Measuring 50 inches wide at the top (40 inches at the feet), it takes up nearly the entire tent floor to eliminate any possible gaps. At only 2 inches thick, the Flash isn’t quite cushioned enough for side sleepers, but most back and stomach sleepers should find it supportive and comfortable. Pump sacks are good for keeping moisture from your breath out of your sleeping pad, which is especially important during winter trips when moisture from your breath can freeze and reduce the insulation value of your pad. ... Ultralight 14.5 OZ, Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking, Hiking Air Mattress - Lightweight, Inflatable & Compact, Camp Sleep Pad… Beyond the slim profile, they often have dedicated openings for inflating and deflating, and importantly, a flap that keeps air from escaping while blowing into the opening. To further evaluate this double sleeping pad concept, let’s have a look at the numbers. Most of the sleeping pads on the list are built for 3-season conditions with varying levels of insulation. We’ve found that the 2.5-inch NeoAirs are sufficient in most instances, for example. As for caring for a closed-cell foam pad. The OR Helium Rain Jacket and Pants (updated for 2020) are among the most affordable options in the ultralight rain…, Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Pad. The self-inflating mattress was a revolutionary idea when the Therm-a-Rest was invented in 1972. You’ll see the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol strapped to a surprisingly high number of packs. If you found this guide helpful, please give it a share on social media! Instead of two people bringing two separate pads and having a limited surface area to sleep on, the Big Agnes Insulated SLX Tent Floor functions more like a backpacking mattress that is designed to fill out most tents (hence the name). But we have the Switchback ranked here for two very important reasons: it’s cheap at just $50 for the regular version, and it will never pop. Comfort is relative when sleeping on the ground, and most people who can’t handle a night under the stars don’t backpack or camp at all. BOTTOM LINE: The Klymit Static V and Static V2 are the best budget air pads on the market. Testing the super cushy Big Agnes Q-Core SLX. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations. See our full review here:, Need a gift for the outdoorsy person in your life? Read more... Then you'll love our biweekly newsletter. THICK, CUSHY PAD THAT’S GREAT FOR SIDE SLEEPERS & TOSSER-TURNERS, PROS: Comfortable/thick, supportive, durable, quick deflation, side rails keep you centered on pad, pump sack included (we prefer the upgraded Pumphouse Ultra, though), CONS: Narrower profile than other pads, slightly heavier/bulkier and not as warm as XLite. Check out our full review of the UberLite here. Thanks guy . The Klymit Static V2 is one of our favorite budget-friendly backpacking sleeping pads. The “Ultra” is the updated version of the popular Air Core series, featuring an improved, two-way valve with dedicated openings for inflation and deflation. vs. 14.5 for the Nemo) and price ($45 vs. $50).See the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We particularly like the 23-inch width (most regular pads are 20 in. The momentum in hiking footwear is moving away from bulky boots toward lightweight shoes and even trail runners that are faster and more comfortable. are reasonably small and should be workable for storing inside most bags. The sixth and final Therm-a-Rest pad to make our list is also the cheapest: the Trail Scout. As an organization, we feel this issue is too important to remain silent and do nothing. Air pads dominate the backpacking market, but self-inflating models still have a place due to their convenient set-up, greater durability, and cushy foam padding. You can't inflate this pad manually, as the moisture from your breath can damage the down fill, but the included waterproof compression sack doubles as a fully functional pump bag. R-values of 2-4 are good for most 3-season backpacking conditions. Best value sleeping pad: NEMO Tensor Insulated Best high-end sleeping pads: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, and Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated Best budget sleeping pads: Klymit Static V2, REI Co-op Flash 3-Season Pad, and NEMO Switchback. We hope this guide helps you find the perfect gear for your needs. Here are some of the reasons you can trust us: Our choices are completely independent and based on personal experience. To see our full list of favorites and a breakdown of important features, check out our article on the best camping