The Best Sleeping Pads

For backcountry adventurers, a sleeping pad is one of the “big three,” must-have gear items (along with your tent and sleeping bag) required keep you safe, warm, and comfortable on overnight trips in the wild. While the importance of a sleeping pad is often overlooked or underestimated by many newcomers to camping, any old hand or camping enthusiast will tell you that choosing wisely when buying this accessory is absolutely vital to getting a good night’s sleep while out on your backcountry adventures. To help you find the best sleeping pad for your needs, in this article we’ll introduce you to our selection of the top 25 models currently on the market.

We reviewed dozens of sleeping pads to identify the best of the best. We examined a range of factors, including material, size, R-rating, weight, convenience, shape, cost, and average customer reviews.

Best Sleeping Pad Overall
Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad
Meet the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra, the best sleeping pad out there for all kinds of backcountry adventure.

Having considered a large number of sleeping pads, we chose the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad as our top pick. This sleeping pad ticks all the boxes. It weighs in at a mere 21 ounces, packs down to a tiny 4 x 8 inches, uses high-loft synthetic insulation and durable, water-resistant nylon rip-stop fabric with aviation-grade TPU lamination, and has an R-value of 4.5, meaning it’s ideal for use in summer months, the shoulder seasons, and even the odd winter camping trip in warmer climes.

The 5 Top-Rated Sleeping Pads

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Sleeping Pad OverallBig Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad4.5
Best Foam Sleeping PadTherm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Sleeping Pad4.6
Best Budget BuySleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad4.7
Best Self-Inflating Sleeping PadTherm-a-Rest Prolite Plus4.4
Best Lightweight Sleeping PadTherm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Sleeping Pad
4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Sleeping Pad Overall: Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad

Having considered a vast array of options, the sleeping pad that wins our vote as the best model currently on the market is the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad. This sleeping pad is a true all-rounder, ticking every box you could possibly ask a sleeping pad to tick and offering far superior comfort and insulation to many far heavier, bulkier, and pricier models of sleeping pad or camping mattress.

But what makes this sleeping pad such a standout among the competition?

First of all, the Air Core Ultra manages to combine an impressively light trail weight of just 21 ounces with an R-value of 4.5. This means it offers more insulation per ounce than just about any other sleeping pad on the market and makes it a shoo-in for the shortlist of backcountry campers keen to keep their pack weight to a minimum without sacrificing comfort and warmth. The Air Ultra Core’s I-Beam construction, larger outer air chambers, and 3.5 inches of loft also provide a plush, even sleeping platform that keeps you comfortably cradled in the center of the pad whilst copping your Zs—not something that can be said of most of its lightweight competitors and a serious selling point for sleepers who tend to toss and turn during the night.

What we love most about this sleeping pad is that it not only provides almost peerless comfort, but also outstanding insulating capacities and ruggedness thanks to its WRM HL insulation, built-in advanced heat reflective technology, and highly durable nylon rip-stop fabric with aviation-grade TPU lamination, all of which make it a great choice for all-weather warriors and those likely to be wild camping in rougher terrain.

Other admirable features in this pad are high-volume valve that permits easy inflation and deflation, antimicrobial treatment inside the pad that prevents the growth of microorganisms, a tiny pack size of 4 x 8 inches, and generous 20 x 72-inch dimensions.

Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad Key Features:

  • 4.5 R-value
  • Weighs just 21 ounces
  • 4 x 8-inch pack size
  • 3.5 inches of loft
  • Measures 20 x 72 inches when inflated
  • Larger outer chambers cradle sleeper

Best Foam Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Best Foam Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Sleeping Pad
This very compact sleeping pad uses closed-foam cells with heat-trapping dimples and a ThermaCapture coating to provide outstanding warmth at an incredibly light weight.

The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Sleeping Pad is a great choice of sleeping pad for campers who are mistrustful of the reliability and ruggedness of inflatable models and/or looking for a pad that mimics the fuss-free functionality of old-school sleeping pads whilst incorporating cutting-edge technology to improve portability.

