10 Best Camping Pads: Compare & Save (2018)

sleeping pad, most comfortable sleeping pad, camping, camping pad

There’s a ton of sleeping pad and air mattress options for camping. A comfortable space to sleep can make all the difference on your camping trip — having a nice pad or air mattress allows you to sleep tight and wake up rested. It’s one of those pieces of gear that’s totally worth buying top quality — because we’re talking about your night’s sleep here.

We’ve tracked down ten of the most comfortable sleeping pads and mattresses available so you can get seriously cozy on your next camping excursion. Everything included on this list has been selected comfort first, and weight and portability second — so there’s a few more heavy duty options here that won’t be suitable for backpacking or hiking into your campsite. For some more portable and compact sleeping pad options, check out our Top 10 Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking post. The idea of this list is to set you up with a pad or mattress that is truly comfortable to you, not just something you tolerate sleeping on while camping.

We’ve included a few lighter weight camp pads as well as some full on air mattresses designed for camping use. There’s extra wide options for those sleepers who like to sprawl out and extra thick options for those heavier campers who need some solid support between them and the ground. There’s something for every style sleeper here that will turn your campsite into your home away from home.

What Are The Most Comfortable Sleeping Pads?

ther-a-rest, air mattress, camping, camping pad, sleeping pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dreamtime mattresses can be joined
  • Exterior is machine washable
  • Self inflating core is removable
Price: $130.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
klymit, backpacking, camping, camping pad, air mattress, sleeping pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super light weight at just 18 ounces
  • Tough exterior is ok on the ground
  • Side rails help to keep you on the pad
Price: $39.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
sea to summit camping pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Serious insulation power for cold temps
  • TPU lamination/antimicrobial treatment
  • Airsprung cells
Price: No price available Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
therm-a-rest, camping, sleeping pad, camping pad, air mattress Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fairly thick pad at 2.5 inches
  • Great for larger/heavier campers
  • Effective nylon bag inflator
Price: $239.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coleman queen airbed Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Queen sized for a seriously luxurious sleep
  • Side tables
  • Room for gear storage underneath cot
Price: $140.72 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kelty, sleeping pad, camping, camping pad, mattress Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2.5 inches thick
  • Air channel design
  • Packs well despite its weight/thickness
Price: $150.72 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kingcamp, camp mattress, sleeping pad, camping pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three inches thick
  • Inflates and deflates quite easily
  • Several color options
Price: $59.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ancheer car mattress Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Even sleeping surface in your back seat
  • Includes a pump
  • Perfect for festivals or road trips
Price: $35.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
alps velocity air bed Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Coil system provides some solid support
  • Pump is rechargeable
  • Waterproof! Use it as a floaty!
Price: $90.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
laidbackpad camping mattress Amazon Customer Reviews
  • No air! This pad won’t pop or puncture
  • Exterior is removable/machine washable
  • Super cozy memory foam
Price: $155.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime Sleeping Pad

    Pros:
    • Memory foam interior coupled with the added inflated air makes for a very supportive sleep surface
    • Exterior is machine washable
    • Can be joined with another Dreamtime mattress
    • Self inflating core is removable
    Cons:
    • Pretty bulky and heavy
    • Expensive option
    • Difficult to roll back up

    Therm-A-Rest is absolutely one of the go-to outfitters for quality sleeping pads. Here’s a really cozy sleeping pad option with a compressible foam core.

    This self inflating pad combines an internal foam core with a luxurious micro fiber top to create a seriously comfortable (and supportive) sleeping surface. This pad inflates itself as soon as it’s unrolled, so just a few added breaths of air and you’re ready to crash.

    The durable exterior of this pad is separate from the internal foam and is machine washable — pretty awesome. This pad is pretty bulky because of the padding it provides but the included compression straps help to make packing it manageable. This unit is a whopping 77 inches long and there’s even an extra large option available.

    The Dreamtime can furthermore be joined to another Dreamtime pad if you have a partner you want to sleep with.