mattresses and pads.Back to Our Top Sleeping Pad Picks  Back to Our Sleeping Pad Comparison Table. With a whopping 4 inches of cushioning off the ground, the Ether is the thickest sleeping pad on this list while weighing in at a respectable 1 pound 1.3 ounces. vs. 6.8 x 11 for the Therm-a-Rest). The pad is super easy to use—just unroll it and open the valve to inflate—and its 3.2 R-value and 1.5-inch thickness give you enough warmth and protection for most spring, summer, and fall trips. With an R-value of 3.5, the Tensor will be great for most 3-season backpacking trips. Finally, the pad is 1.5 inches thinner than the brand’s own Ether XT above, so side sleepers and heavier backpackers will likely prefer that option. Category: Closed-cell foamWeight: 14 oz.Thickness: 0.75 in.R-value: 2.0What we like: Durable and lightweight.What we don’t: Nemo Switchback above is thicker and more comfortable. And a final reason we have the Flash ranked here is because many users report leaks developing after only a handful of outings. 3.6 oz.Thickness: 2.5 in.R-value: 4.4What we like: Wide sleeping platform and great price.What we don’t: Not a standout in any specific category. Compared to the insulated version of the Ether, the Big Agnes is less than an ounce heavier and half an inch thinner, although you do save a significant $40. The less energy it takes, the more insulative the pad. Air pads, like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite are more comfy than foam pads. Back sleeping more evenly distributes your weight, whereas side sleeping puts a higher percentage of weight around the hips and shoulders. It’s more insulated (R-value 4.5) and much cheaper than the SLX, but it weighs a quite a bit more (1 lb. 5.9 oz.Thickness: 2.5 in.R-value: 3.7What we like: Super comfortable.What we don’t: Heavier than the leading Therm-a-Rest pads. In a crowded field, the Comfort Light Insulated sets itself apart with an innovative cell design that we’ve found does an excellent job distributing weight and providing the right mix of support and softness. Updated for 2020 with PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, the pad is one of the thickest on our list at 3.5 inches (its sides are even taller at 4.25 inches), while remaining reasonably light at 1 pound 2 ounces. Lightweight backpacking video guides and reviews of the best ultralight tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, and more. Category: Self-inflating/air padWeight: 1 lb. Keep up with our latest tutorials and gear reviews on YouTube. We absolutely love how light, compact, quiet, and comfortable the UberLite is. All things considered, it’s a fun option for couples, those bringing a child into the backcountry, and even individuals who want maximum sleeping comfort at the expense of some extra weight and bulk. We’ve got you covered from stocking stuffers to big-ticket items. This pad has the same lightweight internal baffling design of the XLite, but adds a silver lining (literally) with ThermaCapture technology. Further, the R-value of 6.9 is nice for the cold but overkill for many 3-season trips. On this list, you’ll find everything from the 8.8-ounce Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite to the 2-pound 11-ounce Big Agnes SLX Tent Floor. Let us be clear: denier matters and you can feel the difference. LENGTH - Your hips and shoulders are the biggest pressure points for sleeping pads, so it’s important to use a pad that will give you comfort in those areas. On the other hand, the XTherm has a more durable 70-denier bottom fabric than the XLite at 30D, which is significant. Thickness: 0.75" Type: Folding. Almost all the air pads listed above come with a repair kit, but we always pack tenacious tape just in case. We’re lifelong learners and we’re always open to constructive criticism. These are notable downsides, but the Comfort Plus SI's added thickness and plush feel make it worth considering for comfort-minded backpackers.See the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus SI. However, the AXL comes up short of our top-rated Neo-Air XLite in both warmth and weight.See the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX. Compared to the uber-popular and long-standing Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol below, the Switchback wins out in most ways. Designs like the XLite pack down impressively small and can be gripped in one hand. For 4-season backpacking, base camping, and as an expedition mat, the Exped wins out in warmth. If you are like most backpackers, you don’t head out year-round. The XLite has a rare combination of comfort, support, warmth, and weight that make it