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Ultralight sleeping pads

How to choose an ultralight sleeping pad

Whether you need the lightest set up ever for a multi-day trip or prefer your backpack to feel ultralight when hauling gear to the campsite, ultralight sleeping pads help reduce weight and bulkiness while maximizing space.

Choosing the best ultralight sleeping pad for your adventure is based on your specific needs and finding a balance between weight, warmth and comfort. A few things to consider are:

Insulation type and R-value: Your environment matters; if you’re backpacking in the mountains, sleeping on snowy ground or sticking to low elevation camping, these factors will determine if a down or synthetic insulation will be sufficient and what R-value (sleeping pad’s insulation against the cold ground) your pad should have

Weight and packability: Sometimes you’ve got to get down to the grams; if you’re heading out for days of hiking it's important to cut down on weight wherever you can, but it might be worth it to add a bit of extra weight if you’re heading somewhere super cold.

Type of pad: Inflatable sleeping pads offer excellent insulation-to-weight ratio, self-inflating sleeping pads can be a bit heavier but provide good insulation and durability, and closed-cell foam sleeping pads are the lightest and most durable option.

For sleeping pads to minimize weight on thru-hikes or to add a bit of extra room for your comfiest camping pillow on your next camping trip, shop ultralight sleeping pads from brands like Therm-A-Rest, MEC and Nemo.