  2. 2. Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad

    Pros:
    • Super light weight at just 18 ounces
    • Tough enough to be placed directly on the ground making this a far more versatile pad than fragile, puncture prone competitors
    • Side rails help to keep you on the pad while sleeping
    • Several color options
    • Highly affordable
    Cons:
    • Oral inflating pads are prone to valve issues but this pad has some solid reviews insisting the valve is adequate
    • Doens't provide much insulation for cold weather climates
    • Included patch kit has a poor quality adhesive

    Here’s a unique and very highly reviewed unit by Klymit. This orally inflated backpacking pad is both lightweight and quite comfortable.

    The V design of the pad helps to trap air for some added warmth and also provides some pretty rigid support while remaining comfortable. It’s a tough and durable pad that is designed to handle direct contact with the ground.

    I personally love to sleep out under the night sky in order to star gaze but have found it challenging to find a comfortable pad that can handle being on the ground. I’ve always used a camping cot in this scenario (which certainly has its own benefits) but when backpacking it’s not practical to bring a cot along.

    With the Static V you can get away with direct contact on the ground. This pad is only 18 ounces and takes a mere 10 to 15 breaths to inflate. The added air gives you a bit of extra support and gets you off the ground. Klymit also offers a very comparable, four season pad with some added insulation as well as an ultra lightweight pad for use on the trail.

    The side rails on all these models help to keep you centered while sleeping so you don’t wake up halfway off your pad. I think Klymit is really on to something with this one — for the cost this is a great value backpacking pad.

  3. 3. Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated Mat

    Pros:
    • Innovative design allows for super accurate air adjustments to find the perfect amount of padding for your form
    • Very warm backpacking pad - this has some serious insulation power for cold weather camping
    • Impressively lightweight and portable
    • The applied TPU lamination with antimicrobial treatment keeps this pad from delaminating and halts internal bacterial growth
    Cons:
    • A good bit more expensive than competitor pads - but you get what you pay for with this one
    • Rolls up really compact, but takes a little practice
    • One color option

    Here’s a higher end lightweight pad option from Sea to Summit. The Comfort Plus has a very cool design that makes it superior in comfort to most other backpacking pads.

    There’s 548 air sprung cells that form to your body remarkably for an unparalleled night’s sleep in the back country. The idea here is a design that behaves like the individual coils in an actual mattress. Furthermore, the underside of this pad inflates separately from the surface layer — it’s an innovative feature that allows you to inflate each section according to the terrain you’re sleeping on top of.

    The valve has been very mindfully built to adjust to the perfect air content for your weight and form. The Thermolite with Exkin Platinum material is what gives this pad such serious insulation. The R-value of this pad is 5.0 — very impressive for a unit that’s only about a pound in a half.

    Rolling up to about the size of a mason jar, this pad truly is the full package. This pad is super packable and provides top of the line comfort while on the trail. If you can afford to spend the extra cash on a unit like this, you’ll no doubt be impressed with how this pad performs.

  4. 4. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress

    Pros:
    • Fairly thick pad at 2.5 inches
    • Lightweight pad that packs very well (5 x 5 x 10 inches)
    • Nylon bag inflator is effective and practical — less likely to malfunction than a lot of other style pumps
    • The support and space provided by this pad is great for both larger and heavier people
    Cons:
    • This pad is a bit noisy to move around on if that bothers you
    • Fairly expensive
    • One color option

    This two and a half inch thick inflatable camp mattress is one of the top reviewed sleeping pads for both comfort and insulation. This is an excellent pad for use car camping or backpacking due to its light weight.

    You inflate this unit by scooping air into the nylon sack attached to the mattress and simply pushing it in — it sounds a bit odd but it’s an effective and reliable system that is less problematic than an oral inflator.

    This mattress has a baffled internal structure for some really solid support but it’s free of bulky insulating materials so it stays lightweight (one and a half pounds). Reflective ThermaCapture technology is excellent at trapping radiant heat, so this is a great cold weather pad.

    This pad is 77 inches long and 25 inches wide, so it’s suitable for larger backpackers. It packs to the size of a one liter bottle which is quite impressive considering the thickness and comfort this pad provides.

