There are a lot of ways to sleep when you camp, but on the bare ground is not one of the more enjoyable ways. In fact a good camping sleeping pad is one of the most important things that you can take camping with you. There is nothing worse, after all, than rolling around all night, unable to sleep because your sleeping pad isn't comfortable enough.
Camping Sleeping PadHere are the things to look out for in a camping sleeping pad if you want to get a good night's sleep.
- Inflatable - You have one big decision to make when choosing a camping sleeping pad, and that is foam or inflatable. Foam tends to weigh less, but in my experience inflatable is more comfortable. Of course the thicker the foam, the more comfort you will get.
- Wide Enough - Everyone's width requirements will be different, but the last thing you want is a sleeping pad that is not wide enough, the main reason being that you will fall off in the night. Side sleepers and restless sleepers will likely need a rectangular sleeping pad, for the extra width it provides, while those who go to sleep on their back and wake up in the morning in the same position can get away with a lighter, mummy shaped sleeping pad.
Best Camping Sleeping PadHere are a few of the best camping sleeping pads.
- Therm-A-Rest NeoAir - If there were a popularity contest for sleeping pads, the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir would win with ease. It won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award in 2009, and has only gotten better since then. It's an inflatable, rectangular sleeping pad, but weighs just 14.5 ounces, or 410 grams. When it's fully inflated you get 2.5 inches of width. For the side sleepers and the restless, this is a great camping sleeping pad.
- Exped DownMat - Sleeping pads keep you comfortable, but they also keep you warm. The warmth you can expect to get from your sleeping pad is called the R-value, and the higher it is, the warmer you will be. The Exped DownMat has a very impressive R-value of 8, which makes it a great winter sleeping pad. It gets that impressive R-value with a layer of down built in to the top of the sleeping pad. It's also rectangular, inflatable, and gives you 3.5 inches of thickness. And all that for 36 ounces, or 1020 grams, which is extremely lightweight for a winter sleeping pad.
- Klymit Intertia X Frame - The Intertia X Frame has a design that has to be seen to be believed. All the extra material is cut out, and you are left with a ribbed inflatable sleeping pad that is padded in all of the right places. The main benefit of this design, of course, is the weight, which is only 257 grams, or 9 ounces. If you are a sleeper that does not move and you want something lightweight, the Intertia X Frame is ideal.
- Big Agnes Clearview - The Clearview is a fairly standard mummy shaped sleeping pad from Big Agnes. And while it is not the lightest sleeping pad around, it is one of the cheapest, so if you aren't looking to spend a lot, the Clearview is ideal. It weighs 14 ounces, or 396 grams, and is 2.5 inches thick when inflated.
- Gossamer Gear Nightlight Sleeping Pad - There aren't too many foam sleeping pads on the market to choose from, but the Nightlight from Gossamer Gear is one of the best. It has an egg crate design, and weighs in at 12 ounces, or 345 grams. One thing to be aware of is that it is only 3/4 length, so either your feet or your head will be hanging off one end, unless you happen to be especially short. It's .75 inches thick, and Gossamer gear has a number of other, thinner foam sleeping pads to choose from as well.