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The 10 Best Camping Mats for Travel [2024]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

791 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Sleeping mats and camping pads not only offer a layer of comfort against the cold, hard ground — they also help to protect you from losing body heat to the chilly night air.

Durable enough to be used on a wide variety of terrain, these pads feel soft against the skin and can be folded up small for easy transportation.

Things To Consider With Camping Mats

In order for your camping mat to offer the comfort and protection you are looking for, you will need to consider the following:

Type

Camping Mat Type
Some camping mats are inflatable. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

There are different types of camping mats available that all offer different benefits when sleeping in the great outdoors. The most common types are:

  • Closed-cell Foam Pads — These are the most basic and affordable sleeping mats that offer a layer of protection between you and the ground. They provide a small amount of insulation by stopping the ground from absorbing all of your body heat and can be set up in an instant. They can be quite bulky when rolled or folded, though, making them more difficult to stash in your backpack.
  • Inflatable Pads — A little bit more expensive to buy, these types of mats offer additional support and increased thermal insulation. They can also help to relieve pressure points while you sleep with 3 or 4 inches of protection. You will, however, have to deal with the aggravation of inflating them. While this is only a minor downside, you will need to bring a pump with you or be prepared to blow!
  • Self-inflating Mattresses — The crème de la crème of camping pads, these offer the combined comfort of air and cell-foam, and they are super comfortable to sleep on, even on uneven terrain. The valves and internal air system allow the mattress to inflate quickly, offering excellent support, warmth, and ventilation. One small puncture, though, and your self-inflating air mattress will be as flat as a pancake and rendered useless.

R-value

Camping Mat R Value
Camping mats offer resistance against the cold. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Camping mats are not just used to make the hard ground feel more comfortable — they are also designed to offer resistance against the cold, allowing your body heat to keep you insulated while you sleep. Some camping mats measure how effective they are at trapping heat by using an “R-value.”

Hot Tip: The “R” stands for resistance and featuring numbers between 1 to 5 — the lower numbers offer less insulation than the higher numbers do.

Size and Weight

Camping Mat Size
Camping mats come in lots of shapes and sizes. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Camping mats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so choose one that fits your own requirements. Single-size mats can be long and thin or tapered from top to bottom.

They are also available in double sizes that allow 2 people to share 1 mat simultaneously. Be sure to research the weight capacity of any camping mat you are looking to buy, though, as some inflatable models may go flat if they are required to take too much weight on them.

Hot Tip: If you’re about to hit the trails, make sure to check out our detailed product guides for camping blankets and quilts and camping tents

The 10 Best Camping Mats

1. Brilliant but Basic Sleeping Mat for Camping

Check on Walmart

Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

Offering 2 inches of support, this is a super-comfortable sleeping mat that is perfect for camping. Weighing just 14 ounces and flexible enough to fold down small, this mat comes with its very own storage pouch for easy transportation.

The tear-resistant, heavy-duty nylon construction ensures that it will remain waterproof and durable in all weather, and the 20 denier thickness makes this one of the strongest out there. This is an excellent portable camping pad that is a great choice for camping.

What We Like

  • Folds up small and inflates in seconds

What We Don’t Like

  • It can develop leaks over time

2. For an Awesome Night’s Sleep Every Time

Check on Walmart

POWERLIX Sleeping Pad

This pad promises to deliver an incredible night’s sleep in the wilds with a revolutionary hexagonal design.

The body mapping technology helps to support all of your pressure points, and the comfortable, yet lightweight design makes it easy to roll up to carry around with you.

Quick and easy to inflate, this mat includes thermal insulation to keep your body warm and lifted away from the cold winter ground, and the 100% waterproof construction makes it suitable for use all year round.

Designed to offer an excellent night’s sleep even in the great outdoors, this sleeping mat comes with an inflating bag, carry bag, and 2 repair kits, making it perfect for many years of overnight adventures.

What We Like

  • This pad is easy to inflate and incredibly comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • It does need to be inflated manually

3. Excellent Self-inflating Camping Pad

Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad for Camping

This self-inflating camping pad is comfortable, practical, and easy to use on the go. Made from tough and waterproof material, it offers 1.5 inches of protection from the ground, and the memory foam padding offers a soft surface to sleep on.

With a 4 R-value, you can enjoy increased insulation, even in cold weather, and the self-inflating valve ensures that this sleeping pad is ready to use super quickly.

The pad can be rolled up and stored in its very own compact sack for easy transportation, and with an additional compression strap, you can fold or roll the pad small enough to fit in your backpack.

What We Like

  • This pad is super comfy

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite heavy to carry

4. Great Value Sleeping Pad

Gear Doctors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad

This incredible sleeping pad features a thermo-insulation R-value of 4.3, and the 1.5-inch thickness makes it comfortable to sleep on.

With an easy-to-use, self-inflating, open-cell foam design, you simply twist and wait a moment for the pad to fully inflate, and the leakproof design will ensure that it always holds its shape. The 75-denier, micro-coated polyester is water- and UV-resistant while still feeling soft against the skin.

The flexible construction allows the pad to be rolled or folded small enough to carry around in your backpack.

