Best Sleeping Pad

Jason Loomis
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Sleeping pads are essential for comfort on long backpacking trips. Even if you crank up the thermostat in your tent, a great pad makes all the difference in your sleep.

Go to the store today and you’ll find a wide range of prices, styles, and functions. How do you find the best sleeping pad for your purposes?

Below you’ll find reviews of some of the best sleeping pads available on the market today.

NameCategoryProduct
KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping PadBest OverallKLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad

1. KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad

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Pros:

  • 5.5 inches thick
  • Length: 72-inches
  • Lightweight: 1 lb. 14 oz.
  • Easy to High Speed Air Pump it Up

The Klymit V Static sleeping pad is our top pick. It is lightweight, very packable, and extremely comfortable. At 3.7 lbs for the complete pad and 4, 2, and 14 ounces for the separate inflatable pillow, top cover, and stuff sack, we do have some concerns about the pad being too lightweight for the larger backpacking user. That’s only if they were to use the pad for the entire trip.

The mattress was so incredibly comfortable we loved to do just that, sleep in the woods. It provided a solid and steady sleeping surface and also provided a comfortable place to lay out your pad on it when it’s time to chill out for the night.

Compared to memory foam pad, it was pretty much the same actually, you would not really notice the difference. In terms of the comfort and the durability of the travel pad, the material is really great. It has a thin layer of foam that makes it feel just like memory foam. The top is made of a breathable fabric that is also waterproof.

2. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Sleeping Pad

Our rating: 5 / 10

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Sleeping Pad

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Pros:

  • Self-inflating – no need to blow it up manually
  • Fast and easy to use
  • Rolls up small and lightweight
  • Best used in warm and mild weather conditions
  • Doesn’t leak air like other foam pads
  • The reflective heat surface helps reflect back body heat
  • The material dries quickly

Cons:

  • Has a higher risk of punctures
  • The material holds in the moisture (which really shouldn’t be a problem)

The Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol is a self-inflating foam pad with a reflective heat surface. This pad is built for backpacking adventures.

The Z Lite Sol holds heat and is comfortable to lay down on. It expands to full size in 3-4 minutes with a 2 minute inflation and deflation time for storage and transport.

This is a great pad for your camping supplies, car, or whatever you can think of. It’s not to big and not to heavy and gives you comfort on any trip.

3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

Our rating: 3 / 10

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Packs up relatively small
  • Actually small enough to fit inside your backpack

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable for side sleepers
  • Not always the most durable
  • Can be noisy when moving around

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad doesn’t skimp on features if you’re looking for a plush sleeping solution. It also weighs in at an astonishing 5.25 ounces. If you’re looking for leading edge technology and you’re a backpacker on a budget, this should be your sleeping pad of choice.

It ‘breathes’, which means that it comes with a special layer of insulation that makes it impossible for air bubbles to form underneath you.

According to the manufacturer, this pad is 17% more efficient than most other Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads. This is because of the innovative reflective heat technology that they have incorporated in its construction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the most comfortable sleeping pad?

Therm-a-Rest has the most comfortable sleeping pads in my opinion. I believe the model Therm-A-Rest uses is the NeoAir Ultralite which is 3.7 inches thick and weighs 1 pound. While this is definitely a very comfortable sleeping pad, it is not necessary thick and this is a bit bulky and heavy.

What are the best sleeping pads?

While there is no, objective best mattress, there are some general guidelines to follow when picking out a sleeping pad. If weight is a concern, look for multiple foam pads instead of one inflatable mattress. Foam pads are lighter, more durable, and more comfortable than air mattresses, and can ordinarily be purchased for half the price of an air mattress.

You can also get sized pads that will cover the body from head to toe. If you plan to use a pad as a primary sleeping surface for a long period of time, that is the best way to keep warm.

The best mattress will depend largely on your unique preferences and needs. It is possible to keep warm inside a sleeping pad during winter, but it’s not preferable. A full bag is still your best bet.

What is the best sleeping pad for side sleepers?

If you want a comfy, cushy sleeping pad that you can curl up in and really sink into, a self-inflating sleeping pad is a great option. Comprised of super fluffy open-cell foam, self-inflating sleeping pads use your body heat to form a protective barrier around you and keep you insulated from the cold ground. They can be noisy when you move around, but they are like a plush nest that’s perfect for side sleepers.

If you want a lighter weight sleeping pad, consider a foam pad. Made of smooth high-density padding, foam sleeping pads are considerably lighter than self-inflating pads. They are also very comfortable for side sleepers but lack the insulation of self-inflating sleeping pads.

How thick should a sleeping pad be?

Sleeping pad thickness is important for two reasons. First, thick pads are usually warmer when you lay down on them. Second, it’s much easier to inflate a thicker pad because it needs less volume in your pump. A thicker pad is also more comfortable because of the extra cushion. Considering the versatility of inflatable sleeping pads, we recommend looking in the 2” “ area for comfort. This leaves you with plenty of choices for a nice thick sleeping pad while leaving you with just enough inflation volume for a good night’s sleep.

Conclusion

Everyone is welcome to make their own opinions about this. But we certainly hope that, after reading our review, you’ve got a better sense of the best sleeping pad for your needs. Sometimes we need the best “ sometimes the best is good enough. Which is it for you? We’ve said what we had to say about it. The rest is up to you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping PadBest OverallKLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad