best sleeping pads for backpacking
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Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads

You may think that after a long tiring hike you will be able to sleep cozily. Let us be real, your body will be dying to rest and your aching joints wanting to relax and breathe.

So, of course you will sleep like a baby once night falls. Right?

Wrong!

Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads – Quick Pick

If you’re in a hurry, here are our two favorite backpacking sleeping pads in this review.

Sleep does not come easy when you are out there in the wilderness without the comfort of your bed or mattress.

So, for most of the people, sleeping becomes more like constantly tossing and turning in the hope that you will find a comfortable position until the sun rises.

However, this situation can be reversed with a magical product called sleeping pad.

The reason why I am calling sleeping pads “magical” is because these beauties not only provide us with a place to sleep on, but also offer warmth, support and stability which will allow us to get a good night’s sleep.

A good sleep is extremely important to have a reenergized body for the hike next day and since sleeping pads allow us to have that luxury, they are of much importance as well.

So, let us not wait and jump right into the content of today’s article, which is about best backpacking sleeping pads.

The 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping  Pads in 2017

Best Backpacking Sleeping PadsEditor's RatingPrice
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
(Editor's Pick)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad
(Top Pick)
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress
(Top Pick)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress
Big Agnes Q Core SL
Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad
Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress
Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad
OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads Review 

I will not keep you guys waiting now. Let us get right into the list of the 10 best sleeping pads for backpacking which I have personally tested and reviewed for all you guys out there. Enjoy!

1. Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad

Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
More photos & price on Amazon

The first sleeping pad in today’s list is the Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad. The R value in this pad is 1.3, which makes it ideal for usage while hiking in summers.

The Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad weighs 18.6 ounces. Can you believe that this lightweight pad can be folded into a travel friendly size of a water bottle? I know right! Even I was quite amazed to see how compact this pad is.

Another great thing about the Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad is the price for which you get it. This pad is probably the cheapest and yet one of the best sleeping pads in this list.

Even though the Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad does not come with an air pump, you do not have to worry because it is extremely easy to inflate the pad. For me, around 10 to 15 air breaths does the trick. It is also very easy to deflate the pad. You just have to open the valve and roll the mattress up, and you are done.

The Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad is 2.5 inches thick. It is an awfully comfortable sleeping pad which will also provide you with the required support.

I bought my Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad around 5 years back, and it is still holding strong. So, I definitely would recommend this durable, effective and affordable sleeping pad for all of you.

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Features I like:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • High quality
  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Supportive
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2. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad
More photos & price on Amazon

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is a nylon sleeping pad with a tapering design. This tapering design of this sleeping pad provides support and stability to the user.

The R value of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is 3.2, which has made this pad a three-season backpacking sleeping pad.

The ThermaCapture technology in the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad captures radiant heat whereas the Triangular Core Matrix construction of this sleeping pad reduces heat loss. So, you can also use this sleeping pad in cold climates as well.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad has a thickness of 2.5 inches. This is a very lightweight sleeping pad, and weighs around 12 ounces only.

It is also one of the most compact sleeping pads and deflates into a small size which is effortlessly easy to carry around. This makes The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad your best choice for long hikes.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is very soft to touch. However, the thing I did not like about this sleeping pad is that it is noisy, and since I am a light sleeper, the constant noise while I turned sides was very annoying.

However, I still consider the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad as one of the best sleeping pads in the market today. It is, hands down, the most comfortable sleeping pad I have ever slept on. This sleeping pad is also warm and cozy.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is very durable as well. Mine has lasted for around 4 years now, and with good care, I know it will last me a couple of years more.

The price of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is a little on the high side, but considering the wonders that this sleeping pad has, the price should not be a deal breaker. You definitely need to give this sleeping pad a try.

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Features I like:

  • Compact
  • Stable
  • Supportive
  • Soft
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Warm and cozy
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3. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress
More photos & price on Amazon

The next sleeping pad on our list is the Z Lite Sol Mattress by Therm-a-Rest. This sleeping pad weighs 14 ounces only.

The Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol Mattress is lightweight, compact and easy to pack. Even though I have been using this sleeping pad only for a short time now, I have used this for intensive hikes and this pad has proved to be very reliable till date.

This is a sleeping pad I trust and would take on rigorous hikes. It is sturdy and looks very durable.

The Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol Mattress is a high quality sleeping pad. It is comfortable and provides incredibly good cushioning to your body- no wonder this sleeping pad is so popular!

The R Value of the Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol Mattress is 2.6. I use this as a three-season sleeping pad mostly but you can also use this during the cold climatic conditions.

This sleeping pad is equipped with ThermaCapture surface which reflects radiant heat back to your body, keeping you warm throughout.

The Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol Mattress is a great sleeping pad for a reasonable price tag. The only shortcoming I find with this beauty is its thickness, which is only 0.75 inches.

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Features I like:

  • Compact
  • Robust
  • Affordable
  • High quality
  • Comfortable
  • Provides good cushioning
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4. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress
More photos & price on Amazon

Therm-a-Rest does really have a good variety of sleeping pads and the next on our list is its NeoAir XTherm. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress is an ultra-light travel friendly sleeping pad, perfect for extremely cold climatic conditions.

The R rating on this sleeping pad is 5.7. It is an extremely warm sleeping pad; in fact, I have to say, this is the warmest sleeping pad in this whole list. So, do not look anywhere else if you need the perfect sleeping pad for the coldest climatic conditions.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress has a thickness of 2.5 inches. This pad weighs 15 ounces and packs down very small.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress comes with a nylon sack. You have to scoop the air into this sack and then squeeze the air out from the sack into the mattress. The great thing I noticed with this sleeping pad is that the air gets distributed evenly throughout the pad.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress is comfortable. It has a tapering design, similar to the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, for the same purpose of providing support and stability. Unfortunately, there is also another thing similar in these two pads- the noise.

Even though the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress is expensive, it is your best choice for cold climatic conditions, and I highly recommend you all to invest in this product.

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Features I like:

  • Compact
  • Very warm
  • Stable
  • Even air distribution
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5. Big Agnes Q Core SL 

Big Agnes Q Core SL
More photos & price on Amazon

The Big Agnes Q Core SL is a mummy shaped sleeping pad. Its R value is 4.5 and hence this pad is best for hiking during the winter season. This pad weighs 16 ounces.

I like the fact that this sleeping pad is 3.5 inches thick. However, you would think that a thick pad like this would be comfortable. Sadly, comfort is not a facet where the Big Agnes Q Core SL does too well.

The Big Agnes Q Core SL is not exactly uncomfortable, do not get me wrong, but the comfort level could have been made much better. Moreover, the slipperiness of this sleeping pad adds to the inconvenience.

Moving over to the good points of the sleeping pad, the Big Agnes Q Core SL is lightweight and packs down very small. This sleeping pad is warm as well.

The I-Beam construction of the Big Agnes Q Core SL eliminates welded seams to reduce cold spots and also enhances the stability of the pad.

Inflating and deflating this sleeping pad is very easy and fast. The air flow is consistent throughout the sleeping pad.

Another great facet about the Big Agnes Q Core SL is that this sleeping pad is strong.

Talking about the price, the Big Agnes Q Core SL is quite expensive. And there are better sleeping pads for lower prices out there in the market.

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Features I like:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Stable
  • Warm
  • Thick
  • Robust
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6. Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad 

Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad
More photos & price on Amazon

The Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad is a versatile sleeping pad for hiking or hammock sleeping. This sleeping pad has an R value of 1.3 and is great for the summer season.

The Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad has a V-Chamber design to minimize the heat loss. It comes with a stuff sack, patch kit and lifetime warranty.

The first time I used this pad, I kid you not, I slept like a baby because it is just so comfortable and supportive. Also, the pad is stable and does not move at all.

The Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad can be packed into a compact size. This pad weighs 16.33 ounces only. The thickness of the pad is 2.5 inches.

Even though heavily built people may find this sleeping pad to be a bit narrow, the Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad will easily fit a slim person of 6 feet.

You can easily fill the Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad up with 10 to 15 breaths.

If you looking for a first class sleeping pad for the summer but do not want to spend much, then the Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad is the one for you.

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Features I like:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Versatile
  • Affordable
  • Stable
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7. Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat

Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat
More photos & price on Amazon

The seventh sleeping pad on this list is the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat. This sleeping pad weighs 13.9 ounces.

I am sorry but I will have to start off with the bad aspects of the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat. First of all, the R rating of this sleeping pad is 0.7 only. So, you can use this pad only during the summer.

Secondly, the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat is only 2 inches thick. Also, this sleeping pad makes noises, just like the Therm-a-Rest brothers.

Talking about the good sides of the Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat, this sleeping pad is very comfortable. It is easy to use and inflates in less than a minute; deflating the pad is an elementary job.

The Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat is of high quality. The sleeping pad packs into a compact form. This sleeping pad comes with a high quality nylon stuff sack and a 3M repair kit.

The Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat features 181 Air Sprung Cells which are responsible for providing comfort and support. This sleeping pad is laminated with Extruded TPU along with antimicrobial treatment to prevent delamination and internal bacterial growth.

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Features I like:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Compact
  • High quality
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8. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress

Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress
More photos & price on Amazon

The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress is a high quality sleeping pad. It has a Diagonal-cut foam and comes in a tapering shape. The tapering shape helps to capture more heat and provide warmth.

This is a lightweight sleeping pad, weighing 17 ounces. The R rating is 2.4. You can use this sleeping pad as a three-season pad.

The Therm-a-Rest says that its ProLite Mattress is self-inflating and hence you do not have to waste your breaths. However, I did have to use a few puffs at the end of the inflation process to help adjust the mattress to the ideal shape.

The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress compresses easily. It is a travel friendly sleeping pad.

This sleeping pad is also very soft and comfortable.

I loved the fact that the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress did not move while I slept. However, I would have loved this sleeping pad more had it been extra cushiony, because the 1 inch thickness just did not do the trick for me.

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Features I like:

  • Lightweight
  • Soft
  • Travel friendly
  • High quality
  • Stable
  • Comfortable
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9. Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad

Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad
More photos & price on Amazon

The Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad is a premium sleeping pad which features a unique RipStop fabric. It is waterproof and abrasion resistant.

The Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad weighs approximately 26 ounces and hence is heavier compared to other sleeping pads on this list.

It is 1.5 inches thick and to tell the truth, this sleeping pad looks almost flat; as a result, I was quite dubious as to try it. But once I did, I found the sleeping pad to be quite comfortable despite being thin.

The Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad looks durable. It comes with a stuff sack, compression bands and repair kit. The pad can be compressed into a compact size.

Inflating and deflating this sleeping pad takes absolutely no time, which is such a blessing.

The R Rating of the Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad is 3.2. So, you can use this in moderate to cold climatic conditions.

The Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad is a decent quality affordable sleeping pad, which is great for moderate hikes.

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Features I like:

  • Waterproof
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
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10. OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad

OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad
More photos & price on Amazon

The last sleeping pad on our list is the OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad. This sleeping pad weighs 15 ounces. It is 2 inches thick and has an R rating of 1.3.

The air-cell design of the OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad has made this sleeping pad very comfortable. The material of this sleeping pad is durable, abrasion resistant and tear resistant.

This sleeping pad is waterproof and weatherproof. It is of a very high quality and looks very stylish as well.

The OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad gets inflated with 10 to 15 breaths. It is compact and travel friendly.

The air does not leak and is sealed in properly, which is such a plus point in the OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad.

The OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad makes up for a great sleeping pad for the summer and you should definitely try it.

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Features I like:

  • Waterproof
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Comfortable
  • High quality
  • Stylish
  • Durable
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Comparison Table of Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking

Sleeping Pad for BackpackingR Rating
Thickness (in inches)
Weight (in ounces)
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad 1.3
2.5
18.6
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad 3.2
2.5
12
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress2.6
0.75
14
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress 5.7
2.5
15
Big Agnes Q Core SL4.5
3.5
16
Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad 1.3
2.5
16.33
Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat0.7
2
13.9
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress2.4
1
17

Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad 3.2
1.5
26
OutdoormansLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad1.3
215

Why are Sleeping Pads for Backpacking Important?

