Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad 2021: Top Brands Review

Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad 2021

Multi-day backpacking demands good sleep gear to keep you comfortable and warm through the evening. The sleeping bags have become the essential bit of a sleeping apparatus since it reduces convection heat loss by maintaining the atmosphere warm.

But, selecting the most appropriate mattress for you is essential for staying comfortable during the night on the road. But knowing the difference between an air-bubble, self-inflating, and mobile sealed foam mattress along with the rest of the mattress-specific features can be challenging.

That is why we’ve compiled a summary of the best backpacking sleeping pads reviews, which means that you may spend more time counting sheep and much more time researching paths using a well-rested pep in your step!

Things To Look For In A Great Sleep Pad

Things To Look For In A Great Sleep Pad

Foam Sleeping Aids Vs Inflatable Sleeping Pads

There are two standard forms of pads. The first is a closed-cell foam pad. These are the least expensive and most lasting pads available; however, they tend to be comfortable. Their rigid shape also means that you can’t package down them, and most men and women wind up carrying them onto the exterior of the pack.

The other solution is the inflatable sleeping pad. These can be self-inflating or inflated by blowing air into them. These provide more cushion than the usual foam pad but are far less durable as they’re prone to snore. This usually means you’ve got to be somewhat cautious when using an inflatable sleeping mat right on the floor to prevent leaks. Inflatable sleeping pads tend to be comfier than foam pads, and often the difference in weight is negligible.

Insulation: The R-Value

The R-value is a sign of insulating material. R values range from 1.0 at the low end to 10 on the top end, and also, the greater the R-value, the heat the mat will retain. Most sleeping pads meant for backpacking have R-values of approximately 2.0-5.0.

The very first thing you are going to want to believe about is the kind of climate you’re going to use your sleeping mat in. If you’re a fair-weather backpacker and will likely be spending most nights at hot summer temperatures, it is possible to eliminate a decreased R-value. On the flip side, if you’re doing snow or winter camping, you will want something using an R-value nearer to 5. Pads with R-values greater than 5 are thicker and usually meant for car camping.


Weight is an important aspect to consider for each of your equipment, and sleeping pads are no exception. Closed-cell foam pads would be the lightest and most usually weigh in at under a pound.

The inflatable sleeping pads are equal in weight to the foam pads. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is fairly much the lightest choice available at 12 oz. Based on how lavish you would like to go, a sensible weight range to get an inflatable pad is 10 oz as many as two lbs. And while not necessarily the situation, there will be a tradeoff between weight and durability and inflatable sleeping pads. Should you decide on among those ultralight inflatable possibilities, you have to treat it with care and avoid using it right on the floor.


Inflatable sleeping pads change anywhere from one to four inches thick, along a thicker mat will supply extra comfort if you’re a side sleeper. The drawback of a milder pad is they take more time to inflate orally. If you are a rear sleeper and tend to remain put through the night, you may be OK with a thinner mat. Closed-cell foam pads are thinner, usually running less than one inch thick.

Length And Width

To be able to lower weight, sleeping pads are becoming smaller and smaller. In reality, a few sleeping pads currently arrive in 3/4 lengths meaning the base of your feet and legs will probably be hanging off. Many have a tapered or mummy-shaped design in which the foot and head are somewhat thinner than the pad’s remainder.

Once it changes around manufacturers, a regular-sized sleeping mat is approximately 72 inches long by 20 inches wide. Many manufacturers make their sleeping pads in numerous sizes to accommodate somewhat shorter, taller or possess wide shoulders.

Women’s Backpacking Sleeping Pads

Some backpacking sleeping pads come in a women’s specific version. These are inclined to be briefer and, therefore, occasionally a bit wider to accommodate different body shapes and bigger hips. Women’s sleeping pads can also be created to be warmer, using a greater R-value since women tend to sleep colder than men.

Packed Size

This is one place where sleeping pads have made some critical progress. Some sleeping pads nowadays are smaller than a Nalgene bottle when packaged down, meaning that they take up way less space on your luggage than they used to. For backpacking, you will need something that packs down to approximately 4-5.5 inches from 8-11 inches.

Top Rated Best Sleeping Pad For Backpacking Brands

Top Rated Best Sleeping Pad For Backpacking Brands



  • WEIGHT: 1 lb. 15 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 4.1
  • TYPE: Self-Inflating
  • THICKNESS: 3 in

This open-cell foam sleeping mat is made using a warmth-efficient contour – wider in the hips and slightly thinner in the shoulders. With a depth of 3 inches and an R-value of 4.1, this is a sleeping pad worthy of severe outdoor experiences, even in colder climates.