While one of the most commonly cited downsides to foam sleeping pads is their added bulk and weight, the Z Lite Sol represents something of an upgrade on most of its competitors in these metrics, weighing in at a mere 14 ounces and using an accordion-style folding design that lets the pad collapse from 72 x 20 inches when open down to a tidy  20 x 5 x 5.5 inches, thereby making it one of the most compact and portable foam sleeping pads on the market.

This pad also uses a reflective ThermaCapture coating and heat-trapping dimples that capture radiant heat—something, its manufacturers claim, increases its overall warmth by 20 percent on standard models of foam mattress with a comparable pack size. While the 2.0 R-value may be a little low for colder nights in the shoulder seasons, it’s more than enough for summer camping and warmer fall or spring nights in most parts of the globe.

Makers Therm-a-Rest also put a little more thought into the construction of this pad as regards durability and comfort, using softer foam on the top side for added comfort and denser, hardier foam on the underside to improve insulation, durability, and ruggedness.

All in all, a great option for any buyers fearful of punctures, tears, or valve breakage in inflatable models of sleeping pad, and ideal for 2/3-season backpacking.

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Sleeping Pad Key Features: 

  • 2.0 R-value
  • Weighs 14 ounces
  • Measures 72 x 20 inches
  • Folds up to 20 x 5 x 5.5 inches
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Budget Sleeping Pad: Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

Best Budget Sleeping Pad
Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad weighs in at a tiny 14.4 ounces and combines 2.2 inches of loft with ripstop nylon fabric to provide 3-season insulation, exceptional comfort, and reliable abrasion and puncture-resistance.

The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is a great choice of sleeping pad for occasional backcountry campers and anyone happy to sacrifice a little in the way of longevity in return for a product that offers outstanding comfort and peerless value for money.

This 2.2-inch-thick mattress weighs in at a mere 14.5 ounces and packs down to just 8 x 3.5 inches, making it not only one of the cheapest inflatable sleeping pads out there but also one of the most portable. These specs are all the more impressive given that the inflated dimensions of the Sleepingo are 75 x 23 inches, which represents around a 3-inch upgrade in both length and width on the vast majority of one-person pads.

This pad is also made with rugged, 20-denier ripstop fabric that isn’t quite as durable as that used in some of the pricier models of pad in our review but is more than tough enough to deal with the usual sources of abrasion and punctures (rocks, tree roots, twigs, grit, dirt) and is pleasingly silent, no matter how much tossing and turning you do during the night.

While the Sleepingo’s R-value of 2.1 might make it a little light on insulation for colder nights in early spring or late fall, it’s more than warm enough for summer camping even at higher altitudes and throughout the rest of the shoulder seasons in warmer climates.

The bottom line? It’s cheap, as comfortable as they come, relatively rugged, and offers comparable insulation to many models of lightweight sleeping pad that cost twice or even three times as much.

Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad Key Features:

  • 2.1 R-value
  • Weighs just 14.5 ounces
  • Packs down to 8 x 3.5 inches
  • Measures 73 x 23 inches when inflated
  • 20-denier ripstop fabric
  • 2.2 inches thick
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus

Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus
A lightweight, hugely convenient sleeping pad that offers excellent puncture resistance and an impressive R-value of 3.4. A great choice for campsite camping and gram-counting backcountry minimalists alike.

The Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus has been the go-to choice of sleeping pad for countless intrepid cold-weather wanderers and adventurers around the globe for over a decade and this latest version continues the Prolite’s longstanding tradition of excellence in fine form.

While many a would-be buyer is likely to balk at the Prolite’s skinny proportions and guess that this might equate to a lack of insulation, they would be sorely mistaken. Although measuring just 1.5 inches thick when inflated, this sleeping pad boasts an impressive R-value of 3.4, is made with a lightweight, expanding foam core that improves warmth, and also uses diagonally cut baffles to provide superior insulation to the vertical cut found on most other models of sleeping pad.

