Sleeping bags just aren’t enough sometimes when it comes to camping outdoors, especially in cold weather. From pebbles, sticks, pinecones, tree roots, and surfaces that are jagged and uneven, you need some cushion beneath you.
Luckily, camping and backpacking companies have come up with a solution to this problem.
Light, durable, and inflatable sleeping pads work just like your mattress at home. Except, you can roll it up and carry it with you wherever you go.
TNH Outdoors has designed the perfect sleeping pad that works well for both men and women.
At 1.5 inches thick, you can lie down and feel like you’re on your mattress from home, rather than on top of rocks, dirt mounds, and other uneven surfaces.
This sleeping pad includes a 500 series valve for easy inflation and is narrow like a mummy bag. Just give it a couple of good blows and you’re all set up for sleeping.
The 75D Polyester skin will keep you dry, and it’s water resistant so it won’t soak up any rainwater or moisture.
This pad even works for people who are over 5’9, so if you’re a bit taller than the average person the TNH Outdoors sleeping pad will be your best friend.
Small and compressible enough to carry on a hiking trip
Can also be used for hammocks and outdoor patio areas
Long lasting and durable material ensures you can use this pad for years
Design issues, cells sometimes swell or create bubbles
Only inflates to about one inch rather than the 1.5 that is advertised
Is not self-inflating, has to be blown up manually which can be inconvenient and time consuming depending on the individual.
Unroll this sleeping pad completely and allow it to lie flat before you try blowing it up. This way, you won’t risk over-inflating it or making holes. Some of the problems people have had with cells bursting could be related to improper inflation. If you’re uncertain of how to correctly inflate your pad, it luckily comes with both written and photo instructions to further assist you. Inflatable pads aren’t for everyone as they are a bit softer, if you’d rather have a firmer sleeping pad that you don’t have to inflate, try a foam pad instead.
Much like the Outdoorsman Lab sleeping pad, the EcoTek Outdoors HyberN8 has a hexagonal grid pattern for better insulation and air-locking to prevent leaks.
The 70D polyester prevents tearing and holes from sticks and stones that might be lurking around.
It also happens to be quieter, and more comfortable to sleep on than other material.
EcotTek is a very unique company, they’ve made a commitment to donate some of their profits to National Forest Foundation. In addition to light weight, well designed sleeping bag, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you helping the planet!
Lifetime warranty guaranteed, you’ll always be able to exchange it
Multi-use, can be placed in a hammock, chair, or used with a futon
For every sleeping pad purchased, they’ll plant a tree!
A bit smaller and thinner than some had hoped, looks larger in advertising photo
On the expensive side, some felt the price was not comparable to the quality
You can even place this pad inside of your sleeping bag if you want to keep it clean, the only downside is that it probably won’t fit inside a mummy bag.
However, you can still keep it in your tent and place it underneath you.
Currently, the HyberN8 is going through an evaluation to determine the R-value of this sleeping pad; as of right now it is estimated to be somewhere between 1.8 and 2.3.
Check back on the website every few weeks or so to see updates!
Stoik’d Brand Self Inflating Sleeping Pad for Camping
Unlike the pads listed above, Stoik’d has created a pad that is both inflatable and includes a thick foam padding.
This is perfect for anyone who wakes up with sore muscles and a stiff back after sleeping on a blow up mattress.
This sleeping pad is completely flat, there are no grid patterns or uneven areas that move while you’re sleeping or cause discomfort when lying on your side.
The added survival blanket will provide you with extra warmth, in case you forget yours at home or just need a second one for the evening.
Lifetime warranty included
Package includes a free survival blanket and carrying case
Satisfactory R-value of 4.0
Does not fold up very easily due to foam padding
Material is very slick, can slide off pad
This sleeping pad is built for emergency situations, so if you think there’s any chance you might find yourself in a pickle while roaming outdoors, bring it with you.
The Stoik’d company is all about customer satisfaction; not only can you exchange this sleeping pad, you can return it for a full refund. Not that you won’t enjoy using it, but the best products are usually backed by excellent return policies.
