Best Sleeping Pads: Get a Better Night’s Rest

Sleep more comfortably under the stars with these high-quality sleeping pads

TheDrive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

If you’re planning a camping trip, one of the best pieces of gear you won’t regret buying is a sleeping pad. While a sleeping bag may be padded, the comfort of a sleeping pad will provide you with a more enjoyable and restful night’s sleep. It provides a raised cushion for you to lay a sleeping bag on. Here are the best sleeping pads on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad
    Summary
    Summary
    This pad is ultra-lightweight and compact at just over one pound. It’s 2.5 inches thick, and is developed out of strong polyester material and features a rugged design.
    Pros
    Pros
    It stretches out to a large 72 by 23 inches, is tear-resistant, easy to inflate, comes with a patch kit and a small storage bag, and has an R-value of 1.3.
    Cons
    Cons
    The R-value is on the low end, deflating it can be a hassle, and it’s expensive when compared to other sleeping pads.
  • Best Value
    Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
    Summary
    Summary
    A lightweight one-pound nylon fabric sleeping pad provides 2 inches of thick padded support.
    Pros
    Pros
    It can be packed down to a compact and portable container. It reaches a size of 75 by 23 inches when fully aired up and is tear-resistant and waterproof. Has an R-value of two.
    Cons
    Cons
    The material is slick and may slide around beneath the sleeping bag. Also, the air plug can be a hassle.
  • Honorable Mention
    Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad
    Summary
    Summary
    Outdoorsman’s one-pound pad is 2.2 inches thick and conforms to your body shape for added comfort.
    Pros
    Pros
    The pad comes in a variety of colors, inflates to a full 73 by 21 inches, has an R-value of 2.2, and is made out of a flexible and high-quality water and rip-resistant nylon material.
    Cons
    Cons
    It makes a bit of noise when sleeping on it, it may be a little short for some people, and the storage bag is a bit large.

Tips

  • Use a powered inflater if you can. It may be too cumbersome for backpacking backpacks but will allow you to blow up the pad quickly and safely.
  • Always test a sleeping pad before you use it to ensure it airs up properly and does not contain a leak.
  • Consider airing it up as soon as you get it to stretch out the fabric and ensure it is comfortable.
  • If you start to feel light-headed when blowing up the pad, stop and take a break. You can also have another person to help you, so you don’t get sick.

FAQs

Q: What is the R-value of a sleeping pad?

A: It measures how well the pad insulates your body from the temperature of the ground. The higher the R-value, the warmer the pad and the warmer you will be at night. Values between zero and two are good for warmer weather, while ones between two and four are best for all-season camping.

Q: What can I do to make the area beneath the sleeping pad more comfortable?

A: Clear away any sign of rocks, sticks, or debris before setting up the tent. This will ensure you don’t rip or puncture the tent and sleeping pad and sleep more comfortably. Then lay down a tarp or tent pad and set up the tent. After this, you can inflate the sleeping pad and set it out where you are going to sleep. 

Q: Do sleeping pads have a weight limit?

A: While they do not have a weight limit, they generally can hold up to 225 pounds at the most before they may begin to lose air.

Final Thoughts

For one of the best sleeping pads for your tent, consider the Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad for its thick pad for additional comfort. Or there’s the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad, which is less expensive, comes with soft padding, and has a great R-value for a better rest.