Sleeping in the woods is an amazing experience — you build a cozy campfire, kick back under the stars, and connect with Mother Nature. That said, if you don’t have a good sleeping pad, you won’t get any rest at all. It’s hard to enjoy the serene sounds of nature when a sharp stone is sticking into your back. If you’re going to get a good night’s sleep outside, you need to invest in one of the best sleeping pads for camping that you can find.
There are lots of options to choose from and the style you pick will depend on what type of camping you’re doing and what your personal preferences are. If you’re going to be hiking with gear, for example, you’ll need something lightweight. Closed-cell foam is a great choice for this, as is any air-filled pad that packs down into a small sack. If you’re driving right up to the campground, on the other hand — where all you have to do is carry your gear from your car to the tent — you can practically bring your bed from home.
The next thing to consider is how you like to sleep. Foam pads will offer extra cushioning, along with a firm, stable feeling, whereas air pads will create more of a bouncy, “floaty” feeling. Foam pads are heavier and bulkier, yet far more stable. Air pads are lighter and more compact, yet not as firm.
You'll also want to look at the pattern in the pad itself — different curves and contours offer different cushioning styles. Some are better for back sleepers while others are preferable for sleeping on your stomach or side. With all of that in mind, here is a list of the best sleeping pads for camping to help you rest like a baby during your venture outdoors.