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  • About Self Inflating Sleeping Pads

    About Self Inflating Sleeping PadsThere are two main types of sleeping pads for backcountry camping and those are closed-cell foam pads and self-inflating sleeping pads. Different backpackers may prefer one or the other depending on compressibility, weight and possibility of repair.

    Air Intake

    So-called self-inflating sleeping pads are those that have an air valve that, when opened, can inflate in part by letting the air flow into it through the open valve.

    Additional Inflation Required

    These sleeping pads often require additional inflation by the backpacker blowing into the valve to get the desired firmness in the mattress.


    Self-inflating pads have the advantage over closed-cell foam pads in that they can be rolled up (once all the air is pressed out) to a very small packable size.


    Self-inflating pads have the disadvantage of needing a repair if punctured. Even a minuscule hole can create a leak in a pad like this, which will need to be patched. Luckily, there are patch kits available to make repairs.

    Interior Pad Design

    Many self-inflating pads have a diagonal or honeycomb design foam interior, which provides extra insulation and warmth.


    Article Written By Naomi Judd

    Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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