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Sleeping Pads

Types of Sleeping Pads

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Air-Filled Sleeping Pads

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Closed-Cell Foam Sleeping Pads

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Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

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Cots

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Sleeping Pad Accessories

Top Picks

How we choose: The best sleeping pads highlighted here were selected based on 1,107 reviews of 257 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Top Air-Filled Sleeping Pad

Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Extreme Insulated

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

A super comfy lightweight mat for warm sleep in cold conditions. When the conditions are “extreme,” the Ether Light XT Extreme Insulated pad delivers. The Thermolite insulation helps you forget that you are sleeping on the ground, and it is completely worth the bulk and weight.

Reasons to Buy

  • Air Sprung Cell construction for excellent comfort and stability
  • Extra thick (4") for comfort in all positions
  • Good insulation (R 6.2)
  • Stuff sack inflation helps prevent moisture inside the mattress
  • Packs easily
  • Good bulk and weight for the comfort level

Reasons to Avoid

  • The pillow lock system is a great idea, but in real-world practice, only sort-of works

I have been a fan of the Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated mat for a few years now, and have reviewed it here previously. For the weight and packability (16 oz), it provides really good comfort in warmer weather. But in colder winter and shoulder season temps, I have used a bulkier/heavier Therm-a-Rest mat, as the UltraLight Insulated really isn’t up to the task. Ether Light XT Extreme Insulated So, when the chance to try the Ether Light XT Extreme Insulated mat came along, I was eager to give it a go.

Read more: Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Extreme Insulated reviews (2)

Top Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9 reviews)

This is a great 4-season sleeping pad.

Reasons to Buy

  • Warm
  • Durable
  • Light
  • Compact

Reasons to Avoid

  • Maybe price

From the Manufacturer: New for 2012: The XTherm mattress is the warmest mattress in the NeoAir collection, allowing you to go lighter than ever in winter conditions. Patent-pending Reflective Barriers give the XTherm mattress true 4-season warmth without the weight or bulk usually found in a winter-worthy mattress. The result is a mattress that weighs less than a pound, takes up less pack space than your water bottle, and provides serious comfort in extremely cold conditions. Pump sack and repair kit included.

Read more: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm reviews (9)

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self Inflating Air Pads

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9 reviews)

This review is for the XL size of the air pads...bought as a bit of "giving-in" to the need for a more supportive sleeping pad. I originally thought I would use it for only car camping when we may sleep in a tent or in a wooden lean-to...however, despite its humongous size (30 x 77 x 3 ), it actually goes canoe camping with me as well! It certainly is too large for backpacking, but is a very comfortable pad, if you can manage to bring it along.

Reasons to Buy

  • Thicker pillow area than smaller pads
  • 2 valves for inflation
  • Inflates quickly
  • Thick foam padding

Reasons to Avoid

  • It is really quite large even when rolled up
  • It can be tough to roll it up to get it back in its storage bag

 Right after unrolling it...This is rather a luxury to take camping, but the more I use it, the more I appreciate it. It is 3 inches thick when inflated, is easily and quickly inflated with self-inflating valves (though I often add a bit more manually), and prevents many of the aches and pains that I previously felt with a more compact pad. The foam is a good dense, but still soft, open cell foam made of polyurethane. The pad is durable (I am on the second season of frequent camping with it), and is a rip-stop top, and an abrasion resistant bottom.

Read more: ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self Inflating Air Pads reviews (9)

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (13 reviews)

The Therm-a-Rest Women’s ProLite Plus is my dream four-season expedition sleeping surface. It is comfortable, durable, warm, and reasonably light and compact.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very comfortable
  • Durable dependable construction
  • Excellent ground-cold insulation

Reasons to Avoid

  • The four Prolite models can be confusing. They need greater differentiation in appearance.

Therm-A-Rest Women's ProLite Plus What an incredible cornucopia of sleeping surfaces today’s climbers and trekkers have to choose from! Therm-a-Rest makes such a dizzying array of types and styles that this abundance often leads to confusion and difficulty when shopping. Sleep surfaces boil down to three basic types; all foam, all air, and a combination of air and foam. While it is impossible to strictly categorize type by price, one may generally observe that all foam tends to be the least expensive, all air the most expensive, and air and foam somewhere in-between.

