A backpacking trip wouldn’t be complete without camping out under the stars. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend your nights laying on the cold hard floor. A good sleeping pad ensures you get the best night’s rest possible, allowing you to enjoy your time outdoors.
We’ve compiled a list of 13 of the best backpacking sleeping pads to ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible. There are a large number of models to choose from, from budget sleeping pads to luxury models. We’ve made sure there’s a model for everyone on our list. So, if you’re in the market for a sleeping pad or you’re looking to improve your sleeping arrangements for your next backpacking trip, read on!
How To Choose The Right Sleeping Pad
Sleeping pads come in different sizes and features, and it can be a challenge to find the right one for you. There are a lot of factors that impact whether a sleeping pad is right for you or not. Are you tall or short? Do you sleep on your side or on your back? Are you a light sleeper or do you dove off at the first chance you get? All of these things, and more, need to be taken into account when looking for the right model for you.
Before we go over our list of the best sleeping pads, there are some things you need to consider first.
Sleeping pads are mostly compact and lightweight. This is important since you have to carry it with you. However, not all sleeping pads are packed in the same way. While some models are rolled up, some can be folded and rolled up to reach a smaller size. You need to know how you’re going to pack it along with other things in your bag. Choose the bulky but shorter pad if you want to put it deep into your backpack. However, if you want to strap it onto your backpack, choose the less bulky roll.
The length of the pad is also important. Make sure you check the size chart before buying because you don’t want your feet or legs dangling off the end while sleeping!
Weight and Thickness
This depends on your body build and the length of your trips, but one can always appreciate a comfy and lightweight sleeping pad in their backpacking gear. Sure, backpacking air mattresses are more compact and lightweight, but they tend to make noise, and inflating them can be a chore. Many backpackers prefer foam-based pads/mats because they are simply comfy despite the added weight. The simple rule should be: the thicker the foam, the comfier it gets. This goes hand in hand with the insulation rate that goes up the thicker it gets.
Side-sleepers, take more precautions on this. To prevent body ache when sleeping on pads, your sleeping pad needs at least 1.5-inch thickness. If you don’t mind exchanging carry-weight for comfort, choose the thick ones. But if you take long backpacking trips and don’t mind having firmer sleeping pads, the light ones are more suitable.
It’s nature we’re talking about, so you should expect surprises and accidents. That’s why it’s wise to know whether your sleeping pad is waterproof and tear-resistant. PU-coated fabrics are very common to prevent it from getting torn or soaked wet, but it has adverse effects on the environment. A sustainable waterproofing and abrasion-proofing method are the best features to have in your sleeping pads.
Wakeman Non-Slip Luxury Foam Sleep Mat
We kick off this list with a high-quality sleeping pad from Wakeman. You’ll see that Wakeman Non-Slip Luxury Foam Sleep Mat isn’t just an ordinary sleep mat once you lay your body on it. The premium foam material works as a cushion to support your body and distribute the weight. This 2-inch thick is quite straightforward; just unroll it on the ground and it’s set.
This sleeping mattress is durable and waterproof, making it suitable for outdoor use such as camping. You need not to worry about getting cold if you choose this model, especially when the ground or surrounding area is wet. When rolled, this mat is about 24 x 7 inches and expands into 24 x 72 inches. It will fit an average-height person as a padding between the sleep pad and the ground. Since this sleeping pad is made of EVA foam, it can float on water and dry fast. But the best part is it’s totally lightweight!
What We Like
A straightforward sleeping mat that’s affordable and comfortable.
- Compression straps
- Firm enough for uneven surfaces but not too hard to be uncomfy
It lacks extra features.
Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad
Don’t be fooled by how it looks, the Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad is for avid hikers and backpackers who like to get warm even in the coldest winter settings. This pad was developed based on years of research and lots of mountaineering love to create one of the best backpacking sleeping pads in the market. The result is the foldable mat with its signature Switchback foam puffs. These puffs adjust with your body so you don’t have any problem falling asleep after walking the trek all day. When folded, this sleeping mat only weighs 14oz with 20 x 5 x 5.5 inches in dimension. That’s super nifty for you who likes to pack tight and neat.
