The best camping sleeping pad is hard to come by, with the product being such a necessary and popular item for campers and hikers, the market is full of models.
Camping sleeping pads are a sure-fire way to staying warm and insulated, as well as being well-rested and energised for the next mornings outdoor activities.
Despite days filled with relentless exercise, you aren't likely to be able to pass out on a cold, hard surface from fatigue and tiredness alone, comfort and warmth is a must.
If you're still deciding whether or not to bother buying a camping sleeping pad, take a look at these 5 reliable and affordable options with a summary of key features below.
Related: Best Camping Pillows
1. Trekology Inflatable Sleeping Pad
With a tiny folded footprint of only 18.5*12cm and a weight of 560gm, the Trekology Inflatable Sleeping Pad is an excellent accessory for campers who want a bit of luxury in the great outdoors.
The pad quickly inflates via an enlarged air valve by mouth or with an electronic or hand pump (not supplied) to a large 191(L)*57(W)*10(H)cm.
This is ample room for a good night’s sleep with plenty of space underneath to turn over comfortably without touching the ground, no matter what your size or weight.
Deflation is also fast and easy and the pad rolls into a compact unit for versatile packing into a rucksack or other bag.
The product is made from rugged tear-resistant 40D nylon which is super light and durable as well as being water-proofed. It has an estimated R-value (ie insulating value) of between 1.6 and 2 so it’s suitable for all seasons except the depths of an extremely cold winter.
The unique curved design of the top provides a secure place for your body to lie all night without risk of rolling off as is the case with many traditional flat-top air mattresses.
The 10cm space between you and the ground also provides some valuable insulation from the coldness of the earth to keep you that little bit warmer, not to mention free from sore limbs and aching muscles the next morning.
2. Hikenture Ultralight Sleeping Mat
The Hikenture Ultralight Sleeping Mat is a camping accessory that has a lot to offer for campers who want to travel light but still enjoy the adventure without aching muscles and still necks from enduring the cold hard nights on the hard ground of the great outdoors.
This inflatable mattress is extremely light (only 522gm) and folds down to a very small 10*10*26cm – easy to fit into any space in a backpack or other luggage.
It’s quickly and easily inflated in around one minute (about 10-15 breaths) to a generous sleeping size for an adult male to sleep comfortably with room to roll over and to not touch the ground underneath.
The mattress is made up of thick air cells which are similar to mattress springs and limit moving around, providing more comfort than traditional air mattresses do. It also has an inbuilt pillow to support the neck and head for greater comfort.
The material is waterproof and tear-resistant so leakage is not an issue and nor is wet ground underneath. It has an R-rating (insulation rating) of 1.3 so it suits all seasons except winter. Cleaning it is as easy as a wipe down with a damp cloth.
3. ZOOOBELIVES Extra Thick Pad
With a high R-4 insulation rating the inflatable camping mattress from ZOOOBELIVES is a must-have for all-weather campers wanting unbelievable comfort outdoors in any conditions.
The super durable sleeping pad measures a large 188(L)*61(W)*10(D)cm when fully inflated – big enough to fit even the biggest of adults without any risk of touching the hard ground underneath.
The extra thick 10cm of air between you and the floor also provides additional insulation against the cold and any moisture including rain.
A baffled interior structure adds to the stability of the mattress and helps to distribute your weight evenly over the surface.
It’s easily inflated in seconds by a built-in pump, and deflated with a two-level outtake valve, either slowly for adjusting the air pressure for firmness preference or quickly for complete deflation.
When deflated the mattress rolls up into a very small packing size of 15*15*35.5cm for easy packing into a rucksack, backpack or other luggage.
Made from 75D Polyester pongee material with extruded PVC lamination, the same fabric used for military-grade parachutes, the mattress is not only highly durable but extremely lightweight, weighing only 1.4kg. It’s also waterproof and warm.
This is a mattress for which you can find many uses beyond outdoor use – it’s a great thing to have around for unexpected overnight guests or in your car in case of emergencies.
4. IFORREST Sleeping Pad
Featuring integrated armrests for added comfort but also rollover control and a pillow as well, the self-inflating air mattress from IFORREST (Patent Pending) is a great choice for campers looking for some creature comforts at night.
The mattress is made from best quality 190T Polyester and is thick, long and wide enough (195(L)*66(W)*13.3(D)cm) for optimal comfort for even taller and larger persons.
The depth is certainly plenty for insulation as well as protection from any chance of feeling the ground underneath even when rolling over.
The central part of the mattress is self-inflating – just rollout and leave and it will fill in just a few minutes. You can add more air by mouth if you prefer a firmer mattress. Deflation is as easy and simply opening the valves and rolling the mattress up.
The air escapes easily and without needing more pressure than the act of the fabric being rolled. The small lightweight (1.2kg) roll then fits easily into a supplied carry bag for storage in your backpack etc.
The armrests and pillow do need to be inflated by mouth but that doesn’t take long because they’re small.
With armrests and a pillow, the mattress is also suitable for a camp cot or a hammock.
So, if you’re looking for some comfort when you camp the IFORREST is well worth some thought.
5. HiHiker Sleeping Pad
Sleep in luxury on the HiHiker inflatable sleeping pad with accompanying multifunctional inflatable pillow and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another day’s hiking or fishing or simply enjoying the great outdoors with friends and/or family.
When fully inflated the sleeping pad measures a huge 190.5(L)*58.5(W)cm – long and wide enough for the largest of adults.
The depth is a generous 9.7cm so there’s no way you’ll be feeling any of the ground underneath you or be bothered by the cold or damp rising from it with that level of insulating air.
And the pad conforms to your body shape as you lie on it, a bit like memory foam, so you’ll be comfortable all night no matter what shape you are.
And when deflated the pad rolls up into a carrying pack the size of a bottle – easily managed in a backpack, especially since it only weighs 544gm.
The separate pillow included can be used for all sorts of purposes – as a lumbar or neck support when travelling in planes, trains or automobiles, or as a sleeping aid in camp. It also deflates into a very light small carrying size.
The materials used to make the sleeping pad and pillow are waterproof, washable and ripstop. They’ll stand the pressure of life on the road and some more.
How To Choose Sleeping Pads?
Sleeping pads help you to have a good nights sleep outdoors, by providing cushioning and insulation, but how do you choose the best one for your needs.
Types of Sleeping Pads
Firstly there's a few types of pads including:
- Air Pads
- Self-Inflating Pads
- Closed-Cell Foam Pads.
Today we looked at air pads as they are the easiest to carry and fold away, making them portable and easy to use regardless of your trip.
Sleeping Pad Features
There's a few factors to consider for each including:
Ultralight pads are the preferred option for most people but often come at a cost. You can often save weight by choosing a mummy design as it's smaller in volume.
If you're sleeping with someone else, getting a two person pad can work out to be lighter than buying two single pads.
You'll want to ensure the sleeping pad is long enough to insulate your entire body. Most models will cater to around 6ft, with some larger models offering up to 6.5ft for larger individuals. The larger the better in my opinion, to keep your legs and feet toasty during winter outings.
Nearly all the sleeping pads in the Australian market come with a standard width of 20 inches, which can be problematic for larger individuals, so you may need to buy a 2 person sleeping pad.
Some pads do come with rails or elevated sides to keep you in the middle.