It is crucial to choose the right sleeping pad for a fun winter camping. It might be frustrating to find the proper gear. Therefore, I have selected the Top 5 Best Cold Weather Sleeping Pads for you by doing extensive research and comparisons.
If you are in a hurry I can confidently say Exped Megamat 10 LXW is the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Pad in the list.
Do not forget that even if you had the most insulated sleeping pad in the world, it means nothing without the right sleeping bag. So, if you don’t have a proper sleeping bag, check out our article about Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bags.
If you don’t know how to choose a sleeping pad, skip the Top 5 and go straight to How to Choose the Best Cold Weather Sleeping Pad section.
Top 5 Best Cold Weather Sleeping Pads
R - VALUE
Ø 4.1″ x 9″
72″ x 20″
Ø 9.8″ x 31.1″
77.6″ x 30.3"
Ø 4.75″ x 11″
78″ x 25″
Ø 3.5″ x 7.5″
72″ x 20″
Ø 3.5" x 9.5"
76" x 25"
Best For: Best Cold Weather Sleeping Pad for Ultralight Backpacking
Weight: 12 oz
Packed Dimension: 4.1″ x 9″
Size: 72″ x 20″
Therm-a-Rest is the leader in the sleeping pad industry. The main reason for that is, they offer the whole package; Durability, Low Weight, Warmth, Small Compact Size, and Comfort. One of their well-known models, Neoair Xlite has made it into the list due to its high Warmth to Weight Ratio (with the R-Value of 3.2 and weight of 12 oz).
If you are searching the best cold weather sleeping pad for backpacking, minimal pack size is remarkably important as well, NeoAir Xlite can be packed down to 4.1″ x 9″ (Pump sack included).
Neo Air xLite is made of 30D rip HT Nylon, it is not the most durable pad on the list, but considering its weight, 30D is pretty good for an ultralight sleeping pad.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir has a thickness of 2.5″. it is very high for an ultralight sleeping pad. 2.5″ of thickness is good for a regular sleeper, but if you are a side sleeper you might feel a little discomfort.
The one thing I did not like about the pad is, it is a little noisy due to its insulation material. But if you don’t mind the sound I can confidently say that NeoAir Xlite is the best cold weather sleeping pad for ultralight backpacking.
For air type sleeping pads I strongly recommend selecting one made from durable fabric. Though most of them come with the repair kit, they’re useless when they are damaged.
Best For: Best Cold Weather Sleeping Pad Over All
Weight: 99.7 oz
Packed Dimension: 9.8″ x 31.1″
Size: 77.6″ x 30.3″
If you are looking for a bed-like comfort for cold weather camping Exped Megamat is the ideal pad for you. Besides being the most comfortable pad in the list, it also has an R-Value of 9.5 which can keep you warm until -54.4 °F.z
Exped Megamat is a self-inflating pad. When you arrive your campsite, open your pad’s valve and do other camping preparations like pitching your tent, in the meantime, Exped Megamat will be inflating itself (it generally takes 10 minutes to be inflated), when you are done with your tent, the pad will be ready as well (it also comes with a small pump so that you can inflate a little more to adjust it for your comfort).
The top of the pad is made of 50D nylon and the side of the pad is made of 75D polyester, therefore, it is one of the most durability cold weather sleeping pads in the market.
In general, most of the sleeping pads are 72″ Long and 20″ wide. Especially the big fellows out there might not feel so comfortable on a 72″ x 20″ size pad. Being 77.6″ Long and 30.3″ wide makes Exped Megamat suitable for both big guys and small fellows out there. The pad has two valves; one to ease the inflation & adjustment, and one for quick deflation.
Exped Megamat is not a backpacking sleeping pad due to its packed size, but it is without a doubt the best cold-weather car camping sleeping pad in the market.
Compared to other pads it is a bit expensive but given that, a sturdy sleeping pad is a lifetime product, don’t mind spending a little more on the pad.
Best For: Best Backpacking Cold Weather Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers
Weight: 21.7 oz
Packed Dimension: 4.75″ x 11″
Size: 78″ x 25″
The thickness of the sleeping pad is extremely important for side sleepers. There are not a lot of thick backpacking sleeping pads in the market. Being 4″ thick and having an R-value of 3.8 makes Sea to Summit Ether Light XT” the Best Backpacking Cold Weather Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers.
