Finding the best ultralight backpacking sleeping pad can make or break your whole trip. This guide will show you the best sleeping pad options and what we think you’ll want for your own camping trip. It’s good to know some of the qualities you are looking for in a backpacking sleeping pad before beginning your search because there are so many incredible options. Here is our list of what we consider the best ultralight backpacking sleeping pads and why we rank them on the list.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 14 Best Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Pads
- 1.1 1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite
- 1.2 2. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight
- 1.3 3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Light XLite
- 1.4 4. Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
- 1.5 5. Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad
- 1.6 6. Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX
- 1.7 7. Klymit Static V2
- 1.8 8. Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Pad
- 1.9 9. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Pad
- 1.10 10. Therm-a-Rest ProLite
- 1.11 11. NEMO Tensor Alpine Air Pad
- 1.12 12. Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad
- 1.13 13. Exped Synmat UL
- 1.14 14. Exped Flexmat Plus Foam Pad
- 2 Conclusion
Top 14 Best Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Pads
|Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX||Check On Amazon|
|Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Exped Synmat UL||Check On Amazon|
|Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Light XLite||Check On Amazon|
|Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight||Check On Amazon|
|Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Exped Flexmat Plus Foam Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Klymit Static V2||Check On Amazon|
|NEMO Tensor Alpine Air Pad||Check On Amazon|
|Therm-a-Rest ProLite||Check On Amazon|
|Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite||Check On Amazon|
1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite
This sleeping pad is one of the best on the market because it has a combination of some of the best qualities that are looked for when shopping for a backpacking sleeping bag. It is incredibly lightweight, making it perfect for taking on long hikes. It’s a great option for people who are trying to keep the weight of their supplies to a minimum while not wanting to compromise comfort and warmth.
The Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad has an internal structure that allows for ultimate comfort and compactness. It’s a great three-season option but isn’t meant for sub-freezing temperatures. If you know that you will be camping in freezing temperatures you will want to look for another option, but for summer camping it’s amazing.
Just because this sleeping pad is super lightweight and weighs less than a pound doesn’t mean it’s lacking in comfort. It boasts 2.5 inches of padding that gives you the best night’s sleep possible. The fabric is soft and the air valve is created to allow for the best airflow, making inflation and deflation a breeze. If you’re looking for a comfortable, lightweight, and easy to inflate sleeping pad for summer camping this is the one for you!
2. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight
There are very few negatives when it comes to this ultralight backpacking sleeping pad. The major upside to this pad is that it’s lightweight and compact while also giving ultimate warmth. It is great for camping in colder weather because the material is super durable and insulated.
This pad gives the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any lightweight sleeping pad on the market. It’s perfect for when you need some extra insulation during the cold winter nights. Four-season sleeping pads can tend to be on the bulkier side, but this one maintains a lightweight and compact nature while having the perks of a four-season pad.
One of the few downsides to this product is the texture of the material. Some people have complained of a crunchy, plastic bag-like sound when they roll over or move on the pad. If you are a very light sleeper or have a hard time staying asleep with sounds, you may want to look at other options.
Despite the noise, this pad has an exceptional amount of cushion while packing into just 15oz. It’s perfect for people who plan to backpack and camp in colder temperatures while still wanting a compact and lightweight pad. Another great feature is the specialty valve allows the pad to inflate three times faster than a regular valve. It deflates quickly too!
3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Light XLite
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Light XLite is another fantastic option for backpacking-friendly sleeping pads. It’s lightweight enough to carry around without having to worry about too much extra weight and space. This pad has a comparable comfort level to our first options and is a great option for three-season camping. It doesn’t quite have the warmth of the NeoAir XTherm Ultralight but provides a great level of warmth for three-season campers.
Like some other backpacking sleeping pads, this option tends to make a crinkling sound when you roll over or move around. Some people will be more sensitive to this issue than others, you just need to decide how big of an issue it is to you.
