10 Best Car Camping Backpacking Sleeping Pads in 2021

If you are planning your next camping trip, you will need to know your sleeping position beforehand. Self-inflating sleeping pillows are becoming an increasingly popular choice for backpackers, due to their supportive and comfortable design, along with their ultimate deflated packability. That’s why we’ve found the best sleeping pads to buy right now, so you can rest under the stars.

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nemo equipment

Founded in 2002 in Nashua, New Hampshire, this brand is one of REI’s top-rated sleep blanket brands. Their original headquarters were just a short drive from the state’s great White Mountains, which gave their products a natural, repeatable testing ground. In 2005, Nemo was awarded the ISPO BrandNew Award, which honors the most innovative products in the outdoor industry from all over the world. Today, their products can be found in the backpacks of some of the best outdoor sportsmen in the country.

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NEMO Quasar 3D Insulated Air Sleeping Pillow

Dubbed by REI the “sleeping-towel relaxer,” this model from NEMO features a slightly raised headrest to keep you a little off that cold ground. The Quasar also features a cradle that is gently curved and contoured to the body to support it and keep it centered on the pillow all night long.

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Double Roamer Sleeping Pillow from NEMO Equipment Inc.

If you’re looking to hit the trail with your partner or friend, this twin sleeping pillow is for you. Described as the brand’s most luxurious two person sleeping pad for four season camping, you’ll be able to sleep comfortably and peacefully. The pillow’s basic flow construction reduces weight and maintains serious support throughout the night, so you won’t wake up on the floor.

Big Agnes

A supplier of high quality outdoor sleeping equipment, Big Agnes lives up to its name as the “Mother of Comfort”. They also offer extensive warranties and repair gear, should your new sleeping pad fail on a rock or tree limb.

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Big Agnes Ultra Insulated Compressed Air Sleeping Pillow

Offering superior cold-weather protection at an affordable price, this model from Big Agnes is perfect for anyone looking to take any backpacking trips in late fall and early spring. The warm, packable THERMOLITE insulator traps and reflects body heat to avoid unnecessary dissipation.

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Big Agnes . Insulated AXL Air Sleeping Pillow

It’s no secret that cold-weather backpacking isn’t for everyone. That’s why we recommend this AXL model from Big Agnes. The lightest cushion in the company’s arsenal (less than 1 pound), you’ll hardly notice it when it’s collapsed and stowed in your backpack. However, true to Steamboat Springs’ roots in the Big Agnes, the AXL will still provide you exceptional cold-weather protection on those chilly spring nights. The pillow features Primaloft Silver insulation and a Mylar layer that reflects body heat back to you for added warmth.

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Beginning in the early 1980s as a distributor for other outdoor brands, Exped began building its own equipment in 1997. Since then, the brand has been responsible for some of the most innovative designs in the outdoor industry. Exped also prioritizes environmental sustainability as a brand. Starting in 2021, all of the company’s sleeping pads have been replaced with carbon dioxide by Myclimate. This makes their mats the only and first climate-neutral mats on the market. Exped expects more of our products to follow in the footsteps of our climate neutral sleeping mat. The company’s goal is to be completely climate-neutral by 2024.

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Dawn Matt XP9 Accelerator With Pump

Filled with an ultra-cozy blend of 700 goose down insulated fill, the DownMat XP 9 is one of the warmer sleeping pads on this list. If you are planning to do any winter travel trips, this is the right choice for you. The Exped design also features spacers between the bottom-filled compartments, which prevent cold spots and create thick, firm, and comfortable cushioning.

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Megamat 10 Accelerated Self Inflatable Sleeping Pillow, Green, Xtra Wide

Not only is this sleeping pad one of the highest rated pads on the REI website, it’s also one of the biggest. Dubbed a MegaMat for a reason, this pillow will house a single person on one of the most relaxing nights possible in the countryside. It also has a very high R-value, making it an ideal insulator from extremely cold temperatures.

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sea ​​to the top

Founded in the 1990s, the brand got its name from outfitting its founders for an expedition of Mount Everest, which walked from sea level to the summit’s 29,028 summit. If that wasn’t enough to convince you of this brand’s outdoor prowess, company founder Roland Tyson has begun testing his equipment in the harsh Australian outback. Today, their brand produces a mix of tents, sleeping gear and other outdoor gear.

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Sea to Summit Ether Light XT . Extreme Sleeping Pillow

Another cold-weather sleeping pad, the EtherLight XT Extreme provides backpackers with multiple layers of Thermolite insulation to stay warm in frigid conditions.

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Sea To Summit . Light Insulated Sleeping Pillow

If comfort and portability are your number one priority, look no further than this Sea to Summit model. However, if you are concerned about its durability, don’t worry. This product features a unique nylon construction, advanced lamination process and high frequency RF welding that will keep this in your packaging for years.

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Therm-a-Rest’s four-decade rule in outdoor sleep technology translates into high-quality, cutting-edge products for the modern age. With a focus on comfort, Therm-a-Rest has consistently produced high quality products. The company primarily operates out of Seattle, Washington and Cork, Ireland.

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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Lightweight Back Air Mattress

The gold standard for lightweight backpacking on a budget, the XLite backpacking mattress provides unparalleled comfort and warmth for the lowest weight of the pack. Plus, the durable and reliable WingLock valve inflates the pad 3 times faster than a standard valve, all while featuring lightning-fast deflation for post-camp cleanup.

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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Minimalist Backpacking Air Mattressing

Weighing less than one pound for all sizes, this pillow takes its name very seriously. Although light, the pillow’s core triangular matrix structure minimizes body heat loss through two stacked layers of triangular chambers, creating hundreds of individual cells for warmth and stability. Are you ready to go back to your real bed? Not to worry, when you’re with UberLite, it shrinks down to the size of a water bottle.

What makes a good sleeping pad?

You should look for something that suits your body type and sleeping style. Sleeping pads come in many shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that works for you. Another tip is to look for something that fits the intended use. If you’re looking for something to help you take on the Grand Tetons on a months-long climbing trip, perhaps focus your search on a lightweight option with added synthetic insulation for cool nights in a tent. If you plan to use the pad a few times throughout the year, try something more comfortable that might take up more space in your back bag.

What are some good brands of sleeping pillows?

Many of the big outdoor industry brands like North Face, Patagonia, and Columbia don’t regularly produce self-inflating sleeping pads – instead, a mix of lesser-known brands dominate the market, constantly producing high-quality specialty products.

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