The Sea to Summit Comfort Plus SI is intended for ease and, like it states, relaxation. A low-profile valve guarantees rapid deflation of this sleeping pad, which means it is possible to pack up in almost no time. Another handy feature, the non-slip print, will save you from rolling off on the cold ground during the night. And for even more relaxation, it’s a soft knit fabric in addition to a relaxing and cozy feel.



  • WEIGHT: 12 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 4.2
  • TYPE: Air pad
  • THICKNESS: 2.5 in.

Therm-a-Rest is synonymous with quality backpacking pads, and also the NeoAir XLite is the top lightweight version. For many uses and people, it is the entire package: the XLite is comfy with Therm-a-Rest’s signature inner baffling, weighs only 12 ounces, and the R-value of 4.2 is a lot for many 3-season excursions (the women’s version is much sexier at 5.4).

What’s more, the XLite stuffs downs impressively small and occupies hardly any space in your package. It is correct that the NeoAir XTherm below provides more excellent insulation and contains thicker cloth on the base of the pad, but it is also 3 oz heavier and costs a whopping $220.

The total NeoAir lineup obtained a revamp annually, and also the most critical change was the new WingLock valve. In a departure from their previous layout, the valve includes one-way inflation to improve efficacy. Its own plastic “wings” across the side may be twisted open to release the atmosphere swiftly.

Although we discovered it provided just moderate time savings and can not match the ease of using the pump tote, there is also an enclosed pump bag, which is included with the Nemo Tensor below.

Also, the XLite’s 30-denier cloth requires care to prevent punctures, and its baffling internal means it is not the quietest in the marketplace (this issue has not been a deal-breaker for us, however). Regardless of the nitpicks, we consider that the XLite the perfect 3-season alternative due to its excellent mixture of burden, comfort, and warmth.



  • WEIGHT: 8.8 oz
  • R-VALUE: 2.3
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 2.5 in

Founded at 8.8 oz, this is the most lightweight and packable backpacking sleeping pad available in the industry. Like other sleeping pads at the brand’s NeoAir line-up, the UberLite boasts 2.5 inches of depth when inflated and contains comfortable, uniform flat baffles of equivalent elevation.

We love the UberLite because it is much quieter and not as crinkly at night than other pads at the NeoAir line-up, for example, XLite and XTherm options.



  • WEIGHT: 1 lb 1.3 oz
  • R-VALUE: 3.2
  • TYPE: Air pad
  • THICKNESS: 4 in

With four inches of depth and a moderate quantity of insulating material, the Ether Light XT will keep your loyal side sleepers comfortable through the evening. The Ether Light XT is made for relaxation because of well-padded air-borne cells. Having an R-Value of 3.2, additionally, it is acceptable for all but the coldest of conditions. A double pump and stuff sack come included with your purchase.

We like the Ether Light XT is your unique Pillow Lock system that lets you attach a cushion into the mat – removing the all-too-frequent occurrence of backpacking pillows sliding from beneath your head at night.



  • WEIGHT: 14.5 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 2.0
  • TYPE: Closed-cell foam
  • THICKNESS: 0.9 in.

We will begin by stating that the Switchback from Nemo isn’t the best selection for all those searching for a cushy and comfy sleeping pad. You receive a bit less than an inch of closed-cell foam, together with a reflective coating made to catch radiant heat.

But we’ve got the Switchback rated here for two crucial reasons: it is cheap at only $50 for the regular edition, and it’ll never popup. Regardless of the foam pad’s very thin and basic nature, we will take it on a 150 + air pad with a hole daily. Additionally, it functions as a fantastic chair throughout camp, and a few relaxation seekers or chilly explorers can use it under their routine air pad for additional cushion and protection.

Compared to this uber-popular and long-standing Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol beneath, the Switchback ends up in many ways. It is thicker (0.9 inches compared to 0.75 inches) but packs down to precisely the same size. Additionally, it is a bit more comfortable, though it’s a close call between the two.

All that said, you will still feel stones and roots under you a whole lot more than using the pricier air choices above and beneath, and it will not keep you insulated from the cold ground outside the summer months using an R-value of two.



  • WEIGHT: 2 pounds. 11 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 3.2
  • TYPE: Air pad
  • THICKNESS: 3.5 in.

We have seen double sleeping pads get attention in the auto camping globe, but they should not be overlooked with backpackers. Rather than two individuals bringing two individual pads and using a restricted surface space to sleep, the Big Agnes Insulated SLX Tent Floor works similar to a backpacking mattress that’s intended to fill out many tents (thus the title).

It is an enjoyable alternative for couples, people bringing a kid to the backcountry, and people who need maximum sleeping comfort at the cost of some excess mass and weight.

To further assess this dual sleeping mat concept, let us take a peek at the amounts. The Big Agnes SLX Tent Floor is heavy in 2 lbs 11 ounces-that the only variant in a size routine is 1 lb 2 ounces or less than half an hour. Concerning cost, the only version is $150; therefore, getting the dual is clean.

