Whether you’re camping, hiking or backpacking, you will probably want to look at sleeping bag pads. A sleeping bag pad is not actually a required item, it’s not like you will be in danger if you forget it at home, but without it you probably wont get much sleep either. And that really is the metric that you should be judging a sleeping bag pad on, the comfort it provides. If a sleeping bag pad does not let you get a full night of sleep, then you have gotten the wrong sleeping pad, and you should probably find one that lets you sleep like a baby.
Sleeping Bag PadsFeatures to try and find on a new sleeping bag pad.
- Shape – One of the most important decisions you need to make when choosing a sleeping bag pad is the shape of your pad. Mummy shaped pads are great for those that don’t move around much when they’re asleep, but those that like to toss and turn might be better served by the extra room of a rectangular sleeping pad.
- Type – Sleeping bag pads come in two different padding types, those being inflatable and foam. Foam tends to be a little harder to sleep on, unless you get some big, thick foam. The drawback of inflatable pads is that they’re much easier to damage, but then they tend to be a bit more comfortable too.
Best Sleeping Bag PadsSome of the better sleeping bag pads on the market at the moment.
- Therm-A-Rest NeoAir - The NeoAir is quite likely the most popular sleeping bag pad currently being sold. It's inflatable and rectangular, but has an extremely low weight of just 14.5 ounces, or 410 grams, making it an equally popular choice for the weight conscious and the casual campers. It has an R-value of 2.5, so while it's not well suited to winter camping it's ideal for summer conditions. If you go off of popularity and reviews, this is the best possible choice.
- Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad - This is a mummy shaped inflatable option from Big Agnes. It's a relatively lightweight option, at just 14 ounces, or 396 grams, but what really stands out about the Clearview is the price, which is quite a bit less than the comparable NeoAir above. If you want a lightweight, yet price conscious choice, the Clearview is ideal.
- Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite - While inflatable sleeping bag pads have a lot going for them, foam is still a great option for a number of reasons. This particular pad comes with a softer foam on top, for comfort, and a denser foam on the bottom, for support. It's rectangular, and folds up accordian style for easy storage on the outside of your backpack. It also has an egg crate design, which definitely increases comfort. It's .75 inches thick, weighs 14 ounces, or 396 grams and has an R-value of 2.2. And being foam, it's the cheapest sleeping bag pad on this list of pads.