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Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad?

Here is what I am looking for:

  • -R-value equal to or greater than 4.
  • -Is not super loud.
  • -On the lighter side (doesn't need to be ultralight).
  • -Packable.
  • -Durable

Honestly I'm just looking for a backpacking pad that I can use in 30 degrees . Any and all input is appreciated!

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8 Replies

There really is no best because it depends on personal sleeping preference.  But top rated pads are

Themarest Neo Air XTherm is the default choice for colder conditions...

https://www.rei.com/product/171689/therm-a-rest-neoair-xtherm-sleeping-pad

although the XLite also meets your criteria (R 4.2) and is lighter, cheaper and possibly more comfortable in warmer conditions.

https://www.rei.com/product/172126/therm-a-rest-neoair-xlite-sleeping-pad

Some complain XLites are loud but personally I have never noticed it being a problem.  Lots of choice on size depending on your preference.  I have a Regular (6ft 195lb) Would probably get a Regular Wide.  You can also cut them down and reseal them for a custom length if you care around weight.  If it fits you the 5ft6 women's version is warmer and worth considering.

Comes with a patch kit that works well...I have tested it. No fault of the pad 😞 

https://www.thermarest.com/products/sleeping-pads?prefn1=ID&prefv1=NeoAir

The other well rated pad for comfort is the Nemo Tensor although I have never used one.  Supposedly quieter and a bit more support on the edges but it is heavier and I think bulkier than the Thermarest X series.  Also available in various shapes and insulated or not.

https://www.rei.com/product/141845/nemo-tensor-insulated-sleeping-pad

https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/tensor/

Note: Any inflatable is prone to puncture and if you are using it around pointy thing (eg deserts have catcus spine and thorns) you should consider protecting it with some resistant base  (an 1/8 inch Evazote foam pad in addition to whatever ground cloths your shelter uses is a light useful way to do that)

https://www.thermarest.com/sleeping-pads/fast-and-light/neoair-uberlite-sleeping-pad/neoair-uberlite...

 

this one went flat on me after 2 nights of light use. I do not recommend.

Personally I use a Big Agnes, its heavier than most but its cozy and I consider sleep a luxury.

@speakingquitefrankly That is certainly disappointing but an Uberlite is not an Xlite. Xlites have been around for years and individuals have hiked thousands of trouble free miles on one pad so they are proven durable. They have a very well balanced 3+ season weight/warmth/durability/comfort trade off giving them a wide range of application which works for a lot of people. Doesn't mean it's the right pad for you but it does account for its popularity.  The very warm XTherm is newer and so less tested but it is in theory even more durable due to the thicker fabric used.

Some people have had problems with Uberlites and you do have to be a bit more careful with them because they are quite thin skinned. There may have been a slow leak batch problem when they first came out...2019 was the first full year I believe...possibly the problem you had.  Other's love them for their regular size 8oz R2'ness.  But R2 and ultralight is not what the OP wants so I wouldn't suggest an Uberlite here either. 

BA makes good gear. I have had two of their tents.  But a friend of mine has a BA pad and is not fond of it for the pain of having to inflate its extra thickness, its weight and lack of warmth...so it very much depends on the particular model for your application and what you value.

I winter in the desert and backpack in desert areas. I pack my inflatable pad in the middle of my sleeping bag and sleeping bag compression sack. It then goes on the very bottom of my backpack. Never a puncture.

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@SolaceEasyMy puncture was cause by a blade like plastic quilt attachment fastener as found on a Katabatic quilt so no amount of careful packing would have prevented it.   Also it was done by the person I lent the pad to.  They patched it.  It works fine.  These things happen.  If you use an inflatable you have to take that risk.

For 30 degree temps, I have always ben fine with a close cell foam pad, although the R value is not up to your specs.

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I've had a lot of luck with Sea to Summit's Etherlight XT Insulated.  Super comfy pad, not noisy, and I just got back from a trip this past weekend, and it was in the upper 30s.  Was warm all night.  Check it out.

@m_andreas10 drop what your doing and run to the exped website and see their complete line of fantastic and ultra lightweight (with great r values) super comfortable 3" pads!

I just swapped out my old reliable neo air for a ultra lightweight exped and it's changed my life (hyperbole much?)

I bought my first exped downmat from REI years ago, for zero degrees winter backpacking, it's just the best ever, so comfortable, but heavey...anyway...my buddy alerted me to the exped website variety, and he wasn't kidding!

https://www.exped.com/international/en/product-category/mats/synmat-ul-winter-m-ruby-red

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