On the flip side, the Tent Floor variant is a whopping 50 inches broad at the head end versus 20 inches to one pad; therefore, you’re receiving an additional 10 inches of width there without a gap (the dual is tapered and 40 in. At the feet finish). And for different choices within this class, check out Exped’s SynMat Duo and Klymit’s Dual V collection.



  • WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 11 oz.
  • R-VALUE: Unavailable
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 3.5 in

Are you searching for the utmost comfort during warm-weather biking? Next, turn your attention to the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad. Its glossy construction cuts down without decreasing comfort. This upgraded sleeping pad is much more lightweight and easier to work with than its award-winning namesake. The ease of use will be due in part to some high-volume valve that produces inflation and deflation incredibly quickly.

It just weighs 1 pound and 4 ounces, which makes it quite packable without adding excess weight to your package. The cradle-like attributes come from the elevated outer borders that keep you comfortable in the mat center. Additionally, you may feel secure while sleeping on this mat since it’s an antimicrobial coating that prevents bacteria and mold from sharing the relaxation alongside you.



  • WEIGHT: 1 lb. 3.6 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 4.4
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 2.5 in.

Klymit’s groundbreaking X Frame pad might have set the company on the map; however, their follow-up Insulated Static V Lite is their best offering. Whereas the X Frame cuts off surplus materials and looks like a sword (and provides no insulation on the floor), the Static V Lite is a bit more conventional and comfy.

We especially enjoy the 23-inch width (most ordinary pads are 20 in. Wide). Coupled with elevated baffles across the sides, the Klymit is a secure and roomy sleeping system that’s fantastic for busy sleepers.

Outside the excess distance and very competitive cost, the Static V Lite does not stick out. Employing 30-denier cloth, we would expect it to weigh less than one pound 3.6 oz (the warmer 15-oz. XTherm includes a more excellent denier score on the base of the mat), which means you forfeit durability without the average benefit of weight.

Its V-like baffles can not match the sleeping relaxation of their premium choices over from Sea to Summit, Therm-a-Rest, Big Agnes, and Nemo, which drop that the Klymit towards the bottom of our listing. To get a more affordable but less insulated choice from the manufacturer, look at their Static V2.

Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad, Regular Mummy
335 Reviews



  • WEIGHT: 1 lb.
  • R-VALUE: 3.2
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 2 in.

At $100, REI’s Flash undercuts the competition in cost but does not compromise specs using a 1-pound burden and an R-value of 3.2. The mat delivers a high degree of comfort and a significant inflation and deflation system with committed valves for every.

Blowing the mat up requires approximately eight breaths, and it deflates in only a couple of moments-both are faster at their various purposes than recent Therm-a-Rest NeoAirs. REI softly updated the pad into the “3-Season” last year (the older version was known as the “Flash Insulated”), together with the main change being more durable welds, which have been a weak point of the incoming model.

In various ways, the REI Flash is a funding option to Sea to Summit’s Ultralight Insulated above. Both have cell-like constructions, mummy contours, and pack small. The Flash is $40 cheaper and about an ounce lighter, even though the Sea to Summit is significantly more comfortable complete.

The Flash is not quite cushioned sufficient for side sleepers at just two inches thick, but most back and stomach sleepers need to locate it a lot supportive. And the last reason we’ve got the Flash rated here is since most users report leaks growing after just a small number of outings. The current-generation model performed well for us to a visit to Patagonia. Still, this issues-and all the Sea to Summit’s better track record-are sufficient to bulge the Flash toward the bottom of our listing.



  • WEIGHT: 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 3.5
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 3 in

If you’re searching for a lightweight sleeping mat with a lot of upgrades and ergonomic features, then the NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad may be a fantastic selection. In its thoughtful design, there’s a point-deflection system that makes up a secure surface and also prevents your elbows, shoulders, and knees from sinking, touching, and in the chilly ground.

The Tensor is also quite hot, with the 2-layer metalized picture to efficiently reflect your warmth to combat temperatures as low as 10°F. Weighing in at just one and a half pounds with slightly packed dimensions, this mat is excellent for ultralight backpackers seeking to lose weight and boost warmth and comfort on the road.



  • WEIGHT: 1 pound. 15.6 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 7.8
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 3.5 in.

The majority of the sleeping pads around the record are constructed for 3-season requirements with varying insulation degrees. However, for the maximum R-value of any backpacking pad, the Exped Downmat XP 9 requires the cake in 7.8. With an exceptional design that utilizes 700-fill goose down as insulating material, the XP 9 is also a large 3.5 inches thick and rather comfy to sleep.