This pad also is slightly narrow, making it a little small for some wide-shouldered or tall individuals. It does come in different size options so you can most likely find one that fits you well.
Overall, it’s a great option for three-season campers who are looking for a lightweight and compact sleeping pad. The valve is of high quality and easy to use, making for fast setup and deflation.
4. Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad has a unique design made to provide optimal comfort and it also is unique because it comes in different shapes and sizes. It uses square baffles that help give extra stability and comfort.
You can get this pad in mummy-style, rectangular, and even in a wide option amongst other sizes and shapes. It’s great for side sleepers because it gives three inches of cushion. Another positive of this sleeping pad is that it’s known to be relatively quiet, making it a great option for light sleepers.
This sleeping pad has a well-designed valve that allows for quick inflation and easy deflation. The main downside to this pad is that it tends to be slightly bulkier then other lightweight backpacking sleeping pads. It also isn’t as warm as others, limiting it to only three-season camping.
5. Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad
A closed-cell foam pad is virtually indestructible compared to inflatable pads. There’s no fear of popping or leaks and you don’t have to take any time to inflate or deflate these pads.
The Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad isn’t the first of its kind, but it is certainly one of the absolute best. One side has a heat-reflecting film to help keep you warm while the other is foam. This type of pad isn’t as comfortable as inflatable ones, especially for side-sleepers because it’s thin. But if you don’t need extra inches of padding, this is a great option for a sleeping pad.
This foam pad is easy to use and on the cheaper side. It folds like an accordion and can double as a seat too! Because this pad is thin, it can’t provide the same level of warmth that inflatable pads can. So, if you want to camp in the winter months, you should probably look at other options. All of the negatives aside, this foam pad is super durable and great for summer campers who don’t mind sleeping on fairly firm surfaces.
6. Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX
This inflatable sleeping pad is one of the thickest there is! It’s perfect for side sleepers because it has so much cushion and it has puffier side panels that help keep you centered while sleeping.
The design allows for a super comfortable and secure feeling when sleeping, almost like you’re right at home. Considering the amount of comfort you get from this sleeping pad, it is heavier than our first top picks. It weighs in at a little over a pound.
The pad is relatively quiet compared to others while still having a fair amount of insulation. Although not made for very cold weather, it’s a great option for those planning on three-season camping.
Even though this pad is slightly heavier and bulkier than others on the list, the comfort makes up for it for most people. If you’re someone who values a really good night’s rest while camping, this is a fantastic option.
7. Klymit Static V2
Number seven on our list is the Klymit Static V2. This pad has a wider design that makes it great for broad-shouldered individuals. The paneling and thickness make it fairly comfortable for side sleepers and back sleepers.
One of the best features of this inflatable pad is the price. It’s a cheaper option than the high-quality ones mentioned above. It also tends to be surprisingly durable and is lightweight, making it great for backpackers looking to cut out some weight.
With these positives come a few negatives. This pad is best used only in the summer because it has a low R-value. There are insulated versions available if you are planning on camping in colder weather.
Because of the panel design, it’s not uncommon or difficult to hit the ground where pressure points are located but if you are easily able to keep your weight evenly distributed you shouldn’t have a problem. Overall, this pad is a great cost-effective inflatable option for those planning to backpack and camp during the summer months.
8. Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Pad
Quick inflation and deflation, heavy-duty material, and two-inch thick padding make this sleeping pad a great option for almost any camper. This pad has a flat valve that makes inflation and deflation processes easy and fast while also being made of thick and durable material.
This is a great choice if you often camp in rocky terrain because of the thick material. The air-sprung cells make this pad feel almost exactly like a regular mattress.
This sleeping pad is best used in warmer temperatures, end of spring to early fall. It’s not good for cold or freezing weather. It’s also prone to bottoming out, or hitting the ground when moving around because of the design. Although it’s not as lightweight as other sleeping pads, it’s still lightweight enough to carry in your backpack without worry.
9. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Pad
If you’re looking for an ultralight foam pad, the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is a great choice. These foam pads will never be as comfortable as inflatables but they do have their perks.