Nemo is environmentally conscious in manufacturing its products. Their amazing sleep pads are made from recycled waterproofing compounds that are mixed into special foam called Axiotomic Dual-Density Foam. On the rough ground, this type of foam supports your body while also keeping your pad abrasion-free. If you take it into a fall/winter hike, you can say goodbye to cold nights because its thermal insulation will keep you warm all night.
What We Like
Well insulated pad ensures you get a good night’s sleep regardless of the temperature outdoors!
- Environmentally friendly materials
- Very compact due to the accordion-style folding feature
- Waterproof and well insulated
- Best sleeping pad for backpacking hammocks
- Lifetime warranty
It’s less suitable for use in summer.
Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set
Catch some Zs on this sleeping pad and feel as though you are on your bed at home. Ryno Tuff Sleeping Pad Set is what you want if you are a side-sleeper, a light-packer, or simply like soft foam pads. This backpacking sleep pad is the one you won’t miss for its compactness and all-around function. It’s also equipped with insulation to make sure your nights are cold-free.
To use this pad is as easy as 1-2-3: take it out of the bag, unroll it, and then turn the air valve open (or blow it up) until the desired plushness. Its water-resistant 75D nylon is strong enough to tackle uneven ground and dewy mornings. Make sure you open the air valve before compressing this mat to avoid damage to the product. But if it accidentally happens, you can call customer service and see if you can redeem the lifetime warranty they provide. Such confidence from one of the best backpacking sleeping pads manufacturers in the world.
Each purchase comes with excellent extra features to carry home. First is the ability to connect multiple pads with a set of snaps on the sides of the pad. Next, you will also get a repair kit that you can find in the large carry bag. If you think the inflatable pillow is the last feature, you’re wrong. The last feature is an actual tree Ryno Tuff will plant by your name for every purchase you made! Such a thoughtful message to their customers!
What We Like
Ryno Tuff is an amazing company that makes amazing products. This sleep pad is no exception.
- Lifetime no-questions-asked warranty
- Plethora of extra features
- Durable and water-resistant 75D nylon
- Plushy foam
- Repair kit included
it’s kind of heavy for backpacking.
Redcamp Closed Cell Foam Camping Sleeping Pad
Get a good night’s sleep on the Redcamp Closed-Cell Foam Camping Sleeping Pad. Thanks to the thermal capture surface in the mat, this material will bounce back the heat from your body and trap it to keep you warm regardless of the external temperature. This sleep pad can be folded like an accordion so it’s sizable enough to carry it on your backpack. When unfolded, this foam mat is great even if you’re a person up to 6 feet in height.
There are 2 you can choose: the egg-shaped puff mat with accordion-fold and the ridge mat roll. Both variants work the same but for different preferences. If you’re a back-sleeper, the ridge type will suit you well, but you will find the egg-shaped puffs will feel better for a side-sleeper. Rest assured of its quality as they include a 365-day manufacturer warranty should the product doesn’t meet your satisfaction.
What We Like
A compact and lightweight sleeping mat that’s great for most outdoor activities.
- Different options for back-sleepers and side-sleepers
- Suitable for colder nights
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
It’s less durable than some of the other products on this list.
Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus Backpacking Pad
As one of the must-have camping accessories, sleeping pads are crucial for your overall camping experience. Nobody likes waking up with an aching back from a bad sleep posture, but that won’t be the case if you have a Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus Backpacking Pad. Sleeping on this pad feels like sleeping in a cloud, only warmer. The foam lining on this pad is specifically crafted to retain warmth using the diamond-cut pattern. It’s is suitable for cold or cool nights.
When fully inflated, this backpacking sleeping pad will protect you from the cold or wet ground with its 15-inch thickness. To put away this mat, you need to unlock the air valve and roll the entire mattress so it will fit the stuff bag. It’s amazingly compact and lightweight with only 16 ounces of weight and size almost as small as your water canteen. It may be more expensive than others, but surely it’s a worthy investment for your health back.
What We Like
A sleep pad that isn’t only comfy and warm, but also lightweight and compact.
- Diamond-cut foam pattern for better insulation
- Makes less noise for an inflatable
It’s relatively pricey.