Moon Lence Sleeping Pad for Camping and Backpacking
This thick, durable pad is perfect for camping with your buddies and family thanks to the snap buttons on the sides. You can easily connect this sleeping pad to another for a bigger mat and more room to lie down.
Made from 190T polyester material, the Luluion is waterproof, mold, and mildew resistant.
The valves on this camping mattress allow it to blow up on its own completely, you should never have to assist expansion with your own breath unlike the others.
Full money back guarantee, can be replaced or returned for a full refund
Includes a carrying sack for easy travel and a free air pump
At 2.5 pounds, might be a bit bulky for hiking and trekking
The Lululion is a high quality sleeping pad made for families and friends who love travelling together! Pillow attachments are common on sleeping bags, but a rare find on the pads, so the Lululion is definitely a bonus.
In contrast to the name, the Koolsen is actually very warm and has an R-value of 4, so you can use it during the fall and the earlier part of the winter season.
The 75D polyester fabric has TPU lamination and it is both water proof and tear proof.
This pad is multi-use, you can use it for backyard camping in the bed of trucks, put it in your hammock, or keep it on your futon so your guests can have a warm, comfortable evening.
You’ll also be happy to know that the brand strives to be environmentally friendly and participates in a “plant a tree” program! So you know you’ll be doing a good deed by purchasing this sleeping pad.
For each sleeping pad sold, a tree is planted
Comes with a repair kit for holes and emergency fix-ups
Includes a bag for storage
Weight and size are a bit smaller and lighter than what is advertised by the company
Doesn’t inflate as easily as described by company
The Koolsen brand offers returns and exchanges if you are at all unsatisfied with your purchase; however I think you’ll enjoy this sleeping pad.
With an R-value of 4 you’ll have a nice, warm evening around the campfire. Since it is smaller than what most have expected, the upside is that you know for sure you’ll be able to carry it easily.
Bivaro Ultra Light Sleeping Pad for Travel and Hiking
Last but not least, the Bivaro sleeping pad is one of a kind. While it does have a grid pattern, the Bivaro lies completely flat and provides plenty of support for your back and hips.
The bright orange color works well in situations where you find yourself lost or in need of assistance, you’ll be easy to find among a lush green forest or a white blanket of snow.
It does include a pillow, but as opposed to the other items listed, it’s not attached so that you can remove it if you find it to be uncomfortable or would rather use your own.
The Bivaro is light, and compacts all the way down to a water bottle size! If you aren’t sure how to roll it up, just check out the instructional booklet included with your purchase, it’ll tell you everything you need to know on how to use this sleeping pad properly.
Can be used for side, back, and stomach sleepers
Includes a carrying bag for easy storage
Waterproof material keeps you dry
Could be considered both a pro and a con, this sleeping pad is quite large, so it’s good for taller people. However, it may not fit inside a tent.
Open this sleeping pad completely before you blow it up to maximize empty space and to prevent it from popping or leaking air.
The Bivaro has an R-value of 1.3, so it is best to use it during summer weather and should not be relied upon for warmth in the winter.
There are 2 patch kits included with this sleeping pad, so bring them with you whenever you go for a hike or overnight trip, it’ll save you from sleeping on the ground in the event that your pad is punctured or begins to leak.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, not to worry! Looking for a sleeping pad shouldn’t be a stressful situation; the idea is simply to keep you more comfortable while you’re out on the road.
No matter what season it is, look for the pad with the highest R-value possible.
The products listed above generally have an R-value of 4 or below, they’re meant for fall and early winter in an average climate.
For climbing mountains, and extreme cold, you’ll definitely need to look for a pad with a value of 7 or more.
Although they can be incredibly helpful, you should not rely on any sleeping pad for warmth. Make sure that you have a thick, insulated sleeping bag, preferably one that has room to place your pad inside and zip it up with you while you sleep.
No matter how great your sleeping pad is, no matter how long it has lasted, always bring a patch kit with you just in case.
Accidents are bound to happen, and they usually occur when you aren’t prepared for them. So if your pad doesn’t include a kit, make sure you get one and keep it with you at all times while you’re camping!