You can not inflate this pad since the moisture from the breath may harm the download, but the added waterproof compression sack doubles as a fully functional pump tote. For 4-season backpacking, foundation camping, and as a trip mat, the Exped wins out from the heat.

Our huge issue with all the Exped DownMat XP 9 is that it lacks practicality and specifically when compared to this uber-popular Therm-a-Rest XTherm above. In parsing out the differences, the XTherm has an impressive R-value of 6.9, which is ample for much cold weather, also weighs less in only 15 ounces to get a regular size (that is half the burden of this Exped).

It is correct that the DownMat is just 1 inch thicker, less crinkly since the XTherm, also ends in sleeping comfort; however, it is an unnecessarily bulky and heavy pad for most people to take within their pack.



  • WEIGHT: 1 lb. 2 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 1.4
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 3.25 in.

If you backpack in hot states, an insulated pad is an excellent way of saving weight and money. The Big Agnes Air Core Ultra is a superb illustration: for $60, you receive 3.25 inches of relaxation at a moderate 1 pound 2 oz. Moreover, the burly cloth is a bit harder than the ultralight pads that dominate our listing, which means you don’t have to be constantly concerned about puncturing (that does not mean it can not occur yet).

The”Ultra” is the upgraded version of this favorite Air-Core series, including an improved, two-way valve using committed openings for inflation and deflation. We think the vertical baffles aren’t as comfy as the NeoAir and Nemo models over, but the extra-thick construction is a definite blessing for side sleepers.

It is worth mentioning that Big Agnes also sells an insulated version of this Air Core Ultra that fosters an R-value of 4.5. Still, its $40 cost increase and a 4-ounce weight penalty lessen its allure for summertime backpackers.



  • WEIGHT: 15.1 oz.
  • R-VALUE: 3.3
  • TYPE: Air Pad
  • THICKNESS: 2 in.

Comfort is the name of this match when it comes to the Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat. It is unquestionably among the best backpacking sleeping mat options available on the market due to this Air Sprung Cells technology.

This pad provides a more comfortable sleep than a conventional sleeping pad because of its design, motivated by contemporary pocket sprung mattresses. Its moderate resolution mobile matrix provides a two” thickness that delivers cushion and support even on uneven floors.

The Exkin Platinum Engineered technologies will reflect heat to you enjoy most traditional mats perform, however unlike other mats; the more Exkin Platinum is hushed. After just one use, you’re going to be in love with all the Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm is a complete monster that balances notable heat (6.9 R-value) using a packable and lightweight design. No other pad available on the market provides this level of comfort and warmth whilst keeping versatile features. Using a brand new and substantially improved valve program, we did not have some hesitation in providing the XTherm our greatest honors.

Yes, even the Xtherm is our favorite pad, but it does not indicate a few of the wallet-friendly choices will not get the task done in a similar manner. If you are put off from the narrow profile of this XTherm, have a look at the broader Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Max to get a little more wiggle room.


  • Packs away Tiny
  • Warm
  • Contained pump doubles as a stuff sack
  • Versatile


  • Some edge collapse
  • Expensive

Read also: Best Camping Air Mattress Review 2020: Top Brands Review


Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad FAQs

Can I Want A Sleeping Pad For Backpacking?

Suppose you would like to sleep comfortably while backpacking; you want a sleeping pad. Warmth and comfort are vital for a fantastic night’s sleep. It’s tough to sleep on a tough surface, and the chilly ground can remove your body heat extremely fast. That is the reason why restful sleep outside can be challenging to find, even if you are super tired.

A sleeping mat provides cushioning and insulation by the cold hard floor, ensuring you are comfortable and warm enough to fall asleep outside.

What’s the Difference Between Lightweight And Ultralight Sleeping Pad?

Both lightweight and ultralight sleeping pads are light in weight reduction. Ultralight sleeping pads would be the lightest, and most generally weigh beneath 18oz (500g). Lightweight pads weigh between 18oz (500g) and 36oz (1kg).

What’s R-Value?

R-Value for sleeping pads is a measure of the degree of insulation a sleeping pad provides or its ability to withstand heat loss. It ranges from 1.0 to worth 11.0 or longer. The more complicated the R-value, the greater the mat resists heat reduction along with the warmer it is. Producers delegate r-Value. It’s practical but not a specific science since there’s no standard for analyzing and delegating it.


Finding the best mattress for you can be tricky. With the guidance we have provided you, we expect you will have the ability to locate the very best backpack sleeping mattress to your needs when you have not already.

Picking some of the very best sleeping pads for backpacking over will make sure you get a fantastic night’s sleep so that you may have the best possible experience of being in contact with nature. Have fun camping!

Video: How To Sleep Warm At Camp In The Winter

Last update on 2021-02-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *