Choosing The Best Sleeping Pad

Sleeping in the woods is an amazing experience — you build a cozy campfire, kick back under the stars, and connect with Mother Nature. That said, if you don’t have a good sleeping pad, you won’t get any rest at all. It’s hard to enjoy the serene sounds of nature when a sharp stone is sticking into your back. If you’re going to get a good night’s sleep outside, you need to invest in one of the best sleeping pads that you can find.

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a sleeping pad.  The type of camping that you are going to be doing is the major determinant in what you are going to be looking for.  Of course, how much you want to spend also has some bearing on the pad that you will choose.

Today we will focus on the type of camping that you are going to be doing and associate that with the types of pads best suited for that type of camping.

If you are driving to the camp site and will be sleeping in your vehicle, then a self-inflating pad with lots of padding may be the best choice.  The pad is a bit heavier and has more bulk than other choices but it is a good choice for car camping.

Ultralight pads are great for backpacking but it will cost you more.  If you prefer good sleep comfort when backpacking or touring by bike a self-inflating air pad may be useful.  There is a variety of thicknesses, insulation value and weight available.  Some insulated full-length air pads now weigh less than a pound.  Just be sure the packed size fits the option for which you are looking.

If you are planning on winter camping and consider the possibility of camping on snow, then two pads are recommended.  A high-R-value air pad or self-inflating pad used on top of a closed-cell foam pad will provide the warmth you need as well as provide some insurance in case the inflatable pad deflates.


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