The first thing you want to know about sleeping pads is that, with some good sleeping pads, you may not only sleep peacefully but also comfortably (sometimes even more comfortably than how you would sleep on your own bed and I am saying this with experience) without all the fussy tossing and turnings.

Sleeping pads are the reason you do not have to sleep directly on the ground. Just imagine how difficult and uncomfortable sleeping on the hard and cold ground would be!

Sleeping pads, when acting as a barrier between the ground and your body, protect you from cold and discomfort.

They provide you with coziness, stability and support which allow you to sleep peacefully throughout the night.

Sleeping pads can be used for hammock sleeping or even at home when you need an extra place for a guest or a friend.

Since sleeping pads act as an insulation between you and the ground, you body remains dry.

Thanks to the sleeping pads, you can fall asleep in any kind of places because these can be placed anywhere and are easy to use.

Sleeping pads are compact and lightweight, and hence can be carried around with ease.

They are robust and will last you many years with good care. Sleeping pads do not cost much as well.

So really, I do not see even one reason why you should not buy these products!

How to Choose Sleeping Pads?

Before moving on to the list of the sleeping pads, let us now learn about the factors which you need to consider before actually buying them. These factors are as follows:

1. Weight

Sleeping pads will be among your heavier of the gears. However, having said that you want to minimize as much as you can on the weight of the sleeping pad. This is because, the lighter gears you carry, the easier it will be for you to hike for a longer distance and for a longer period of time. So, you want to choose a lightweight sleeping pad. As a result, for this list I have chosen lightweight sleeping pads, with the lightest being 12 ounces and the heaviest being 26 ounces.

2. R rating

In the simplest of the terms, R rating or R value of a sleeping pad is a measure of thermal resistance. The higher the R rating, the more insulation the sleeping pad will provide and vice versa. For your ease, I have prepared the following table which shows a rough comparison of R value with temperature.

R value 1.2 1.6 1.7 2.1 2.5 2.9 3.2 4 4.1 4.6 4.9 5.3 5.9
Temperature (in Fahrenheit) 48 46 41 36 34 28 23 12 10 5 1 -4 -11

3. Foam Pads versus Air Pads

There are two kinds of sleeping pads: foam pads and air pads. The foam pads are cheaper and faster to setup. They, however, do not compress as much and pack up bulky. They ought to be replaced too often as well, which becomes quite a hassle at times. Therefore, people prefer air pads though these are a little expensive and have the risk of getting punctured. The air pads are lightweight, compact and more comfortable. Most of the sleeping pads in today’s list are air pads.

4. Thickness

The next thing to consider is the thickness of the sleeping pads. The thicker the height, the comfier the sleeping pad. However, do not choose a sleeping pad with such a great height that you feel like you are floating in the sky with the ground many inches beneath you. The sleeping pad must not be too flat else it will cause you discomfort.

5. Other Features

Lastly, you want to ensure that the sleeping pad compresses easily and packs down to a small travel friendly size. You also want to check whether the length of the sleeping pads fits you well or not. Make sure that the sleeping pad comes with stuff sack to store the pad in and a repair kit in case the pad gets punctured or torn.

The Best Pick 

For today’s verdict, I am going to go with two sleeping pads. My first pick is the Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad.

My reason for choosing the Klymit V Lightweight Sleeping Pad is that it is one of the most effective yet one of the most affordable sleeping pads on this list. It is the sleeping pad with high value which is just ideal for summer.

Had the Klymit V been a three season sleeping pad, I would not have bothered picking another sleeping pad as well. However, since it can only be favorable for summer, I have to also pick a sleeping pad ideal for winter as well.

So, my second pick is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite sleeping pad. This three season sleeping pad can be used in cold conditions too if layered properly. It may be expensive, but the NeoAir XLite is worth all the money you can muster on it.

That’s it for my verdict today. I hope you guys will try any one or more sleeping pads from the above list and share your experiences with me in the comments section below.

And I will see you next time with another hiking article!

Editor's Rating

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