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How To Choose A Sleeping Pad

How To Choose A Sleeping Pad

Type of Pad

Closed Cell - dense foam mats with no air

  • Inexpensive, durable, bulky 
  • Suitable for budget backpackers, ultralight hikers, thru hikers

Self Inflating - filled with foam and some added air

  • Less expensive, decent insulation, less compact
  • Suitable for car camping, lower budget hikers and backpackers

Inflatable Insulating - filled with insulating materials and added air

  • Pack small, comfortable, lightweight, less durable (but repairable)
  • Suitable for multi day hiking, cold weather camping


This is the measurement of a materials resistance to heat loss

  • Less than 3 = warm summer weather
  • 3 - 4 = 3 season use
  • 4.5 + = 4 season winter use

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