If you’re like most people you enjoy the great outdoors with the fresh air, the enchanting vistas and the wind whistling through the pines at night. One of the reasons you’re probably awake to hear the wind whistling through those pines at night is because it can be devilishly difficult to get a good night’s sleep lying on the ground. The fact is, no matter how good your sleeping bag is it’s going to need help. And that’s where sleeping pads come in. Below are the best sleeping pads of 2019.
The Best Sleeping Pad
The goal of the backpacking sleeping pad is to help you obtain a restful night’s sleep after hiking all day or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. Not to necessarily look stylish or offer you a choice of two dozen different colors. With that primary goal in mind you’d have to say that the Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad is an outstanding camping mattress. It has an unorthodox look but it’s comfy as the day is long.
The Static V inflates with about a dozen breaths (give or take a few) and, thanks to the high quality push valves it stays properly inflated all night long. When the V-chamber design first hit the market some years back it seemed like a bit of a marketing gimmick. But the way it’s done here will make a believer out of you. It did out of us. The air stays well-distributed beneath you, your back never feels like you’ve abandoned it and you’re not going to spend all night making contact with the ground.
Comfortably accommodates 6-footers.
V-chamber design keeps the air under you.
Fast, easy inflation and deflation.
Comes with patch kit and stuff sack.
75D polyester shell is light and tough.
Limited lifetime warranty.
- Weight1 pound
There are quite a few air mattresses on the market today that sport the diamond-shaped air chamber configuration. So you really need a reason to consider one over the other. Outdoorsman Lab gives you a number of reasons to put their Inflatable Sleeping Pad on your shopping list for your next camping adventure.
First off is the comfort level. The distribution of air chambers here really does lend itself to outstanding support in the back, hips, shoulders and other areas that commonly suffer when trying to get a good night’s sleep on the ground. Next is the large, easy to use air valve that lets you fill the mattress with just 10 or 15 breaths. It also deflates faster than 90% of the camping mattress pads out there.
73 x 21 x 2.2 inches.
Inflates with 10 to 15 breaths.
Interconnected air cells provide firm support.
True 4 season usability.
Lightweight, abrasion-resistant nylon shell.
Collapses into palm-sized stuff sack.
- BrandOutdoorsman Lab
- Weight1.1 pounds
The Wellax Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad is another highly compartmentalized camping mattress that provides plenty of support where you need it and packs down to a very respectable size for easy storage in your backpack. The Wellax Ultralight is one of the few sleeping pads out there to break the 72 inch barrier, extending another full 6 inches. Which is sure to bring a smile to taller folks. At 24 inches it’s also a bit wider than a lot of other sleeping pads.
Did we mention that it’s also 2.5 inches thick instead of the more standard 2 inches? Because it is. It also has an R-rating of 2.1. Which means that it’s not technically a 4 season pad but there are plenty of hardy types out there that will use it as such without problem or complaint. While it’s not quite a light as some other sleeping pads at 1.2 pounds it’s not going to be too much for most people, even if you’re hiking into the deep backcountry.
Packs down to 10 x 3.5 inches.
Blows up to 78 x 24 x 2 inches.
Shell of laminated 20D ripstop nylon.
Ideal 3 season camping mat.
300 individual air cells for outstanding support.
Separate flat valves for inflation and deflation.
- Weight1.08 pounds
One great thing about a lot of old school tech is that some of it worked spectacularly. And even with all our digital wherewithal we still have a hard time topping it. Think the SR-71 for example. It was designed with slide rulers and pencils. Or the open-cell, unibody backpacking sleeping pad. They’ve been around for decades. And while many of today’s multi-compartment, ultra-compressible sleeping pads are definitely worthy successors, the dependable, rugged and comfortable open-cell roll up camping mattress just refuses to go away.
While the Teton Sports Universal Camp Pad is far too bulky and heavy to carry up a mountain at any time of the year it’s ideal for the recreational camper who wants to enjoy a blissful night’s sleep under the stars. There really isn’t a single one of the latest generation of air mattresses that’s going to top it in terms of comfort. Equal it, maybe. But not top it. And that’s saying a lot considering the comfort level of many of today’s best sleeping pads.
Ideal for 4 season recreational camping.
Open-cell foam construction.
Outstanding support head to toe.
Integrated roll straps for easy packing.
Multiple layers of insulation.
Thick, durable and well made.
- BrandTETON Sports
- Weight6 pounds
The Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol Backpacking Mattress is a mattress in name only. The fact is it’s the kind of camping/hiking gear that some people are going to love and others are going to question the logic of. We found ourselves alternating between the two camps. On the one hand there’s no denying it’s light and remarkably warm for something so thin. On the other hand no reasonable person would say it packs down to a size serious mountaineers are going to entertain.
It’s also small. Even the large size is smaller than just about any inflatable camping pad out there. Then again, there’s no need to spend time blowing it up, or waiting for it to blow itself up. You just flip it out in the direction you want to sleep and lay down. Another thing it has going for it is the fact that you can fold it over once or twice and it makes a very comfortable seat on which to sit while you enjoy a break from the trail or the icefall. That’s something you can’t realistically do with an inflatable camping pad.
Dimples trap heat for warmer night’s sleep.
Unfolds to 72 x 20 inches.
Breaks down to 20 x 5 x 5.5 inches.
Accordian style construction.
Designed and made in the US.
- Weight 14.4 ounces
The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad isn’t going to win any beauty contests but it might win your heart. While it’s marketed as a camping pad for recreational campers the fact is that serious climbers are going to find a lot to like here as well. It packs down super small (only 8 x 3.5 inches), it inflates in about a minute to whatever firmness you like and it makes for a nice, warm base even when laid directly on the ground.
