The unparalleled quietude of the great outdoors is most evident at night, when the rumbling city noise of traffic and chatter fades away and is replaced by the occasional chirp of crickets. While in the city you’re lucky to see one or two constellations, in nature you can see more stars than you could possibly count.
Here’s the thing, though. If you’re lying directly on the ground, where hopefully twigs but probably insects are poking your back, you’ll be missing car horns before you even set up your tent. That’s why you need to replicate at least some of the amenities available in a city. The most important one is a comfortable bed.
One of the best ways to get a good night’s rest is to get a sleeping pad; they’re generally more compact than an air mattress, meaning you can set them up anywhere without too much effort. Plus, you don’t need an electric pump like you do with some air mattresses. The options featured here even fold up into their own carrying pouch.
1. Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad is inflated by blowing into it. You may feel exasperated just reading that, but don’t worry. It designed to inflate in just 10-15 breaths, and the valve won’t let out the air during inflation. It deflates quickly and fits into a compact pouch when you’re done with it.
Pros: Lightweight, compact, available in three colors, including a subdued navy as well as vibrant orange and green.
Cons: Since it’s filled with air it doesn’t insulate that well against cold sleeping grounds.
2. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad is also inflated by breath, and at only 14.5 oz it’s the lightest option on this list. It’s made from tough ripstop nylon, and it’s designed to be able to accommodate side or back sleepers.
Pros: Lightest option on this list, folds into a compact carrying pouch. Some insulation.
Cons: Several users noted that the material made it easy for the mattress to slip out from under them during the night.
3. MOVTOTOP Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
Save your breath, this self-inflating sleeping pad reaches full capacity on its own in under 10 minutes. Plus, the built-in foam adds comfort and insulation. It comes with a built-in pillow that’s inflated by blowing into it.
Pros: Comfortable, foam adds insulation, inflates by itself.
Cons: At 2.8 pounds, it’s the heaviest option on this list.