What We Like

  • Incredible comfort for a bargain price

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite heavy to carry

Hot Tip: If you’re interested in sleeping bag and sleeping pad alternatives, check out our product guides for the best camping beds and cots, inflatable couches, and camping hammocks

5. Sleeping Pad for Superfast Inflation

VENTURE 4TH Self Inflating Sleeping Pad

This full-length pad has been designed to offer incredible comfort for back or side sleepers, and the puncture-proof polyester is durable enough to even be placed on rocks and rough terrain.

The 500 series pneumatic valve allows for quick and easy inflation, and the tapered design saves space and reduces weight for easy carrying.

With an R-value of 4, this pad is perfect for winter trips and high altitudes, and with a carry sack included, you can stow and go for a more comfortable night’s sleep, even outside.

What We Like

  • Comfortable, compact, and extremely warm

What We Don’t Like

  • You may need to top it up every night

6. Sleeping Pad for Colder Climates

KAMUI Self Inflating Sleeping Pad

Perfect for use while camping, this sleeping pad has a weight-to-thickness ratio of 3.5 pounds to 2 inches making it comfortable enough to lay on hard or uneven flooring.

The high rebound foam offers superior support for your back, and with an R-value of 5.7, it feels really warm, even in the cold.

Made from heavy-duty 190T polyester fabric, it is tear- and water-resistant, and with 3 compression bands and a carry sack included, it is compact and lightweight enough to carry around with you while you are hiking.

What We Like

  • Offers excellent insulation against the cold

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite bulky, even when rolled up

7. The Best All-season Sleeping Pad

HiiPeak Quiet Self Inflating Sleeping Pad

This self-inflating camping pad provides a warm and comfortable base for your sleeping bag. With a thickness of 1.5 inches, it will help you feel comfortable, even on rough terrain.

The 190T polyester material is durable enough to offer excellent resistance against tears and wet conditions.

Perfect for use in lower temperatures, it will help you to feel warm and cozy in all weathers, and with a storage bag and fabric patches included, this camping pad will see you through many nights of outdoor sleeping.

What We Like

  • This pad is thick and durable

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a bit difficult to repack after use

8. Oversized Sleeping Bag for Larger Adults

Overmont Large Sleeping Pad

This extra-thick camping mattress offers an impressive 4.7 inches of comfortable padding, and with an ergonomic pillow built-in, it will help you to enjoy a good night’s sleep, even on the roughest of terrain.

Wider and longer than most regular sleeping pads, this sleeping pad is made of superstrong, waterproof, ripstop polyester pongee with a PVC coating, and the design is durable enough to support up to 600 pounds of weight.

The built-in pump makes for quick and easy inflation, and with a carry bag included, you can stash it in your camping bag for easy transportation.

What We Like

  • This pad has a luxurious feel to it

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite large and bulky to carry

9. Easy To Inflate With Your Foot

Inflatable Sleeping Pad with Integrated Foot Pump

This camping pad gives you everything you need for a comfortable night’s sleep and takes just 20 seconds to inflate using the integrated foot pump.

The 3-inch pad offers resistance to damp conditions and provides excellent warmth and support, while the built-in pillow is comfortable place to rest your head.

Weighing in at just 0.87 pounds, this sleeping pad is lightweight and easy to transport, and the only addition you need to bring is your sleeping bag for a safe and comfortable night under the stars.

What We Like

  • 2 beds can be buttoned together to make a double

What We Don’t Like

  • The pillow is not height adjustable

10. Double-size Sleeping Pad for 2

Hikenture Ultralight Double Sleeping Pad

Snuggle down with your significant other on this awesome double sleeping pad. Still lightweight and easy to carry around with you, this pad is wider and taller than its contemporaries, making it just the right size for the 2 of you.

A unique air-cell design helps relieve pressure while you sleep, and with a pump included, it can be fully inflated in just a few minutes.

Made from waterproof, wear-resistant, and leakproof ripstop nylon fabric, this mattress is soft and comfortable to sleep on, and the double-valve design ensures that it will stay fully inflated all night long.

What We Like

  • Offers a lot of space for the money

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite bulky to carry

Final Thoughts

Comfortable, warm, and easy to transport, a camping mat can turn a cold floor into something far more snug and supportive.

Whether you want a basic foam mat for occasional use or want to enjoy a luxurious night’s sleep with a thick and thermally-insulated, self-inflated sleeping pad, there are plenty of options to suit all budgets and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a camping mat necessary?

A camping mat is just as necessary as a sleeping bag or your tent. The insulation in the bottom of your sleeping bag is compressed when you sleep on it, making it ineffective at insulating you from the ground. A camping mat will act as a barrier and also add an extra layer of comfort.

How thick should a camping mat be?

Camping mats should be at least 2.5 inches thick, with some premium options coming in at 3 inches.

Are inflatable camping mats good?

Inflatable camping mats are an excellent choice for backpacking or multi-day hiking trips as they are super-lightweight and don’t take up much packing space when deflated and rolled up.

Is a yoga mat the same as a camping mat?

A yoga mat is not the same as a camping mat. They are way thinner and will not provide enough insulation from the cold floor as a camping mat would. Yoga mats are also not as portable as camping mats and shouldn’t be used as an alternative.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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