5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads of October 2021

ModelRatingBuy Now
Outdoorsman Lab UltralightOutdoorsman Lab Ultralight
4.4
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Therm-A-Rest Self Inflating PadTherm-A-Rest Self Inflating Pad
4.6
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Freeland Self-Inflating PadFreeland Self-Inflating Pad
4.4
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Better Habitat SleepreadyBetter Habitat Sleepready
4.6
Check Price
Teton Sports Outfitter XXL PadTeton Sports Outfitter XXL Pad
4.6
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* Ratings are based on TravelSafe - Abroad's data analyzing.

Can you go camping without a good sleeping pad?

You probably can, but your experience will be ruined with a sleepless night, back pain and potential cold you can catch from sleeping on the ground.

Sleeping pads make you comfortable and warm.

You can use them with a sleeping bag or without.

Here is the selection of the best sleeping pads on the market for every camper out there!

1

Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight

Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight
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The Outdoorsman Lab is the most popular sleeping pad among campers around the world, and for great reasons.

The pad has a unique air-cell design and a self-adjusting mechanism.

It is only 2 inches thick but very comfortable.

The sleeping pad by Outdoorsman Lab is lightweight, compact when folded, and very durable.

The R-value is 1.3, and the pad comes in orange, green and blue.

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Pros

  • Quiet
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to inflate
  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact when folded

Cons

  • Might be too slim for people who like plenty of elbow space
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

Overall, the Outdoorsman Lab is a simple and effective solution for summer camping trips.

It is water-resistant and easy to maintain.

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2

Therm-A-Rest Self Inflating Pad

Therm-A-Rest Self Inflating Pad
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Therm-a-Rest is a reliable outdoor gear brand.

Their sleeping pads are highly comfortable and come with impressive R-Value of their pads to ensure great warmth.

For example, the R-value of this one is 5.8 which makes it suitable for year-round.

The foam pad is sturdy, with a traditional design and durable construction.

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Pros

  • Available in three sizes
  • Excellent for winter
  • Self-inflating
  • Simple maintenance

Cons

  • Heavy
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

The Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad is available in different sizes and has a practical design.

The pad self-inflates and deflates for a better user experience.

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3

Freeland Self-Inflating Pad

Freeland Self-Inflating Pad
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The Freeland sleeping pad is a budget-friendly option and a great choice for people who don’t go on a camping trip that often.

You can also use it as a backup pad for family and friends.

The pad has a built-in pillow and self-inflating design that makes it highly practical.

It is available in different colors and sizes.

The open-cell foam core is stable and comfortable, and the pad comes with an emergency patch kit.

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Pros

  • Attached pillow
  • Large size
  • Durable construction
  • Self-inflating design

Cons

  • No R-value tested
  • You have to inflate the pillow manually
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

The Freeland pad is easy to transport because it comes with compression straps and a stuff sack for storage.

Overall, it provides great value for the money!

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4

Better Habitat Sleepready

Better Habitat Sleepready
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Memory foam pad by Better Habitat is not a typical sleeping pad.

It is more of a camping mattress suitable for car and RV campers.

The pad is 3-inch thick, and suitable for campers with back pain.

The fitted waterproof cotton sheet is included.

You can choose between Twin and kid’s size.

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Pros

  • No inflation needed
  • Water-resistant bottom
  • Spacious
  • Available in kid’s size
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can absorb moisture
  • Not suitable for backpacking
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

The Better Habitat’s pad is highly comfortable and easy to pack.

It is a bit bulky when folded, but other features overcompensate for it.

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5

Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Pad

Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Pad
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If you are looking for a large sleeping pad to use on your camping or backpacking adventures, Teton Sports has something for big fellas.

The XXL camping pad is lightweight and compact when folded.

Because the pad is foam-only, it doesn’t need inflation.

The R-value is an impressive 6.2 which makes it suitable for winter camping.

The compression straps for storage and built-in pillow are nifty features too.

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Pros

  • No inflation needed
  • Non-slip bottom
  • Includes carrying handles
  • Available in kid-size
  • Has 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not the best choice for backpacking
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

The Teton Sports XXL camping pad is spacious, comfortable and durable.

It is easy to roll and unroll and will ensure a good night of sleep.

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Buying Guide

Let’s discuss three primary factors you need to consider when choosing your sleeping pad.

Those are size, construction and R-value.

Size

Sleeping pads are available in different sizes.

You can choose between regular (R), Long (L), and Extra-Large (XL).

