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Top 10 Camping Pads 2017

Whether or not you want your relaxation so that you are geared up for a hike or to ensure you don’t snap at all of us around you, you’re going to want a camping pad for purchasing the best night’s sleep possible while within the exquisite outdoors. The models in this list range in style, from self-inflating to foam, and in R-value, which suggests suitability for bloodless weather (the higher the rating, the extra insulating the pad). When users buy our independently selected editorial choices, we may earn commissions to support our work.

Lightspeed Outdoors XL Super Plush FlexForm Self-Inflating Sleep and Camp PadTherm-a-Rest ProLite Plus MattressKlymit Insulated Static V Luxe Camping Air Mattress, Red/Char Black, X-LargeNEMO Astro (Bright Green) 25LAdult Sleeping Bag By TNH Outdoors - 3 - 4 Season Zero 0 Degree Loft Outdoor Camping Bag Waterproof Design with Zipper and Compression SackTherm-a-rest NeoAir XLite Regular,MarigoldOutdoorsmanLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad - Ultra-Compact for Backpacking, Camping, Travel w/ Super Comfortable Air-Support Cells Design (Green)Big Agnes - Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, RegularTherm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic RegularKingCamp DELUXE DOUBLE Self-Inflating Camping Pad, 3 inches Thick

The Camper and the Pea


Remember The Princess and the Pea? It's that old story about a young princess who's found outside the city during a rainstorm and is tricked into supporting her claim to royalty by having to sleep on a stack of mattresses with a pea underneath them.

It's a biting commentary about class and sensitivity, and it ought to insult over-sensitive campers to be associated with it.

Pads for sleeping in the open elements have evolved swiftly in the past half century or so, as advancements in materials have increased tensile strength and decreased both size and weight of available mats.

We've certainly come a long way since the 77,000 year old sleeping mats they found in South Africa a few years ago. These were basically the branches of different evergreens laid on the floor of the cave that acted as a kind of mosquito repellent, among other things. Don't let the bedbugs bite, right?

At first glance, it may seem like the purpose of these modern camping pads is to increase the sleeper's comfort against hard surfaces, from the rockiest natural ground to the hardest sheet of ice to the smallest of peas. In truth, sleeping comfort is an oft-cited criticism of a variety of these products, but their reason desire is more thermal regulation than Imperial comfort.

That said, some of the options above imply that the regulation of a camper's spinal alignment and next-day soreness are becoming as important in the marketplace as not dying of hypothermia.

I guess the reality is that if you're camping in comfortable areas, or even RVing, it isn't likely that you're putting yourself in a position to freeze. So, sure, other comforts might come into question.

This, That, or the Other?


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There are certainly as many types of sleeping pads as there are types of campers, and choosing what's right for you will require that you ask yourself some questions.

How do you sleep? Are you a light sleeper, awoken by the subtlest change in temperature or softness beneath you? Maybe you need something rated for superior thermal control, something thicker and cushier.

How much ground are you covering? Planning to hike 30 miles today? You're probably going to want to prioritize packing size and weight over comfort. Let's face it: at the end of a day like that, you'll be able to sleep comfortably standing up, hanging upside down, or even underwater!

Where are you? Headed to Mt. Doom? Or are you RVing to the park down the street? If you know you're going to have ready access to civilization, and your camping style is more for the backyard than the badlands, you might be able to get away with spending a little less on your setup.

A Few Words About R-Rating


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No, I'm not invoking the Motion Picture Association of America here. I don't think there's a sleeping pad on the market that's recommended for campers 17 years of age or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. I'm talking about insulation, that sweet, fiberglass cotton candy that some of us were shocked to discover as children were neither sweet nor cotton candy, but definitely fiberglass.

The R-rating, or R-value, is a way to measure the effectiveness of a material's insulating properties. That's how well it maintains the temperature difference on either side of the material.

Imagine you're all comfy and cozy in your sleeping bag, with all that body heat melting away the frost from your bones, when–all of a sudden–every bit of that heat dissipates into the cold ground. You see, that old second law in thermodynamics can make cold weather camping all kinds of crummy, as the energy from the hotter areas (a.k.a. where you're desperately trying to sleep) transfers toward the colder areas (a.k.a. all that ridiculous nature out there).

This is where insulation comes in, and the manufacturers of camping pads are always competing for advantages in R-value.

Now, some manufacturers might not be too keen on letting you know what their R-rating is, especially if it doesn't measure up to the competition. Thankfully, that information has been consolidated here, so you don't have to go hunting.

Of course, if you're a camper who only seeks the wild during the more comfortable months of the year, you're probably going to be more concerned with size, weight, and comfort than insulation, but it's good information to have if it tips the scales toward one pad or another.


