Ode of the camper without a sleeping pad.
Imagine sleeping under a starlit sky in a snuggly warm sleeping bag tossing and turning trying to get comfortable wishing you had remembered to get a pad with the new sleeping bag.
Sleeping pads and air beds come with different features and options. ’pads’ are for placing under sleeping bags.
Some bags have a built in pocket for the pads.
A person might notice this when looking at some of the Big Agnes bags.
Camping can be great fun with the right equipment. On the other hand it can be just plain miserable. The key is being prepared. In part,that means being able to get a good nights sleep.
Today there are some great sleeping mats on the market. These pads roll up and pack small. They are light weight and durable.
Trekker Spot Bonded.
Of course they do add a little weight to the pack but a good night’s sleep might be worth carrying the extra few ounces.
Some of them are designed to help insulate the camper from the cold ground as they have insulation in them, either down or synthetic. But most are just filled with sailboat fuel. AKA: air.
There are also foam pads available. No air required.
The thickness of the pad is usually listed in the description. A friend uses one that is about 1-2 inches thick and doesn’t ‘bottom out’ any place.
He loves it and has had it for years. It self inflates when the valve is opened.
Gone are the days of passing out blowing up the air bed.
On a recent camping trip he was comfortable and asleep while I tossed and turned on my foam pad all night.
I wish I had tried one out with a camping gear rental before buying the foam pad.
There are a couple of things to consider when looking for one. Some are shaped like a mummy bag and some are rectangular.
If you have a bag with a pocket made for one it might be a good idea to check with the manufacturer or retailer to see which ones will fit.
If you have a mummy bag and are concerned about weight then one mummy shaped might be just the ticket. It will shave a little weight off just from the design.
Air beds, or air mattresses, are larger and not designed for backpacking. They are for car camping or an occasional house guest. Some come equipped with an air pump, rechargeable battery, car charger and 110v AC charger.
For more on air beds or air mattresses see our air bed page.
These features take a lot of the work out of setting up camp. Of course if a person has trouble sleeping perhaps blowing 300 cubic feet of air into a plastic bag would make for a good night’s sleep.
Our intention here at AACG is to provide you with some helpful information on what to look for, and some links to help the camper find the right gear.