The Prolite’s slim profile, moreover, doesn’t detract in the slightest from its comfort levels, with the pad’s foam core and a just a few breaths providing a far firmer sleeping platform than that offered by other models of pad that are more than twice as thick.

The only notable downside to this sleeping pad are its comparatively bulky dimensions—when packed down, the Prolite measures 11 x 4.8 inches, meaning it has the largest pack size of all of the top 5 picks in our review. That said, this is a small price to pay for the outstanding durability, convenience, and comfort this pad provides, not to mention pretty much par for the course for a self-inflating model of pad.

Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus Key Features:

  • 3.4 R-value
  • Weighs 23 ounces
  • Packs down to 11 x 4.8 inches
  • Measures 72 x 20 inches when inflated
  • 1.5 inches thick
  • Self-inflating
  • Expanding foam core

Best Lightweight Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Best Lightweight Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad boasts 2.5 inches of loft, an R-value of 4.2, and weighs in at a featherweight 12 ounces, making it the ideal pick for three-season backpacking and thru-hiking.

In the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Sleeping Pad we find a sleeping pad that simply oozes the quality and convenience that have earned the various iterations of Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir sleeping pad series rave reviews and almost legendary status amongst backpackers, campsite campers, and thru-hikers over the years.

This sleeping pad isn’t cheap, granted, but in return for your outlay you’ll be getting your hands on a product that is quite possible the best there is for long-term backpacking, thru-hiking, and camping trips deep in the backcountry. It also offers more warmth-per-ounce than the vast majority of competitors in its price range.

The Xlite may weigh in a tiny 12 ounces, but it boasts a beefy 2.5 inches of loft, uses ThermaCapture technology and Triangular Core Matrix baffled construction to minimizes heat loss while trapping radiant heat, and has an R-value of 4.2, making it one of the lightest, genuine three-season sleeping pads on the market. That light weight and insulating capacity, combined with its tiny pack size, make this a great choice of sleeping pad for backcountry minimalists, gram-counters, or anyone at all unenthused by the idea of adding to their pack weight and size by carrying a bulky or heavy sleeping pad in addition to the rest of their camping kit.

This pad also uses no-slip fabric that helps to ensure your sleeping bag won’t slide off during the night and is built to come through years of use and abuse none the worse for wear.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Sleeping Pad Key Features:

  • 4.2 R-value
  • Weighs just 12 ounces
  • Packs down to 9 x 4 inches
  • Measures 72 x 20 inches when inflated
  • 2.5 inches thick
  • Inflates in under 2 minutes
  • Non-slip fabric

Who Should Buy a Sleeping Pad

Campers are faced with a choice between two type of products to provide ground insulation in their sleeping system: camping mattresses and sleeping pads.

Camping mattresses are generally more comfortable options but are usually far too heavy for backpacking or carrying large distances, thereby making them suitable for car camping only.

Sleeping pads, on the other hand, typically weigh very little (usually between 12 ounces and 3 pounds) and have small pack sizes, making them a far more suitable choice for any type of outdoor adventure that involves carrying your sleeping gear for any distance before setting up camp. As such, if you happen to be a thru-hiker, backpacker, kayaker, boater, long-distance cyclist, or simply plan on putting in a few miles on the trail before reaching your camping destination, a sleeping pad is the way to go.

Important Features to Consider

A sleeping pad should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a sleeping pad camping trips in the outdoors:

