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The 7 Best Sleeping Pads for Camping of 2022

By: Jen Streby: Camp Buyer | June 9, 2022

 

Sometimes sleeping pads can be a contentious subject. Every brand and model has its diehard aficionados, absolutely confident that their favorite pad is the best, for everyone. But at their core, all sleeping pads serve the same two purposes: providing a cushion between your body and the ground when you’re camping, and insulating your body’s natural heat from the near-infinite heat sink that is the cold hard earth. So every sleeping pad will do those two things with some combination of effectiveness, and it comes down to you, the customer, to decide how much you value those functions over the weight, packability, and price of the pad. The best sleeping pads make that choice easy, they’re lightweight, affordable, and do a good enough job of keeping you comfortable and warm. Every pad on this list will meet those parameters. But, each makes a slightly different set of compromises to get to that point, so it’s worth buying a pad that’s tailored to your needs when choosing a sleeping pad.

New This Year:

This list has a wide variety of pad types, from ultralight inflatable options to thick foam mats, to hybrid options with both foam and air padding. This year’s crop of pads is lighter, warmer, and more comfortable than ever, so we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect ingredient to a good night’s sleep on this list.

best sleeping pads for camping

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Double

For lightweight, insulated, two-person sleeping pads that don't break the bank, it's hard to beat the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Double Wide Sleeping Pad. It comes rated with a 4.5 R-value, which is top-notch for its class. The double-wide version gives you more than twice the regular width and comes in at a notably airy weight given the dimensions. A solid three-season backpacking pad that easily sleeps two and will keep you comfortable for years to come. The Air Core Ultra Double is perfect for couples who need something ultralight, and don’t like having a gap between their individual pads.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
4.5Inflatable with integrated insulation$199.95

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best sleeping pads for camping

Big Agnes Air Core Ultra

Fast. Hardworking. Fiscally responsible. Like a top-notch accountant training for their first 5k, the Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad has all three on lock. It's the grab-and-go sleeping pad for all of your warm-weather expeditions. Light on the wallet and even lighter in the pack, the only thing this baby is heavy on is craftsmanship. The Air Core Ultra is a versatile pad that will work well for most backcountry campers. It’s one of the best camping sleeping pads as it’s simple, straightforward, and gets the job done well.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
1.4Inflatable$69.95

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best sleeping pads for camping

Nemo Switchback

Nemo's futuristic take on the traditional mat, the Nemo Switchback Sleeping Pad is the streamlined option for snagging a snooze outdoors. Premium Dual-Density Axiotomic™ Foam provides extra warmth and plushness to help you find a good night's rest in the field. With Nemo's exclusive Hexagonal Nesting Pattern, you can fold it up, strap it to your pack, and head out to your next spot. It’s nearly impossible to beat the reliable durability of a foam mat, and the Switchback builds on that with extra comfort and insulation.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
2Foam mat$39.95

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best sleeping pads for camping

Nemo Astro

Simple, lightweight, and well insulated, the Nemo Astro Insulated Sleeping Pad is music to a backpacker's ears. A 2.6 R-value helps keep you warm in mild temperatures, and it comes with an easy inflation system that gets the pad ready quicker than you can say Zzzzz. The Astro is a lightweight pad that’s great for three-season adventures. It’s one of the best sleeping pads for backpacking as it’s very packable but is shockingly comfortable for its size.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
2.6Insulated Inflatable$139.95

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best sleeping pads for camping

Nemo Tensor

The Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad is your new best friend in the backcountry. It's super lightweight, packs down small, and helps you get a comfortable night's sleep year-round without disturbing your tent mate thanks to suspended film construction. With three inches of stable cushioned loft, campers can rest up and recharge for the next day. The mummy design means it takes up even less space in your pack but still keeps you warm and comfortable all night.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
1.6Insulated Inflatable$169.95

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best sleeping pads for camping

EXPED MegaMat Duo 10

The closest you'll get to a bed on the road. The EXPED MegaMat Duo 10 Sleeping Pad is double wide for two souls and fills a 2-person wide tent. Take it rafting or throw it in the car, a smart pack sack makes it easy to bring along for the trip. This is no ultralight backpacking pad, but for any adventure where you don’t have to carry it far, the Megamat is hard to beat and one of the best sleeping pads for car camping.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
9.5Foam/Inflatable$329.95 - $379.95

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best sleeping pads for camping

EXPED Dura 5R Duo

A sleeping pad is only as good as its durability, and that's why we love the EXPED Dura 5R Duo Sleeping Pad. Engineered to deliver extreme durability and extra warmth on your high-octane adventures, the Dura 5R Duo Sleeping Pad is perfect for winter hut trips, burly river paddles, and overland expeditions. With an R-value of 4.8, this two-person pad will provide a comfortable night's sleep in temps down to -5°F. It’s not the lightest backpacking pad, but it’s very warm, and incredibly comfortable, and will last for years to come.

“R” Insulation ValueTypeOriginal Price
4.8Insulated Inflatable$249.95

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The Selection Process:

Our camp buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things camping stemming from years of experience in the outdoor industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the trail and hanging at the campsite. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jen Streby

Hi! My name is Jen, and I grew up loving the outdoors, traveling to our family cabin every summer in Michigan where I got to spend time in lakes, rivers, and the woods. I grew apart from that as I traveled throughout the U.S. searching for what I call home until I moved to Utah in 2008 and became an avid backpacker and river rafter. From then on, it’s been a passion I seek out when the weather is a bit warmer here in the PNW.

I now call Washington home and have been here for 6 years. I started working for evo 2 days after my move up from Portland and have loved every minute of it. I’ve been a buyer for a couple of categories and then was tasked with bringing on our camp category several years ago. It’s been a wild ride and I’m stoked to be able to share my love for the outdoors with all our evo family.