    It’s a bit on the pricey end, but the portability and comfort of this pad make it no wonder it’s a crowd favorite.

  5. 5. Coleman Queen Airbed Cot with Side Table

    Pros:
    • This is a BIG mattress - queen sized for a seriously luxurious sleep
    • Surface feels nice against your skin
    • Coil construction provides some solid support
    • Very affordable option
    Cons:
    • Cumbersome and not very packable
    • Will not fit into smaller sized tents
    • Important to find level ground

    We had to include a classic Coleman air mattress on this list. This queen sized mattress and cot combo is a very luxurious way to camp if you have the space to pack it and a large enough tent to accommodate for its size. It's not quite a camping pad, but it's without a doubt a dam cozy night's sleep.

    The large dimensions provide plenty of space for you and a partner. The weight limit is 600 pounds, so don’t worry about straining this mattress if you’re a heavier camper. The bonded fabric used in the design of this model mattress has been crafted to be both more durable and softer than other typical air mattress fabrics.

    Coleman takes their reputation seriously, so the Airtight system employed here really works and there’s even a one year limited warranty included with this product. Although this mattress cot combination is not light, it’s not all that heavy either considering. This unit packs and transports easily, it's just a bit cumbersome.

    For the cost and with free shipping this queen sized mattress is an excellent value you should own for years with the proper care.

  6. 6. Kelty Recluse Insulated Air Channel Sleeping Pad

    Pros:
    • This is a pretty thick pad at 2.5 inches
    • Air channel design is both exceptionally warm and helps keep you on the pad
    • Packs well despite its weight and thickness
    • Repair kit and stuff sack included
    Cons:
    • This is a pretty heavy pad for backpacking at two pounds ten ounces but not too excessive
    • Expensive option
    • One color available

    Here’s a top notch camp pad from Kelty. This 2.5 inch pad although suitable for backpacking puts comfort over portability. It’s two pounds and one ounce, so you’re going to add a bit of weight to your pack if hiking long distance with this one.

    Good news is it packs pretty small — it’s just twelve by seven inches rolled up. This pad is quite warm (2.5 R-Value) so it's a good item to own for cold weather camping or backpacking. The design of the lengthwise air channels on the face of the pad provide adequate sleeping support and also trap air effectively for some added warmth.

    The design of the air channels also helps to keep you on the pad while sleeping. This thick and long (78 inches) mattress is ideal for the larger sized backpacker or for those who are willing to sacrifice a little added weight for top quality comfort on the trail.

  7. 7. KingCamp Deluxe Series Self-Inflating Camping Pad

    Pros:
    • Three inches thick - this is a highly padded option
    • Inflates and deflates quite easily
    • Several color options
    • Very reasonably priced
    Cons:
    • Two valves means twice the potential for a valve issue - although this pad is highly reviewed for its valve performance treat them with care
    • Does not pack that compact due to the thickness of this pad
    • Although it deflates easily, this pad is hard to fit back into the stuff sack

    KingCamp has a great value camping pad here. This three inch self inflating pad is a great car camping option. Its 100% polyester construction make it both damp-proof and durable.

    This is a pad you can bring into some wet and nasty weather with confidence it won’t betray you and become saturated. There are two separate valves for easy self inflation — both are brass for superior quality. I’m always skeptical of air mattresses that rely on self inflating valves to remain firm, but this unit comes well reviewed.

    The two different valves allows you to very accurately adjust the firmness of this pad to your liking. There are compression straps included with the carry bag so breaking this pad down is easy enough. You’re going to need to roll and unroll it a few times to get all the air out — but that’s pretty standard.

    Although this pad packs nicely, it weighs six pounds so don’t plan on hiking too far with it. As far as this style self inflating pad goes, I think the thickness of this unit sets it apart from less comfortable competitors.

    There are four different color options available with this unit so you can choose your favorite look or match this pad with the rest of your camping gear.

