The Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking and Car Camping for 2022

If you're planning some backpacking treks this summer, try these reliable sleeping pads for unparalleled comfort on your adventures.

Sleeping out in the wild isn’t for the faint-hearted. Given that the quality of your sleeping pad can have a big impact on how well you sleep, it’s important to take time and select a dependable one.

Although sleeping pads used to be a rarity, they are now considerably better, more widely available, and reasonably priced. With the new, high-tech features, comfort is more pleasant than ever thanks to innovative, baffling, and incredibly comfortable designs that give you all the warmth you need when camping. On the other side, the weight of sleeping pads is continuing to decrease, making them easier to transport as you move between your adventures and home. Here are some excellent sleeping pads for backpacking and car camping as you prepare for your upcoming exhilarating outdoor adventure.

How We Picked

  • Thickness and Insulation

    The thickness and insulation of a sleeping pad are key qualities that must be considered. The thicker the sleeping pad, the more comfortable it is to sleep on. Good insulation keeps the pad from absorbing either heat or cold from the surface on which it is laid.

  • Material and Comfort

    Different sleeping pads are made from different materials and this is a key attribute in determining the durability and comfort of a sleeping pad. A sleeping pad made from good materials is not only comfortable but also durable and very resilient to climatic conditions.

  • Size

    Sleeping pads come in different sizes. It is key to consider sizes when looking for a sleeping pad because different sizes fit different people. Some people are tall and hence need larger sleeping pads while others are short and hence need smaller sleeping pads and so on.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    The cost-effectiveness of a product is also very important. As a buyer, you need to be sure that the sleeping pad that you are buying is going to give you your money’s worth in terms of comfort, durability, and good insulation, hence making you feel like it was worth the price.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

A luxuriously large sleeping pad, ultra thick, light, and compact.

This sleeping pad is luxuriously large, incredibly thick, yet still light and compact. Nemo’s Tensor is very good for car camping and backpacking. It has an insulated pad that uses a thermal mirror to reflect body heat hence keeping your body at the perfect temperature.

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It has a separate stuff sack pouch that holds a repair kit.

Our Runner-Up

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

A self-inflating pad that comes with a Winglock valve ensures that the inflation process is three times as fast as other pads.

Therm-a-Rest is a brand that has an incredible self-inflating system that ensures that the user is not using any effort in inflating the pad. It’s equipped with a special Winglock valve that makes finishing inflation after it self-inflates three times faster.

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It has a very fast inflation system and keeps you warm for a long time while camping.

Most Cost-Effective

TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

A super thick and comfortable pad with an in-built pillow.

This sleeping pad is super thick, comes with a foot pump for easy inflation, and best of all a built-in pillow for the elevation of the head and comfort. In addition to that, it comes with a stuff sack for safekeeping and storage of the sleeping pad.

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It is a thick and comfortable sleeping pad that has an in-built pillow inflation method.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

A luxuriously large sleeping pad, ultra thick, light, and compact.

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

A self-inflating pad that comes with a Winglock valve ensures that the inflation process is three times as fast as other pads.

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

A super thick and comfortable pad with an in-built pillow.

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Who This Is For

This research is meant for camping enthusiasts who are looking for good-quality sleeping pads to better their camping endeavors. It is also for all the people out there who are curious about camping and sleeping materials used while camping.

What Is A Sleeping Pad?
It is a lightweight pad common amongst backpackers, campers, and hikers. This is the material on which campers sleep while out there in the mountains or wherever they go. Sleeping pads are usually folded and carried inside or beside a bag. They are also very light hence easy portability.

Benefits Of A Sleeping Pad Over A Foam Or Inflatable Bed
Most campers find sleeping pads more comfortable as compared to foam or inflatable beds because they are usually thicker. Additionally, sleeping pads can be folded nicely and be stored in a bag which is not the case with these others. Sleeping pads are also warmer than foam or inflatable beds. In addition to offering a cushioned resting surface to make you comfortable, sleeping pads also offer vital protection from the chilly ground temperatures.

Why You Should Trust Us

We scoured the market and conducted in-depth research to figure out which factors are the most important when choosing a good sleeping pad for backpacking or car camping. With so many products on the market, it can be pretty difficult to know which one you should choose. We’ll take you through the different kinds of sleeping pads stating their good and bad qualities so you can select the one that’s best for you.

How We Picked

It’s not easy finding a sleeping pad that suits your needs, especially with such a broad and intimidating range available on the market. To make the process easier, we scoured over previous customer experiences with all types of sleeping pads and accumulated their opinions on the usage they have experienced. With all these first-hand opinions coming from a range of backpackers and hikers, you can trust our methods and find the perfect sleeping pad.

We searched through various sleeping pad brands made from different materials to find the most durable and comfortable sleeping pad for you. When making our picks, we looked for lightweight sleeping pads that have good insulation.