About the only outdoor types who won’t be tripping over themselves to pick up one of these are winter mountaineering types. And they have plenty of camping pads made especially for their particular needs anyway. The Sleepingo will serve everyone else, from mom and dad just looking to get away for a peaceful, quiet weekend to hikers on an epic trek down the length of the Appalachian Trail.
Fashioned from tough ripstop nylon.
Packs down to 8 x 3.5 inches.
Inflates to 75 x 23 inches.
Comes with handsome stuff sack.
Fills on average with 10 or 15 breaths.
2.1 R-value good for 3 season camping.
- Weight14.4 ounces
The Klymit Static V2 is an upgrade of the company’s popular Static V that’s a little bit lighter while at the same time being a little bit warmer and tougher. The V was/is no slouch but the V2 is fashioned from 30D polyester on the top side and highly tear-resistant 75D ripstop nylon on the bottom. The V2 also features an antimicrobial treatment on the internal laminate that prevents mold and bacteria from forming. This prevents the inflatable sleeping pad from developing funky odors down the road.
We’re impressed by both the comfort and the compressibility of the V2. It stuffs into a tiny little sack that’s 8 x 3 inches and can easily disappear into any standard backpack. But that compressibility implies it’s mountain ready. While the 1.1 pound weight means it’s not going to find favor with some serious mountaineers. Also, the 1.3 R-rating indicates you’re on your own if take it into the backcountry in mid-winter.
Innovative V-chamber design.
Mitigates heat loss and improves support.
Packs down to 8 x 3 inches.
Inflates to 72 x 23 x 2.5 inches.
R-Value of 1.3 for comfy 3 season camping.
Limited lifetime warranty on construction.
- Weight1 pounds
Before compartmental design became all the rage there was the Therm-a-Rest self-inflating camping pad. And now that compartmental design is all the rage, we still have the decidedly single chamber Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Foam Camping Pad. There’s nothing revolutionary about the Basecamp. It’s the same essential design the company introduced 40 years ago and they stick with it for one reason: because it works.
The Basecamp opens up to create a large, comfortable 4 season platform for sleeping in the out-of-doors. The foam sleeping pad core provides outstanding insulation which makes the Basecamp warmer than a simple air mattress would be. Especially if you have to set it directly on the snow. If you feel you need a bit more firmness than self-inflation provides you can also add a few breaths and sleep easy.
Tough yet light 75D polyester shell.
Self-inflates in just minutes.
Add a few breaths to ramp up the firmness.
Foam core inner provides better support than air alone.
77 x 25 x 2 inches when fully inflated.
Ideal for anyone up to 300 lbs.
- Weight3.19 pounds
You can go ahead and carry 2 sleeping pads to the campground and try to keep them next to each other during the night. Or you can simply buy a single Klymit Double Wide 2 Person Sleeping Pad and dispense with the 2 pad hassles. This is a rugged well-engineered camping mattress that will eliminate the age old problem of cold air seeping into the space between sleeping pads and disrupting life inside the tent.
If you and your sweetheart enjoy camping together you know what it feels like to wake up in the middle of the night and discover one of the sleeping pads has slid to the side and opened a big, cold space. That won’t ever happen again with the Klymit Double Wide 2 Person Sleeping Pad. The V-shaped chambers in the pad make sure air is distributed in a way that prevents bottoming out so you can confidently zip two bags together and enjoy the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had in the outdoors.
Twice the width of ordinary camping pads.
Klymalite insulation retains body warmth.
True 4 season compatibility.
Rugged 75D ripstop polyester shell.
Air pump and stuff sack included.
Double V design provides outstanding support.
- Weight 3.25 pounds
There is no doubt that the Therm-a-Rest Prolite Ultralite Self-Inflating backpacking sleeping pad is one of the most comfortable inflatable pads we tested and that you’re bound to get a great night’s sleep. What’s less certain is whether the comfort level is so much better than the competition that it justifies a price that is several times higher.
With an R-value of 2.4 you could make an argument that plenty of people will find this an acceptable 4 season camping mattress. So that, along with the comfort, might persuade you to bite the bullet and shell out for one of these puppies. Then again, the fact that it’s one of only 2 camping pads on our list to break the 72 inch lengthwise barrier might be another. Especially if you’re 6’ 2” or 6’ 4”.
Diagonal cut foam with 2.4 R-value.
Inflates to 77 x 25 inches.
Self inflates in about 2 minutes.
Packs down to a mere 13 x 4.5 inches.
Add a few breaths for greater support.
Ideal for 3+ season camping.
- Weight1 pound
The last item on our list of best sleeping pads is the Big Agnes Air Core. Big Agnes has become a very popular inflatable camping mattress for a couple of very good reasons. A) It’s light (right around a pound) and B) it packs down to a tiny 7 x 4 inches. As such this is not just a camping pad for the roadside campground in the Florida Keys, it’s also a camping pad for winter camping above the tree line in the Cascades.
There’s an awful lot to like about the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra besides just its lightweight compressibility. It’s treated with antimicrobial agents inside that prevent the growth and spread of mold and bacteria. This new iteration of the Air Core is warmer than previous versions. The shell is fashioned from rugged ripstop nylon and when fully inflated you’re going to forget the ground is even there.
I Beam construction keeps air under you.
Heat reflective technology for superior warmth.
Antimicrobial treatment inside.
Tough ripstop nylon shell.
Enhanced inflation/deflation speeds.
Opens to 72 x 20 inches.
- BrandBig Agnes
- Weight1 pound