Regular offers a lot of space, but if you are chubby or tall, you might need something larger to give you enough comfort.

Compare the dimensions of the pad with your height to find the one that fits.

Construction

Sleeping pads are available as foam pads, air pads, and foam-core pads.

As the name suggests, foam pads have foam constructions and are the most comfortable.

These are also the heaviest pads on the market.

You cannot easily compress them, so those are more suitable for RV camping.

Air pads are inflatable and lightweight.

They are compact when folded and great for backpackers and campers who prefer minimal gear.

They can self-inflate or require you to inflate them manually.

Foam-Core pads are somewhere between the previous two models.

They inflate and partially fold because they have a core made from foam.

They are bulkier than air-pads, but more comfortable too.

R-Value

R-value tells you how insulated the pad is.

The R-value can be as low as R1 and high as R5.

The higher the number is, the better the insulation.

If you camp during the summer, you don’t have to invest in heavily insulated pads.

If you camp in autumn, choose the one with the highest possible insulation.

The Difference Between Air Bed VS Air Mattress VS Sleeping Pad

You have three options for sleeping on your camping trip.

All have good and bad sides.

Let’s discuss them briefly, so you confidently choose the one for you.

Air Beds

Air beds are inflatable plastic beds.

These are usually available in standard bed sizes – Twin, King, Queen, etc.

Air beds don’t have protective material underneath.

They are comfortable, but not suitable for all outdoor conditions.

Air Mattresses

Air mattresses have a soft top and a non-slip bottom.

These are also available in standard bed sizes, and better for outdoor use.

Sleeping Pads

Sleeping pads are designed for camping, smaller and less thick than air beds and mattresses.

Usually, you don’t need a pump to inflate them, which makes them easier to pack and use when camping.

Sleeping pads are lightweight and compressible, can fit in the backpack.

Can you Make a Sleeping Pad More Comfortable?

You can try setting a sleeping pad on the flat ground.

Rocks and sloppy ground can affect the quality of your sleep.

If a sleeping pad is too thin, you can try placing a foam camping mat or a blanket underneath to improve comfort.

Some campers like to use interlocking foam flooring pieces because they are cheap and effective.

They are also great for larger tents.

If nothing works, you should return your sleeping pad and find something more comfortable.

R-Value Explained

R-value rating refers to thermal resistance.

The R-value test measures how good is the sleeping pad in maintaining warmth when exposed to different temperatures.

R2 sleeping pads are good for summer, R3 is three-season use, R4 and R5 sleeping pads are suitable for winter.

If you prefer camping in extremely cold conditions, look for specialized R5+ sleeping pads.

What to Put Under a Sleeping Pad?

Quality sleeping pads won’t require anything underneath, so you can safely put a sleeping pad on the tent floor.

But if you want to prolong the lifespan, you can put a camping cot underneath.

A blanket or a closed-cell foam camping mat will also work.

Sleeping Pad Maintenance

Sleeping pads are easy to maintain.

Foam pads don’t require any care.

On the other hand, air pads and foam core pads require special care.

When you are not using them, put them in the backpack to protect the pads from puncture and damage.

I don’t recommend strapping the pad to the bottom of the backpack, because the pad will be exposed to weather and different things that can damage it when you are on the go.

Overall, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and off-season storage.

How to Clean Sleeping Pad?

Usually, cleaning a sleeping pad is simple.

Don’t forget to clean the pad before every camping drip.

Remove any leftovers insect repellant sprays, spilled food, pine sap or other things that can collect on your sleeping pad.

You can use alcohol wipes to disinfect it before use.

Once the season is over, wash the sleeping pads to make sure it is free of bacteria and any harmful germs.

If you don’t use a sleeping bag and you sleep directly on a pad, you will have to wash the pad more often.

Check the instructions to see what detergents to use and what is the correct method.

Once you wash the pad, let it dry completely.

Dry it outdoors, but in the shade.

You can store a dry and clean pad inside until you are ready to go on your next camping trip.

Self-inflating pads should be left with open valves, and you should store air pads when deflated.

Conclusion

A good sleeping pad will improve the experience significantly.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a sleeping pad such as size, R-value and type.

My favorite is foam-core pads, but the choice depends on your activities and preferences.

Which model is most suitable for your needs?

Also, are you a summer camper or a winter one?

If you used any of the products from the list, don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section!

Best Overall Choice

Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight

Best overall choice: Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight See on Amazon

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