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The weather is starting to get warmer, and you are getting itchy feet ready to dust off your backpack and start preparing for a camping adventure. As you go down the packing checklist, you realize a sleeping pad is an essential camping component, because being comfortable at night can make all the difference in getting a good night’s sleep and being rested for the day ahead. There are many choices when deciding on a sleeping pad, which is why our hiking team picked out 10 of the best self-inflating sleeping pads to help you make the decision that will make or break your overnight trip.

For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads.


Quick Answer - The Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

  1. Exped MegaMat 10
  2. Sea to Summit UltraLight
  3. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus
  4. Sea to Summit Comfort Light SI
  5. Big Agnes Hinman
  6. ALPS Mountaineering Comfort
  7. REI Co-op Trekker
  8. Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite
  9. Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro


Comparison Table - Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

PictureNameWeightThicknessR ValuePriceRating
Exped MegaMat 103 lbs. 12 oz3.9 in9.5$$$4.8
Sea to Summit UltraLight1 lb. 4.5 oz.2 in.3.3$5.0
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus1 lb. 7 oz.1.5 in.3.4$$4.2
Sea to Summit Comfort Light SI1 lb. 5 oz.2 in.2.7$$4.5
Big Agnes Hinman3 lb. 8 oz.1.5 in.5-5.9$4.1
ALPS Mountaineering Comfort4 lb. 9 oz.2 in.4.0$4.5
REI Co-op Trekker2 lb. 8 oz.1.75 in.5.6$4.0
Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite2 lb. 5 oz.1.5 in.3.4$4.5
Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro2 lb. 2 oz.2 in.4.0$$4.4
PictureNameWeightThicknessR ValuePriceRating
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 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads for Backpacking

Exped MegaMat 10

  • Weight: 3 lbs. 12 oz
  • R Value: 9.5
  • Thickness: 3.9 in
  • Rectangular Shaped
  • Repair Kit and Stuff Sack Included
  • Included Mini Pump Inflates This Pad Even Faster


Welcome the Exped MegaMat 10. Designed with a rectangular shape, this self-inflating pad provides a level sleeping surface from edge to edge. While self-inflating, this pad also comes with a minipump to help ensure the mat is fully inflated. And the pump itself only weighs 1.6 lbs.

The R-value of this mat is 9.5, meaning it is very warm. The pad itself is super resistant to heat flow, meaning all the heat your body produces at night will stick close to you, providing a great deal of insulation. The extra warmth provided by this pad makes its slightly higher price well worth the investment. The Exped can be purchased in long-wide and extra wide for thickness and length, so even tall people will be comfortable all night long.

Sea to Summit UltraLight

  • Weight: 1 lb. 4.5 oz.
  • R Value: 3.3
  • Thickness: 2 in.
  • Semi-rectangular Shape
  • Reversible One-way Valve To Prevent Inflating While Trying To Pack
  • Stuff Sack Included
  • Insulated For Maximum Warmth


Thru-hikers, this is a sleeping pad for you. Weighing in at just 1 lb. 4.5 oz., this pad will barely add any weight to that already stuffed backpack you are going to be living out of for the next several months. And with a super reasonable price, why would you want to overlook this mat?

With an R-value of 2.6 and a thickness of 1 inch, you won’t necessarily feel like you’re sleeping in a hotel – but that’s not why you go backpacking anyway, now is it? For the seasoned backpacker, 1 inch is a nice thickness to keep you off the ground and the 2.6 R-value rating provides enough resistance to heat flow to keep you warm on those cooler nights. And designed with a one-way valve that is reversible, you won’t have to fight air from escaping while you’re trying to inflate it and you won’t have to struggle with air coming back in when you’re trying to deflate the pad, which will make your set up and packing so much nicer.

Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus

  • Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz.
  • R Value: 3.4
  • Thickness: 1.5 in.
  • Semi-rectangular Shape
  • Exclusive Atmos Foam Reduces Weight And Increases Compressibility
  • Stuff Sack Included


When you are out skiing or on alpine adventures, you most definitely want a sleeping mat to keep you off the ground, but you’ll also want something light and compact. Introducing the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus! This mat only weights 1 lb. 7 oz., but offers 1.5 inches of thickness and an R-value of 3.4, so on those snow adventures, you will be warm and insulated.

