August 26, 2022
Therm-a-Rest’s exceptionally comfortable MondoKing 3D earned our top pick.
Good sleeping pads provide cushion against the rocks or tree roots you may accidentally pitch your tent on. They also keep you insulated, which is crucial when temperatures drop at night. On my first camping trip with the Sussex University Mountaineering Club, we arrived at Peak District National Park so late that I only had enough energy to set up a borrowed tent and climb inside my sleeping bag before passing out. In the morning, I couldn’t feel or move the entire right side of my body, which had frozen to the rocky tent floor overnight. It took me several hours of limping along a trail before the right side of my body warmed up enough to understand the importance of a sleeping pad in preventing conductive heat loss.
But how do you find a good sleeping pad for your trip? If you are car camping and don’t mind size and weight, then choose a thick air pad, inflatable air-construction mattress, or self-inflating open-cell foam pad, like my favorite sleeping pad, the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing™ 3D. If you are backpacking, then weight and how quickly you can set up your pad become vital. Look at ultra-light air pads or light-weight self-inflating pads. If you don’t want to mess with inflating a pad, then stick to a closed-cell foam pad.
These are the best sleeping pads for your next outdoor adventure: