If you want to stay comfortable and warm while car camping, choosing the best sleeping pad possible is very essential. Selecting the ideal sleeping pad for you will ensure you wake up refreshed, rested, and ready for the day’s adventure.
Our top pick for the best sleeping pad for car camping is TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad. It not only has all the features of a high-quality sleeping pad, but it is also self-inflating, offering campers lots of cushioning. Additionally, this pad is portable and lightweight!
In this guide, we will discuss some important factors to look for when selecting a pad that best compliments your sleeping style and sleep system, as well as review the 6 best sleeping pads for car camping on the market.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table
- What to Look for?
- Best Sleeping Pad for Car Camping
- Key References
What to Look for?
Here are some key factors to help you decide which sleeping pad will give you the insulation and cushion you need.
A) Types of Sleeping Pads
There are three (3) main types of sleeping pads; the self-inflating, the inflatable, and the closed-cell foam.
- Closed-cell Foam Pad: A closed-cell foam pad is a semi-dense foam that contains thousands of tiny air bubbles. This is what provides the cushioning and insulation that keep you from the cold, hard ground. Closed-cell foam pads are incredibly lightweight, very inexpensive, and they offer the right level of insulation for the thickness of the pad, and they are almost indestructible. The drawback of this type of sleeping pad is that they are quite bulky. Because of their thinness, they may not offer the cushioning that is needed for a comfortable night’s sleep.
- Inflatable Sleeping Pads: Basically, inflatable sleeping pads are a nylon shell that is filled with air. They are incredibly compact, lightweight, and they provide a considerable amount of loft, often up to 2 to 3 inches. However, they require manual inflation, which can be time-consuming, and they are susceptible to puncture, although they are generally easy to repair in the field. Also, they don’t provide the best insulation from the cold. However, there are models on the market that provides a reflective barrier or some type of filler, which can dramatically increase the insulation value.
- Self Inflating Pad: The self-inflating pad also has a nylon outer material, but it is filled with an open-celled foam core. The advantage of this type of sleeping pad is that they are self-inflating; all you need to do is open the valve and let the pad do the job on its own. They are relatively compact and lightweight, although not necessarily as much as the inflatable options. Additionally, they provide a generous amount of insulation-value and cushioning for their size. The drawback is that they can be relatively bulky, depending on the model you choose. Also, they are susceptible to damage or failure in the field, although repairs can be relatively easy.
With any of the pads mentioned above, one thing you will want to consider is the R Value of the sleeping pad. The R-Value is a number-rated system that essentially just tells you the ability of the pad to insulate you from the hard ground, i.e., its warmth. So, if you choose a pad that is rated 1, it will not provide you with a lot of warmth. Conversely, if you select a pad that is rated a 6, that will give you a lot more warmth for colder weather camping.
Some sleeping pads can pack down to the size of a 1-liter bottle, while others can barely pack down at all. Some models are lightweight, while others might be a bit heavy. The portability of a pad should not be an issue when it relates to car camping because your car will do most of the heavy lifting. However, it is worth bearing in mind if you will be using it for other adventures such as backpacking, trekking, or hiking.
D) Size and Shape
You need to ensure you fit onto the sleeping pad you choose. It is of no good if you are hanging over the pad’s edges or rolling off the pad in the middle of the night. Also, the thickness of a sleeping pad needs to be considered, as well as its weight capacity if you are going for an inflatable sleeping pad. Remember, you also need to ensure the sleeping pad will fit in the back of your car.
Best Sleeping Pad for Car Camping
Here are the top 6 best sleeping pads for car camping on the market today:
1. TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad
The TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad is a huge sleeping pad that is wide enough to accommodate tall individuals.
- The pad has an extruded aluminum frame with reinforced steel legs, which guarantees stability, strength, and longevity.
- The frame can support up to 600 pounds, ensuring excellent stability while sleeping.
- The insulation and extra padding of the sleeping pad offer warmth and comfort.
- The exterior of the pad is made from heavy-duty brushed polyester fabric.
- It has a 2-fold design, which makes it convenient for transport and storage.
- Weighing 9 lbs, the TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad is very lightweight, and the included carrying bag makes it easy to carry around.
2. FBSPORT Memory Foam Floor Sleeping Pad
The FBSPORT Memory Foam Floor Sleeping Pad consists of 1-inch memory foam and 2-inch support foam.
- The high-density support foam has strong elasticity, offering you continuous support.
- The memory foam not only adds a sense of wrap and brings relaxation and comfort to the body.
- For secure storage, the sleeping pad is equipped with a strap.
- This camping pad comes with an ergonomically designed pillow, which is removable.
- The removable waterproof sheet can be removed easily and is also machine washable.
- The FBSPORT Memory Foam Floor Sleeping Pad is very comfortable for car camping, helping to relieve tiredness during travel.
3. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is a must-have if you are looking for a sleeping pad that will deliver notable performance and offer you value for money.
- We like the 2-inch thickness this pad offers as it ensures utmost coziness.
- The sides are specially designed to be supportive in any sleeping position.
- Although this pad is made from heavy-duty abrasion-resistant fabric, it is lightweight.
- Thanks to a 20 denier thickness, the fabric is water-resistant.
- The interlocking air cells make it ideal for car campers of all ages.
- For maximum relaxation, the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad has phenomenal insulation to keep you warm for long.
4. Freeland 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
The Freeland 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is a super-lightweight, self-inflating yet comfortable option you can use for car camping.
- It has a popper system that allows you to link it with other sleeping pads to form a larger sleeping area.
- The pad is made from weather-resistant and durable polyester material, with open-cell foam providing excellent comfort and insulation.
- It comes with a built-in pillow, which can be manually inflated to the needed level.
- There is also a patch kit in the package in case you accidentally puncture it.
- The Freeland 3D Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad might not be the best sleeping pad for car camping for side sleepers, but it will do quite well for most users.
5. ZOOOBELIVES Inflatable Sleeping Pad
The ZOOOBELIVES Inflatable Sleeping Pad features a durable and rugged 75D polyester material that is lightweight and comfortable.
- Additionally, the extruded PVC ensures outstanding durability.
- We love the fast inflatable design of this sleeping pad.
- It’s highly ergonomic and also comes with a pump for effortless and secure inflation.
- The pad is 4-inches thick, offering car campers the right balance of support and softness.
- With an R-Value of 4, this pad will last for up to 4 seasons with no complaints.
6. Willpo Certipur-US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad
With this sleeping pad, you can take the support and comfort of memory foam with you on your car-camping adventure.
- The thick and soft foam ensures your comfort and warmth while sleeping.
- The roll-up straps and a built-in roll assistor make the storage of this sleeping pad compact and quick.
- The waterproof sheet is removable and machine washable.
- Designed with a damp-proof bottom layer, the pad will keep users lifted throughout the night so you can wake up refreshed.
- The Willpo Certipur-US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad is perfect for those car campers prone to back stiffness and pain, as well as those who prefer comfort over portability.
Our top recommendation for the best sleeping pad for car camping is TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Pad. It features a high-quality sleeping pad, which is self-inflating and offers campers lots of cushioning. Most importantly, it is a very lightweight sleeping pad on the market!
There is a wide range of sleeping pads on the market that should allow you to find a pad that is perfect for your car camping needs quickly. We hope you have found the information in this guide useful and it helps you choose the best sleeping pad for your next car camping adventure.
- “What is R-Value? – Therm-a-Rest Blog”. Accessed April 13, 2020. Link.
- “Sleeping Pads: How to Choose”. Accessed April 13, 2020. Link.