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10 Finest Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2023


PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE COLLINS (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Nice sleep within the backcountry could be surprisingly powerful to come back by. You’d suppose after a protracted day of climbing, most backpackers can be drained sufficient to go out face-first of their rehydrated mashed potatoes. However that’s usually not the case.

Packing a top-notch sleeping pad will assist take your backcountry sleep to the subsequent stage. An important backpacking pad will preserve you snug, heat, and assist preserve your pack weight down. Our group of drugs specialists has spent years testing pads on trails everywhere in the world to convey you this checklist of the easiest backpacking sleeping pads.

Fast Suggestions

Try this fast checklist of our favorites when you’re in a rush, or proceed scrolling to see our full checklist with in-depth evaluations.

Sleeping Pad Comparability Desk

NeoAir XLite – PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE COLLINS (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

What’s Most Essential to You in a Sleeping Pad?

PRICE:

You don’t need to spend a ton of cash to get a great backpacking sleeping pad, however many backpackers (us included) are prepared to splurge a bit of for a high-quality pad they plan on placing to good use. Getting nice sleep within the backcountry tends to be price it.

NEMO Tensor – PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE COLLINS (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

WEIGHT:

Your sleeping pad will probably be one of many 4 heaviest gadgets in your pack – tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad – so this can be a excellent spot to avoid wasting weight. We take into account weight probably the most essential specs for backpacking gear. The lighter your backpack, the extra snug it is going to be, the extra miles you’ll have the ability to hike, and the extra pleasurable your journey will probably be.

NeoAir Uberlite – PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE COLLINS (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

WARMTH:

Insulation tends to be probably the most ignored specs of backpacking sleeping pads. The R-value of a sleeping pad measures how properly it insulates you from the chilly floor. The upper the R-value, the hotter the pad. Sleeping pad insulation can simply imply the distinction between being toasty heat and shivering via the evening. Sleeping pads with R-values of 0-3 are finest for warm-weather journeys. R-values of 3-5 work for many 3-season backpacking situations. R-values of 5-6 are good in temperatures round or under freezing. A pad with a 6+ R-value (or you’ll be able to add a foam pad underneath your air pad) is nice for chilly sleepers or sleeping on snow.

Therm-A-Relaxation NeoAir XTherm – PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

THICKNESS:

You’ll need a sleeping pad thick sufficient to regulate its firmness with out bottoming out, however not so thick it appears like a pool float that takes eternally to explode. Having a number of inches of cushion is very essential when you are likely to sleep in your aspect.

Massive Agnes Rapide SL Insulated – PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

DURABILITY:

Even essentially the most sturdy backpacking air pad can spring a leak, so it’s at all times essential to clear your sleeping area of sharp objects and convey restore tape. That mentioned, some pads use thicker supplies, making them extra abrasion resistant and fewer prone to puncture.

NEMO Switchback – PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Finest Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2023

Therm-A-Relaxation NeoAir XLite NXT

Finest backpacking sleeping pad general

Value: MSRP: $210

Weight: 13 oz

R-Worth: 4.5

Execs

  • Distinctive warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Compact
  • Snug
  • Pump sack included

Therm-a-Relaxation’s new NeoAir XLite NXT is the very best all-around 3-season sleeping pad in the marketplace, palms down. It has a uncommon mixture of consolation, heat, and weight that make it very powerful to beat for backpacking.

The brand new NXT model of the XLite is 3 inches thick, so it’s a bit cushier than earlier than, and it has a barely greater R-value too. Certainly one of our favourite options of the XLite is simply how light-weight it’s whereas nonetheless sustaining wonderful insulation and sturdiness. Preserving pack weight down on backcountry journeys is vital, and the XLite is a stand-out on this enviornment.

The primary knock on earlier XLite fashions has been the crinkly sound they make when shifting round. We’re glad to report that the brand new NXT model is far quieter. We’d say the XLite NXT is nearly as quiet as most air pads, however few can compete with its different specs.

The NeoAir XLite is a very distinctive sleeping pad that we’ve put via the wringer over hundreds of miles on the path. It’s an all-time nice backpacking sleeping pad, and we expect you’ll agree.