Sea to Summit uses it’s exclusive Atmos foam in this pad, which is what contributes to the lightweight, but it will also compress really well, so you have extra room for those extra clothing layers. And combined with a mixture of nylon and polyester on the surface, you will not slip on this pad, so no shivering rude awakenings!

Sea to Summit Comfort Light SI

  • Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • R Value: 2.7
  • Thickness: 2 in.
  • Semi-rectangular Shape
  • Reversible One-way Valve To Prevent Inflating While Trying To Pack
  • Stuff Sack Included


Sea to Summit brings to you another lightweight sleeping mat without sacrificing comfort. Not tipping the scale, this mat weighs only 1 lb. 5 oz. Furthermore, this mat is 2 inches thick and topped with a squishy polyurethane foam top, adding that extra comfort at night.

Designed with a semi-rectangular shape, that mat will contour to your shape, so you will get the padding where you need it and not have a bunch of extra mat to create unnecessary weight in your pack. So, what more could you want in your backpack on those beautiful spring and fall camping outings?

Big Agnes Hinman

  • Weight: 3 lb. 8 oz.
  • R Value: 5-5.9
  • Thickness: 1.5 in.
  • Non-breaking Brass Valve
  • Rectangular Shape
  • Includes 2 Compression Straps For Easy Packing


Big Agnes does not just limit themselves to making a stand out sleeping bag with this self-inflating sleeping mat. Designed with a brass valve for inflation, you won’t have to worry about being in the middle of nowhere and having the valve break and being left sleeping on an airless mat.

With an R-value in the 5-5.9 range, you are guaranteed to stay well insulated on this mat. While slightly heavier than some other mats out there, it’s worth it for the insulation. Equipped with two compression straps, you can also easily strap this guy to your backpack, freeing up room inside your pack for extra snacks!

ALPS Mountaineering Comfort

  • Weight: 4 lb. 9 oz.
  • R Value: 4.0
  • Thickness: 2 in.
  • Brass Valve to Prevent Corroding
  • Rectangular Shape
  • Repair Kit and Stuff Sack Included


ALPS Mountaineering brings you their spin on a self-inflating sleeping mat. Coming in with an R-value of 4.0 and a thickness of 2 in, this mat is warm and comfy. And made with a durable ripstop polyester fabric top, not only will you be super quiet when you toss and turn at night, you also won’t have to worry about accidentally poking a hole in the pad.

The brass valve this mat is designed with will not corrode, meaning you can camp in the elements and not have to worry about this mat not inflating. And with a nice rectangular shape, this mat will fit nicely on a cot for when you are visiting friends and family. With a heavy weight of 4 lb. 9 oz,, this will be perfect to shove in your car for those overnight visits with friends or family.

REI Co-op Trekker

  • Weight: 2 lb. 8 oz.
  • R Value: 5.6
  • Thickness: 1.75 in.
  • Rectangular Shape
  • Stuff Sack Included
  • Compression Straps Included For Easy Packing


If you are looking for a great, inexpensive starter sleeping pad, REI has exactly what you’re looking for. The Trekker is a perfect combination of lightweight, thickness, and insulation for any camping adventure you are looking to try. This pad is highly compressible and comes with compression straps so you can strap this mat to your pack or easily fit it inside your backpack.

With a brushed polyester top and bottom, this pad is sleep resistant, so even if you like to move it and shake it in your sleep, you and your sleeping bag will not be able to run away from this mat. So whether car camping or hiking, this 2 lb. 8 oz. mat is a great choice to throw in your pack.

Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite

  • Weight: 2 lb. 5 oz.
  • R Value: 3.4
  • Thickness: 1.5 in.
  • Die-cut Foam for Easy Rolling and Stuffing
  • Semi-rectangular Shape
  • Stuff Sack Included


Therm-a-Rest has designed a trail sleeping pad that is purposefully light. When you find yourself out on chilly nights, it won’t be the cold keeping you awake. With an R-value of 3.4, you will be well insulated from the colder air. 