  • Type. Sleeping pads for camping fall into three general categories: air pads, self-inflating pads, and closed-cell foam pads.
    • Air pads are the most compact and lightweight type of sleeping pad. While most models of air pad are inflated with lung power alone in around 2-3 minutes, more and more models are appearing on the market that include an integrated hand or foot pump or which can be inflated with their own stuff sack. As a general rule, air pads are the ideal choice for backpackers and 2/3-season campers keen to cut down on weight and bulk but don’t offer as much warmth as self-inflating pads that use additional foam insulation. Ultralight air pads are also typically more expensive and easier to tear or puncture owing to their use of thinner, more lightweight materials.
    • Self-inflating sleeping pads are best described as a form of air-foam hybrid, making use of both a foam core and air to provide warmth and insulation. Most models self-inflate to around 90% capacity in a matter or seconds with the simple opening of the air valve and require only a few breaths to inflate to full capacity. While usually heavier and bulkier than air pads, self-inflating pads are also typically much warmer, more rugged (resistant to abrasion and punctures), and more durable.
    • Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are lightweight pads made with foam fabrics with tiny air cells throughout the material that together provide loft and insulation without the need for inflation. These pads are favored by many backpackers and thru-hikers because of their reliability and lack of breakable components or potential for leaks and punctures. One the downside, foam pads are far bulkier and often less comfortable than air pads or self-inflating pads.
  • R-value. Along with comfort, the most important function of a sleeping pad is to provide insulation and warmth from the cold ground. This capacity is determined by an industry standardized measurement known as the “R-value,” which refers to the level of thermal resistance a sleeping pad provides. Most sleeping pads have R-values ranging from 1.0 to 6.0, but some heavier, four-season models can have R-values as high as 10. In short, the higher the R-value, the warmer a sleeping pad will be. *NOTE: Women and other “cold sleepers” should opt for a sleeping pad with an R-value at least one point higher than pads suitable for males and warm sleepers in the same season or expected temperatures. To give you an idea of how various R-values translate into performance in the field and suitability for varying conditions, take a look at the following table:
    • R-value 1-1.5: Suitable for use in summer months only.
    • R-value 2-3: Suitable for use in summer, late spring, and early fall in most areas.
    • R-value 3-4.5: Suitable for use in shoulder seasons (spring and fall) in most areas, and potentially for winter use when nighttime temps are not expected to fall too far below freezing.
    • R-value 4.5-6: Suitable for winter camping in non-extreme climates.
    • R-value 6-10: Designed for use in extremely cold environments; likely to be overkill for most users.
  • Weight. The weight of your pad is one of the most important factors to take into consideration, particularly if you happen to plan on hiking long distances before setting up camp or embarking on a multi-day thru-hike. Usually, there is a direct trade-off between the weight of a pad and the degree of insulation it provides, with ultralight models typically offering R-values ranging from 1 to 3 and pads with R-values of 3.5 and above weighing it at over 20 ounces. That said, many models of ultralight pads (under 16 ounces) now offer R-values of as high as 6. The catch? These models typically cost a small fortune and are usually made with materials that are less resistant to abrasion and punctures than heavier models.
  • Length. When camping in summer months, there’s a chance you might be able to save a few ounces in pack weight by opting for a 3/4-length sleeping pad (usually under 50 inches) that supports and insulates your upper body from your head and shoulders down to just below your hips. The rest of the time, however, staying warm at night will require using a pad that is long enough to keep all of your body (legs and feet included!) above the cold ground. Regular pads are usually 72 inches long and are suitable for users under 6 feet tall. If you happen to pip the 6-foot mark, however, be sure to choose a longer sleeping pad that measures 75 to 80 inches, otherwise you risk leaving your feet exposed to heat loss through convection from the cold ground or having to stuff a jacket or two under them to make up for your pad’s lack of length.
  • Width. Most sleeping pads on the market measure 20 inches wide, though models that use a tapered, mummy-style design may measure slightly more at the chest and a few inches less at the bottom of the pad. While this width will be suitable for most users, if you are particularly tall, weight over 200 pounds, or happen to shift around a lot in your sleep, a pad that measures 23-28 inches will most likely be more suitable. However, if buying a wider pad, be sure to check that there will be enough room in your tent to accommodate it, particularly if you and your tentmate(s) both (or all) happen to have pads that are wider than standard.
  • Materials. The materials used in a sleeping pad largely determine both how noisy and how resistant to abrasion and punctures the pad will be. If you are a light or restless sleeper (or your camping companions are!), we recommend opting for a pad that uses materials that won’t rustle too much if you shift around in your sleep, such as nylon or polyester models with a brushed-fabric, non-slip surface material. With regard to abrasion and puncture resistance, look for pads that use high-denier (40D to 75D), ripstop fabrics. While this isn’t such a big issue for those camping in established campsites on flat, rock-free pitches, for those heading into the backcountry to wild camp it’s all but essential to ensuring you don’t wake up to discover your inflatable sleeping pad has deflated during the night as a result of a coming together with rocks, stones, or twigs on the ground beneath your tent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sleeping pad and what is it used for?

