Best Self Inflating Sleeping Pads for Camping

Here you have my selection of the best self-inflating sleeping pads for camping, incredibly comfortable, thick, insulating, and suitable for all seasons and for any weather conditions.

So what is a self-inflating sleeping pad?

If you are not familiar with this terminology, behind the term self-inflating you have a construction with an air-tight shell with a piece of open-cell foam inside. When you order such a sleeping pad, it has been compressed since the moment it was built in the factory.

So it is best to test the pad at home. Open the valve and let the pad self-inflate. It may take some time when you do this for the first time, this is because the foam cells have to restore their elasticity. As the pad naturally expands because of the foam, it will suck the air into the cells. You can blow some extra air in if you want, and then close the valve. Keep it that way for a few days to check if it maintains its firmness, then you will know that it does not leak.

You can do the test also but putting it into the water, if you have a pool at home just submerge it part by part and see what is happening. This is how I check my bicycle tires. If everything is OK, let it dry and keep it that way if you have space, otherwise you can roll it up.

You have seen the words ‘for camping’ in the title. This means that these pads are relatively heavy for the trail. The reason is that you have the foam inside and this adds weight. These pads are built for comfort.


My list of best self-inflating camping pads

So here is my list with the sleeping pads ordered by thickness from less thick to thicker:

 

If you are new to this, you should know that here you have some of the best-known brands in this industry, so you know what you are buying and what behind these sleeping pads is.

I hope you will love the products I present below, I choose only the best that is on the market, those that I can fully recommend, and present them here in the site. Just a heads up that as an associate of Amazon and other sellers, I may earn some commission from qualifying purchases of products bought via links on this page, at no additional cost for you.


1. Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.
Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.

The thickness of this pad is not so impressive, you have only 2 inches (5 cm) of foam insulation. So it is not the best option for side-sleepers. But the pad is very durable and supportive, the shell is a 75D polyester. Note that they offer a limited lifetime warranty.

With this Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad, you have an R-value of 6, so this should be good enough for all seasons including winter use. The inner insulation is an open-cell foam.

But the great feature here is that they build it in three different sizes, so you have regular (R), long (L), and extra-large (XL) pads. This allows you to save weight if/when you decide to carry it on the trail. Indeed, it is light enough even for such use. Namely, the weight of the three sizes is 2 lb 8 oz (1.14 kg) for the size R, 3 lb 6 oz (1.53 kg) for the size L, and for XL it is 4 lb (1.82 kg). Observe that the corresponding dimensions are as follows:

– R: 72 x 20 inches (183 x 51 cm).
– L: 77 x 25 inches (196 x 63 cm).
– XL: 77 x 30 inches (196 x 76 cm).

What I like:

  • Weight.
  • Options to choose the size.
  • Comfort.
  • Packed size.

What I dislike:

  • Thickness.


2. ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Self-Inflating Double Air Pad

ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Self-Inflating Double Air Pad.
ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Self-Inflating Double Air Pad.

So this ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Self-Inflating Double Air Pad is what its name says, a double pad, and you may think it does not belong here to the list of solo sleeping pads. But this is a clever design, you have two pads that can be used as a double pad or as two separate single pads. There is a Velcro connection that keeps them together. Now you realize why it is here in the list.

About its thickness, officially the pad is 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick. This holds for using it as two separate solo pads and as a double pad. But note that you can fold it and use it in two layers so you have a combined thickness without a match.

The official R-value is 6.9, but here too you have the same effect, if you fold it you have twice this value and this makes it one of the warmest on the market. This is what makes the pad a very versatile pad suitable for car camping in all seasons. You will want to know that it has been around for years already.

The size is (L x W) 75 x 47 inches (191 x 119 cm) as a double and 75 x 23.5 inches (191 x 60) as a single pad. The packed size for its half (single) pad is (L x D) 27 x 7.5 inches (69 x 19 cm).

You have seen that they use the word lightweight in the name of the pad, so this is an official part of the name and this is why I am using it in the title above. But the pad is definitely not lightweight. It weighs 9 lb 7 oz (4.28 kg) as a double, so a single version is around half of it. The fabric is a durable 70D polyester ripstop, and the bottom is polyester taffeta.

What I like:

  • Versatility.
  • Insulation.
  • Price.

What I dislike:

  • Weight.


3. Lightspeed Outdoors XL Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Lightspeed Outdoors XL Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.
Lightspeed Outdoors XL Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.

This pad has a thickness of 3 inches (7.6 cm) so this should be good enough even for side sleepers. It comes with an integrated headrest which is around 1.5 cm thicker than the rest of the pad. Nore also that its R-value is 9.66. so this is huge and the pad is suitable even for very harsh winter camping condutions.

The pad is obviously self-inflating and this is why it is here, it has a sort of memory foam inside. The letters XL in the official name of the pad are because of its size which is quite good but I would not describe it as really extra-large, you have 77 x 30 inches (196 x 76 cm).