And let’s not forget about durability. Therm-a-Rest has designed this pad with polyester on top and bottom, allowing this pad to be super durable. And using their Die-cut Foam inside, you won’t have to fight with this pad in the morning to roll it up.

Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro

  • Weight: 2 lb. 2 oz.
  • R Value: 4.0
  • Thickness: 2 in.
  • Vacuum Poured Foam for High Compressibility
  • Semi-rectangular Shape
  • Stuff Sack Included


Once again, another superior self-inflating sleeping pad from Therm-a-Rest. With a vacuum poured foam filling, this pad compacts down tightly, not taking up a ton of room in your backpack. With an R-value at 4.0, it offers slightly more insulation than the Trail Lite, making it a better choice for cold weather.

This pad can also be purchased in a long version, so taller people won’t have to sacrifice comfort or insulation with this pad. And you won’t have to worry about becoming unpopular in your camp area, because with the polyester top and bottom surface, not only will you not slip, but you also will not be noisy while you move around in your sleep.




Self-inflating pads are named so because the pad has an open valve and the air fills in automatically, so you don’t get any light-headedness from blowing it up yourself. Slightly heavier than simple foam pads, self-inflating sleeping pads are better insulated and stronger, so you won’t feel like your bed is slowly deflating during the night. With many design options available, you can find anything from simple grab-and-go car camping pads to backpacking pads that fold and roll, fitting perfectly inside your pack.

Comfortable and compact, all the pads on the list above offer supreme insulation, so you will be as snug as a bug in a rug on your next camping adventure! Make sure to read through the following things to consider before making your choice from the list above so you’re sure to get exactly what you need to have the best night’s sleep on your next overnight trip.


Saving a few extra bucks is not worth it in the long run when you are dealing with a good night’s sleep. While some self-inflating sleeping pads may seem like a bigger investment in your wallet, investing in a durable and reliable sleeping pad can make all the difference as to whether or not you are rested the next morning for whatever adventure lies ahead of you. It is well worth testing some out before making your final decision. And also make sure you store your sleeping pad properly to ensure its longevity.



It is important to consider the type of ground you will be sleeping on when choosing a pad. If there is no designated camping platform as there commonly are at campgrounds, you’ll need a sleeping pad that’s made out of a durable material that will not rip and is made to help insulate you from the ground. There is no sense in waking up to a deflated pad that tore on a root or rock, etc. and finding yourself closer to the ground; cold, damp, and grumpy.



Looking at the R-value (the pad’s ability to resist heat flow) is important to keep you warm while you sleep, especially if you plan on camping or backpacking in cooler weather or in the winter. You want to keep your body heat with you and not lose it to the ground while you’re sleeping outdoors, and the R-value of your pad will determine how well you’re able to do this. This information and the temperature rating of the pad (commonly given by manufacturers) will help you gauge how much insulation you are going to get from the pad; thus comfort and warmth.



Having a pad that is appropriate for your height and body shape is important to consider. Pads are made in long and wide sizes to accommodate larger people. If your feet are not resting on the pad at night, not only will you not be comfortable, but you will also be losing heat to the ground as well. However, if you are trying to cut down on weight or make space on your pack, you may opt for a shorter 3/4 length pad, especially if you’re camping in warmer weather.





The outline of a sleeping pad that can vary from rectangular (heaviest) to semi-rectangular (average weight) to tapered (mummy shaped and lightweight).


The valve is the opening in the pad that allows air to flow in when inflating and air to be forced out when deflating.


A small, compact sack that the sleeping pad can be compressed into for easy storage and packing.


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About The Author

Born in Maryland, Lindsay Rohrbaugh is an avid rock-alpine climber and mountaineer. An urban wildlife biologist by trade, she is also a travel writer and student of Integrative Medicine. When not in school or conducting field work on bats and turtles in Washington, DC, she is out climbing rocks and peaks or scaling high points across the globe. She’s hiked the Lares Trek in Peru and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and climbed various routes in Morocco, Peru, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. She has even tried her skills at deep water soloing! Her weekends are often spent with her husband in their newly self-built cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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