Sleeping pads are lightweight, portable pads designed for use beneath a sleeping bag when camping either in an established campsite or in the backcountry.

The most common misconception about sleeping pads is that their primary purpose is to provide comfort by supporting your body above lumpy, rocky, and hard terrain. While this is also true to a certain extent, the most important function of a sleeping pad is to provide warmth, or, more accurately, to prevent heat loss through the process of convection, which refers to the loss of body heat as a result of contact with colder surfaces—in this case, the ground.

Sleeping pads offer a lightweight alternative to camping mattresses and are favored by thru-hikers and other backcountry adventurers who want to minimize pack weight but still ensure they will enjoy a comfortable and warm night’s sleep. In short, owing to the weight and bulk of standard camping mattresses, if you plan on putting in any miles on the trails on foot, on your bike, or on a multi-day boating or kayaking trip, then a sleeping pad will be the only feasible options as regards ground insulation come bedtime.

Do you really need a sleeping pad?

In a word, yes! Sleeping pads provide a barrier between your body and the ground and prevent against convective heat loss, the process by which heat is sapped out of your body when it comes into contact with colder surfaces. While it’s possible to get away with using a sleeping bag only when camping on very warm summer nights, in any other circumstances failure to use a sleeping pad is almost certain to result in a very chilly night, not to mention a mightily uncomfortable one, too.

Are self-inflating sleeping pads comfortable?

While typically much slimmer than air pads, self-inflating sleeping pads normally offer comparable comfort owing to the additional foam materials used in their construction. The only notable differences between the two types of pad are that self-inflating models tend to be slightly firmer and less likely to deflate during the night, but also heavier and bulkier. The slimmer design of most self-inflating pads also means they aren’t the best choice for side sleepers, who generally require more loft to prevent their hips coming into contact with the ground.

Does the sleeping pad go inside the sleeping bag?

As a general rule, no. While in recent years some brands have created sleeping bags with specially made sleeves to accommodate sleeping pads inside the sleeping bag, most models of pad are designed for use outside (underneath) the sleeping bag.

Other Sleeping Pads We Reviewed

Best Sleeping Pad Overall
Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Insulated Sleeping Pad
Meet the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra, the best sleeping pad out there for all kinds of backcountry adventure.

We looked at 20 other sleeping pads. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best sleeping pads list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your outdoor adventures. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Budget Sleeping Pads

POWERLIX Ultralight Sleeping Pad

POWERLIX Ultralight Sleeping Pad

This lightweight and highly portable pad uses tough, ripstop fabrics and a hexagonal design pattern that helps to support all of your pressure points and provide superior comfort. With an R-value of 1.6, this one’s a great choice for summer campers.

Key Features:

  • 1.6 R-value
  • Weighs 1.32 pounds
  • Pack size: 11 x 4 inches
  • 40D ripstop nylon fabric

Cost: $29.99

Mtouock Camping Sleeping Pad

Mtouock Camping Sleeping Pad

This generously sized sleeping pad uses tough, 75-denier fabric and packs down to 4.4 x 10.6 inches despite measuring a whopping 83 x 24.8 inches when inflated. It’s not the warmest pad out there, granted, but it’s still a great choice for summer campers and those looking for a larger sleeping platform than that provided by a standard-sized pad.

Key Features:

  • 1.5 R-value
  • Weighs 22.7 ounces
  • Measures 83 x 24.8 inches when inflated
  • Lifetime warranty

Cost: $28.99

SIMA Outdoors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

SIMA Outdoors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

This very reasonably priced sleeping pad is a touch on the heavy side but offers a very comfortable, hard-wearing, and affordable option for campers not heading too far on the trails before bunking down for the night.

