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What comes to your mind when you think about camping? You probably imagine a campsite with tents. Although tents are synonymous with camping, sleeping on the ground can be cold and uncomfortable. That’s where the best sleeping pad for hammocks come in to give you a comfortable place to rest at the end of the day.
Nothing beats the feeling you get when you lay on a piece of fabric and let cool winds blow on your body. Cold nights without good sleep can take away all the fun from your adventure. You don’t want to spend days or even weeks outdoors only to end up getting sick and wasting time nursing yourself instead of having enjoyable experiences.
Hammocks are altering the image of camping. They continuously undergo advancement in materials and design to provide you with ultimate comfort during your camp nights. Unlike sleeping on uneven or sloping ground with mud, rocks, leaves or even insects, hammocks can allow you to get comfortable nights of sleep outdoors when you go camping or backpacking.
Hammocks are also versatile, lightweight, easy to set up, space-saving, open and of great value in terms of sturdiness, construction and materials used. Whether you opt for fabric, rope, chairs and swings, camping or Brazilian hammock, you need the best sleeping pad for hammock to use with it for comfortable nights outdoors.
With the right choice of hammock and the best hammock sleeping pad, you’re bound to sleep in a good position, fall asleep faster, and enjoy increased brain activity (due to the oscillating nature of hammocks that alter waves in your brain). You’ll also cure insomnia and enjoy deeper sleep, get comfortable, read a book of your liking and ultimately realize improved general bodily health. In order to ensure having a good time while camping with hammock, it can be convenient to have a paracord bracelet with you in case you have a broken rope or if you want to put a rain tarp above you if bad weather is coming.
Therefore, it becomes important to find out more about the best hammock sleeping pads in 2019 and the different types available on the market to help you make an informed buying decision.
The top 5 hammock sleeping pads
Last update on 2020-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm Air Mattress
Therm-A-Rest is a brand with a focus on making the time you spend outdoors not just fun and enjoyable, but also memorable and one-of-a-kind. Founded in 1971, the company has been in the market long enough to know what backpackers or campers like you look for in their outdoor gear.
The company adopts quality materials and innovative technologies to handcraft exceptional, comfortable outdoor gear such as sleeping pads, pillows, hammocks and apparel, among other products. The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm is designed with a winter camper in mind.
Unlike other air mattresses, the NeoAir XTherm mattress has a high ratio of warmth to weight, meaning you get more warmth in every gram of the pad. The textured fabric on the surface is soft to offer you a comfortable night’s sleep outdoors. It’s lightweight and features several reflective ThermaCapture layers for added insulation in winter.
Although it’s designed for all-season use, it has an R-value of 5.7 for increased insulation in cold weather. The air mattress is made from nylon (70D at the bottom and 30D at the top) in a tapered design to decrease its weight. Choose between the regular (20 x 72 inches) and large (25 x 77 inches) sizes.
- Highly compact and reduces to the size of a one-liter bottle
- Tapered and ultralight for easy backpacking
- Soft, thick and comfortable with unmatched stability
- Warmer than most air mattresses
- Highly durable and prevents convectional heat loss
- Textured for non-slip use
- Versatile for use throughout the year
- Comes with a repair kit and stuff sack
- The mattress is a bit costly, and thus not ideal for one-time use
- Can expose pregnant mothers to toluene, increasing the risk of birth defects
- It can be noisy when you move around on it
Unlike its predecessor the Xlite, NeoAir XTherm is warmer and more durable. Weighing only 15 ounces, opt for this hammock sleeping pad if you want a premium air mattress for ultra light backpacking year-in-year-out. You can bring it with you each time you go camping or hiking, especially in cold weather.
2. Big Agnes Q Core SLX Sleeping Pad
Big Agnes is a brand founded almost two decades ago to manufacture the best gear for endless fun outdoors. The company is determined to make functional gear with a focus on improving your outdoor experiences. The founders were inspired to start the brand after successfully fixing a sleeping pad.
The company believes that testing products in the real world is the foundation of innovation. The stories, product reviews, pictures and exceptional adventures the company’s clients share is what keeps it going. The Big Agnes Q Core SLX is a compact, three-season sleeping pad designed for ultra light backpacking.
Built with larger outer chambers, the sleeping pad is bound to offer you comfort atop cradling you towards its core. The advanced built-in reflective technology allows heat to be trapped within the pad for increased warmth. It’s made of the new double rip stop nylon fabric for durable yet ultra light use. The fabric improves the strength of your sleeping pad by up to 25%, hence increased durability.
TPU lamination technology also improves the pad’s strength and durability. With the antimicrobial treatment, you don’t have to worry about microorganisms growing inside your sleeping pad. The I-Beam construction further lowers the pad’s weight for enhanced comfort, support and stability. This means you can ultra-pack your pad for easy backpacking.