Try our full overview of the XLite NXT right here.

Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir XTherm NXT

Finest sleeping pad for chilly sleepers & chilly situations

Value: MSRP: $240

Weight: 16 oz

R-Worth: 7.3

Execs

  • Distinctive warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Compact for a 4-season pad
  • Snug
  • Sturdy
  • Pump sack included

Cons

  • Costly
  • Slight crinkle sound

The Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir XTherm NXT is a hotter and extra sturdy model of the XLite pad listed above. So why does it deserve a particular spot on this checklist? It’s simply that good.

Insulation (R-value) is a extremely underrated attribute in sleeping pads. When you’re a chilly sleeper otherwise you backpack in sub-freezing temps, we advocate bumping as much as the XTherm. The newest NXT mannequin is hotter, thicker, and even a contact lighter than earlier than. With such a preposterous warmth-to-weight ratio, the XTherm is undoubtedly probably the greatest backpacking sleeping pads on the market.

The XTherm additionally has a sturdy layer of 70-denier material on the underside – which we love – to fight put on and stop punctures. This pad does make a slight crinkle sound if you shift round on it, however its appreciable strengths far outweigh this minor draw back.

With a weight that’s decrease than the everyday 3-season pad, however an R-value prepared for severe winter adventures, it’s no marvel why the NeoAir XTherm has been a fan favourite for a few years.

Try our full overview of the XTherm NXT right here.

Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir UberLite

Finest ultralight sleeping pad for summer season backpacking

Value: MSRP: $230

Weight: 8.8 oz.

R-Worth: 2.3

Execs

  • Ultralight
  • Compact
  • Snug
  • Pump sack included

Cons

  • Costly
  • Not heat sufficient for sub-freezing temps
  • Much less sturdy than some

The Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir UberLite is commonly the sleeping pad you’ll discover in our packs on summer season backpacking journeys. It’s very snug, has a tiny packed measurement, and better of all – it’s ridiculously light-weight. This helps us preserve our pack weight to an absolute minimal on burly, high-mileage adventures.

Like most ultralight gear, the UberLite is made with skinny supplies, so that you’ll need to watch out with it to keep away from punctures. We clear sharp rocks and pokey sticks from underneath our tents, and we at all times carry restore tape simply in case. Utilizing this small quantity of care, we’ve had nice outcomes maintaining the UberLite totally inflated and tremendous comfortable.

Although it requires a bit of extra diligence, the UberLite is a very distinctive ultralight backpacking sleeping pad for these trying to preserve pack weight to a minimal.

Try our full overview of the UberLite right here.

NEMO Switchback

Finest foam sleeping pad

Value: MSRP: $55

Weight: 14.5 oz.

R-Worth: 2

Execs

  • Extra sturdy than air pads
  • Inexpensive
  • Fast to pack/unpack
  • Doubles as a sit pad

Cons

  • Not as snug as air pads
  • Cumbersome
  • Not heat sufficient for sub-freezing temps

Bored with worrying about your air pad staying inflated? Look no additional than the reasonably priced and hassle-free NEMO Switchback. This closed-cell foam pad is simple on the pockets and it’s additionally one of many lightest sleeping pads on our checklist.

Foam pads are good since you’ll by no means need to spend time inflating/deflating them, and also you’ll by no means have to fret about waking up on the chilly floor since they will’t spring a leak.

The draw back with foam pads just like the Switchback is that they are typically much less snug than air pads, until you like sleeping on agency surfaces. Because of this, we have a tendency to decide on air pads for many of our backcountry journeys – we attempt to watch out with them, and we at all times convey restore tape simply in case.

Nonetheless, there’s rather a lot to like concerning the comfort, affordability, and sturdiness of the Switchback. So when you choose a agency sleeping floor, simplicity, and worry-free consolation, the NEMO Switchback is perhaps precisely what you’re on the lookout for.

Try our full overview of the Switchback right here.

Massive Agnes Zoom UL

Finest worth ultralight sleeping pad

Value: MSRP: $180

Weight: 14 oz.