Key Features:

  • Weighs 40 ounces
  • Pack size: 12 x 9 inches
  • Pillow included

Cost: $29.99

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pad

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pad

This wonderfully lightweight, portable little pad is generously sized (73 x 22) but packs down to a trifling 9 x 3 inches, weighs just 15 ounces, and uses tough, 40-denier ripstop nylon fabric that provides excellent puncture and abrasion-resistance.

Key Features:

  • Weighs just 15 ounces
  • Pack size: 9 x 3 inches
  • Ripstop nylon fabric
  • Inflation bag included

Cost: $39.95

Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Self-Inflating Foam Sleeping Pad

This nicely priced little pad self-inflates in a matter of seconds, has a durable, self-inflating foam core, and uses tough urethane fabric on the top and bottom for superior ruggedness and abrasion-resistance.

Key Features:

  • 3.4 R-value
  • Weighs 22 ounces
  • Pack size: 11 x 5.6 inches

Cost: $36.99

KLYMIT STATIC V Sleeping Pad

KLYMIT STATIC V Sleeping Pad

KLYMIT has taken the camping world by storm in recent years with a series of outstandingly well-made and affordable products. The STATIC V sleeping pad is no exception, offering exceptional comfort and warmth, and quality materials that are on a par with those used in far pricier models of pad.

Key Features:

  • 1.3 R-value
  • Weighs 18.1 ounces
  • 75D polyester offers excellent tear, puncture, and abrasion-resistance

Cost: $32.99

Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad

Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad

This superbly lightweight pad boasts an R-value of 2.2 and packs down to a very impressive 8 x 3 inches, making it one of the most portable budget models of pad on the market.

Key Features:

  • 2.2 R-value
  • Weighs 16 ounces
  • Pack size: 8 x 3 inches
  • Ripstop nylon fabric

Cost: $34.99

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

Gear Doctors Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

Gear Doctors Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

This incredibly reasonably priced sleeping pad might be a touch on the slim and heavy side at 1.5 inches and 2.2 pounds respectively, but also has an R-value of 4.3, thus making it a great choice for three-season campers who don’t mind carrying a little extra weight in return for a lot of extra warmth.

Key Features:

  • 4.3 R-value
  • Weighs 2.2 pounds
  • Large dimensions: 74.6 x 14 inches when inflated
  • Pack size: 12 x 8 inches

Cost: $35.99

Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad

Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad

This pad might be significantly heavier than most other models in our review, but boasts an all but bombproof design, an extra five inches of length and width compared to standard pads, and an impressive R-value of 5. All in all, the ideal choice for car campers or four-season adventurers who are happy to carry extra weight in return for superior insulation, durability, and ruggedness.

Key Features:

  • 5 R-value
  • Weighs 3.6 pounds
  • Foam core
  • Measure 77 x 25 inches when inflated
  • Pack size 26 x 7. 5

Cost: $79.99

Sea to Summit Comfort Light Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Sea to Summit Comfort Light Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

This oversized pad measures a mighty 78 x 25 inches when inflated but packs down to a respectable 11 x 5.5 inches, weighs only 1 pound and 5 ounces, and has an R-value of 2.7, making it a great choice for summer and early fall or late spring adventures and one of the lightest self-inflating pads on the market.

Key Features:

  • 2.7 R-value
  • Weighs 21 ounces
  • Measures 78 x 25 inches when inflated
  • Pack size: 11 x 5.5 inches

Cost: $130

Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad

Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad

This wonderfully versatile pad is comfortable enough for car camping trips but lightweight and portable enough for trips deep in the backcounty. It’s also very durable, puncture and abrasion-resistant, and warm enough for most three-season outings.

Key Features:

  • 3.2 R-value
  • Weighs 26 ounces
  • Measures 72 x 20 inches when inflated
  • Pack size: 11 x 7.8 inches

Cost: $54.99

Bessport Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad 

Bessport Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad 

For cold-weather campers, they don’t come too much better than this fantastically well-made, warm, and hard-wearing sleeping pad. It isn’t the lightest pad out there, maybe, but in every other metric by which a sleeping pad’s quality and performance might be measured, it’s a winner!

