When out for camping, will you bring with you a camping sleeping mat? A sleeping pad that can offer comfort and warmth is always overlooked items of camping gear. Different from sleeping bag, a camping mattress has a very obvious influence on the quality of our sleep outside. Now there are many different types of mattresses on the market. How to make a wise choice of sleeping mat then?
First we need to be familiar with the types of camping pads. Sleeping pads include foam pads, self inflating mats and air mattresses depending on their construction. Foam camping mats are relatively cheap ones, but they are durable for the use of closed cell foam. In cold weather or on some rough situations, foam mats are preferred because you will never need to worry about puncture issue. But foam pads are not compact one. If you need a lightweight camping, air mats are good choice, and they never take up too much room. Make sure to avoid sharp gear or rocks when you use them. If you need durable mats but not that bulky one, consider self inflating sleeping mats. Self inflating pads have memory foam inside, which means the foam could expand and fill with air. Though not as small as air pad, they are not bigger than foam mats.
When choosing a right mattress, you need to consider R-Value, especially if you are a professional camper. R-value indicates how the pads work in cold temperatures. If you need a night outside at freezing temperatures, choose a value of 5 or higher.
You also need to think about the dimensions of mats. Almost all pads provide a standard width of 20 inches. We usually need a sleeping pad with width that could fit our shoulders when we lie on our back. Here we advise you to get a pad with 3/4 length where our lower legs and feet are not insulated.
All in all, self inflating camping pads might be the common choice among regular campers for its being affordable and compact. If you are backpacking with another person, make sure to choose 2-person pad that can help save a bit weight. If you have a lot of camping gear in your backpack, go ahead with a much more expensive ultralight mats. Closed Cell foam pads can be chosen if you are driving out for a night outside.