Moreover, the quilted top with a pillow baffle is what you need for added cushioning and thus comfortable night sleep away from home. The pad comes with a repair kit for quick fixes in the wild in case of issues such as tears or punctures. Easily and efficiently inflate or deflate your sleeping pad through the high-volume valve. Choose from the six pad sizes available: petite, regular, long, large, wide long, wide regular and double wide.
- Multi-directional stability, strength and support
- Tough yet compact and lightweight
- Thick, Easy to inflate/deflate and use
- Versatile for use either on the ground or with your hammock
- Supports three-season use and gives added warmth
- Efficient, durable and prevents micro-organismic growth
- It’s expensive, but worth each penny spent
- Doesn’t come with a hand pump
If you’re a serious backpacker who’s always on the move, you’ll love this sleeping pad. It’s lightweight and compact enough to pack light each time you’re out for an adventure. It comes with the durability you need to use it from one outdoor adventure to another.
3. Therm-A-Rest Prolite Sleeping Pad
Therm-A-Rest is a top brand for outdoor backpacking gear with lots of sleeping pads, and so it appears twice in our list. The Therm-A-Rest Prolite is a self-inflating air mattress in a compact and lightweight design for ultra light backpacking. Unlike the NeoAir XTherm, Prolite is more affordable and easier to use, even for beginners.
Built for fast outdoor adventures expected to go for several days or even weeks, the sleeping pad is durable, strong and comfortable despite being cost-effective. The foam inside the pad features diagonally-cut channels for better heat retention and reduced weight (weighs only 12 ounces).
It offers more warmth and supports lighter packing than its counterparts with straight-cut channels within the foam. With an R-value of 2.4, the 3-season sleeping pad offers enough insulation in cold weather. However, the Neoair XTherm would offer more warmth in extremely cold weather.
The pad comes packed with a stuff sack for storage. Opt for the small (20 x 47 inches), xsmall (20 x 36 inches), regular or large sizes as you deem fit.
- Lightweight and compact for easy ultralight packing
- More cost-effective to fit varied budgets
- Self-inflates for easy use
- Durable and has a high heat retention rate
- Adjustable and efficient in performance
- Can expose pregnant women to toluene
- Low R-value hence insulation
The Therm-A-Rest Prolite Sleeping Pad is ideal for you if you prefer a more affordable, self-inflating mattress for ultralight backpacking in the warmer seasons. It comes in handy if insulation isn’t important for your upcoming outdoor adventure.
4. The Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad
Klymit is a brand made up of people with diverse backgrounds who love spending time outdoors. Ranging from storytellers and artists to explorers and engineers, among other professionals, the team behind the brand work together to come up with the gear you need to spend time outdoors.
The Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad is designed to give you the freedom to pack light and still enjoy using a comfortable product you can use for many years. Although the pad weighs only 16.6 ounces, it’s just as luxurious and comfortable as its predecessor, the Static V. It packs to the size of a soda bottle for easy backpacking.
The 75D polyester beneath makes it durable while the 30D polyester at the top of the sleeping pad further reduces its weight. Whether you tend to sleep on your stomach, sides or back, the v-shaped design based on the body mapping technology guarantees that you’ll have a restful night’s sleep outdoors.
The patch kit it comes with is what you need for quick repairs in case of accidental punctures. It features deep welds that develop into expansion zones for added thermal comfort and built-in side rails for safe, comfortable sleep. The rails are designed to prevent air movement whenever you turn and toss, ensuring you sleep in the middle of the sleeping pad.
The simple twist-pull valve is easy to use for fast inflation of your bed. You’ll need about 10 breathes only to get your bed ready for use. Choose among the horizon red, green and glacier blue colors available.
- Lightweight and compact for ultralight backpacking
- Comfortable and supportive for a luxurious sleep
- Minimal to no air movement
- Rugged surface material for protection from slip offs
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Inhibits the growth of microorganisms due to anti-microbial laminate treatment
- Easy to repair and versatile for use either on the ground or with a hammock
- The width is small and thus might not fit a user with a big body
- Average quality, but can withstand use countable times
- Takes time to deflate
If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced sleeping pad you can use for a while, opt for this sleeping pad. It also comes in handy if you’re concerned about extreme temperatures, insects and even backaches when camping or hiking outdoors.
5. The Wellax Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad
Wellax Outdoors helps outdoor enthusiasts to find their inspiration through unique travel experiences. The company manufactures loungers, tents, backpacks, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, camping accessories and health and safety gear for outdoor adventurers. The Wellax Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad comes in a compact, air cell design for improved support and stability and thus comfort while sleeping.