Kamui Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
Gone are the days of aching joints in the morning thanks to the Kamui Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad. The foam of this backpacking sleeping pad hits that sweet spot between firm and plush. The 2-inch thickness is enough to leave your back at peace after a whole day hiking. On the surface, the dipped holes act as air traps to bounce the warm air from your body to provide extra warmth. Either the cold ground or hammock, this sleeping pad does its job remarkably.
The material that wraps around it’s the durable 190T polyester. This material is designed to withstand outdoor uses. Should you need to securely stack or attach more than 1 sleeping pads, you can use the snaps to connect them. But if you need a more compact storing, roll and tuck them into the provided bag that also works as a protector. The compression straps are already included in the purchase.
What We Like
It works in most seasons and temperatures.
- Withstands winter and humid temperature
- Perfect combination of firm and plush
- Great form factor for backpacking
It could be a little too toasty on warm summer nights.
Luxe Tempo Suede Camping Mattress
Most people would agree that if you go camping you have to appreciate the ruggedness of nature, but we beg to differ. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your home if you can just bring it with you! The Luxe Tempo Camping Suede Mattress will make sure you enjoy cozy and comfy nights under the night sky. The suede material on the top side makes us want to jump onto it right away. And when we did, we were welcomed with its plushy open-cell foam. Such a delight! Soon you’ll forget you’re actually spending the night in nature.
The bottom part was made from a stronger polyester material that’s enhanced with anti-slip enforcement to keep it stationary. On the sides, there are snaps that you can use to attach another mattress to make a bigger mattress. Don’t worry it will tear down the mattress because the seams have been wide-welded to ensure no leakage. If this the right sleep pad for you, click the link below as soon as possible because they’re giving out 2 free pillows for every purchase!
What We Like
Nothing can beat the luxurious suede feeling on your skin. Oh, and it’s super plushy, too!
- Welded seams
- Weather-durable brass valve
- Luxurious feeling of faux suede
It’s on the heavier side.
Teton Sports Universal Camp Pad
This sleeping pad is built for adventurers who like to spend long nights outdoors without sacrificing their sleep quality. Teton Sports Universal Sleeping Pad is a closed-cell foam pad wrapped in durable but skin-friendly canvas fabric. This sleep pad works well on the ground and a sleeping cot if you have one. It’s a great addition to your sleeping system especially if you like to camp in the winter. If you need to wash it, you can pull out the canvas shell and wash it separately.
This pad can accommodate a person up to 6 feet with plenty of unused room. The lapel part contains a gadget pocket where you can keep your valuables close with you. When rolled in, this sleeping pad tends to be bulky even with its compression strap so it’s not recommended to be carried on long walks unless you’re an experienced hiker and don’t mind adding some weight to your carry. This sleeping pad has 3 sizes you can choose to fit your body type.
What We Like
It’s very comfy and has great insulation. Best paired with a cot bed.
- Thick foam that supports your body well
- Removable shell
- Great insulation
It’s bulky and not very lightweight.
Bessport Camping Sleeping Pad
The Bessport Camping Sleeping Pad is the sleep pad you didn’t think you need. With a 2-inch thickness, you can say goodbye to cold sleepless nights. This sleeping pad is made of high-quality 30D stretch-knit that’s tear and abrasion-resistant. The foam padding maximizes comfort and sport better insulation from the cold ground. Take this backpacking sleeping pad everywhere regardless of the season to bring comfort to your adventures.
The pad will self-inflate the moment you loosen the air valve. When not used, you need to let out the air while rolling the sleeping pad into a cinched form using the compression strap. There are 2 sizes as your option: Large and X-Large. If you don’t like black, there are other colors you can choose: Blue, Sky Blue, and Teal Blue.
What We Like
It’s compact and light enough for a backpacking trip in any season.
- Skin-friendly shell
- Tear and abrasion resistant
- Doesn’t smell like plastic
It’s not waterproof.