Read more: Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus reviews (13)

Air-Filled Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The NeoAir Topo Luxe offers excellent comfort and insulation for a price in weight and pocketbook. For "comfortably light" hikers (not ultralight!), this is the "recliner" for your back country living room. Warm enough to take you into at least the shoulder seasons, unbelievably comfy, sturdily constructed, and much quieter than other NeoAir models. Weight is the big issue (1lb 7-14 oz depending on size), but the 4-inch height also might have to be factored in for those who are tall enough to be near your tent walls. At this height, it's also a bit bouncy if you are sensitive to that.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lux(e)urious comfort
  • Room to roll around
  • No sag at edge
  • Easy inflate/deflate TwinLock valves
  • Warm to shoulder seasons
  • Works great with the Trekker Chair Kit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavy for backpacking
  • Pump sack needed
  • 4" height may push feet into some tent walls
  • Can bounce a bit especially fully inflated
  • Adaptability to other inflators may vary

This is a preliminary review after two months of testing. More to come this winter! I have trimmed my pack weight down over the years to what I call "comfortably light," with emphasis on the comfort. Therefore I was excited to test the new NeoAir Topo Luxe as it seemed to fit my style of adding on a bit of weight in order to lounge comfortably in camp. Or I could have just been looking forward to all the hard work "testing" the Topo Luxe... Product Description & Specs The NeoAir Topo Luxe is a comfort-first sleeping pad for those who balance luxury and weight.

Read more: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe reviews (2)

Air-Filled Sleeping Pad

NEMO Tensor Alpine Ultralight

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The NEMO Tensor Alpine ultralight sleeping pad is a do-it-all pad. It’s small and light enough to carry into the mountains, it’s warm enough to use in all four seasons, it’s comfortable enough to sleep soundly through the night, and it’s easy enough to inflate/deflate that you won’t dread setting up or tearing down. This pad is the warmest I’ve ever slept on and one of the easiest to inflate/deflate.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact
  • Can handle the cold weather
  • Pump sack included
  • Low-profile valve

Reasons to Avoid

  • Without the pump sack, it's tricky to inflate (So don’t lose it! Can be bought separately though.)

Conditions: I’ve tested the NEMO Tensor Alpine pad (Wide/Long option) over the course of three months, during late autumn and winter camping trips. I’ve spent a total of nine nights sleeping on the pad, and my nephew borrowed it for an additional three nights. Specs: Remember, these are the specs for the Long/Wide option. NEMO also sells a Regular/Mummy version of this pad, which is 4 inches shorter, 5 inches narrower, and 7 ounces lighter.  Length: 75.5 inches / 191.8 cm (Manufacturer claim is 76") (Regular/Mummy is 72") Width: 25 inches / 63.5 cm (Manufacturer claim is 25") (Regular/Mummy is 20") Thickness: 2.875 inches / 7.3 cm (Manufacturer claim is 3") (Regular/Mummy is the same) R-Value: 4.8—bring on the cold weather! (Regular/Mummy...

Read more: NEMO Tensor Alpine Ultralight review (1)

Air-Filled Sleeping Pad

Exped Ultra 1R

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Exped's lightweight and easy to use Ultra 1R sleeping pad is quiet, durable, and provides substantial comfort throughout a wide temperature range. Paired with a short CCF (closed-cell foam) pad, the Ultra 1R proved to be comfortable down to the mid-30°F range on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park in September 2022. Although this sleeping pad is aimed toward lightweight/ultralight hikers, any camper looking for a compact and durable sleeping pad may find this product more than sufficient for three-season overnights. Multiple sizes, widths, and a rectangular model are available.

Reasons to Buy

  • Inflates/deflates easily
  • Great warmth-to-weight ratio

Reasons to Avoid

  • Light green color shows stains

People do not want to take risks when it comes down to a night of much needed rest. Although individuals in the past have accepted poor quality sleep as "ordinary," this stigma has been rapidly changing with the development of outdoor technology. Based out of Switzerland, Exped has been in the industry since 1983.  Preparing camp at N. Puyallup River on the Wonderland Trail The Ultra 1R sleeping mat is a straightforward product with two easy to operate valves. The proprietary Exped Flatvalve has one-way operation, as to not leak when filling.   Note the lower inflation check valve Included is a Schnozzel Pumpbag UL (20L/size small) for quick and moisture-free filling.

