How Do You Make A Camping Pad? (Easy Guide)

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just getting into the hobby, you’ll want to make sure that your first (or next) experience is a good one. 

No matter what kind of trip you’re planning, it’s important to invest in quality gear from the start. I’ve been camping for 20 years now and have tried out every type of sleeping pad there is. 

Sleeping pads are an essential part of any camping trip, so it’s worth taking some time to figure out which ones are right for you and your needs before purchasing one!

Sleep Pad, Ultralight, DIY, Insulated – YouTube
– Making a camping pad is a cost-effective and customizable option.
– Gather the necessary materials such as foam, fabric, and adhesive.
– Measure and cut the foam according to your desired pad size.
– Create a fabric cover for the foam, ensuring a snug fit.
– Use adhesive to secure the fabric cover to the foam.
– Consider adding additional features like straps or attachments for convenience.
– Test the camping pad for comfort and adjust as needed.
– Enjoy the comfort and support provided by your homemade camping pad.

Inflatable sleeping pads

If you’re looking for something that’s lightweight, packable and comfortable but still durable enough to use on the ground, then an inflatable pad is a great option.

Inflatable sleeping pads are also known as self-inflating (and sometimes self-deflating), meaning that when you open it up and let some air out of the valve, it will fill with air and become firm enough to sleep on. 

This makes them more comfortable than closed cell foam pads which tend to feel hard no matter how many times you roll around on them during the night.

However, they can be more expensive than other options and there’s always a risk of punctures from sharp objects such as rocks or sticks so make sure you keep your gear away from these things if possible!

If you’re wondering whether camping pads are worth it, our comprehensive guide on are camping pads worth it will help you make an informed decision and choose the right equipment for your outdoor adventures.

Closed-cell sleeping pads

Closed-cell mats are the most durable option, but they’re bulky and don’t provide as much comfort. 

If you’re camping in cold weather, you’ll find closed-cell foam mats to be ideal for insulation. 

They can also be folded into a long pillow for sitting or lying on top of. However, if you’re looking for something more comfortable or packable that won’t make you feel like you’re sleeping on a slab of concrete, we recommend an inflatable camping pad instead (we’ll discuss those in detail below).

Closed-cell foam mats are made from tiny air pockets trapped inside a thick layer of soft plastic. 

This makes them pretty sturdy—they can withstand sharp objects like rocks without puncturing through—but they have some disadvantages compared to other options:

  • They take up more space than other options because they don’t fold down as compactly;
  • They may not be as comfortable as other options (depending on how well it insulates); and
  • You might find yourself sliding off while trying to use one as a pillow!
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOLLightweight, compact, durable0.75 inches2.0
NEMO SwitchbackDual-density foam, heat-reflective film0.9 inches2.0
Klymit Static V LuxeV-shaped chambers, integrated pillow3 inches1.3
Sea to Summit UltraLight MatAir sprung cells, multi-function valve2 inches0.7
REI Co-op Camp BedSelf-inflating, soft-touch fabric2.5 inches5.2

Hybrid sleeping pads

A hybrid sleeping pad combines the comfort of an air mattress with the convenience of a foam pad. These pads are heavier than their air counterparts, but they’re also cheaper. 

If you’re willing to sacrifice some comfort for a price tag that’s easy on your wallet, this is the type of pad for you!

In addition to being more affordable than regular air mattresses, hybrid pads have another advantage: they’re much easier to repair when punctured. 

You can simply patch them up instead of having to toss out an entire air mattress or buy an entirely new one!

If you’re looking for a good deal on a quality camping bedding solution that won’t break your bank account in half (or more), then look no further than our selection of hybrid sleeping pads!

Self-inflating sleeping pad

Self-inflating sleeping pads are usually made from closed-cell foam. The foam is heavier than other options, but they’re also more durable and easier to pack. 

The closed-cell design makes these pads less comfortable than air mattresses, but they have the advantage of being lightweight and inexpensive.

There are many different types of self-inflating sleeping pads available on Amazon that range in price from $6-$60+.

When preparing for a camping trip, don’t forget to pack your essentials like a cozy blanket and pillow. Check out our article on how to pack a blanket and pillow for camping to ensure a comfortable and restful experience in the great outdoors.

Non-self-inflating foam camping pad

Foam camping pads are a great way to stay comfortable and warm during your camping excursions. 

Foam camping pads can be used for any kind of camping, from backpacking, car camping or basecamping. 

It is important to know what kind of foam pad you need so that you buy the correct one for your needs.

When buying a foam pad there are several things that you should look at when picking out which one is right for you:

Weight – Since most people will be carrying their foam pads on their backs while hiking they need as little weight as possible without sacrificing quality. Some people prefer lighter more expensive options while others prefer heavier cheaper options.

Thickness – The thicker the foam pad is generally better because it provides more insulation against cold ground temperatures underneath it but also makes it harder to roll up into its storage bag if it’s too thick. 

You can get away with using thinner foam pads if there aren’t any big hills where extra insulation would come in handy or if there isn’t much variation between different types of ground conditions (such as being able to find level surfaces).

Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic0.625 inches14 oz2.6
ALPS Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat0.75 inches20 oz3.6
Nemo Switchback Ultralight Sleeping Pad0.9 inches14 oz2.0
OutdoorsmanLab Ultralight Sleeping Pad1.5 inches16 oz2.2
Coleman Rest Easy Camp Pad0.375 inches7 oz2.5

Best Overall Sleeping Pad for Backpacking and Camping

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is the best overall sleeping pad for backpacking and camping. 

This pad has a R-value of 3.2, which makes it suitable for temperatures as low as -20 degrees, though most people will use it for summer camping or winter backpacking. 