MalloMe Sleeping Pad Camping Mat
As we’re getting closer to the best backpacking sleeping pad, we’d like to introduce you to this pad first. Meet MalloMe Sleeping Pad Camping Mat, a self-inflatable foam pad that fits your body and also your budget. As a strong contender, this mattress pad doesn’t play around to achieve total comfort for its user. Take the SoftFoam technology embedded that keeps you away from limb numbness after laying down for a long time. It’s perfectly suitable for side-sleepers, too.
Once rolled out, this pad can accommodate 6-feet tall person or more if you put to use the extra padding at the end of it. To put it away, you can choose between rolling it up and put it in its bag, or folding then rolling it with the compression straps. This sleeping pad comes in many colors but unfortunately only one size. There isn’t a wider option but it won’t make much a difference.
What We Like
It looks great and feels great, too! The two storage options make it a practical sleeping pad for backpacking and camping.
- Strategic foam padding to fit body contour
- SoftFoam technology
- Multiple color options
Keep this away from water as it isn’t waterproof.
Longing for days off-road to see magnificent scenes and different skies? Don’t forget to take Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Camping Mat with you. Exceptionally suitable for nomads, this sleeping pad will provide you with constant warmth and comfort at night. The core of this backpacking sleeping pad is a polyurethane foam slab and it’s protected by a waterproof urethane fabric. This contributes to its lightweight attribute and weatherproofing. No more worries on rainy or snowy nights. The insulation system of this sleeping pad is remarkable, making it suitable for any season, even winter and summer.
When the package arrived, it will come in its compact form that you need to unroll. Locate the air valve, unscrew, and let the air fill in the mattress. Add a few breaths to make it firmer. The Winglock Valve variant lets you manage the air intake intuitively. With this patented technology, taking air in and out becomes easy and time-efficient.
What We Like
One of the best backpacking sleeping pads that are built for the purpose.
- Great insulation
- Only takes a few breaths to inflate
- Lightweight, perfect for backpacking
- Quite compact for daily carry
This pad may not be suitable for side-sleepers.
Gear Doctors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
Choosing Gear Doctors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad means you’re ensuring your sleep will be deep and restful. As the name suggests, this sleeping pad is engineered with every customer in mind. You’ll find appreciating nature hard if you keep scratching your body due to urethane allergy, especially kids. This sleep pad won’t leave you that way. The outer shell is indeed waterproof, but it’s done microscopically so it won’t be exposed to your skin. It’s truly a breakthrough in material advancement.
This durable sleeping pad will unroll and inflate up to 1.5-inch and can fit a person up to 6 feet. After the purchase, you will get a stuff bag that contains the rolled-up sleeping pad along with a detailed user manual and a repair kit. Not many sleeping mats include a repair kit, but this one does. It proves the manufacturer’s dedication to taking care of its customers and producing some of the best backpacking sleeping pads in the world.
What We Like
Customer-oriented design resulting in a great sleeping pad for everyone!
- Great insulation
- Waterproof and UV-resistant
- Hypoallergenic; safe for people with sensitive skin
- Lightweight and compact enough for backpacking trips
The bright green color might not suit some users’ preferences.
Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad
Perching on the top of our list is the great Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad. Let us tell you why this sleeping pad is the best model for backpackers currently on the market. We’ll start with the reviews. This sleeping pad is raved with great reviews from long-time customers to first-timers. It’s proof of a well-maintained quality over the years. But it isn’t the sole reason why it has to be the first. This model has everything just right for a sleeping pad. It’s a self-inflatable sleeping pad, so you can roll it quite compactly with the compression straps. It’s also lightweight that you won’t have any problem carrying it wherever and for however long.
When laid out on the ground, you’ll notice that even the rockiest ground won’t puncture your back with its 3-inch thickness. But what about the pad? You shouldn’t worry because its Rip-stop nylon is very stubborn and durable. Another thing you’ll notice it the absence of noise because this pad won’t make any noise when you’re off in the snooze-land. The best part is, every purchase comes with a no-questions-asked warranty. That speaks volumes of confidence!
What We Like
The sleeping pad is almost perfectly balanced when it comes to features and specs. It’s simply the best investment you can make.
- Thick padding for better cushion and insulation
- Brass air valve
- Compact form factor
- Great length for tall people
- Lightweight for its size
- Waterproof and tear-resistant
The best ones come with a higher price tag.