Camping Sleeping Pads --
What You Need to Know


The best camping sleeping pads should have you sleeping comfortably and staying warm.

There are three basic types and the one that is best for you depends on your comfort needs:

  • open cell--this foam type is lightweight which is great for backpackers as well. They are quite spongy and comfortable, giving you lots of cushioning for a comfy night's sleep but the downside is that they absorb moisture easily and you'll need to be able to dry them out if they get wet or damp. They don't insulate as well as a closed cell type because they are not as dense.
  • closed cell--these foam sleeping pads are much denser than their open celled cousins and therefore won't absorb moisture easily. They insulate better too. That's the plus side and the downside for some is that they are a bit heavier due to their density and not as cushiony.
  • self-inflating--my personal favourite are the self inflating type. They are an open cell concept but have a protective water resistant outer layer. They have good insulation and come in a large variety of lengths, widths and thicknesses. What's great about these is that they compact well when rolled. We have a number of Thermarest brand sleeping pads (our personal favourite brand), thicker ones for car camping and thinner ones for backpacking.
  • Whether you go camping or backpacking you'll need a sleeping pad underneath you for a comfy night's sleep!

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