Looking for the best sleeping pad for winter camping?
Camping in the winter can be a cold and uncomfortable experience if you don’t have the right gear.
A good sleeping pad is essential to staying warm and comfortable while you sleep.
There are many options to choose from and if you don’t know what works best for winter, we’re here to help with that!
Here’s the main thing you need to know: most people use an air mattress or one of those foam pads when they camp in the summertime.
But these types of sleeping pads suck up heat and moisture during winter and will result in a cold night’s sleep.
In a hurry? Here’s our top picks for best sleeping pad for winter camping.
Best winter sleeping pad for backpacking
- R-value: 6.9
- inflated: 72″ x 20″ x 2.5″
- packed: 9″ x 4″
- weight: 15oz
- made in the USA
3 best sleeping pads for winter camping
High-quality, durable sleeping pad for cold weather
We’ve tried out a few different types of sleeping pads, but our favorite by far is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm because it has an R-value of 6.9 which will keep you warm even when temperatures get below freezing!
It’s manufactured by one of the most reputable camping brands out there, and when you’re relying on something that is inflated to keep you warm and comfortable during cold weather, you want to know you’re sleeping on something durable and well-made.
It offers the most warmth-per-ounce of any ultraright sleeping pad for backpacking, hiking, or mountaineering expeditions.
We’ve also found that this particular pad is lightweight and compact so it’s perfect for backpacking trips or car camping with limited space.
One of our favorite features of the XTherm is its WingLock valve, this mechanism allows for the pad to be inflated 3 times quicker than a classic valve and just as quick deflation, meaning you won’t be hanging around inflating and deflating your pad in the middle of winter.
The pad also features a patented Triangular Core Matrix design. Basically, the sleeping pad features a layer of thermal foam between alternate ridges of air and foam for maximum comfort and warmth.
The addition of foam does offer a lot of extra comfort in comparison to most inflation-only sleeping pads.
You’ll find you often begin to sag in inflation only sleeping pads, and if you have a bad back or funny sleeping position you might find you become uncomfortable through the night.
The pad comes supplied with a pump sack, stuff sack, and repair kit.
Perfect sleeping pad for car camping in extreme weather conditions
The Exped MegaMat Max is the perfect solution if you are looking for a single or double sleeping pad for car camping in winter.
It offers the best R-value of most sleeping pads out there but comes at a cost in terms of bulkiness.
There is no way you could take this thing backpacking, it’s just too bulky no matter how tightly you roll it up.
Its thick inflation offers great support for most but doesn’t include any foam insulation.
While insulation-only sleeping pads that are this thick will be comfortable for practically everyone, if you are a side sleeper or have a bad back you might find there isn’t enough support to keep you comfortable all night long and something like the Xtherm featured above might be more comfortable despite its thinner design.
The self-inflating design means you can save your breath after a long day of adventures or if you just want something fast to set up in the cold weather.
100% wool sock for maximum warmth and odor control
The Hikenture inflatable sleeping pad is another great car camping mattress for winter.
However, unlike the Exped, it features foam along with air, making it more comfortable if you have back problems or sleep on your side.
The sleeping pad is self-inflating like many on the market and comes supplied with a pump sack for you to adjust the firmness of the mattress after it self-inflates.
The sleeping pad is constructed of thickened memory foam with air that is inflated inside of the memory foam itself for maximum comfort and warmth.
Similar to the Exped, being ultra-thick means that the sleeping pad is fairly bulky and heavy. We would only ever recommend it for car camping or short treks to your destination.
The difference between a sleeping pad with an R-value of 4 and one that has an R-value of 6+ is dramatic.
If you’re going to be camping in colder, winter conditions it’s essential your sleep system can keep you warm enough at night.
A good quality sleeping bag will also help but if the temperature drops below freezing for any length of time, no amount of insulation will make up for having too little padding underfoot.
When shopping for gear this season, don’t forget the importance of investing in high-quality equipment!
Check out our other winter gear buying guides here –