If you’ve ever gone camping and spent the night tossing and turning to make yourself comfortable, you’re not alone. But with the best camping mattress, the outdoors can give you one of the best nights sleep you’ll ever have. One of the most important camping gear to achieve this result? The right sleeping pad for your comfort, your trip and your budget.
Sleeping pads have come a long way since the days of thin foam mattresses (although these still have their place). Now you can find inflatable camping mats that rival the comfort of your mattress at home. That being said, this innovation comes with plenty of options and price ranges. Whether you’re venturing into the world of camping for the first time or you’ve just had enough of your uncomfortable camping mat and need something more than a sleeping bag, we’ll help you find the right one. sleeping mattress adapted to your needs and your budget.
For the best information, we spoke to nearly a dozen female camping guides, instructors, adventurers, and gear experts to get their top recommendations on what to look for and their favorite sleeping pads. We’ve broken it down by the best air mattresses and self-inflating mattresses below.
Features to Consider in a Sleeping Pad
No matter what type of camping you plan to do, there are a few key specifications in a sleeping pad that will help you choose the right one for you.
« If you’re doing anything other than car camping, weight will be the first thing I think about, » says ski mountaineer and female empowerment coach Kellie Okonek. When you’re hiking, you don’t want to carry a heavy sleeping pad with you on your hike, so it’s important to watch the weight of your sleeping pad.
For air mattresses, durability is also key, because if your cushion leaks, you won’t get a good night’s sleep. “If you use an air bag for camping or hiking, you should have an equipment repair kit or patches with you as backup,” says the avid hiker and outdoor blogger, Kylia Goodner. Many air mattresses come with a repair patch and they are also relatively inexpensive to buy separately.
“Yes, pads provide more comfort at night, but what is often overlooked is its insulating quality,” says Jess Shisler PhD, co-founder of Sekr and Respect Away Project. If you’ve ever sat down on a rock or bench and stood up with freezing buttocks, you know what we’re talking about here. Ground temperatures are often surprisingly cold and with nothing between you and the ground it can easily drain the heat while you sleep.
If you’re camping without a sleeping pad, it probably won’t be very comfortable, but if you’re in colder temperatures, having that insulated pad can be a safety issue to keep you warm enough all night. This is where something called R-Value comes in.