The inflatable sleeping pad is ideal for you if you’re into hiking and backpacking, and looking for an affordable, ultra-comfortable pad. With just 4 to 6 breathes, your sleeping pad is ready for use. Apart from being ultralight, the pad is made of a laminated 20D ripstop nylon for increased durability and thus long-term use.
The silent mode ensures your pad doesn’t get noisy when in use for sound sleep in the wild. Choose between the two colors available: green and blue.
- Comfortable and insulated to keep your body warm
- Ultralight and packs small for easy backpacking
- Durable and resistant to moisture
- Affordable for all
- Attractive with chic appearance, making it ideal for women
- Single-layered and compact for light backpacking
- Wide enough to accommodate your hips and shoulders
- Inflates and deflates easily, hence ideal for beginners
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Has a low R-value hence reduced insulation level
- Might not be sturdy enough to support regular use
If you’re a beginner or working on a tight budget, you won’t go wrong with the Wellax Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad.
The best hammock sleeping pad buying guide
When going camping or backing for many days, it becomes unrealistic to use camping tents. Hammocks lift you off slippery and cold ground, not to mention the added comfort that comes with using a good sleeping pad for hammocks. Convenience and comfort are important to car campers while warmth and weight are more critical for a backpacker.
What’s more, the sleeping pads are made with insulating materials to keep you warm in the cold nights outdoors. Consider various factors when shopping for a sleeping pad suitable for your unique needs. Opt for the right type of pad, the features it comes with and how you intend to use it.
Pick the right type of sleeping pad
Available in three major types, choose among self-inflating, air and closed-cell foam pads for sleeping. Closed-cell foam pads are designed for basic backpacking. The pads are filled with a dense foam made up of small, closed air cells. Fold or roll up the pad in a Z shape ready for backpacking.
Although closed-cell foam pads are affordable, lightweight, long lasting and made to provide good insulation, they’re firm and stiff, hence less comfortable than other types. The pads are also bulky, making them less ideal for backpacking.
However, they double as camping sit pads and neither leak nor puncture easily. This means you can easily pack it on the outside of your backpack without worrying about it getting damaged.
Air pads are made with reflective or insulation material for added warmth. Unlike other types of sleeping pads, they’re lighter, and thus the best for backpacking.
Whereas some come with a lightweight external hand pump in the form of a bag that you’ve got buy separately, others are made with built-in hand pumps for inflation. Alternatively, opt for one you can easily inflate with your breath in less than 3 minutes. However, it’s recommended that you use a hand pump to prevent buildup of moisture in the pad (it rarely occurs though).
Air pads are the most compact for backpacking, in addition to being lightweight and comfortable. They can also come in handy when going camping in a warm environment. If you’re always on the go, opt for an air pad with extra insulation for use throughout the year in different seasons.
While in use, release some air through the valve to customize your air pad to a comfortable level. On the downside, some air pads can be noisy when you move while lying on it. Although they’re easy to repair even when outdoors, air pads are susceptible to punctures, especially with pets around. Moreover, they’re more expensive than other types of sleeping pads for hammocks.
Self-inflating sleeping pads, on the other hand, are a combination of air and open-cell foam pads. You simply open your pad’s valve and it auto-inflates. Some designs are meant for car camping while others for backpacking. Whereas the latter roll up for storage (not foldable), you can roll up the former and fold it for backpacking.
Self-inflating pads are comfortable, lightweight and compact, and the least costly. The pads are available in the widest and warmest options to choose from based on your needs. They’re stronger than air pads, adjustable, ideal for kids and barely lose air while in use.
Unlike basic foam pads, they’re more costly and heavier, and less compact than air pads. Although they puncture easily, you can easily repair them in the wild.
Your intended application area can determine the type of hammock sleeping pad you opt for. Air pads or self-inflating pads offer the comfort you’d need while backpacking. Whether you’re kayaking, canoeing, biking or even mountaineering, the pads offer varied thickness, insulation value, durability and weight to suit your preferred needs.
Consider those with the option for a chair kit, doubling as a comfortable seat with backrest for lightweight backpacking. On the other hand, an ultralight air pad is what you need for minimalist backpacking. Look at a sleeping pad’s packed size when shopping for ultralight backpacking and make comparisons; some weigh less than one pound.
Are you going for car camping? If yes, weight and size aren’t limiting factors when picking the best sleeping pads for hammock. Opt for a thicker, larger sleeping pad for added comfort. Large, self-inflating pads are designed specifically for car camping. Unlike other types of sleeping pads, they’re bulkier and less costly.
