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Self-Inflating Pads Buying Guide

A perfectly sound sleep can be hard to achieve while on the trail. It’s not exactly true that every hiker who has endured a long, exhausting day of walking would be up for some sleep when nighttime comes. But because of certain factors, a lot of hikers often toil with acquiring sound sleep in the wild, tired bodies and all.

This is where a good sleeping pad must enter the picture — the item offers comfort that the body needs for a good respite. It keeps your body toasty and safe from bad elements.

Brand & ModelSizesThicknessWeightMore Info & Price
TNH Outdoors Premium Sleeping Pad
TNH Outdoors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Lightweight Foam Padding and Superior Insulation
72" x 22"1.5"2 lbsClick here
Coleman Self-Inflating Camp Pad with Attached Pillow
Coleman Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad with Attached Pillow for camping and hiking
76" x 25"2.5"5.4 lbsClick here
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
72" x 23"2.5"1.13 lbsClick here
Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Mattress
Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Mattress Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
72" x 20"1.0"1.38 lbsClick here
ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self-Inflating Air Pad
ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self-Inflating Sleeping Air Pad
72" x 20"1.5"1.25 lbsClick here
TETON Sports ComfortLite Self Inflating Camp Pad
TETON Sports ComfortLite Self Inflating Camp Sleeping Pad
72" x 25"2.0"2.75 lbsClick here
ALPS Mountaineering Comfort Series Air Pad
ALPS Mountaineering Comfort Series Air Pad
72" x 20"1.5"2.6 lbsClick here
Fox Outfitters Ultralight Series Self Inflating Pad
Fox Outfitters Ultralight Series Self Inflating Camp Sleeping Pad
72" x 20"1.5"1.65 lbsClick here
Lightspeed Outdoors PVC-Free Warmth Series Self Inflating Pad
Lightspeed Outdoors PVC-Free Warmth Series Self Inflating Sleep Camp Pad
72" x 20"1.5"2.37 lbsClick here
OutdoorsmanLab Lightweight Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad with Self-Inflating Pillow
OutdoorsmanLab Lightweight Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad with Self-Inflating Pillow
65"+12" x 21"1.0"2.2 lbsClick here

Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads and How They Work

The sleeping gear is basically an open cell foam pad hemmed in by a plastic casing with an air valve. It’s designed to have capacity for sleeping bags and cots and features an outside fabric layer to shield the plastic casing.

To compress the pad, one should simply press the sponge to let the air out then close the bag down. To let it expand, just unwrap the bag and the sponge inside will suck in air to spread out and get bigger. Close the bag to seal all the air to turn it into an air cushion.

TNH Outdoors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Lightweight Foam Padding and Superior Insulation - great sleepFactors to Consider Before Buying

Next to a good sleeping bag, hikers need a sleeping pad that’s made for camping because the wild does not have the conveniences that we have at home like carpeting or even, dry flooring. There are plenty of factors in the wilderness that can destroy a good night’s sleep too so a quality pad is half the battle.

The pad acts as an insulator and a cushion between the user and the cold, damp and rough ground. Its insulating properties are ascertained by means of its thickness and the material it’s made from.

Models with open cell pads are fuller and feature bigger dead air gaps inside their cells as compared with closed cell models thus they are better for insulation. This particular aspect will play a huge role in helping you decide on a pad together with factors like the weather/climate of the location you are headed for.

The thickness and the quality of the pad ascertain its capability to cushion the user and provide comfort. If pack weight is not that much of a problem, then you can go for open cell models. To curb this issue though, plenty of campers have opted for self-inflating pads since they are easier to lug around.

Majority of pad thickness range from 1-2 inches once inflated. There are comfortable models but also thinner and lighter options available for backpackers.

Below are other factors that can help you out:

  • TNH Outdoors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Lightweight Foam Padding and Superior Insulation CompactA pad’s outer fabric is crucial since it shields the inner plastic cover that makes the pad serve its purposes so you should think about the camping conditions of the place you’re headed at.
  • The size of the pad will also depend on the size of the user so it can accommodate accordingly and provide comfort. Pads often come in varying sizes from kid sizes, women’s and men’s sizes, including X-large ones.
  • The user’s shoulders and hips should be able to fit on the length of the pad. Models with regular length (72-inches long) and even longer ones (75-78 inches) are capable of insulating the user’s feet and legs. Sure, those with shorter length are easier to travel with but when it comes to a good night’s sleep, there is no sacrificing a pad’s length so you must get something that covers you just right.
  • Just about every pad has a normal width of 20 inches. However, if you’re the type of sleeper who tends to roll around a lot, you might have to settle for a model that has a broader width (around 25-30 inches) that are commonly found among bigger sized pads.
  • Insulation for all pads are usually measured in terms of its ability to repel the flow of heat and the ratings for this aspect ranges from 1.0, which means the model is slightly insulated to 9.5 (provides lots of insulation). Thicker designs often feature higher insulating R-values.
  • Individuals often want the latest and the most advanced, in spite of the add-on features but then again, what you really need is the most important factor to consider here.

Consider the features that you need the most and hunt for a model that includes great qualities of the features you are after. Some of these extras include the following; built-in pillows, multiple air chambers, stuff sacks, cot straps and non-slip bottom layers.

With a wrap band, you’ll be able to keep the pad uniformly furled at all times while stuff sacks and carry-straps will make carrying the item easier on those lengthy walks. Most top-rate brands also include a patch repair kit on the pads in case of wear and tear.

ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Series Self-Inflating Sleeping Air Pad - easy carry backpackCarrying and Storage

Most sleeping pads are water proof and can be attached to the backpack. Try to attach it at the lowest point of the backpack to keep the weight down and more comfortable carrying.

To keep the pad in a good condition, store them at home completely expanded with the valve left open. This will help all trapped moisture in the item to evaporate and it also maintains the form of the pad. If you keep it in its compacted form, the foam will eventually flatten out.

You can keep the pad under the bed or let it stand propped up against the wall with the valve at the uppermost position.

To carry the item you should pack it down by turning it over with the valve left open prior to closing it. You might have to do this action two times to reduce its size. For easier packing, take into account folding the pad up in half from end to end so the roll is half the pad’s girth.

Keep in mind to watch objects on the ground that might pierce or penetrate it before and during the rolling procedure.

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