The thickness and insulation of a sleeping pad are key qualities that must be considered. The thicker the sleeping pad, the more comfortable it is to sleep on. Good insulation keeps the pad from absorbing either heat or cold from the surface on which it is laid. We also looked at the affordability of these sleeping pads since the cost-effectiveness of a product is also very important. As a buyer, you need to be sure that the sleeping pad that you are buying is going to give you your money’s worth in terms of comfort, durability, and good insulation, hence making you feel like it was worth the price.

Across all of your choices, you’ll find a size, material, and comfort to be a crucial part of our evaluation process. Different sleeping pads are made from different materials and this is a key attribute in determining the durability and comfort of a sleeping pad. A sleeping pad made from good materials is not only comfortable but also durable and very resilient to climatic conditions. Size is also an essential consideration since the Sleeping pads come in different sizes. It is key to consider sizes when looking for a sleeping pad because different sizes fit different people. Some people are tall and hence need larger sleeping pads while others are short and hence need smaller sleeping pads and so on.

Finally, we searched for the best deals or bargains to find you the most stylish and portable sleeping pads that still maintain quality and comfort while in the wild!

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

Our Top Pick

Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

Nemo Equipment Inc. Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

A luxuriously large sleeping pad, ultra thick, light, and compact.

This sleeping pad is luxuriously large, incredibly thick, yet still light and compact. Nemo’s Tensor is very good for car camping and backpacking. It has an insulated pad that uses a thermal mirror to reflect body heat hence keeping your body at the perfect temperature.

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Who It's For

Get this if you are a camping enthusiast who is looking for high quality and comfortable sleeping pad and you are ready to spare no expense to get it.

Why It's Great

The Tensor Insulated sleeping pad is a lightweight and packable sleeping pad that is built with a comfortable surface and super thick cushion that nicely raises you from the ground. It has baffles that distribute your weight across the surface hence ensuring stable sleep. Additionally, its suspended film construction is quiet hence allowing sound sleep. It is also easy to inflate and is compatible with other pumps.

Potential Flaws

The fact that this pad is constructed of somewhat less resilient textiles is the only drawback we could find with it. It is also relatively expensive for people working with low budgets.

Other Features

The Tensor Insulated sleeping pad is made from polyurethane-coated polyester fabric that is very durable hence the durability of the product. It comes with a lifetime of warranty in addition to a repair kit and a pump. This product is easy to inflate due to its two-function valve system and is equally easy to deflate before folding. Additionally, the Tensor Insulated sleeping pad is a premium pad with excellent specifications and significant weight reduction. Both the edge collapse present in horizontal pads and the bouncing feeling present in vertically baffled mattresses are prevented by the quilt-like baffle pattern. You will definitely enjoy lying on it! There is very little not to like with sufficient warmth, a modest packed size, and silent materials!. Any form of three-season backpacking is a breeze with the Tensor. It is a high-performing pad for individuals wishing to reduce their base weight without sacrificing performance due to its low weight.

Product Specifications

Available in different shapes and sizes: Yes
PadThickness: 8cm
Temperature rating: -12 to -7C
Minimum weight: 410g
Sleeping capacity: 1 person
Repair kit inclusive: Yes

Our Runner-Up - Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Our Runner-Up

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad

A self-inflating pad that comes with a Winglock valve ensures that the inflation process is three times as fast as other pads.

Therm-a-Rest is a brand that has an incredible self-inflating system that ensures that the user is not using any effort in inflating the pad. It’s equipped with a special Winglock valve that makes finishing inflation after it self-inflates three times faster.

Buy Now

Who It's For

Get this if you are planning to camp in extremely cold areas because it has a high R-value. It is also suitable for people with good budgets who are looking for very high-quality sleeping pads.

Why It's Great

This product has a stratacore construction that delivers an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio hence keeping you warm throughout the night. This also means it is very effective to use in cold places considering that it has a 4.4 R-value. Additionally, this sleeping pad is easy to fold after use and is available in different sizes to cater to people of diverse heights and weights. Lastly, the sleeping pad comes with a reliable self-inflating feature hence extremely easy to use.

Potential Flaws

Despite all the great features that this product has, it is just as expensive as the Tensor Insulated sleeping pad. Additionally, it doesn’t come with a repair kit for the user to use in case of any issues.

Other Features

The Therm-A-Rest Trail Pro Self-Inflating Camping And Backpacking Sleeping Pad has a Winglock valve that ensures the maximization of air flow during both inflation and deflation. Additionally, the product comes with a staff suck that helps in carrying all the items when not in use and for safe storage. The Trail Pro with WingLock Valve has been updated from its predecessor and is available in two styles: fitted with the Normal Valve or equipped with the WingLock Valve, which can inflate a pad three times quicker than a standard valve thanks to a wider barrel and optional one-way inflation. The WingLock style uses an ultra-cozy stretch knit fabric to maximize comfort in the backcountry and inflates to an impressive 3 inches, making it one of the thickest self-inflating backpacking pads currently on the market. It also has a 4.4 R-value for year-round adventuring and Thermarest's StrataCore construction, which helps reduce weight while adding warmth.

