Get Started With Sleeping Pads

When you go camping, you trade out the comfort of your bed at home for the experience of sleeping in the outdoors. From backpacking to truck tent camping, your sleeping surface will remain crucial to a good night’s sleep wherever you camp. In today’s market there are a plethora of options to fit different types of camping, so make sure you do some shopping and research before you select a camping sleeping pad. At Lakeland Gear, we carry a wide range of options for sleep surfaces while camping. Here’s how to get started with your sleeping pad shopping.

1. Determine what type of camping you’ll be doing

Sleeping mats come in a wide variety of materials and weights to fit different types of camping. Think about the type of camping you will be doing the most to determine which sleeping pad to purchase.

  • Sleeping Pads for Backpacking

    As a general rule of thumb, sleeping pads for backpacking are lightweight and compactable to take up minimal room and weight in your pack. These won’t provide as much cushioning as other pads. However, by being as small and light as possible these pads will maximize the efficiency of your backpacking excursions.
    • Air Chamber Pads

      Air chamber pads are filled with air from your lungs. We carry Big Agnes air chamber pads which provide low weight and excellent cushioning against the ground. However, an air chamber pad requires a bit of effort to inflate and does not insulate against the cold as well as a foam pad.

    • Self Inflating Pads

      The choice of lightweight campers and backpackers tends to be self-inflating pads, which have interiors made of chambered foam that can be made compact for storage. When the valve attached is opened, the foam chambers inside fill with air. Self inflating pads are a fantastic option for backpackers who are concerned with the amount of space within their pack. They are more durable than air mattresses for camping and compact tightly for easy storage.

    • Closed cell foam pads

      A closed cell foam pad is a simple camping mat that doesn’t require any inflation. These are generally the cheapest option. They are lighter and more durable than air-filed pads, however they are usually not as thick and “cushy” as air filled pads. A closed cell foam pad insulates well, but can only provide a thin layer of cushion against terrain.
  • Sleeping Pads for Car and Truck Tent Camping

    You have a wider range of options while car and truck tent camping because you don’t have to be as concerned with weight and size. With car and truck tent camping, you can go as minimalist or as luxuriant as you please.
    • Open cell foam

      An open cell foam sleeping pad such as the Alps Lightweight Air Series pads will provide better cushioning against the terrain. However, these do not insulate well against colder temperatures and are generally heavier than most sleeping pads.
    • Air mattresses

      For the ultimate in camping luxury, check out our truck bed air mattresses. These inflatable mattresses are custom designed to fit in your truck bed and will make truck tent camping heavenly.
    • Folding cot beds

      If you’ve got a bad back and require additional support, a folding bed cot may be your best option for camping. Our camping tent cots keep you above the cold rocky ground and provide excellent comfort for extended backcountry stays or car camping.

2. Figure out what type of conditions you will be camping in

Because a sleeping pad acts as an additional insulating layer from the cold, you’ll want a sleeping pad that enhances your sleeping bag’s ability to keep you warm. Go with self-inflating pads or foam pads for colder conditions. Air mattresses and air filled pads don’t insulate as well, but these are better suited to warmer camping conditions. For camping on snow, use a combination of a self inflating/air pad on top of a closed-cell foam pad to provide the best insulation.

3. Consider what type of sleeper you are

Think about what preferences you have while sleeping in your own bed. If you can’t do without a cushy sleep surface, investigate air chambered pads for your backpacking excursions and go with an air mattress for your car camping. If you tend to be a restless sleeper, check out Big Agnes sleeping bags and pads. With Big Agnes sleep gear, both pad and bag are integrated to keep you from rolling off of your pad at night. Restless sleepers should also consider buying a sleeping pad with additional inches of width to avoid rolling off your pad and onto the cold hard ground.

These tips should help you find the ideal sleeping bag for your needs. When you’ve done your research and are ready to shop, check out Lakeland Gear’s selection of camping sleeping pads. We wish you the best of luck on your camping excursions!

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