R-Worth: 4.3

Execs

  • Ultralight
  • Snug (3.25 in. thick)
  • Glorious worth
  • Compact
  • Facet rails preserve you targeted on pad
  • Pump sack included

Cons

  • Sluggish deflation
  • Pump sack design isn’t the very best

Massive Agnes is named the mom of consolation, they usually’re undoubtedly incomes that title with the Zoom UL. Added consolation can usually imply added bulk and weight on the subject of backpacking gear, however the Zoom UL delivers an exceptionally comfortable evening’s sleep in a small, light-weight bundle.

Pads with comparable weight, R-value (heat), and packability will usually run you $200 or extra, however the Zoom UL is available in at a friendlier value level. At 3.25 inches thick within the heart (and three.5 inches on the aspect rails to assist preserve you within the center), that is additionally one of many thicker pads on our checklist. It is a actual benefit for side-sleepers and people who like a squishy pad, because you’ll have extra room to regulate the firmness with out bottoming out.

So with all that mentioned, why isn’t this pad on the very high of our checklist? It actually boils right down to comfort. The valve is a bit slower and extra finicky to deflate, and the pump sack is our least favourite out of all those we examined. These aren’t the most important gripes on the planet, however on the subject of the very best of the very best we needed to be choosy.

Nonetheless, the Zoom UL is an superior worth pad that may have you ever sleeping like a child within the backcountry. So when you prioritize saving cash over having a couple of additional conveniences, you received’t be dissatisfied by the Zoom UL. Be taught extra in our full overview of the Zoom UL right here.

Klymit Static V

Finest price range backpacking air pad

Value: MSRP: $65

Weight: 18.7 oz.

R-Worth: 1.3

Execs

  • Inexpensive
  • Barely wider & extra sturdy than some

Cons

  • Not as heat as some
  • Can backside out when shifting round
  • Sluggish deflation
  • Heavier & bulkier than some

The Klymit Static V is likely one of the finest price range air pads in the marketplace. It’s constructed with thicker supplies than most light-weight backpacking sleeping pads and is barely wider than the usual pad measurement as properly.

The V-shaped air tubes on the Static V are fairly snug, however the massive areas between air chambers imply you could backside out whereas shifting round. The 2 largest downsides of this pad are its low R-value – this pad is finest for summer season journeys – and its primary valve. Klymit does supply an insulated model of the Static V, however it weighs fairly a bit extra, and its true R-value (ASTM) is barely elevated to 1.9.

Drawbacks apart, the Klymit Static V continues to be an amazing selection for budget-conscious backpackers. It’s sturdy, snug, and it’ll get the job achieved at a fraction of the value.

NEMO Tensor Insulated

Comfortable, rectangular sleeping pad with fast deflation

Value: MSRP: $200

Weight: 15 oz.

R-Worth: 4.2

Execs

  • Quiet
  • snug
  • heat
  • many measurement/form choices
  • fast inflation/deflation
  • pump sack included

Cons

  • Costly
  • much less sturdy than some

The NEMO Tensor Insulated sleeping pad is thick, snug, and quieter than virtually any air pad we’ve examined. So when you’re trying to keep away from the crinkle sound some pads have, the Tensor is a superb possibility.

One other factor that units the Tensor aside is the big variety of form and measurement choices, together with mummy, rectangular, and the elusive common/large mannequin. The oblong fashions are common, as they permit your toes to relaxation wider aside when again sleeping. This, together with 3 in. of thickness, makes the Tensor an actual stand-out on the subject of consolation.

The Tensor additionally comes with probably the greatest pump sacks in the marketplace, making inflation quick and simple. On high of that, the zero-profile valve permits for fast deflation and easy micro-adjustments.

We’ve been large followers of the NEMO Tensor because the first mannequin hit the cabinets, and we nonetheless rock it for journeys the place additional consolation is a high precedence.

REI Helix Insulated Air

Inexpensive & heat 3-season sleeping pad

Value: MSRP: $159

Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.