Product Specifications

Sleeping pad type: Self-inflating pad
Sleeping capacity: 1-person
R-value: 4.4
Staff suck included: Yes
Pad thickness: 3 inches
Available in different sizes: Yes

Most Cost-Effective - TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

Most Cost-Effective

TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

TOBTOS Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

A super thick and comfortable pad with an in-built pillow.

This sleeping pad is super thick, comes with a foot pump for easy inflation, and best of all a built-in pillow for the elevation of the head and comfort. In addition to that, it comes with a stuff sack for safekeeping and storage of the sleeping pad.

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Who It's For

Get this if you are planning to go camping in wet places with high temperatures. It is also great for people looking for very comfortable pads at low prices.

Why It's Great

The TOBTOS Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad is very thick hence providing a lot of comfort. Additionally, it is made of very durable nylon which is also coated with a waterproof TPU hence strong and durable. It is also lightweight and ultra-portable with an ergonomic design. Lastly, the sleeping pad comes with a built-in pump for inflation and deflation hence making the processes very easy and less tedious to the user. In addition to all these impressive qualities, the TOBTOS Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad is very affordable and pocket friendly.

Potential Flaws

This sleeping pad comes in only one size which is not very economical and it also has a low R-value hence not suitable for use in cold areas.

Other Features

This sleeping pad is composed of incredibly durable 40D nylon that has been waterproof TPU coated for maximum pressure-bearing capacity. The camping mat's edge has been heat-sealed, so even under tough conditions, there won't be any air leaks or tears. With a folded size of 10.6"x4.7" and a weight of 2.36 pounds, the lightweight sleeping pad is just heavy enough to fit in your backpack without adding any more weight to your trip. It can be utilized as camping equipment for day hikes or for overnight visitors at home. The one-piece cushion that comes with the camping sleeping mat is designed to fit the head and neck's curve. You can blow it up with your foot in one minute thanks to the built-in foot pump. It can be quickly deflated by opening the deflation valve. According to your preferences, you can add or release air to change the mat's firmness.

Product Specifications

Water resistance: Waterproof
Weight limit: 360kg
Material: Nylon, thermoplastic polyurethane
Product dimensions: 75x28x6 inches
Sleeping capacity: More than 1
Sleeping pad type: Self-inflating

Almost Made The Cut - Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Orange, 20×72 (Regular)

Almost Made The Cut

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Orange, 20x72 (Regular)

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Orange, 20×72 (Regular)

It has a smooth and stable sleeping surface and larger outside tubes to encase you at the top.

Considering its impressive R-value, the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Orange, 20x72 (Regular) combines its synthetic insulation system with air construction to provide comfort and warmth during use. It also comes in a variety of sizes making its use dynamic.

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Who It's For

This product is great for people looking for a single sleeping pad for both backpacking and car camping. It is also suitable for people looking for very high-quality and comfortable sleeping pads that can be used to camp in cold areas.

Why It's Great

The Big Agnes insulated Air core ultra sleeping pad has a very high R-value hence is very suitable for use in areas where a lot of heat is required. It is also very comfortable and comes with a pump sack for storing the pump and the repair kits. Its comfort quality makes it suitable for both backpacking and car camping. Additionally, it comes in different sizes.

Potential Flaws

Apart from being very expensive, the Big Agnes insulated Air core ultra sleeping pad makes a lot of noise when in use due to its insulation. Additionally, this product is not only bulky but also narrow so that a person can roll off it while asleep.

Other Features

This sleeping pad is equipped with microbial treatment to prevent the growth of microorganisms inside it. It also comes with a high-volume valve that will improve the deflation and inflation experiences for a user. Additionally, it comes with a protective storage sack that keeps the sleeping pad safe while not in use. Lastly, it has thermal insulation that keeps cold away in cases where the ground is frozen.

Product Specifications

Product thickness: 8.2cm
R-value: 4.5
Weight: 623g
Sleeping capacity: 1-Person
Product dimensions: 1.8m by 0.5m

Care and Maintenance

A sleeping pad should always be folded nicely and stored on a storage sack and kept in a bag when you are out on the trails. However while at home, the nicely folded sleep pad can always be kept in the closet where it will remain dry and safe from insects and other animals that may destroy it.

It is important to clean your sleeping pad after use. Sometimes you may go camping in muddy places hence the need to return the sleeping pad to its initial dry and clean state. Always wipe the surface of your sleeping pad with a wet and soapy piece of cloth while keeping water away from the valves. Do not use a machine to wash the sleeping pad for this might interfere with the materials used to make the product. Remember to wash the product each time it gets wet or gets too soiled with oils.

Having washed your sleeping bag, it is important to get it dried up. Avoid too much direct heat for it will mess up the materials used to make the product.

To avoid carrying punctured sleeping gear to the field, always check your gear days before departure. In case of any punctures, use the repair kits to patch any holes or breakages.