Sleeping Pad for Camping

Sleeping Pad for CampingSleeping pads add a measure of comfort to the great outdoors. While useful for keeping heat in and the elements out, sleeping bags and tents don't do much to protect you from the odd protruding rock or root while you sleep. A good sleeping pad is a godsend on uneven or rock-strewn sites.


Most sleeping pads are either self-inflating or closed-foam. They come in full-length sizes or half sizes (for when you just need a pillow or a little extra padding under your back or legs).


Closed-foam pads are thinner and lighter than self-inflating pads, and they provide great insulation from the ground, although they are stiffer and provide minimal cushioning. Generally weighing less than a pound, closed-foam pads are ideal for backpackers looking to minimize the weight in their packs.

Self-Inflating Pads

Self-inflating pads are generally a combination of closed foam and an air-tight, inflatable cover that fills with air when one or several valves are opened. While heavier and bulkier than closed-foam pads, self-inflating pads provide ample cushioning and insulation. They also become surprisingly compact when deflated and rolled up.


Sleeping pads range in price from as low as $15 to well over $100 depending on size, style and brand. Inflatable pads are generally more expensive than closed-foam pads.

Where to Buy

Sleeping pads can be found directly from the manufacturer at sites like or at any outdoors or camping shop.

Article Written By Billy Brown

Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California. An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight,", and, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.

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