One of the most overlooked pieces of gear a camper needs is a quality sleeping pad. Why is it overlooked? Most of us got into camping when we were kids and had no problem laying a sleeping bag on the floor of a tent or even the bare ground and though we may not have been comfortable, we were content. Many of us who camped as kids and took a few or more years break from it remember those days of camping minimalism and remember the spartan gear we used. We think, that’s all I needed then so it’s all I will need now. As I have gotten older, comfort has become more and more important. Being cold or uncomfortable is not an option for me. As a kid or even a young man, I could sleep in the most uncomfortable situations and regardless, the next day I could shake it off and continue on. Now, that does not happen. Getting a good night sleep after a long day of paddling or hiking is now a necessity.
It’s easy to spend a lot of money when you’re outfitting for a trip. The premium brands though quality made and very reliable, come at a premium price. Below are the budget sleeping pads I have used and tested over the last year with my thoughts on each.
Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad:
The Klymit is a great warm weather sleeping pad that rolls up small and only weighs 18.1 ounces. Inflated it measures 72 x 23 inches and inflates to 2.5 inches thick. I can inflate it in about 11 breaths and it comes with a repair kit should you ever puncture it. It is very comfortable and allows multiple position sleeping without sacrificing support. I sleep as well on the Klymit as I do in my bed at home. It’s claimed pack size is 3 x 8 inches, though I can never get mine smaller than 4 x 8. Still, it’s small enough to easily pack in your backpack or your kayak and comes with a lifetime warranty. The only drawback to it is it offers little to no insulation, so during cold weather this is not the pad to use. The current price for it on Amazon is $44.96.
Last Lake Self-Inflating Pad :
I have used the Last Lake during cool to moderately cold weather. (30 – 40 degrees F) With decent insulation, it has performed well. Though not as thick as the Klymit, it is still a very comfortable pad. It is self inflating but I still have to add 2 or 3 breathes to it after it inflates. It is great to carry in your kayak or canoe, but because of its 7 x 11 packed size and 2.1 lbs. weight, It takes up a lot of space in your pack. It is easy to deflate and the carry sack makes it easy to transport. It comes with a one year warranty with a 100% money back guarantee. It’s current price on Amazon is $31.99.
Stansport Self-Inflating Air Mattress
The Stansport is a good all around mattress. It is a true 4 season sleeping pad that measures 25 x 72 and is 1.5 inches thick when inflated. It weighs in at a hefty 3 lbs. 8 oz. I have used it in all weather conditions and it never failed me. Of the three, this would be my go-to pad for cold weather camping and is the most rugged and sturdy of the three mattress that I tested. The only drawback to the Stansport is the packed size. It rolls up to about 7 x 25 inches making it a cumbersome pad to carry on your pack ,but easy to pack in your canoe or kayak. If I could only have one pad to use, it would probably be this one because of the durability and all season capability. It’s current price on Amazon is $27.38.
These are the three sleeping pads I tested this year. All of them are of excellent quality and each has pro’s and con’s. Yes, there are other pads on the market that may be better, but these are for the budget minded camper who looks for low price and value.
Find your headwaters,