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Choosing a sleeping pad

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Investing in a quality sleeping pad will vastly improve your camping experience, but with so many on the market it can be hard to choose. At Tents Camping we advise that you spend as much as your budget will afford on this essential piece of kit. Not only will it improve the warmth of your sleeping bag, it will also provide you with a comfortable base to sleep on. See our buying guide below to see the pads we recommend and the best prices. In the coming months we will extend our advice on sleeping pads but we’ve included the best from each type of pad in the buying guide below.

Why have a sleeping pad?

Not only does a sleeping pad cushion your body from the ground, it also creates a thermal barrier between your sleeping bag and the cold ground beneath. Without one the performance of your sleeping bag will be greatly reduced as heat will be drawn away from it (and you) to the ground. Sleeping pads all come with what is known as an R-value. This measures the pads resistance (R) to heat loss. The higher the R-value, the warmer the pad will keep you. If you are considering camping on frozen or snowy ground the type of sleeping pad you will require will have a far higher R-value to that of one to be used for general camping.

Which type of pad to choose?

There are two main types of pads available, foam and self inflating.

Foam pads

There are two main forms of foam pad available in the UK; blue foam and ridged foam. Blue foam is quite hard wearing and is a good insulator. This is the most inexpensive type of pad and is perfect for camping on flat ground in warm weather. Ridged foam pads feature hinges and raised contours to make for a more comfortable night and to make it easier to pack away. Reports suggest that these are more comfortable than standard foam pads.

Self inflating pads

Self inflating pads are more expensive than foam, however, we feel that they are well worth the investment. They insulate far better than foam pads, are lightweight and pack down very well into a small space. The extra air that is contained in a self inflating pad really makes a big difference to the warmth that is retained in your sleeping bag. They come with a variety of fillings, including down and foam. One downside is that they can be punctured, however, all the ones we recommend come with a repair kit, which work well. I’ve never looked back since buying an inflatable sleeping pad. It makes such a difference and I would recommend them to anyone.

Multimat Camper

The Multimat camper is a good entry level example of a blue foam pad.

Retailer Availability Delivery Price Total Price
outdoor-megastore In Stock £4.95 £4.99 £9.94 buy now blue
amazon In Stock Free £5.99 £5.99 buy now blue
simply hike In Stock £3.99 £5.50 £9.49 buy now blue

Multimat Adventure

The Multimat Adventure is an excellent example of a mid range ridged foam mat.

Retailer Availability Delivery Price Total Price
outdoor-megastore In Stock £4.95 £14.99 £19.94 buy now blue
amazon In Stock £4.95 £13.99 £18.94 buy now blue

Thermarest Pro

Thermarest are regarded as market leaders in terms of self inflating sleeping pads. The Trail Pro is a great example of a mid range pad and will offer you many nights of peaceful and warm sleep!

Retailer Availability Delivery Price Total Price
amazon In Stock Free £72.50 £72.50 buy now blue
simply hike In Stock £3.99 £74.69 £78.68 buy now blue

Retailers who may stock similar items

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