  8. 8. Ancheer Multifunctional Inflatable Car Mattress

    Pros:
    • Provides an even sleeping surface in your back seat that will accommodate for two people rather than one
    • Includes a pump that you can use in your vehicle
    • Perfect for festivals or for road trips when you want to avoid getting a hotel room
    • Very affordable
    Cons:
    • PVC mattress although durable and flexible is not of superior quality - go easy on this one if you want it to last
    • Fabric is prone to getting dirty
    • Might not fit every style vehicle

    Find yourself often sleeping in your car? This simple but brilliantly designed car mattress is crafted to specially fit your backseat for an even and comfortable night’s sleep. If you prefer to sleep in your vehicle when weather gets nasty or just don’t like paying for hotel rooms when traveling, this is an item to own.

    Everyone’s slept in their car before, and it’s usually a challenge to get comfortable. The design of this air mattress allows you to sleep evenly across your vehicles back seat. Reviews insist this unit is compatible with most vehicles — both small sedans and SUVs, trucks and minivans.

    There’s room for two people to lay out rather than your back seat on its own which will only (uncomfortably) accommodate for one person. There’s an included air pump so all you need to do is plug into your cigarette lighter and inflate!

    For the price this is an awesome buy — be prepared to make your car your bedroom and camp anywhere, anytime!

  9. 9. ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed

    Pros:
    • About as lightweight and portable as a camping mattress can get
    • Pump is rechargeable and comes with a car and wall charger
    • Coil system provides some solid support
    • Waterproof! Go for a leisurely float in the pool or on the lake on top of this air mattress
    • Very reasonably priced for the quality
    Cons:
    • Relies on a pump for effective inflation
    • Although this is a great value pad, it's still fairly expensive
    • One color option

    ALPS Mountaineering has created an excellent camping mattress here. This PVC-free mattress is available as either a twin or queen — measuring either 39 or 56 inches in width (both sizes are 80 inches long).

    There’s a coil system employed in the design of this mattress that provides some very solid support while remaining comfortable to lay on. This mattress packs seriously compact for the sleeping surface that it provides — the twin is just fifteen by seven inches and the queen is a mere eighteen by eight inches broken down.

    The impressive packed dimensions coupled with this mattresses light weight (5 or 3 pounds) makes it an awesome air mattress to hike with. Maybe the coolest feature of this mattress is that the portable air pump is rechargeable — You can leave the cords at home and just pack the charged pump for an even more mindless and easy set up.

    There’s both a wall and a car charger included for the pump so if you’re road tripping than you can juice up between stops. Fortunately, this air mattress is compatible with manual pumps too so you can still use it if the included pump becomes damaged.

  10. 10. LaidBack Pad Memory Foam Sleeping Pad

    Pros:
    • Superior comfort and support — the memory foam employed here is top notch
    • No air! This pad won’t pop or puncture, it’s all about the foam baby!
    • Exterior is removable and machine washable
    • Rolls up very easily in just moments
    • Can be connected to other laidbackpads for sleeping with a partner
    Cons:
    • Pretty expensive - this is a long term investment
    • Cumbersome option that does not pack well
    • A bit narrow considering the level of luxury here

    This might be my favorite camping pad on this list. This memory foam pad has been very thoughtfully crafted to be downright cozy. It’s probably even more comfortable than your bed at home if your mattress isn’t state of the art.

    There’s four pounds of certified CertiPur memory foam with Cool FLow technology employed in the design — the material balances your body temperature and contours your body really effectively. There’s an additional open and closed cell foam layering that effectively absorbs bumps in the ground under the pad.

    Without employing any air, this bad boy won’t let your body touch the ground — and it’s built to last too. The removable cover is conveniently machine washable. It’s eight and a half pounds, but rolls up to 13 x 12 x 24 inches, so you can hike with it if your backpack is otherwise light.

    You’re gonna want to use this pad everywhere — picnicking, sports games, out on the boat or wherever else you might want to lay out comfortably. This truly is the ultimate comfort pad for those who struggle to sleep through the night in the great outdoors. The price is a bit daunting, but this is a long term investment you will snooze on for years. 

See Also:

9 Best Camping Cots: Your Buyer's Guide (2018) 

9 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents: Your Buyer's Guide (2018)

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