If you’re planning to use regular blankets and sheets, opt for large, inflatable air mattresses. However, they’re not insulated, meaning you can only use them in mild conditions. What’s more, you need a hand pump to properly inflate your sleeping mattress.
Use two insulated sleeping pads for winter camping; a closed-cell foam pad and a self-inflating sleeping pad or air pad with high R-values to protect yourself from cold weather. If your air pad or self-inflating pad punctures, the additional closed-cell foam pad ensures you keep warm. Opt for closed-cell foam sleeping pads if going thru-hiking.
The sleeping pads are lightweight and offer the durability you need for sustenance during prolonged outdoor adventures. Consider a short sleeping pad of about ¾ length to minimize your backpacking weight.
Features of the best sleeping pad for hammock
The R-value indicates a sleeping pad’s insulation level. The higher the value, the higher the pad’s level of insulation. If going for camping or backpacking in cold weather or winter, consider self-inflating pads or air pads built with an additional inner synthetic layer for increased insulation.
A sleeping pad’s R-value can range from 1 to 11, varying from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer. Women-specific sleeping pads are usually more insulated, especially at the feet (edges along the width) and core areas.
Choose a pad with an R-value of at least 3 or 4 when going camping in summer. Unlike sleeping bags, even if you opt for the highest R-value you can find, hammock sleeping pads don’t overheat.
Body construction & design
Look out for large baffles on the sides to cradle you while sleeping and prevent rolling off your sleeping pad. Also, consider pillow baffles in a pad’s body construction for head protection. Such sleeping pads are ideal for kids to ensure the safety of your little ones. Horizontal baffles, vertical baffles, quilted and side baffles are some designs to look out for in your sleeping pad.
Length, width & weight
Pad length and width are also important; choose the right length and width based on your body size. The width should fit your hips and shoulders, and the length must accommodate your height for a comfortable night sleep outdoors. They typically range from 47 to 78 inches in length, and 20 to 30 inches wide.
Ultralight, tapered or mummy and short closed-cell foam pads are ideal for backpacking. The lower the weight of a sleeping pad, the more money you should expect to part with. Opt for lightweight two-person hammock sleeping pads if going camping with your spouse or loved one.
Inflation & pad surface
Opt for a sleeping pad built with a deflation valve and a high-volume inflation valve, a large neck opening or multiple, separate inflation layers. In the last case, you get peace of mind if one inflation layer fails.
You’ll find a textured pad surface or one finished with a brushed fabric handy if you tend to be restless in the night. The surface material doesn’t just minimize noise, but also ensures that you don’t slide off the pad while sleeping. Thick pads with flat surfaces are deemed comfortable because they better cushion your knees and hips unlike their thinner counterparts.
D-value, material & price
The need for a durable sleeping pad made from a strong, thick material also goes without saying, especially for air pads. This is measured in denier (D-value). Nylons or ripstop polyesters with high denier ratings up to 30D or 40D are heavier, thicker and more durable, but lighter. Whereas a denier of 20D is fragile, 50D plus denier is considered tough. Unlike polyester, nylon is lighter and stronger.
However, prolonged exposure to UV breaks down nylon over time, but polyester is resistant to the rays. Furthermore, polyester is more resistant to moisture, making it ideal for camping or backpacking under wet conditions.
Sleeping pads range in price from as low as $20 for a cheap closed-cell foam pad to as high as $200 or more for a premium air pad. The cost varies based on different factors such as brand, material used, durability and quality of the pad, among others.
If you rarely backpack, opt for an affordable pad designed for a few or one-time use. However, if you go backpacking often, invest in a high quality sleeping pad you can use for many years.
Shape, noise, sleeve sleep systems, and hand pumps are other factors you should consider when shopping for the best hammock sleeping pad that suits your needs, preferences and personal style. If you’re going for a pad that’s susceptible to punctures, make sure it comes with a patch kit for repairs. If not, buy one separately for quick fixes in case your pad punctures. Pick a pad bound to give you value for your money.
How to install and use a sleeping pad
You can look at the video below if you want some useful tips about how to place your pad in a hammock and how to use it.
The market is full of all kinds of hammock sleeping pads designed for varied applications. We hope that you’ve found this review of the best sleeping pad for hammocks useful. Use the information given in the buying guide to help you make an informed buying decision.
Ranging from ease-of-use and comfort to cost-effectiveness and durability of the sleeping pad, among others, you’ve got various factors to consider when buying the best hammock sleeping pad for your next outdoor hiking or backpacking adventure outdoors. Whichever pad you opt for, make sure it suits your budget and meets your unique sleeping needs.
Order the best sleeping pad for hammocks today on Amazon or contact us to learn more about this exceptional outdoor gear.
Featured image src: Bernard Hermant