
Since a good night’s sleep is vital, we have compiled a list of the best sleeping pad options out there for you. Below you will find the criteria we used to make our selections so you are aware of what to look for before making your purchase.
If you are on the hunt for a sleeping pad that means you may find–or often find–yourself sleeping on the ground–which is why comfort is one of the most important options to choose from. Before making your purchase consider the sleeping pad’s thickness–many options have about a 3-inch loft. This allows for enough cushioning to be comfortable on the ground, without being too thick, heavy, or bulky. While there are thicker and more comfortable options, you must also consider the length and width of the sleeping pad as well as how smooth or bumpy the ground in which you will be sleeping on is.
Warmth is another important factor since temperatures drop at night and the last thing you want is to be woken up by the cold. So, look to see how insulated the sleeping pad is, what its heat retaining properties are. what its R-Value is, what its seasonal options are, and what temperatures it can withstand.
Portability is important because the entire purpose of a sleeping pad is to be used for camping, hiking, or backpacking trips. They need to be lightweight and compact enough to fit into your backpack without weighing you down or taking up all of your storage space.
Since many sleeping pads can cost a pretty penny, it’s important to know what you are a paying for. Take into consideration the sleeping pads durability, materials, and overall features before making your purchase.
Other Important Things To Consider
When looking for the best sleeping pad for your outdoor adventures it’s important you choose the best option for your own needs. Below you will find the additional factors to consider before making your purchase.
Location is an important factor because different environments call for different features. For example, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is the most functional sleeping pad out there but it might not provide maximum cushioning some of you may be looking for or requiring for the terrain you will be sleeping in.
So, consider where you will be using the sleeping pad–will you be in a large tent? Do you need room for two? Are you carrying it on your person or will it be kept in your car?
Sleeping pads are rated based on the amount of warmth and insulation they provide–which is measured by their “R-value.” The R-value refers to the material’s thermal resistance (its capacity to resist heat)–the higher the R-value, the warmer and more insulated it is. Before making your purchase make sure to consider the sleeping pad’s R-value to ensure it meets your specific needs.
Even the best sleeping pad tends to make a “crinkly” sound–however some our louder than others. The good news is that the amount of noise decreases after use.
There are a few several types of sleeping pads out there–air pads, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam pads. The main difference between the three is that air pads require you to inflate them yourself. Self-inflating sleeping pads inflate themselves and closed-cell foam pads tend to be more durable but less comfortable.
Q: What is the best way to clean my sleeping pad?
Handwash with water and an all-purpose cleaner or mild soap. Use a hose or bath, and do no put it in the washing machine.
Q: What do I do if water gets inside my mattress?
Immediately open and hang the pad upside down to release all the water and leave it out to dry. This process can take up to 3 days.
Q: Can I replace the valve on my sleeping pad?
Q: What size sleeping pad do I need?
The sleeping pad needs to fit the width of your shoulders and hips as well as the length of your body. Make sure to check the width of the pad since some run narrow.
Q: Which is the best sleeping pad for backpacking?
Backpackers need a lightweight sleeping pad that they can easily pack and store in their bag. Since backpackers also need to store other items make sure you pick a lighter option, so you aren’t adding too much weight to your pack.
Q: How do I inflate the sleeping pad?
This varies among models. Some require you inflate them via a mouthpiece valve, which may take up to 3 minutes until filled; others inflate automatically.