With such a size the weight is also substantial, so it weighs 6 lb (2.72 kg). The packed size is (L x D) 30 x 7.75 inches (76 x 20 cm). In view of these parameters, this is a pad for places with a car access.

What I like:

  • Insulation.
  • Comfort.
  • Price.

What I dislike:

  • The weight.
  • The packed size.


4. ALPS Mountaineering Outback Self-Inflating Air Mat

ALPS Mountaineering Outback.
ALPS Mountaineering Outback.

This ALPS Mountaineering Outback Self-Inflating Air Mat is very thick so you have no less than 4 inches (10.2 cm) of cushion here. It is very comfortable no matter what kind of sleeper you are. They build this pad in two sizes and both are impressive:

  • L: 78 x 27 inches (198 x 69 cm).
  • XL: 80 x 32 inches (203 x 81 cm).

The corresponding weight of the two versions is less impressive:

  • L: 6 lb 9 oz (3 kg).
  • XL: 7 lb 7 oz (3.37 kg).

The packed sizes are (Lx D) 30 x 10 inches (76 x 25 cm) for the L version, and 32 x 12 inches (81 x 30 cm) for the XL pad. You have great insulation here, the R-value is 8.5. So this is a pad for all seasons.

The valve is what they call the Qwikflate valve that indicates quick and easy inflation and deflation. You can also rotate the valve to inflate by mouth or to release the air. There is an option for fine adjustment. Note that the pad is very stable so if bouncing annoys you, this is the pad to check.

There are two different fabrics, so on the top this is a 30D elastic and super-soft fabric, but on the bottom, you have a much stronger 150D material.

What I like:

  • Insulation.
  • Comfort.
  • Dimensions

What I dislike:

  • The weight.
  • The packed size.
  • The price.


5. Nemo Roamer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

NEMO Roamer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.
NEMO Roamer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.

With this NEMO Roamer Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad you have 4 inches (10.2 cm) of plush and supportive foam underneath your body. This is an incredibly comfortable outdoor bed and its official temperature rating is -30 F (-34 C). This should correspond to the R-value of around 7.

The pad is built in two different sizes, so you have a long-wide (LW) and extra long-wide (XLW), and the corresponding dimensions are 76 x 25 inches (193 x 64 cm) and 80 x 30 inches (203 x 76 cm), respectively. The weight of the two versions is 4 lb (1.8 kg) and 5 lb 4 oz (2.38 kg), so the pad is reasonably light for such a thickness and size, but this is definitely a camping pad.

Here too the top and bottom polyester materials have different denier values, 50D and 75D. From the picture you realize that the pad is designed with completely vertical sides. They do this on purpose, with such side walls you can attach two pads together, there are also toggles and loops for this purpose. The pad comes with dual valves, and this is their Laylow multivalve system with pressure micro-adjustment.

The packed size is (L x D) 12 x 8.5 inches (30 x 22 cm) for LW, and it is 15 x 10.5 inches (38 x 26 cm) for the XLW pad. Note that you have Nemo’s lifetime warranty. A stuff sack is also included.

What I like:

  • Thickness.
  • Comfort.
  • Valves system.

What I dislike:

  • The price.


6. QOMOTOP Ultra Thick Self-Inflating Camping Mattress

QOMOTOP Ultra Thick Self-Inflating Camping Mattress.
QOMOTOP Ultra Thick Self-Inflating Camping Mattress.

The name of this pad contains the words Ultra Thick, this is an official part of the name and this is why I am using it here. It is indeed 4 inches (10.2 cm) thick which is enough for any sort of sleepers, but I would not call it ultra-thick. With the foam comes great insulation, so the pad’s R-value is 9.5. You will hardly ever need more, so you can use it in all weather conditions, this R-value roughly corresponds to -54 F (-48 C).

Note that they build it as a solo and a souble-size pad. Its stuff sack doubles as an inflation sack, and the pad comes with a patented valve design. This is a rotary type construction, and this means that you use the same valves for inflation and deflation. You switch the mode by simply rotating the valve.

The inner is a PU foam and the shell is a durable tricot with a TPU film that provides the tightness. They claim it is environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

The dimensions are 80 x 28 inches (203 x 71 cm), so this is lots of space to sprawl. The weight is 7.5 pounds (3.5 kg). The packed size is (L x D) 30 x 8 inches (76 x 20 cm). I mentioned the double-wide version, so just to know that it weighs 13.6 lb (6.2 kg) and its dimensions are 80 x 52 inches (203 x 132 cm).

What I like:

  • Thickness.
  • Comfort.
  • Valves system.
  • Length.

What I dislike:

  • The weight.
  • The packed size.


7. Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad.

This Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad offers 4.25 inches (11 cm) of cushion underneath you, so you realize why it is in such a position here in the list. With the foam and air inside you have an effective R-value of 7. So this is again a true 4-season sleeping pad.

They build this pad in two different sizes, L and XXL, and their dimensions are 77 x 25 inches (196 x 63 cm) and 80 x 30 inches (203 x 76 cm). The corresponding weight for the two sizes is 4 lb 6 oz (1.99 kg) and 5 lb 8 oz (2.5 kg), while the packed dimensions for the two versions are (L x D) 26 x 10.3 inches (66 x 26 cm) and 31 x 10.3 inches (70 x 26 cm).

The top fabric is a moderately durable 50D polyester knit and the bottom is 75D polyester. The inner is polyurethane foam. From the picture, you realize that the sides are made vertical and they claim this gives around 20% more effective usable surface. This is also convenient when you use two of such pads side by side, they will fit nicely.

For inflation and deflation, you have a dual two-way valve system, it is very easy to use and you can regulate and fine-tune the thickness of the pad. A stuff sack is included, and the pad is with a limited lifetime warranty.

What I like:

  • Thickness.
  • Comfort.

What I dislike:

  • The price.
  • The packed size.


8. Exped MegaMat Max 15 Sleeping Pad

Exped MegaMat Max 15 Sleeping Pad.
Exped MegaMat Max 15 Sleeping Pad.

The number 15 in the official name of this pad describes the thickness in centimeters. So indeed you have 5.9 inches (15 cm) here, and this is a true ultra-thick outdoor sleeping pad. The insulation is also great, you have an impressive R-value of 10.6 so this pad can be used in any weather conditions. This is around -70.6 °F (-57 °C), and this is based on the new rating system ASTM F3340-18), so it is very reliable.

The shell is air-tight and properly glued and inside you have an open-cell foam, this is a 16 kg/m² PU foam, Oekotex 100 certified. The same certification they give for the shell material which is a 50D nylon on the top and a 75D polyester on the bottom, both hydrolysis resistant.

So these are durable and reliable materials but you still have a very soft and stretch-knit surface that provides slip-resistance and next-to-skin comfort.

Yet another detail sets this pad apart, and this is its incredible 5-year warranty. The pad has high-frequency welded seams and a proprietary durable lamination. Note also that it comes with a mini-pump included.

The name suggests impressive dimensions, so it measures 77.6 x 30.3 inches (197 x 77 cm), the sides are vertical and there is no gaps if you use two such pads side by side. The weight is 121.7 oz (3.45 kg), and its packed size is (L x D) 31.1 x 11 inches (79 x 28 cm). This pad is also in my list of extra thick camping pads.

What I like:

  • Thickness.
  • Comfort.
  • Great R-value.
  • Extraordinary warranty.

What I dislike:

  • The weight.
  • The packed size.
  • The price

How to choose

So this was my list of best self-inflating sleeping pads for camping, and you have seen that it contains really impressive outdoor mats. These are all more or less car camping sleeping pads built for comfort, and this is the main criterion that I have in mind when I put forward one of them as my choice pad, you will see it below.

But there are big differences in the price as well and in dimensions. So if you are on a budget you will want to check the prices carefully. Also, if you are a very tall person, or simply want to have lots of space to sprawl, make sure that you go for larger models. Some are built in several sizes so you can choose.

Editor’s choice self-inflating camping sleeping pad 

You will hardly find an outdoor sleeping mattress that can match the comfort of the pad shown below, this is why it is my choice:

Incredibly thick and comfortable pad
Exped MegaMat Max 15 Sleeping Pad.

Product Name: Exped MegaMat Max 15 Sleeping Pad

Product Description: This sleeping pad is among the thickest on the market, large, and incredibly comfortable. See also its amazing warranty.

Brand: Exped

SKU: B082LNVGYT

  • Features - 9.7/10
    9.7/10
  • Design - 9.7/10
    9.7/10
  • Quality & craftsmanship - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
9.7/10

Summary

I would not think about the weight and packed size of this pad, it is built to provide comfort in the camp comparable to what you have in your bed at home.

Pros

  • Incredibly think.
  • Comfort that is hard to match.
  • Great size.
  • Incredible warranty conditions.

Cons

  • Not very light, but who cares.
Sending
User Review
9.9/10 (2 votes)

You can see a bit more about this pad in this short video, please have a look:

Note that I have a separate text with best compact sleeping pads for backpacking. Please check also my texts with best-rated cold weather sleeping bags and also these extra-long camp cots for tall people. With such outdoor equipment, you can sleep anywhere and remain fully protected from the cold.

Let me know if you have questions or comments, there is a comment box below. If you look around you will realize that here you have the best outdoor equipment products, so bookmark this site and visit it again. This will keep you informed about the latest development in the outdoor industry.

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