When you’re preparing to go camping, you might think you’ve done your job if you’ve decided which tent and sleeping bag to bring, but in reality, if you don’t have with you the best foam sleeping pad you can buy your outdoor adventure can quickly turn to a nightmare. You will be feeling all the sticks and stones in the woods if you don’t separate your body from the ground with a nice, soft layer.
A good foam sleeping pad for camping is also an essential tool to prevent humidity from seeping into your joints and making you feel like you’ve suddenly aged ten years in a single night. We’ve compiled the reviews of the best foam sleeping pads on the market to guide you in the choice of this vital part of any camping checklist.
How To Choose A Foam Sleeping Pad – Buying Guide
Comfort is the most important feature of a sleeping pad and the one that will most influence your nights in a tent. Luckily, the foam for sleeping pads, in most cases, provides excellent support when placed on rocky terrain but there are still a few options to consider before randomly picking a mat. Firstly, examine the thickness of the layer of foam you will lie on and consider that your weight will further compress it, bringing you in closer contact with the rough rocks below. In this regard, the self inflating pads excel because of their ability to provide a thicker barrier than other models. On the other hand, if your main focus is warmth, you might want to pick a closed cell foam pad, since heat trapping is their best quality.
When you’re going hiking, foam sleeping pads will be with you through rough terrain and into the woods, so you need to be sure they will still be in one piece at the end of the day if you want to have something to rest on. Pads that are made by a simple layer of foam with no protective coating are the most vulnerable since they can easily catch and tear on branches while you’re hiking. Look for pads that are made of foam enclosed in tough polyester if you want to have an item that can take a beating and still stand.
The best foam sleeping bags are good for all seasons, so you won’t have to worry about buying different ones depending on the time of the year you plan to head out. If you want to feel extra safe and free of worries, look for a sleeping pad that has a waterproof layer around it. The rest of your gear, however, is very dependant on the weather so it has to be chosen with great care during the preparation phase.
Despite most of our foam sleeping pad reviews being focused on the moments when you’re resting, the mats can have several different functions as well, when you’re out in the wild. They can be used anytime you need to sit on the ground, for example if you need to cook something, to avoid coming into contact with soil that might be cold and wet, or can be very useful if you need to change shoes and don’t want to put your tired, sweaty feet directly on the ground. The fact that the mats can be folded into different shapes also adds to their versatility.
Be sure to pay attention to the reviews to choose a mat that is the right size for you, but you might also want to consider buying a slightly larger one if you want to rest your backpack near your feet and keep it dry. Another important detail to consider is the size and weight of the pad once it has been rolled or folded up because if you’re on a hike this is how you will most likely be transporting it and you need to avoid it being too cumbersome or heavy and drag you down. A few more ounces might not seem like much, but their effect over several hours of walking can be very noticeable.
Q: What Is A Closed Cell Foam Sleeping Pad?
If the foam is made of closed cells it is stiffer and less flexible than open cell foam, but is denser and provides greater insulating capabilities than open cell foam. In the case of sleeping pads, this translates to a slightly less comfortable pad but that is capable of maintaining much more of your body heat next to you.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Regular And Foam Pad?
Foam pads are capable of better adapting to the shape of your body than a regular pad, and this will ensure you fit much more comfortably on them when you’re laying down. This also helps body warmth being retained more efficiently in the valleys that form on foam pads.
Q: What Are The Types Of Foam?
Most sleeping pads will be made of polyurethane foam, which is the most common one you can find on the market and works well in most situations. Polyurethane foam can be further engineered to make memory foam, that is designed in such a way to perfectly adapt to the shape of any object you lay on it. In the mattresses you have at home you most probably have latex foam, while you might even find some made out of gel foam as well.
Globo Surf Overview
As we have seen, the options for sleeping pads are numerous on the market, and for good reason! No hiker will ever leave his or her home without one since they are an essential part of the basic gear that is needed on any outdoor adventure. We hope that our foam sleeping pads reviews can help you make a more informed decision and that you’ll have many good nights of sleep on the trail.