For most of the specs, it looks a lot like NeoAir Xlite. It weighs 21.7 oz (a little more than NeoAir Xlite) and packs down to 4.75″ x 11″ (a little bit bigger than NeoAir Xlite). But it is much more comfortable since it is 78″ long, 25″ wide and 4″ thick (1.5 times thicker than NeoAir Xlite). It is much quieter compared to NeoAir Xlite.
In conclusion, if you don’t mind sacrificing just a little on the pack size and weight for more comfort, Sea to Summit Ether Light XT is ideal for you.
Note: Sea to Summit also has a more innovative valve and a pump sack to ease the inflation and deflation process.
Best For: The Most Compressible Sleeping Pad for Cold Weathers
Weight: 12.9 oz
Packed Dimension: 3.5″ x 7.5″ (Pump Sack Included)
Size: 72″ x 20.5″
A gear’s pack size and weight are the two most important features for backpacking. If you don’t want to sacrifice from both of them and still want a convenient cold weather sleeping pad Exped Synmat HL is perfect for you.
What makes it the most convenient backpacking sleeping pad for cold weather is: it weighs 12.9 oz, packs down to 3.5 x 7.5 and yet it’s highly warm and thick (2.8″).
Exped Synmat HL has a tapered design, it is wider around the shoulder area and more narrow around the foot area. The main reason for the tapered design is to save from packed dimensions and weight. If you are a person who moves a lot during sleeping, I don’t recommend it. But if you are a steady sleeper it really isn’t a big deal.
In the stuff sack (which is only 3.5″ x 7.5″) there is also a pump sack to ease the inflation process as well. It only takes 20 seconds to fully inflate the pad with the pump sack.
If the pack size is your top priority, Exped Synmat HL is the perfect cold-weather sleeping pad for you.
Best For: The Most Comfortable Cold Weather Sleeping Pad for Backpacking
Weight: 27 oz
Packed Dimension: 3.5″ x 9.5″
Size: 76″ x 25″
Some people need a really quiet and comfortable environment to sleep. For those, Nemo Tensor Alpine is ideal. Besides being a quiet sleeping pad, having 3 inches of thickness while packing down small is the main reason why many backpackers choose Nemo Tensor Alpine.
Nemo Tensor Alpine has an innovative valve and a pump sack to ease inflation and deflation.
With the R-Value of 4.8 (which will keep you from cold until -20 F), it is the warmest backpacking sleeping pad on the list.
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Pad for Cold Weathers
A sleeping pad’s warmth is measured by R-Value. It basically shows the sleeping pad’s resistance to heat transfer between you and the ground. Therefore, R-Value is the most important factor when choosing the best cold weather sleeping pad.
The higher the R-Value, the higher the insulation.
A good night’s sleep is remarkably important for camping. In order to have a relaxing night, you also need to take other features into consideration. Those features are:
- Packed Dimensions
Packed Dimensions of a Cold Weather Sleeping Pad
Depending on what type of camping (a car-camping or backpacking) you are planning, your priorities might change. But if you are planning a backpacking trip, packed size is one of the most important priorities.
Generally, the packed size of a backpacking sleeping pad is around 4″ x 9″. Warm sleeping pads tend to be thicker (therefore bigger when packed) compared to regular sleeping pads. For the backpackers out there, we have also chosen cold weather sleeping pads that pack down below 4″ x 9″.
What is The Optimum Weight of a Cold Weather Sleeping Pad
A sleeping pad’s weight varies from 1 to 5 lbs. If you are planning a car camping trip then the weight is not a priority. But for backpackers, weight is crucial.
Since the cold weather sleeping pads also have insulation material in them, they are heavier than regular pads. But don’t worry there are also extremely light sleeping pads made of quality insulation material. For the backpackers out there, we have chosen pads that have the highest the Weight to Warmth Ratio. Every Backpacking sleeping pad in the list weighs less than 2 lbs.
There are three types of Sleeping Pads: Air, Open-Cell (Self-inflated), Closed-Cell. Air and Open-Cell sleeping pads are much comfortable, and heat resistant compared to Closed-Cell pads. Therefore every sleeping pad that made it into the list is Air or Open-Cell sleeping pad.
The comfort also depends on the thickness of the pad. Although it depends on how you sleep, you might feel the ground while sleeping on a thin sleeping pad. Especially for the side sleepers out there, I would strongly recommend a sleeping pad that is at least 3″ thick.
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