Key Features:

  • 6.2 R-value
  • Weighs 3.6 lbs
  • Expandable foam core
  • Tough, 30-denier fabric

Cost: $58.99

Western Owl Outfitters Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Western Owl Outfitters Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

With an R-value of 4.9 and weighing 2.5 pounds, this pad is ideally suited to three-season car campers and those who prioritize comfort and warmth over weigh savings.

Key Features:

  • 4.9 R-value
  • Weighs 2.5 pounds
  • Pack size: 10 x 8 inches
  • Measures 22 x 72 inches when inflated

Cost: $32.71

Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

It may cost a small fortune and be too heavy for long-distance backpacking, but the Exped Megamat 10 is a sleeping pad that’s truly built to last a lifetime and offers an outstanding R-value of 8.1, meaning it’s a great choice for year-round camping wherever you happen to be headed on your trips in the tent.

Key Features:

  • 8.1 R-value
  • 3.9 inches of loft
  • Weighs 5 pounds
  • 5-year warranty

Cost: $199.99

Lightweight Sleeping Pads

Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad

A fantastically lightweight sleeping pad that scores high on both comfort and insulation, boasting an R-value of 3.2, 4.25 inches of loft, and beefier outer chambers that keep you cradled snugly in the center of the pad while you sleep.

Key Features:

  • 3.2 R-value
  • Weighs just 16 ounces
  • Pack size: 7.5 x 4 inches

Cost: $109.95

Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Sleeping Mat

Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Sleeping Mat

This superbly comfortable pad’s R-value of just 0.8 might make it unsuitable for anything outside summer use, but its incredibly light weight and diminutive pack size make it a great choice for those who like to travel light and fast on their backcountry excursions.

Key Features:

  • Weighs just 12.3 ounces
  • Pack size: 3.5 x 7.5 inches
  • 30D/40D laminated nylon fabric

Cost: $159.95

Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad

Paria Outdoor Products Recharge Sleeping Pad

This pad might be a touch pricey, but it boasts an R-value of 3.5, high strength 40D diamond ripstop nylon fabric with TPU lamination for improved durability and ruggedness, and weighs in at a very portable 20 ounces.

Key Features:

  • 3.5 R-value
  • Weighs just 20 ounces
  • Hard-wearing 40-denier fabric
  • Inflation sack included
  • Pack size: 7 x 4 inches

Cost: $74.99

KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad

KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad

This ultralight version of the Static V pad featured in our budget picks uses a reinforced, 75-denier polyester base for improved puncture and abrasion resistance and weighs in at 2 ounces lighter than it’s Static V sibling despite boasting the same R-value (1.3) and identical inflated dimensions (72″ x 23″ x 2.5″).

Key Features:

  • 1.3 R-value
  • Weighs just 16.3 ounces
  • Pack size: 3 x 8 inches
  • Lifetime warranty

Cost: $54.99

WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad

WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad

This pad packs down to a very portable 10 x 3.5 inches and provides impressive insulation given its tiny 14.5-ounce weight. Its 20D fabrics aren’t the most rugged out there, but offer plenty of puncture and abrasion-resistance for campsite camping and those pitching up on flatter, smoother terrain.

Key Features:

  • 2.1 R-value
  • Weighs just 14.5 ounces
  • Pack size: 10 x 3.5 inches

Cost: $39.87

Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad

Klymit Insulated Static V Lite Sleeping Pad

Weighing in at 19.6 ounces, this isn’t the lightest lightweight pad out there by any means, but given that it boasts an R-value of 4.4 and packs down to just 5 x 8 inches, it’s one of the most portable 3/4-season pads out there.

Key Features:

  • 4.4 R-value
  • Pack size: 5 x 8 inches
  • Weighs 19.6 pounds
  • Inflates with just 10 breaths

Cost: $55

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