The Best Sleeping Pads for 2017


Klymit Insulated Static V

Klymit Insulated Static V

Overnight hiking and mountaineering trips require high-quality sleeping equipment so that you can stay warm and comfortable during the night. A sleeping bag is the most important piece of sleeping equipment as it reduces the convective heat loss by trapping the body-warmed air. However, the convective heat loss can be reduced further by using a good sleeping pad. A sleeping pad reduces the heat transfer between the sleeping bag and (cold) ground. This is vital because sleeping bags in general offer inferior insulation on the underside of a person as the insulation (goose down, synthetic insulation) gets smashed by the body weight and thus cannot efficiently trap the body-warmed air. Self-evidently, a sleeping pad also increases your all-over comfort through added cushioning.

In the following we selected and reviewed the best sleeping pads. We only selected products which are lightweight, packable and offer great warmth. If you are also looking for a sleeping bag, please check out our review of the Best 3-Season Lightweight Sleeping Bags with Down Insulation or our review of the Best Summer Sleeping Bags with Synthetic Insulation, depending on your needs.

1. Buying a Sleeping Pad – What is important?

Type:

There are two different types of sleeping pads; Closed-cell foam pads and inflatable pads. Closed-cell foam pads are very reliable and relatively inexpensive. You can also easily modify them – for example cut them to fit your body better and thereby reduce some weight/volume. Inflatable sleeping pads are on the other hand more packable (compressible) and provide better warmth and cushioning. Mostly, the two types have similar weight.

Warmth:

The pad’s ability to prevent the conductive heat loss is measured by R-value. The higher the R-value is, the more warmth the sleeping pad offers. R-value is a linear measurement, meaning that a pad with R-value of 5.0 is five times warmer than a pad with R-value of 1.0.

Size:

For hiking or mountaineering it is desirable that your sleeping pad is, when packed, as small as possible. A well-packable sleeping pad allows you to save a big amount of space in a backpack and thus we only selected such for this review. Sleeping pads usually come in two sizes (regular, long) that differ by length and rarely in width. Most women will be fine with the regular size (often 6 feet=183 cm long), while taller women and men should go for the long version.

Weight:

As sleeping pads are not among the lightest pieces of hiking gear, having a lightweight sleeping pad makes a big difference in the weight that you carry. In this selection we only included sleeping pads that offer a great warmth-to-weight ratio.

Cushioning:

How much cushioning you need, depends on your preferences but also on the locations where you camp – some areas offer great natural cushioning (moss, grass) while others are less accommodating (rocky terrain).  If you want a sleeping pad that offers good cushioning we recommend an inflatable sleeping pad as this type offers better cushioning than closed-cell foam pads.

2. The Best Sleeping Pads Review

The Best Sleeping Pads

The Best Sleeping Pads

  1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite
  2. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
  3. Nemo Tensor 25L
  4. Klymit Insulated Static V
  5. Sea to Summit Comfort Plus

Comparison

Feature/Product Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XliteTherm-a-Rest Z Lite SolNemo Tensor 25L
Klymit Insulated Static VSea to Summit Comfort Plus
Weight12 oz. (Regular)14 oz. (Regular)1 lb. 2 oz.1 lb. 9 oz.1 lb. 10 oz. (Regular)
Weight (Metric)350 g (Regular)410 g (Regular)505 g 709 g725 g (Regular)
TypeInflatable Closed-cell foamInflatable Inflatable Inflatable
R-Value3.2 2.6Undisclosed4.4 5
Available SizesS, Regular, L S, RegularOne size One Size S, Regular, L, Regular Rectangular, L Rectangular
Packed Size 9.1 x 3.9 in. (Regular)20 x 5.1 in. (Regular)9.4 x 2.8 in.7.9 x 5.1 in.9.1 x 4.7 in. (Regular)
Packed Size (Metric)23 x 10 cm (Regular)51 x 13 cm (Regular)24 x 7 cm20 x 13 cm23 x 12 cm (Regular)
Dimensions 20 x 72 x 2.5 in.
(Regular)
20 x 72 x 0.7 in. (Regular)25 x 76 x 3.1 in.23 x 72 x 2.6 in.22 x 72 x 2.5 in. (Regular)
Dimensions (Metric)51 x 183 x 6.3 cm (Regular)51 x 183 x 2 cm (Regular)64 x 193 x 8 cm58 x 183 x 6.5 cm55 x 184 x 6.3 cm (Regular)
Gender Unisex Unisex Unisex Unisex Unisex
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Camping

