Winter Sleeping PadsA lot of people discount the importance of a sleeping pad when thinking about staying warm in cold temperatures, but there is a definite difference between regular sleeping pads and winter sleeping pads, and you will be far more comfortable in winter conditions if you bring a winter sleeping pad with you.
The chief distinguishing feature of a winter sleeping pad is the sleeping pad R-value. R-value is actually a construction term that refers to the insulating properties of, in this case, a sleeping pad. The higher the R-value, the less heat you will lose in to the ground at night.
The best winter sleeping pads are actually padded with insulating material, such as down, to help trap and reflect the heat that your body gives off. This supplements the insulating capabilities of your winter sleeping bag and keeps you warm in toasty at night.
Winter Sleeping PadsHere are a few winter sleeping pads to consider. If nothing stands out to you, check out the sleeping pads list, where you can sort sleeping pads by their R-value, weight and other features to find the right winter sleeping pad for you.
- Therm-A-Rest BaseCamp - If you're not terribly worried about weight, then the BaseCamp from Therm-A-Rest makes a good choice for taking with you in to winter conditions. It weighs in at 2 lbs, 9 ounces, or 1150 grams, and has an R-value of 5, which is right in the middle of the spectrum. If you're looking for a basic winter sleeping pad to keep you warm, the BaseCamp is a good choice.
- Exped Downmat 9 - The Downmat from Exped is one of the best winter sleeping pads on the market. It's one of the best because at weight of 36 ounces, or 1020 grams, it manages an R-value 8, which is one of the highest on the market. It accomplishes this by having a layer of goose down built in to the sleeping pad top, to provide lightweight insulation. It even comes with a built in air pump so you don't have to get all dizzy blowing it up. The Downmat 9 is innovative, lightweight, and a great choice if you're looking for the best winter sleeping pad you can get your hands on.
- Big Agnes Dual Core - The Dual Core from Big Agnes is another well reviewed winter sleeping pad with an R-value of 5. It features synthetic insulation to help keep you warm at night, and a waterproof coating to help keep the water away. if you're not looking for a serious winter sleeping pad, the Dual Core is another good choice.