Are you a camping enthusiast? After you have bought a sleeping bag and a tent, the next most important item you must consider is a camping pad. A comfortable cushioned mattress makes a difference between a good nights sleep where you wake refreshed in the morning, or, a rough night without sleep and waking up tired and grumpy. Waking up refreshed makes a difference to how much you will enjoy the coming day…
Some people may consider a sleeping pad or an air mattress to be a necessity, whilst others still think they are an optional choice. For people who have used them, they say with certainty they are worth the expense and simply wouldn’t consider going camping without one.
What are the primary benefits of a camping pad:
- they add a layer of installation against hard ground
- add comfort
- additional warmth
- help to maintain body temperature
- keep you dry
They are a useful add-on when you need comfort and keep warm. One of the biggest risks when camping in cold temperatures is hypothermia. A camping pad ads an extra layer of insulation and cushioning to help the body maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
When you start your search for a camping pad these two elements, cushioning and insulation are the number one factor to keep in mind when purchasing one. However there are other important features to keep in mind when you are aiming to make your purchase.
1) How much cushioning will you need? Are you a thin or larger person?
2) Take into account the size of your sleeping bag, the length and width
3) How much does the pad weigh and how well does it compress down?
4) Does the pad inflate or deflate quickly? Is it self inflating or do you need to pump it up?
When you start your search, these are a few of the questions you can ask yourself. The answers along with your research will ultimately help you select the right camping pad for your trip which in turn will influence your comfort and protection!
Types of Camping Pads
An inflatable air mattress provides a much greater degree of comfort and are much thicker than a foam pad. These are perfect car camping and are pretty close to a real bed. You can even take your regular sheets along and your favourite pillow… They are extremely comfortable and quick to inflate with a portable air pump. The downside is they are bulky and heavy and lack good insulating properties, so they are suitable for mild conditions only.
These are simply foam pads, featuring high density foam with tiny closed air cells. It is a perfect backpacking and are lightweight, durable, inexpensive and provide excellent insulation. Neither do they absorb water which is a bonus when camping. The only downside to using a foam pad when camping is not very comfortable.
Air Camping Pad
An air camping pad can either be self inflatable or manually inflated, some actual when you buy one that you get a self inflating pad, they are much easier to use.
They are lightweight and comfortable and provide a perfect solution for backpacking and camping. Many of these camping pads have integrated insulation or reflective materials to provide extra insulation benefits.
They deflate down and roll up to a small lightweight size and are generally stored in a stuff sack.The only downside to using an air pad is they can be ripped or punctured. Generally an emergency repair kit is included.
Camping Pad Length And Width
Make sure you fit on the pad. Your shoulders and hips need to fit on the pad. A regular sized pad is anywhere from 72 to 78 inches long and will help to keep your legs and feet warm which is a big plus on those chilly camping trips!
A three-quarter length or short camping pad is generally around 47 to 48 inches in length and consequently packs down smaller and weighs less.
The majority of camping pads offer a standard width of 20 inches. You can get wider pads of 25 or 30 inches and whether or not you purchase one of these will depend on your size.
You can purchase rectangular or mummy shaped pads depending on your needs. Some camping pads will incorporate a textured surface to reduce the likelihood if you sliding around on the camping pad