Updated on September 28, 2020

Adventure Junkies far and wide are in on this little secret: the key to an amazing adventure is a good night’s sleep. And when you’re out on the road, it’s not always easy to get one, but it doesn’t have to be that way! What you need is a really great sleeping pad to help you get that quality adventure REM you’ve been dreaming of. That’s where we come in. Below, you’ll find an Adventure Junkie approved list of the very best bikepacking sleeping pads.

Before you dive into this article, you should know that the sleeping pads on this list aren’t necessarily categorized as bikepacking sleeping pads where they’re being sold, but we’ve selected them because we think they’ll do the best job serving this purpose. We’ve chosen products that are lightweight, compact, and convenient to set up and take down. So what are you waiting for? Get reading and get on with chasing your dreams!

For more of our top biking gear recommendations, check out the Best Stoves for Bikepacking.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Bikepacking Sleeping Pads

  1. Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout
  2. Sea To Summit Comfort Plus
  3. Nemo Tensor Alpine
  4. REI Co-op Flash 3-Season
  5. HIKENTURE Backpacking Sleeping Pad

 

Comparison Table - Best Bikepacking Sleeping Pad

PictureNameShapeInsulatedInflation TypePriceRating
Therm-a-Rest Trail ScoutSemi RectangularYesSelf-Inflating$4.5
Sea To Summit Comfort PlusSea To Summit Comfort PlusRectangularYesSelf-Inflating$$$4.7
Nemo Tensor AlpineNemo Tensor AlpineRectangularYesBlow Up$$$$4.9
REI Co-op Flash 3-SeasonREI Co-op Flash 3-SeasonMummyYesBlow Up$$4.7
HIKENTURE Backpacking Sleeping PadSemi RectangularNoBlow Up$4.4
PictureNameShapeInsulatedInflation TypePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Sleeping Pad for Bikepacking

Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout

Specs
  • Dimensions: 72” x 20”
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
  • Shape: Semi Rectangular
  • Thickness: 1 in.
  • Inflation Type: Self-Inflating
Features
  • Fast-Acting Pump Sack Makes Inflation/Deflation Fast And Easy
  • Customize The Firmness By Adding A Few Breaths After The Self-Inflation Process
  • Packs Down Into A Small Stuff Sack To Maximize Space

BEST SELF-INFLATING SLEEPING PAD

Therm-A-Rest has become an industry leader in the sleeping pad department, and it’s no wonder why. Their products are known both for their comfort and advanced insulating abilities, too. The Therm-A-Rest Trail Scout is our top pick for a self-insulating bikepacking sleeping pad. 

Updated for 2020, this sleeping pad comes with a pump sack to make inflation and deflation even easier than it was before. For an insulated pad, it is impressively lightweight and packs down to be quite small. We also love the customization this pad offers: choose to add a few breaths at the end of the auto-inflation process if you prefer a firmer night’s sleep.

Sea To Summit Comfort Plus


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Dimensions: 72” x 25”
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lb. 12 oz.
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Thickness: 3 in.
  • Inflation Type: Self-Inflating
Features
  • 3 Inch Thickness Provides A Luxury Sleep Experience
  • Specially Designed Insulation System Keeps You Warm In Key Body Areas While Reducing Weight
  • Non-Slip Details Keep The Pad In Place
Sea To Summit Comfort Plus

BEST COMFORT SLEEPING PAD

Luxury sleeping pad…kind of sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Well, with the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus, it doesn’t have to be. Even the name makes us want to just curl up and take a nap on it! This ultra-comfy sleeping pad has everything you need for a great night’s sleep on the trails, from a high-tech insulating system to 3 inches of thick, plushy contentment.

Before you go all in and add this sleeping pad to your cart, we do want to make mention of two slight downsides that may or may not affect your decision to buy. The first is the cost. Any high-end sleeping pad like this one will come with a notably higher price tag. The second is the weight. Because this pad does have all the high end features you might want, it does double and nearly triple the weight of some of our other sleeping pad picks.

Nemo Tensor Alpine

Specs
  • Dimensions: 72” x 20”
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz.
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Thickness: 3 in.
  • Inflation Type: Blow Up
Features
  • Incredible Thickness To Weight Ratio Means You’ll Maximize Comfort While Reducing Weight
  • High-Tech, 3-Layer Warming System Traps Body Heat To Insulate From The Cold
  • Sustainability Alert! 100% Recyclable Packaging Is Made From Previously Recycled Materials
Nemo Tensor Alpine

BEST ULTRALIGHT SLEEPING PAD

Let there be LIGHT! If low packed size and weight are important considerations for you, look no further. This is the best ultralight sleeping pad your money can buy. Decked out with a special air valve and a pump sack to make adding and removing air easy breezy (pun intended), the Nemo Tensor Alpine will light up your next bikepacking trip (okay, okay, we’ll stop with the puns, now).

This sleeping pad is by far the most expensive on our list of best bikepacking sleeping pads, but if you’re looking for one product that has it all, this is it. It offers 3 inches of cushion that strikes the perfect balance between stability and comfort. It also has a super high R-Value, which means that it is suitable for even the coldest of nights. And oh yeah, did we mention? As an added bonus for us lovers of the earth, the packaging for this product is made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable itself.

