A sleeping pad might not seem like a terribly expensive piece of gear, but you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on some of the higher end sleeping pads that are out there. But a cheap sleeping pad will keep you comfortable at night just fine. In fact, there are some extremely well made sleeping pads that have a low price point. A sale is always helpful too, but as long as you know what to look for from a sleeping pad, it’s easy to find something that will suit you well, without costing too much.
Cheap Sleeping PadWhat to look for when you want a cheap sleeping pad.
- Foam – Many people find sleeping on an inflatable sleeping pad to be more comfortable than foam, but one of the tradeoffs is that foam sleeping pads tend to cost quite a bit less than inflatable sleeping pads. With a foam sleeping pad, you also don’t have to worry about breaking the sleeping pad, and needing to buy a new one.
- R-Value – Sleeping pads with a high R-value, which means they reflect more body heat, tend to have extra material and construction done, which raises the price. If you’re winter camping then you will need that warmth, but otherwise you can avoid sleeping pads with high R-values, and save some money in the process.
Best Cheap Sleeping PadSome of the best cheap sleeping pads for your next camping trip.
- Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad - If nothing but an inflatable sleeping pad will do, then Big Agnes makes an excellent inflatable sleeping pad with a low price. It comes in a few different shapes and lengths, so you can get just what you need. It has an R-value of just 1, however, so don't expect much warmth from this sleeping pad. It's 2.5 inches thick when inflated, so it's at least comfortable, and weighs just 15 ounces, or 425 grams, which is surprisingly light for a sleeping pad. So a good cheap inflatable sleeping pad.
- Therm-A-Rest Z Lite - If you want cheap them foam sleeping pads are always a good option. This is a popular foam sleeping pad from Therm-A-Rest, with plenty of features, but is still cheaper than just about any other inflatable pad. It has an egg carton design on top, to maximize thickness without impacting weight. It also folds up like an accordion, so that it's easy to strap on to the outside of your backpack, or anywhere else that is convenient. And at just 14 ounces, or 396 grams, it's also lighter than just about any other inflatable sleeping pad.
- Standard Blue Foam Pad - This is the absolute basic blue foam that many people are no doubt familiar with. It's very basic, but it works well enough, and is also extremely cheap. It's .38 inches thick, so not the most comfortable sleeping surface ever, and it has an R-value of 1.4, so not very warm either. This is is also just 56 inches long, which is is good for backpackers and campers looking to save weight, but if you want a proper length you can find it here. It does weigh just 7.5 ounces, or 212 grams however, so a good option if you want something that is both cheap and lightweight.