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Updated January 31st, 2019:
After reviewing all of the new foam sleeping pads online, we've determined that the Therm-a-rest Z lite sold backpacking mattress is the best on the market. It is highly rated on Amazon with hundreds of reviews and reasonably priced. It is lightweight and compact which makes it a favorite for backpackers. We recommend checking this sleeping pad out.
Anytime you sleep somewhere other than your comfortable bed; you can run the risk of not being able to sleep well; this is especially true if you like to camp. Whether backpacking (check out these sleeping bags for backpacking), camping out of a car or on the ground, comfort level should be of the utmost importance. Trying to obtain that level of support can sometimes take specific products and strategies- which is why investing in a good foam sleeping pad is a must.
The difference you'll notice in your ability to get to sleep and to stay asleep will shock you. A foam sleeping pad will provide you with the necessary contour your body is used to when it ordinarily sleeps. You won't be worried about the hard ground or the inability to get comfortable and the foam pad will give you just enough cushion and comfort for your particular liking. Foam sleeping pads complement bivvy sacks really well.
Self-inflating vs. Manual Inflate
Many of the options here will be self-inflating; this doesn't mean that you won't have to adjust manually the amount of air that is in the pad as everyone's comfort level is different. But generally speaking, to save time, energy and oxygen self-inflating is the preferred method.
With the manual inflation mode, you have to huff and puff into the device for what often feels like a long time, before you even see your item filling up with air. There are specific air pumps available, but depending on each valve size, some may not fit every foam pad listed here.
Our Favorite Foam Sleeping Pad For Camping and Backpacking
Fox Outfitters Ultralight Self Inflating Camp Pad – Read Product Reviews
This product was built with the outdoors in mind; the self-inflating foam air mat is constructed just for serious backpackers and campers. Carefully tested to ensure that the finest, most lightweight materials would work. It's both durable and soft. This product promises a new level of outdoor comfort. Incredibly backpack friendly as it barely weighs two pounds.
Estera Outdoor Lightweight Self Inflating Sleeping Pad – Read Product Reviews
Will self-inflate in minutes, but does have the capacity to be adjusted to your comfort level. Can be easily rolled up to preserve space when not in use. No air will leak as the plastic air valve has a trusted seal. Crafted from durable polyester, this ensures it isn't easily punctured or ripped. Diamond cut foam allows it to be warm enough, if you have to sleep on the cold ground, putting this down first will make a world of difference.
Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic – Read Product Reviews
This option doesn't inflate at all, yet it is an excellent choice simply because of the thick material used to make it. A unique design that is using heat-trapping technology allows you to maintain a comfortable body temperature. A very economical choice for campers who want simple comfort. Incredibly lightweight so it can be carried virtually anywhere.
Lightspeed Outdoors Self Inflating Sleep Pad – Read Product Reviews
Built in head rest for supreme comfort. This product self-inflates with a simple twist of the nozzles. Made with the utmost comfort in mind for the sleeper. Provides adequate warmth as it protects you from the harsh elements of the ground. Comes with an oversized bag it can be stored in during nonuse.
Trailside TrailRest Self Inflating Mattress – Read Product Reviews
More like an inflatable pad than a mattress, this product would be perfect for backpacking as it's very lightweight and easily transferable. Bonded foam fabric which provides superior comfort. Air flow valve is used for rapid deflation and inflation. Great source of insulation and added warmth.
BalanceFrom Lightweight Self-Inflating Sleeping Air Pad – Read Product Reviews
Made with durable PVC fabric what won't slip, high-grade foam interior for added support and comfort. Brass twist air valves close and open easily. Incredibly lightweight takes up little space and a great option for a backpack. Available in both regular and long sizes.
Your sleeping experience will elevate as you enjoy very comfortable, restful sleep on an artfully made foam sleeping pad. You don't have to sacrifice comfort just because you're sleeping outdoors. If anything you should do everything you can to ensure a relaxing, joyous experience. Opting for comfort will improve your slumber 100%.