Choose a Sleeping Pad for Backpacking

Choose a Sleeping Pad for Backpackers

For backpackers, every last inch of their backpacks matter. In recent years China has seen an increase in backpackers coming through the country as part of their travels. Everything has to be considered before being purchased; weight, size and utility. Unplanned packing can make your trip miserable. After a long day of travelling, you would love to have a comfortable sleep. Which sleeping pads are good? There are tons of sleeping pads on the market for you to choose from. But before making a decision, read the tips below to know what factors should be considered before getting one for your next trip.


backpackersFoam Pads or Inflatable Pads

There are two main types of pads for sleeping; a closed cell foam and an inflatable pad. Closed cell foam is the cheapest and most durable but it is not as comfortable as other types of pads and hard to pack in your bag.

An inflatable sleeping pad can be manually inflated or self-inflated. It is more comfortable to sleep on as it provides cushion but it is less durable. You have to be careful of leaks when using it on the ground. A self-inflating pad may not be self-inflating anymore after several uses. Prepare to blow it up with your mouth like a regular pad. Some inflatable pads use one way valves meaning that the air you have blown in will not come back out instead you use a separate valve to deflate them.



sleeping padTravelers know that weight is an important factor to consider. Also with a sleeping pad, it has to be as light as possible to carry around easily. It should weigh less than a pound.

The lightness of foam pads and inflatable pads are comparable. It depends on your purpose. You have to choose between weight and durability; if you choose the extra light one, you have to be careful when using it in rough areas.


Length and Width

Sleeping pads nowadays are getting smaller to help with saving space. The regular size is 72 inches long by 20 inches wide. Some brands may make them narrower or shorter so choose one that you can lay down and ensures your feet are comfortable.



The thicker the sleeping pads, the more comfortable they are. Sleeping pads on the market are available from two inches to four inches thick. The problems of thicker pads are that they are not compact enough to carry and they take a longer time to inflate by mouth.

Another size factor to be concerned with is its packed size. Travelers need everything to be compact to have more space in their backpack. There are sleeping pads that become the size of a bottle when packed down. Look for one with can be packed down to 4-5.5. Inches by 8-11 inches.