For one, this product is virtually indestructible. It can be put on rocky terrain and have no problems. It’s foldable and lightweight design allows for easy packing and carrying. This sleeping pad also has a small price tag, making it a great option for campers on a budget.
There are a few downsides to this product, however. Aside from comfort, this pad has little ability to keep you warm. This limits its use to only warmer weather camping. Side sleepers and tall people should take a close look at whether or not this pad will work for them as it is thin and fairly short. It is available in different sizes to accommodate taller people.
10. Therm-a-Rest ProLite
This backpacking sleeping pad’s main upside is the durability. Unlike the other inflatable sleeping pads on the market that can be punctured anytime, this pad is almost puncture-proof.
You won’t need to worry about patching holes in this sleeping pad and it’s especially great for people who camp on rocky terrain. It is an inch thick padding provides a fair level of comfort for people who don’t mind sleeping on firm surfaces. It’s not as comfortable as the Big Agnes mentioned above, but it’s still something.
A unique feature of this sleeping pad is the self-inflating design. It’s perfect for people who hate blowing up a big inflatable pad. Self-inflating pads can get pretty heavy, but this one remains light enough to confidently carry in your backpack.
11. NEMO Tensor Alpine Air Pad
If you’re looking for a four-season sleeping pad that you can backpack with, this is an amazing choice. Because it’s four seasons, it is heavier than many of the others but if you know you will be camping in very cold weather, it’s worth it.
This sleeping pad is three inches thick to give high levels of comfort and stability. It’s great for all kinds of sleepers because it has such a thick cushion. With three layers of suspended film, it’s perfectly insulated to give you the warmest sleep possible.
This sleeping pad is mostly quiet and easy to sleep on. It has high-quality valves that allow for quick inflation and deflation. The main downside is the weight and overall bulkiness. It weighs about one and a half pounds which is heavier than many of the others on this list but it’s still fine to fit in your backpack as long as you take note of the weight.
12. Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Weighing only 14.5oz, this sleeping pad is ultra-lightweight and perfect for backpackers. It takes up little space in your backpack and gives you the ability to bring extra items because of the saved weight.
Although not as thick and comfortable as some other inflatable pads, it still provides a little over two inches of padding. The price tag is another positive to this sleeping pad as it’s on the cheaper side.
Slightly fewer quality valves tend to come with the cheaper options, but it’s not a big deal for those looking at price-conscious options. There is a greater chance that you hit the ground every once in a while because of the design, so keep that in mind.
13. Exped Synmat UL
One great component of this product is that it’s wider than other sleeping pads. There are multiple different sizes and you are sure to find one that fits your broad shoulders. It’s also made of a material that helps the pad stay in place and not slip around throughout the night.
This sleeping pad is lightweight and has two valves instead of one for super-fast inflation and deflation. If you are a camper who likes to get everything set up fast and efficiently, this is a great option for you. It does have a fairly hefty price tag but for some of the unique qualities, it may be worth it.
14. Exped Flexmat Plus Foam Pad
If you’re looking for a slightly thicker foam pad for your camping adventures, this is perfect for you. It’s similar to the other closed-cell foam pad options mentioned on this list, but it is 1.5 inches thick.
This pad is also great for creating a dry and warm surface to put an inflatable pad on top. Doing this will create an even more comfortable and warm place to sleep, especially during colder nights. This product folds up accordion-style like other foam pads and is easy to carry while backpacking. It’s also fairly lightweight.
When looking for the best ultralight backpacking sleeping pads, it’s important to remember what qualities you value the most. Are you looking for the most comfort possible? Or do you care more about weight? The thicker and more comfortable sleeping pads have a heftier price tag while the thinner pads are more affordable. It’s also necessary to keep in mind what weather conditions you plan to camp in because different sleeping pads are made for different temperatures. Hopefully, this list has shown you your perfect backpacking sleeping pad, or at least given you some great options!