The unique construction of this pad makes it incredibly lightweight and compactable, and its high R-value means that you’ll never feel cold when using it.

This is our highest rated sleeping pad by far due to its performance in all conditions: summer camping, winter backpacking, etc.. 

It’s also easy to set up and doesn’t require much maintenance if stored away properly after each use (no peeling!). 

If you want something that can handle everything from hot summer nights under the stars to cold winter nights out on a frozen lake or snowy mountaintop then look no further than the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite!

Looking for the most comfortable bed for your camping adventures? Discover our expert recommendations and tips in our guide on finding the most comfortable bed for camping to enhance your outdoor sleeping experience.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress is the best choice for backpacking, camping and hiking. 

It’s lightweight and compact design makes it easy to carry along and extremely comfortable as well. You can use this with a sleeping bag or on its own, whichever suits you!

Klymit Static V2 Lightweight Sleeping Pad

The Klymit Static V2 Lightweight Sleeping Pad is a great choice for backpackers and campers. This lightweight pad is easy to inflate, deflate and pack away, making it ideal for long backpacking trips or weekend camping excursions. 

The V2 has an R-value of 2.5 which means that it will keep you warm when the temperatures drop while still being comfortable enough to sleep on.

The Static V2 is also one of the most affordable sleeping pads on this list but don’t let its low price point fool you—it’s actually pretty comfortable! It has an open cell design that gives an airy feel while still providing insulation from cold surfaces underneath you. 

Even better? Its fabric top makes it easy to clean if your tent floor happens to get dirty overnight (we’ve all been there).

If you’re looking for an affordable camping pad that provides comfort without compromising performance then look no further than the Klymit Static V2 Lightweight Sleeping Pad!

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad

If you’re looking for a pad that can handle the harshest of temperatures, this is it. The Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad has a comfort rating of 25 degrees and weighs only 2 pounds. 

It’s 72 x 20 x 2.5 inches, making it just the right size to fit in your backpack without taking up too much space. Plus, it’s made of polyester and nylon ripstop with a polyurethane coating—the same materials used on tents!

That being said, there are some drawbacks to consider before buying this sleeping pad. First off: It doesn’t have any kind of insulation; instead, it relies on an air core design (hence its name). Second: The price tag might seem pretty steep at $100 USD per pad—but trust us when we say that these pads will last longer than any other ones out there!

Embarking on a 7-mile hike? Make sure you’re well-prepared with our essential checklist. Check out our article on what to bring on a 7-mile hike to ensure you have everything you need for a successful and enjoyable trek.

Exped SynMat HL Duo Insulated Sleeping Pad

The Exped SynMat HL Duo Insulated Sleeping Pad is a high-quality sleeping pad that offers you the comfort and durability of a foam mattress, with the added benefit of being lightweight and compact. 

It’s also one of the best values in its class: it costs about as much as a good pair of hiking boots, but it can be used for years to come.

You don’t have to worry about the quality or durability of this product; it’s made from materials that won’t lose their shape or become damaged after repeated use. 

The top layer is composed of air cells which are filled with foam insulation so you can sleep comfortably on cold nights without having to shiver through ice-cold sheets all night long!

This item comes in two sizes – regular or large – so whether you’re 6 feet tall (1.83 meters) or 6’6″+ (2 meters), there’s an option that works for your body type!

ExpedSynMat HL Duo Insulated40.6 oz2.8 inches4.9

Nemo Cosmo Air 25R Sleeping Pad

The Cosmo Air 25R Sleeping Pad is a luxury sleeping pad that offers great comfort and warmth. It uses a patented V-chamber design that provides excellent insulation, even when used on the ground. The Cosmo Air 25R has a R-value of 5.9 and weighs 27 ounces (25 inches wide).

Staying safe while hiking is crucial, and preventing falls is a top priority. Learn valuable techniques and tips in our article on how to prevent falling when hiking to ensure a secure and enjoyable hiking experience.


There are many options when it comes to sleeping pads and different kinds of camping. It can be a bit overwhelming, but hopefully this article has helped you narrow down your search. Whether you’re looking for something comfortable or lightweight, there’s an option out there that will fit your needs perfectly!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on camping pads and related topics:

  • REI: Sleeping Pads: REI provides expert advice on sleeping pads, including different types, features, and considerations to help you choose the right one for your needs.
  • Kamui: How to Use a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad: Kamui offers a detailed guide on how to properly use and maintain a self-inflating sleeping pad for optimal comfort and convenience during camping trips.
  • Backpackers: Sleeping Pad Guide: presents a comprehensive guide to sleeping pads, covering various types, insulation options, and factors to consider when selecting a sleeping pad.


Here are some frequently asked questions about camping pads:

How important is a camping pad for outdoor sleeping?

A camping pad is essential for outdoor sleeping as it provides cushioning, insulation, and comfort, helping you get a better night’s sleep while protecting you from the cold ground.

What are the different types of camping pads?

There are various types of camping pads, including self-inflating pads, foam pads, air pads, and inflatable pads. Each type offers different features, benefits, and levels of comfort.

How do I choose the right size camping pad?

When selecting a camping pad, consider your height, preferred sleeping position, and desired comfort level. It’s recommended to choose a pad that offers sufficient length and width for your body.

Can I use a camping pad for backpacking?

Yes, many camping pads are designed for backpacking, offering lightweight and compact designs. Look for pads that are easy to pack and provide adequate insulation and comfort for your backpacking adventures.

How do I maintain and clean a camping pad?

To maintain and clean a camping pad, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, you can wipe it down with a damp cloth, use mild soap if needed, and allow it to dry thoroughly before storage. Avoid exposing the pad to sharp objects that could puncture it.