very tough to beat for lightweight backpacking. At $100, REI’s Flash undercuts the competition in price but doesn’t compromise in specs with a 1-pound weight and R-value of 3.2. If you prefer a self-inflating build but want to keep things light and compact, we think the Flyer is well worth checking out. You may notice a lot of chatter in product comments about being a back sleeper or a side sleeper. REPAIR KIT - If you decide to take an air pad into the wilderness, make sure to pack a small repair kit. So why does it deserve a special spot on this list? Best quiet sleeping pads: NEMO Tensor Insulated, NEMO Switchback, and Klymit Static V2. Weight is a primary consideration for many backpackers—just look at the quick rise of the ultralight backpacking movement. With an R-value of 2.3, the pad was just warm enough for us when temperatures dipped into the mid 40s Fahrenheit, but it likely will be too cold for the shoulder seasons or even summer trips high into the alpine. If you enjoy the feel of Sea to Summit’s Air Sprung Cells, then you’ll probably like the feel of Flash Pad too (though it’s not quite as comfortable in our opinion). Below we cover all the gear you need for your backpacking adventures, including detailed round-ups, reviews, and... Cozying into your sleeping bag at the end of a long day on the trail is one of the simple pleasures of backpacking. Best known for waterproof gear and accessories, Australia-based Sea to Summit has made a big splash in the sleeping pad world over the last few years. Price is the biggest hurdle with the Therm-a-Rest XTherm for most backpackers, with the pad starting at a steep $215 for the regular size (the large is even more at $255). Finally, although the Nemo’s valve is more user-friendly than Therm-a-Rest’s WingLock, it does have a history of leaking. The main downside with air pads is that they can puncture in the field, so you’ll always want to bring a repair kit. We’ve logged over 10,000 trail miles and test outdoor gear for a living. We constantly update our guides when new products launch. Over the course of four hours, testers measure how much energy the top plate uses in order to stay at a consistent 35 degrees. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Mattress Review. In particular, some R-values have jumped, like with the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm from 5.7 to 6.9. The Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated is one of the best sleeping pads for side-sleepers thanks to the slightly thicker side rails. So does weight, however, so it’s important to find the right balance for your backpacking style. If you need serious cushion, consider one of the lighter options on our list of the best camping mattresses and pads. PROS: Extremely lightweight, packs down small, vertical baffle design preferred by some, easy to inflate, pump sack is included. This can be especially bothersome for light sleepers who tend to shift around throughout the night. Using 30-denier fabric, we’d expect it to weigh less than 1 pound 3.6 ounces (the warmer 15-ounce XTherm has a higher denier rating on the bottom of the pad), so you sacrifice durability without the typical reward of weight. Whether you’re using a Big Agnes System Bag or rolling with a Traditional Mummy Bag, you’re gonna want the right pad to help you stay comfortable sleeping in the dirt. This pad does come at a premium price, but it’s well worth it once put to good use. What do you sacrifice with the Nemo Flyer? There’s also an included pump sack, although we found that it offered only mild time savings and can’t match the ease of use of the pump bag that comes with the Nemo Tensor below. The foam makes the pad more than a pound heavier than Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XLite, which also uses a 30-denier fabric. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands ... Big Agnes Q Core SLX 25x72 Sleeping Pad … But for the highest R-value of any backpacking pad, the Exped Downmat XP 9 takes the cake at 7.8. BOTTOM LINE: For the ultralight/budget backpacker who’s hard on gear and doesn’t want the possibility of a ruptured air pad, closed cell foam pads are a great option. here are some links to popular articles: AIR PADS vs FOAM PADS - The two main types of sleeping pads are air pads and foam pads. It’s a testament to that technology that most of today’s self-inflating pads haven’t deviated much. Because your legs have fewer contact points with the ground, some people don’t mind the short length (and they sometimes throw an extra piece of gear under their feet for cushioning and warmth). 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