#10.KingCamp DELUXE DOUBLE Self-Inflating Camping Pad, 3 inches Thick


This met all my expectations, it fit the table bed in our RV and gave me just the amount of softness that I was looking for, with the covers that came with it, It inflated itself to the 4 inches, A little less on the sides, but was nice, Make sure you close the valves after inflating so the pressure of your body doesn't push the air back out. My DH was able to deflate it by opening the valves and rolling it up with pressure, We actually didn't have to do it twice as the directions stated, but once it was in the bag, he opened valves and squeezed more air out. We were looking for something that wasn't too heavy, as every lb in an RV decreases mileage. This stores well and is the answer to me being sore or not in the morning, I am not a lightweight, so it works for the overweight too.


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#9.Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Regular


Virtually indestructible, the RidgeRest Classic mattress is a revival of the original. Using the most durable foam this mattress is sure to last many a year, delivering exceptional value to campers looking for basic comfort.


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#8.Big Agnes - Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Regular


Like the Air Core Ultra, the Insulated Air Core Ultra has been redesigned to offer unparalleled comfort at an incredible price. Featuring a smooth sleeping surface, larger outside tubes, a high-volume valve for faster inflation and quick deflation, durable rip-stop nylon top and bottom, insulated top and bottom, and still lighter and more packable than the original IAC pads.


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#7.OutdoorsmanLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad - Ultra-Compact for Backpacking, Camping, Travel w/ Super Comfortable Air-Support Cells Design (Green)


Great bang for your buck. Inflates with about 15 breaths. Comfortable on the ground. Shields you from feeling every little leaf and twig under you. Obviously not best for very cold weather camping if you're needing this to help insulate you from the cold ground. But for basic camping and down to about 45-50 degrees it works.


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#6.Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite Regular,Marigold


The NeoAir XLite mattress delivers more warmth and comfort per ounce than any other three-season air mattress available. Our patent-pending technologies deliver that performance with minimal weight and less bulk than a one-liter water bottle. Softer fabrics bring better next-to-skin comfort and a boost in durability, all with no added weight. For the discerning alpinist, thru-hiker or backcountry minimalist who’s counting every ounce, there is simply no better choice to assure the kind of rest you need to enjoy tomorrow. Stuff sack and repair kit included.


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#5.Adult Sleeping Bag By TNH Outdoors - 3 - 4 Season Zero 0 Degree Loft Outdoor Camping Bag Waterproof Design with Zipper and Compression Sack


A good 3 season sleeping bag. I used it on a recent camping trip. It was warm enough, I just used it as a top cover most of the nights, but we had one chilly, very rainy night where I slept with it zipped up and it was nice and warm. The outside is also water repellent in case your tent does have any leaks. It packed up easily in the provided stuff sack and isn't too big or heavy for hauling around.


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#4.NEMO Astro (Bright Green) 25L


This is a great sleeping pad. It is super light weight, packs into a very small sack, and is well insulated. I've used this already on a backpacking trip and it kept me warm and comfortable all night. This is a great alternative the more expensive Thermarest. Also, it doesn't make a lot of noise when you adjust position like other brands. It's great!!


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#3.Klymit Insulated Static V Luxe Camping Air Mattress, Red/Char Black, X-Large


The pinnacle of rugged luxury, Static V Luxe hits the sweet spot where comfort, technical performance, durability and lightweight packability come together. The 30-inch width provides room to roll, and dynamic side rails keep you on your pad. Ergonomic body mapping optimizes comfort, and the V chamber design limits air movement to help maintain maximum insulating performance. This backcountry bed packs to about the size of a one-liter water bottle inflate easily and weighs just 26.5 ounces.


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#2.Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Mattress


The ProLite Plus mattress combines outstanding all-season warmth with the convenience of self-inflation. U.S. sourced patent-pending diagonal-cut foam delivers more warmth than the more common vertical channels, making it the ideal choice for ski touring, cold weather expeditions and winter camping. Stuff sack included.


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#1.Lightspeed Outdoors XL Super Plush FlexForm Self-Inflating Sleep and Camp Pad


The Lightspeed Outdoors Flex 3.0 sleep pad is the ultimate in camp pad luxury, a comfort upgrade for a more restful and restorative sleep. With open dimensions of 77" x 30" x 3" (3.5" at the pillow), this sleeping pad gives plenty of room to spread out and roll around. Our Flex Form material melds with your body, allowing for a soothing head-to-toe sensation you'll look forward to every night. Flex Form equalizes the varying pressures of your head and neck, shoulders, and hips and adapts to your body temperature to provide all-climate comfort.


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