(Last Updated On: May 23, 2023)
Here are some tips on how to choose sleeping mats:
- Types of sleeping pads: There are three basic types of pads: air, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Air pads: These are lightweight and comfortable. They pack small and have a wide range of available R-values. They are ideal for minimalist backpacking.
- Self-inflating foam pads: These are lightweight and packed small. They have open-cell foam insulation for warmth and padding, plus air inflation to enhance cushioning. They are ideal for car camping.
- Closed-cell foam camping mats: These are lightweight and durable. They are ideal for winter camping.
- Intended use: Decide which activity your pad is for backpacking, car camping, winter camping, etc.
- R-value: In sleeping pad terms, it basically indicates how warm a mat is. Look for a mat with an R-value of 1.0 to 2.0 for summer use, rising to 3.0 for three-season camping and 4.0 or even 5.0+ for winter camping.
- Comfort: Sleeping pads come in different thicknesses and sizes.
- Weight and size.