Most people don’t realize that a sleeping pad is actually very important, maybe even as important as the sleeping bag, for keeping you warm at night. An insulated sleeping pad will go a long ways towards giving you a nice, warm night of sleep. It’s an especially important piece of gear to have in the colder months of the year, when you really cant afford to have all that heat that you lose out of the bottom of your body just seep away in to the environment and not be reflected back at you.
Insulated Sleeping PadThings to consider when shopping for an insulated sleeping pad.
- Insulation – When it comes to insulation you have a few different options, even with sleeping pads. There is down, of course, which is lightweight and very warm, relative to its weight. But there is foam too, which has the added bonus of working better than down when wet.
- R-Value – When looking for a warm sleeping pad the one thing that you really need to pay attention to is the R-value of the sleeping pad. A high R-value of 8, for instance, means the sleeping pad will reflect a lot of your body heat, whereas a lower R-value, closer to 0 means most of that body heat will escape.
Best Insulated Sleeping PadA few of the better insulated sleeping pads to choose from.
- REI Camp Bed 3.5 - If you're looking for an insulated sleeping pad for base camp or car camping, then Camp Bed is an ideal choice. No one's ever going to call it light, at 80 ounces or 2.27 kilograms, but at 3.5 inches thick and an R-value of 7, it will definitely be comfortable. It uses a combination of foam insulation and inflation, and is a good choice, pricewise, if you're not concerned with weight.
- Big Agnes Hinman Sleeping Pad - The Hinman is another good choice for the value conscious. It's R-value isn't especially high, at 5.8 for the regular size, but it doesn't weigh a huge amount either, at 2 pounds 10 ounces, or 1.19 kilograms, and is a good blend of price and features. The insulation comes from a combination of inflation and foam insulation.
- Exped DownMat 9 - If you want the best, the DownMat 9 is likely it. It's the warmest sleeping pad on this list, with an R-value of 8, and also the lightest sleeping pad on the list, with an impressive weight of 36 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms. It achieves this impressive weight, in part, by using 700 fill down, rather than foam, as the insulation. It's also inflatable, and 3.5 inches thick, giving you more than enough comfort. Besides being the lightest and warmest on this list, it's also the most expensive. Quality does tend to cost more.