Sleeping pads play two very important roles for getting a solid night's sleep in the great outdoors: cushioning and insulation. While it might seem like having a comfortable surface to sleep on is a pad's most useful function, its ability to keep you warm throughout the night is often more important.
Here`s how to choose a Sleeping Pad
for camping or backpacking:
Types of sleeping pads: Learn about the three basic types of pads and how they perform - air, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam.
Intended use: Decide which activity your pad is for - backpacking, car camping, winter camping, etc.
Features: Decide which features are most important to you - weight, cushioning, size, insulation.
Try them in person: To make your final decision, try to visit your local REI and test a few different pads. Be sure to lie down on your back or side as you would typically sleep, and try rolling on the pad as well. This will give you a sense for what feels comfortable, and you can easily assess the weight and packed size.