R-Worth: 4.9

Execs

  • Heat
  • Inexpensive
  • Snug
  • Fast inflation/deflation

Cons

  • Can backside out when shifting round
  • Heavier/bulkier than some

REI’s Helix Insulated Air options the best R-value of any pad in its value vary, so it’s a wonderful worth for chilly sleepers on a decent price range.

At 3 inches thick, the Helix could be very comfortable and comfy. However side-sleepers and those who shift round rather a lot would possibly expertise some bottoming out because of its dimpled design. Hikers who lie on their again in all probability received’t have a difficulty with this, although, and can possible discover the air cells to be completely plush.

The most important draw back of the Helix is that it’s one of many heaviest sleeping pads on our checklist, however it’s additionally one of many warmest. We at all times advocate maintaining pack weight to a minimal to extend general consolation on path, however the Helix has a very reasonable price ticket and is insulated sufficient for chilly sleepers to remain snug.

Sea to Summit Ether Gentle XT

Thick, snug & sturdy sleeping pad

Value: MSRP: $199

Weight: 1 lb. 1.3 oz.

R-Worth: 3.2

Execs

  • Light-weight
  • Snug
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable (4 in. thick)
  • Fast inflation/deflation
  • Pump sack included

Cons

  • Costly
  • Heavier/bulkier than some
  • Barely rubbery really feel/sound

Sea to Summit makes a number of the most snug sleeping pads in the marketplace, and the Ether Gentle XT Insulated (view ladies’s right here) is considered one of their lightest and cushiest sleeping pads but. The distinctive “air sprung cells” mimic the help of the mattresses we use at dwelling, they usually cradle the physique in a means commonplace air pad baffles can’t.

The Both Gentle can also be 4 inches thick, which can allow you to dial in your most popular firmness and make sure you by no means backside out. As well as, the marginally wider aspect rails on the Both Gentle assist to maintain you targeted on the pad all through the evening. The “Pillowlock system” on this pad can also be a pleasant contact. It’s designed to maintain your S2S Aeros pillow in place all through the evening.

With an R-value of three.2 and a sturdy construct, the Sea to Summit Ether Gentle is a good match for 3-season backpackers on the lookout for top-tier consolation.

Try our full overview of the Ether Gentle right here.

Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated

Finest worth sleeping pad for again sleepers

Value: MSRP: $159

Weight: 16.9 oz.

R-Worth: 3.1

Execs

  • Light-weight
  • snug
  • reasonably priced
  • sturdy
  • fast inflation/deflation
  • pump sack included

Cons

  • Can backside out when shifting round
  • barely rubbery really feel/sound, heavier than some

Very like the Ether Lite XT listed above, Sea to Summit’s Ultralight Insulated pad (view ladies’s right here) is likely one of the most snug backpacking pads we’ve examined. Its “air sprung cells” present comfortable consolation that feels surprisingly like your mattress at dwelling.

The profit the Ultralight has over the Ether Lite principally is available in its extra reasonably priced price ticket. The Ultralight can also be nearly as heat and comfy because the Ether Lite, however it’s barely much less cumbersome. At 2 inches thick, some customers would possibly backside out when shifting round on this pad, and the Ultralight won’t be the very best match for aspect sleepers. That mentioned, the Ultralight nonetheless gives a really snug evening’s relaxation.

The Ultralight has a great valve system and is extra sturdy than the typical air pad as properly. So when you’re out there for a snug, light-weight, and sturdy backpacking sleeping pad that prices lower than most of its opponents, the Sea to Summit Ultralight is a good selection.

Massive Agnes Rapide SL Insulated

Comfortable sleeping pad with aspect rails

Value: MSRP: $150

Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.

R-Worth: 4.2

Execs

  • Snug (3.5 in. thick)
  • Inexpensive
  • Sturdy
  • Facet rails preserve you targeted on pad
  • Pump sack included

Cons

  • Heavier/bulkier than some

The Massive Agnes Rapide SL Insulated is an excellent comfortable, sturdy, and heat sleeping pad for 3-season adventures. The place the Rapide differentiates itself from different pads is its massive aspect rails that assist to maintain you targeted on the pad all through the evening.

