How to Choose a Sleeping Pad: Terms to Know, My Tips, and My Recommendations

We are getting down to the basics! First, we chatted about backpacks, then tents, theeennnnn sleeping bags, and now sleeping pads! So, you are set on your big three!




Here is my post about backpacks that you may be interested in: how to choose a backpack that is right for you: budget, terms to know, and my recommendations!


AND, if tents aren't your jam, then here is a post ALLLLLL about hammocks that you are going to want to read: What You Need To Know About Hammock Camping


Last, if you want to see my gear choices and the pros and cons of the gear that I do have: My Big Three Picks | Pros and Cons


Other posts that you may enjoy


This post breaks down the differences between bear cans and bear bags!


Here are my big three picks with their pros and cons!


Lastly, this post is about hammocks.


HOw to choose | Sleeping pad


The purpose of a sleeping pad is to keep you off the ground. The ground can suck your body heat from you, so you want to have distance between you and the ground. The sleeping pad serves as an insulating barrier.


Terms to know:


1) R-Value: A pad’s ability to resist heat loss to the ground is measured as R-value—higher R-values are warmer.


2) Closed-Cell: this typically means that the sleeping pad is foam


My tips:


1) Know the difference between sleeping pads: closed-cell foam pad, inflatable, and self-inflating.

  • Each category offers different things.

  • Closed-cell sleeping pads are lightweight and affordable, but can only get so small. This sleeping pad will not pop, which can be the risk with inflatable sleeping pads.

  • Inflatable sleeping pads need to be inflated. They are lightweight and compact but can be more expensive than closed-cell alternatives.

2) How much $$ do you have?

  • Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are the most affordable and durable option for new backpackers. But, for those who value comfortability on the trail, an inflatable sleeping pad may be the best move (if you can afford one).

3) What terrain are you going to be camping in?

  • Think about the type of ground you may be camping on. If you are going to be camping in rocky terrain, you may want to consider a closed-cell foam pad.



Ozark Trail Closed Cell Foam Blue Camp Sleeping Pad


Price: $9.94

Weight: 11.2oz


NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad


Price: $49.95

Weight: 14.5oz


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad


Price: $189.95

Weight: 12oz


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad

Price: $182-$187

Weight: 6-12oz

REI Co-op Helix Insulated Air Sleeping Pad

Price: $159

Weight: 1lbs 5 oz


articles to browse


How to choose sleeping pads


How to choose a sleeping pad


How to choose a sleeping pad



Videos to watch


How to choose backpacking sleeping pads


How to choose a sleeping pad for backpacking


How to choose a sleeping pad or mattress for backpacking



 

Thanks for reading!


Lea