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite sleeping pad offers incredible performance while being very light – it weighs merely 350 grams. The sleeping pad is made of 30-denier nylon which offers great abrasion resistance and durability. Inside the sleeping pad there are two stacked layers of triangular baffles (also made of nylon) which efficiently decrease the conductive heat loss. This two-layer baffle construction also adds stability to the pad. The pad is equipped with a reflective coating (ThermaCapture technology) which is placed between the two inner layers and reflects radiant heat back to your body. According to Therm-a-Rest research, this technology can increase the warmth by up to 50%. The result is an R-value of 3.2 – which is indeed a good result considering that the sleeping pad does not use any insulation material unlike the other sleeping pads on this list (they are also considerably heavier). The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite can be inflated by breath (requires approximately 30 breaths) or by one of the pumps produced by Therm-a-Rest (sold separately). The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite is an outstanding sleeping pad that offers superb weight-to-warmth ratio and thus it is perfect for hikers and mountaineers who prefer lightweight equipment.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Stability
  • Convenient pumps available

Cons:

  • /

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol

2. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Camping

The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol sleeping pad differs from other sleeping pads in this review by its design – it is a closed-cell foam pad. Therefore, it offers a slightly inferior R-value but it is also more durable and less expensive. The sleeping pad is made of crosslinked polyethylene foam which is shaped in a wave pattern in order to increase the warmth. The foam is denser on the bottom and softer on the top for increased comfort and stability. Furthermore the foam has a reflective coating (ThermaCapture technology) which reflects the body heat and thus significantly reduces the convective heat loss. Due to the innovative construction, the sleeping pad offers a R value of 2.6 – which is not that much lower than the average R-value of inflatable sleeping pads. The sleeping pad is also easy to pack as it folds together. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is best for those who want an extremely durable and light sleeping pad but don’t mind carrying a slightly bigger item.

 

Pros:

  • Simple
  • Price
  • Weight

Cons:

  • Cushioning (in comparison to inflatable sleeping pads)
  • Size (in comparison to inflatable sleeping pads)

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

Nemo Tensor 25L

Nemo Tensor 25L

3. Nemo Tensor 25L

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Camping

The Nemo Tensor 25L is another relatively light (it weighs 505 grams) sleeping pad that offers great performance. The outer material of the sleeping pad is a lightweight 20-denier ripstop polyester, while it on the inside has a frame which efficiently eliminates any side-to-side instabilities. On the inner bottom of the sleeping pad there is also a reflective (aluminized) film which reflects radiant heat thus decreasing the convective heat loss. Unfortunately the Nemo brand does not state R-values for its products but they do claim that the Tensor 25L can be used at temperatures as low as -1 C. The sleeping pad comes with a compression strap and a stuff sack for easy storing. It is well-packable – when deflated and compressed it measures only 24 x 7 cm. The Tensor sleeping pads also comes in a mummy shape (Tensor Mummy) and an insulated version (Tensor Insulated). The insulated model uses Primaloft insulation and is slightly warmer, but also heavier than the 25L model. The Nemo Tensor 25L offers great performance and is thus appropriate for every outdoor enthusiast who wants a piece of high-quality sleeping gear for overnight adventures.

 

Pros:

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Packed Size

Cons:

  • /

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

Klymit Insulated Static V

Klymit Insulated Static V

4. Klymit Insulated Static V

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Camping

The Klymit Insulated Static V is a very inexpensive inflatable insulated sleeping pad that offers good performance. The sleeping pad is made of durable and abrasion-resistant 75-denier polyester and differs from the above listed sleeping pads by using an insulating material (Klymalite synthetic insulation). The insulation is placed inside the chambers and significantly reduces the convective heat loss. Therefore, the sleeping pad has a R-value of 4.4. Unfortunately, the insulation and rugged material also make the sleeping bag relatively heavy – it weighs more than twice as much as the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite above. In addition to insulation there is also an anti-microbial laminate inside the chambers for reduced growth of fungus and bacteria. The sleeping bag can be inflated by breath (requires approximately 10 breaths) and comes with a stuff sack for easy storing. The Klymit Insulated Static V sleeping pad is best for those who want a reliable and warm sleeping pad for a reasonable price and don’t mind the extra weight.

 

Pros:

  • Price
  • Durability
  • Warmth

Cons:

  • Weight

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

 

Sea to Summit Comfort Plus

Sea to Summit Comfort Plus

5. Sea to Summit Comfort Plus

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Camping

The Sea to Summit Comfort Plus sleeping pad is the heaviest sleeping pad in this review but on the other hand it also offers superior warmth – it has a R-value of 5.0. The sleeping pad is made of durable but lightweight 40-denier ripstop nylon and uses a two-layer design inside. The two layers are not connected, meaning that they use separate valves and thus allow you to inflate each layer to your liking. Should you accidentally puncture one layer, the other will remain completely functional. The two-layer design also increases the stability and comfort of the sleeping pad. The convective heat loss is efficiently reduced by the Exkin Platinum reflective film and Invista’s Thermolite insulation. The sleeping pad comes with a stuff sack and a repair kit. In spite of its insulation, it is well-packable – packed it measures 23 x 12 cm. The Sea to Summit Comfort Plus is due to its superb insulation best for those who often do overnight trips in winter.

 

Pros:

  • Warmth
  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Two-layer design

Cons:

  • Weight

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

3. The most attractive product in the review

Which product do you prefer?
Cast your vote to see the results of this poll!

You may also like…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *