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What does 'R-value' refer to in a sleeping pad?

I am purchasing a sleeping mat for my daughter,     what is an "r value"

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Hi @clayswan - Glad to hear your daughter is gearing up for some time outside! The R-value is the scale for how insulated a sleeping pad is. The ratings are from 2 to 5.5, with a higher number meaning it’s more insulated/warmer. Another thing is that a warmer pad is usually heavier, so if she’s planning on backpacking with it, that might influence which one is best.

Does she already have a sleeping bag? Her bag and pad will work together to keep her body heat from escaping into the cold ground. There’s actually a great chart to answer which sleeping pad will keep you warmer and if you’re interested in more details, there’s an Expert Advice article on how to choose a sleeping pad. Hopefully this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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