The Rapide can also be 3.5 inches thick, making it one of many thickest backpacking pads in the marketplace. This may will let you dial within the good firmness stage to fit your sleeping fashion. At 19 ounces, the Rapide is among the many heavier sleeping pads on our checklist, however its distinctive consolation and reasonably priced value level nonetheless make it an amazing selection for a lot of backpackers.

For many who prioritize consolation over all else, the Massive Agnes Rapide SL is a high contender.

PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE COLLINS (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Honorable Mentions

The next backpacking sleeping pads didn’t make our last checklist, however they’ve nonetheless bought numerous good issues going for them. You by no means know, considered one of these pads is perhaps good for you:

Important Sleeping Pad Issues

PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

PUMP SACKS

Pump sacks make it a lot simpler to inflate an air pad. Most pump sacks can double as a stuff sack, and a few of them can be utilized as a dry bag as properly. Pump sacks are additionally good for maintaining moisture out of your breath out of your sleeping pad. That is particularly essential in chilly climate when moisture can create chilly spots in your pad. If inside condensation builds up an excessive amount of, it may additionally trigger mould and mildew to kind and degrade the insulation over time.

AIR PADS vs FOAM PADS

The 2 important forms of backpacking sleeping pads are air pads and foam pads. Foam pads are bulkier, however they’re extra reasonably priced, faster to arrange, and can be utilized for a number of functions – like additional help for a frameless backpack or a seat round camp. Air pads are costlier, however most backpackers discover them to be far more snug than foam pads. The primary draw back with air pads is that they will puncture within the subject, so that you’ll at all times need to convey a restore package.

REPAIR KIT

When you resolve to take an air pad into the wilderness, be sure that to pack a small restore package. Sharp objects (rocks, sticks, cacti, and so on.) can puncture air pads, so at all times verify your sleeping space earlier than establishing camp. In case your pad springs a leak and also you don’t have a option to repair it, you’re going to be one sad camper. Virtually all of the air pads listed above include a restore package, however we at all times pack Tenacious Tape simply in case.

LENGTH

Your hips and shoulders are the most important strain factors for sleeping pads, so it’s essential to make use of a pad that provides you with consolation in these areas. Some ultralight backpackers use brief, torso-length pads and let their legs cling off the tip to avoid wasting weight. However this places your physique into questionable alignment until you have got sufficient gear to prop up your knees and toes. Most backpackers choose the consolation of a full-length pad that cushions their total physique and retains their toes heat.

PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

WIDTH

Selecting the best width to your sleeping pad will largely rely in your sleeping fashion. Facet sleepers are sometimes fantastic with commonplace width pads, and again sleepers are likely to choose a bit extra width to maintain their arms from sliding off. Virtually all of the pads we checklist above are available in a large measurement possibility.

SHAPE

Many backpackers select mummy-shaped sleeping pads to avoid wasting weight, however those that prefer to sprawl out whereas sleeping will in all probability get extra enjoyment out of an oblong pad.

Having a extremely packable backpacking sleeping pad is a pleasant profit, and most air pads pack down very small as of late.

When you select a cumbersome sleeping pad, you will have to strap it to the surface of your bag. That’s not an enormous deal for foam pad customers, however leaving an air pad uncovered to punctures on the surface of your pack is a recipe for catastrophe.

Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir UberLite & NEMO Tensor Insulated – PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE COLLINS (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

BUYING ONLINE

Test the vendor’s return coverage, however you’ll be able to virtually at all times return an unused sleeping pad inside a sure timeframe after buying. We advocate shopping for your best choice, testing it at dwelling, and returning/exchanging if it doesn’t really feel fairly proper. We’ve been shopping for light-weight sleeping pads on-line for years, and we’ve but to have any issues.

PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Extra Info

We hope this information helps you discover the proper gear to your wants. When you’ve got extra questions or a suggestion, we’d love to listen to from you! Join our e-newsletter to remain up to date on our newest posts then go to our Fb web page and Instagram to hitch the group dialog. When you discovered this information useful, please give it a share on social media! Additionally, you should definitely try our CleverHiker Gear Information to see all of our high gear picks. Thanks for studying and glad trails!

Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir XTherm – PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)



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