REI Co-op Flash 3-Season

Specs
  • Dimensions: 72” x 20”
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.
  • Shape: Mummy
  • Thickness: 2 in.
  • Inflation Type: Blow Up
Features
  • Mummy Shape Helps Cut Down On Weight And Size When Packed
  • Updated Design For Added Durability
  • Dual Valve Technology Makes Inflation And Deflation Easier Than Ever Before
REI Co-op Flash 3-Season

BEST BLOW UP SLEEPING PAD

While self-inflating sleeping pads are great, there are many reasons you might want a sleeping pad you blow up yourself, like the fact that blow up sleeping pads tend to weigh less and pack down to a smaller size, too. We love the REI Co-Op Flash and we’ve picked it as our favorite blow up sleeping pad.

Featuring a mummy shape that cuts down on packed size and weight, a super durable design, and dual valve technology that makes inflation and deflation easier than ever, this sleeping pad is sure to please. 

The only real down-side to a blow up sleeping pad is that you have to, well, blow it up yourself. If this is something you’re just not into, steer clear. But if you don’t mind the idea of about 30 seconds of huffing and puffing, we highly recommend this pick, especially since it’s designed to drastically cut down on the number of breaths needed to fully inflate. Breathe in, breathe out…ahhhh.

HIKENTURE Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Specs
  • Dimensions: 73” x 22”
  • Insulated: No
  • Weight: 15 oz.
  • Shape: Semi Rectangular
  • Thickness: 2 in.
  • Inflation Type: Blow Up
Features
  • Extremely Lightweight Design Won’t Weigh Down Your Pack
  • Nylon Fabric Enhances The Pad’s Durability And Waterproof-Ability
  • Comes With A 90-Day Money Back Guarantee

BEST BUDGET SLEEPING PAD

This colorful blow-up sleeping pad has almost three-hundred five star customer reviews, and it gets an A+ rating from us, as well. It’s no secret that the costs of bikepacking add up quickly, but the Hikenture Backpacking Sleeping Pad helps to soften the blow to your pocket. You’ll have to let us know if you find a high-quality sleeping pad at a lower price than this, because we sure couldn’t. 

Let us be clear — this sleeping pad does not come with all the glitz and glam that some others do. It is not, for example, self-inflating; it doesn’t come with premium plush cushioning; it is uninsulated. However, if you’re a warmer weather camper who doesn’t need the glitz and glam, or if you’re just looking to get into bikepacking with some affordable equipment, it really is perfect!

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BIKEPACKING SLEEPING PADS

 

WEIGHT

As with any back or bikepacking product, weight is a very important consideration. If you’re the type of bikepacker who prioritizes speed and distance, you’ll want to look for a low weight sleeping pad. That may mean sacrificing a little bit of thickness and therefore comfort because in general, the heavier the sleeping pad, the more comfort it provides.

 

DIMENSIONS, SHAPE AND THICKNESS

Sleeping pad dimensions are important to consider, especially if you are taller/larger than average, since the dimensions may affect your level of comfort. Instead of one size fits all, many sleeping pads come in regular and long wide sizes. Be sure to read the exact dimensions for each. 

There are three sleeping pad shapes to consider: Rectangular, Semi Rectangular, and Mummy. 

Rectangular sleeping pads are shaped just how you would think: like a rectangle. They have the most head and foot space and tend to weigh a tiny bit more than the other shapes. 

Semi Rectangular sleeping pads are very close in shape to rectangular sleeping pads, but they might have an oh so slightly slimmer foot space and/or rounded corners. 

Mummy sleeping pads have rounded corners and a wider head space than they do foot space. This shape is designed to conserve space and weight in your pack.

When it comes to sleeping pads, thickness plays a great role in the amount of comfort the pad provides. In general, a 1 inch thick pad is considered thin or minimalist and a 3 inch thick pad is considered thick or luxury. Thickness also affects the cost and weight of the sleeping pad, meaning the thinner the pad, the more likely it is to weigh less and also cost less.

 

INSULATION

If you’re primarily a warm weather bikepacker, you don’t need to worry too much about sleeping pad insulation, but if you plan to use your pad on cooler nights (and remember-cooler nights do happen even in summer, depending on where you are!), then you’ll definitely want to look into pad insulation. An important spec to know is the pad’s r-value. R-values run 1-5 with low r-values indicating low insulation (warm weather sleeping pads) and high r-values indicating greater insulation (cool to cold weather sleeping pads). You can read more about r-values in the lower section of this helpful article and all about winter camping basics in this one.

 

INFLATION TYPE

There are two main inflation types: self-inflating and blow up.

Self-inflating sleeping pads either have a valve that automatically takes in air when you open it, or they come with a “pump sack” that you can use to inflate and deflate the pad. These pads tend to be a bit heavier and bulkier than the blow up variety.

Blow up sleeping pads are pads you blow up with your own breath. They typically have a one-way valve that makes this process easy, and can usually be blown up in under one minute. This type of sleeping pads tends to be a bit thinner, but also lighter, than the self-inflating variety.

 

SPECS AND FEATURES EXPLAINED

 

PUMP SACK

A sleeping pad carrying case that doubles as an automatic air pump.

READ MORE

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About The Author

Growing up on her family’s Massachusetts tree farm sparked Liza’s love for the great outdoors. An avid hiker, biker, and skier, she is always looking for the next adventure! Her greatest pursuit was a 3,600 mile bike ride across America, which she completed in 2016. She spends her winters in the mountains and her summers as a guide in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone national parks. You can find her health, happiness, and adventure blog at https://www.flower-force.com or https://www.facebook.com/flowerpowerblog. She is also on instagram as @lizab__.

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