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Backpacking sleeping pads

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    How to choose a backpacking sleeping pad

    The perfect match for your ultralight sleeping bag, backpacking sleeping pads insulate and cushion against the cold ground while keeping light in your multi-day pack.

    Think about the weather and terrain where you’re headed when choosing the best sleeping pad for you. It's also important to consider:

    Type of sleeping pad: Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are lightweight, durable and resistant to tears since they aren’t filled with air. Inflatable sleeping pads are super comfy and can be packed down small. Self-inflating sleeping pads boast all the same features as inflatable sleeping pads except they’ve simplified the inflation process by using a one-way valve to draw in air.

    Insulation and durability: A sleeping pad’s insulation is crucial to keeping you warm at night; check out the R-value of the sleeping pad you’ve been eyeing up to check its thermal resistance, with a higher R-value being better for colder temps.

    Size and weight: When you’re making the backcountry your home, saving weight and space in your pack is the biggest priority. Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are typically bigger but attach to the outside of your pack to save space whereas inflatable sleeping pads are lighter and more compact when deflated for easy storage.

    Testing out your new sleeping pad for comfiness is key before you head out on the trail. Shop backpacking sleeping pads from brands like MEC and Big Agnes to get your sleep on.