Read more: Exped Ultra 1R review (1)

Top Sleeping Pad Accessory

Therm-a-Rest BlockerLite Pump Sack

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

A simple and light dual-purpose dry bag and pump sack for the new Therm-a-Rest Winglock and Twinlock valve sleeping pads. Inflation of the pads is easy and the waterproof construction seems like it will hold up. The BlockerLite Pump Sack is only 20 liters, so it takes quite a few sacks of air to fill larger pads, and may not work on older valves or other brands, but overall it's a great match for new Therm-a-Rest mattresses.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very light
  • Easy to use
  • Solid construction
  • Waterproof
  • Saves your breath
  • Doesn't introduce moisture

Reasons to Avoid

  • Small volume—takes time to inflate large pads
  • May not fit older TAR valves
  • Occasionally pops off while inflating
  • Difficult to maximize air in sack
  • Limited adaptability to other brands

This is the initial review of the Therm-a-Rest BlockerLite Pump Sack after a couple of months of testing. I will update this in the late fall after cold weather comes in and it has a lot more nights out under its belt. The Therm-a-Rest (TAR) BlockerLite Pump Sack was provided to me as part of my testing of the TAR Topo and Topo Luxe sleeping pads. These new NeoAir models come standard with the Blockerlite Pump Sack now for the Winglock and Twinlock valves, but it can also be purchased as an add-on accessory ($45 current price).The BlockerLite Pump Sack is basically a lightweight (2.7 oz/78 g) dry bag with a valve that converts it to use as a pump sack for easy air mattress inflation.  The pump sack is made by SealLine for TAR and is similar...

Read more: Therm-a-Rest BlockerLite Pump Sack review (1)

Air-Filled Sleeping Pad

Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Lightweight comfy pad, gives a great night's sleep.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Easy and quick to inflate/deflate
  • Packs down small
  • Warm

Reasons to Avoid

  • A bit noisy on the tent floor
  • The "bleed" valve is a little fussy at times

I was intrigued by Sea to Summit's new line of sleeping pads, so when the REI dividend and coupon came out, I decided to give it a try. The first thing I notice was how small the packed size was. I'm always trying to put less bulk in my back, so this is good news for me. I was taken by the pad's interesting new valve design. There are essentially two "plugs" in one. You open the outer plug to inflate, and both plugs to deflate. I find that it takes about a dozen or so breaths to inflate it fully, which is much faster than my previous pad, which usually took a couple of minutes to inflate.

Read more: Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated reviews (4)

Top Closed-Cell Foam Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (7 reviews)

The Z-Seat is a lightweight and inexpensive piece of camp furniture. It will never replace the comfort of a camp chair, but it's also multipurpose, simple, and easy to carry for thousands of miles.

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile and multipurpose
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Lightweight (2.2 oz)
  • Simple
  • Keeps things comfortable, clean, warm, and dry

Reasons to Avoid

  • Easy to lose/blows away
  • Always would prefer a chair...just not to carry one
  • Few color choices/ too inconspicuous
  • A tad bulky

  Accordion-folding foam pads are a ubiquitous piece of gear that have been around for a long time. The Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat is a pared-down version of the popular Z Lite pad. Both utilize the same materials, but the Z-Seat has more compact folds and sections. (As an aside, an old Z Lite pad can be cut into several sit pads...I've seen these in hiker boxes, just waiting to be repurposed.) The Z-Seat is widely imitated and available online, often for less than $5. I've used both the Z-Seat and non-branded knock-offs and there is a difference in the material, size, and weight of each.

Read more: Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat reviews (7)

More Sleeping Pads

Trailspace reviewers have shared 1107 reviews of 257 different sleeping pads. Narrow your search and view more specific sleeping pad recommendations in these categories:

Air-Filled Sleeping Pads

Closed-Cell Foam Sleeping Pads

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

Cots

Sleeping Pad Accessories

All Sleeping Bags and Pads

Other Types of Sleeping Bags and Pads

Find more sleeping bags and pads reviewed in these related categories:

Cold Weather Sleeping Bags (below 0°F)

3-Season Sleeping Bags (0° to 32°F)

Warm Weather Sleeping Bags (above 35°F)

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