Avid adventurers take their backpack weight very seriously, making it a priority to tone it down as much as possible. This is why there now are a lot of great ultralight sleeping pads that are affordable for the most part. These are also usually compact, some being able to become the size of a bottle when packed.
Read on to learn more about the five most desirable ultralight sleeping pads on the market right now, as well as to learn which of them is the best ultralight sleeping pad around.
Best Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Best Ultralight Sleeping Pad Reviews
Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight
The Outdoorsman Lab is a very affordable lightweight sleeping pad. This is a great budget option that packs quite easily.
This pad gives a lot of bang for your buck, even more so if you’re a frequent backpacker. The reason for this is the very small packed size of 8”x3”x3”. It comes in only one dimension, but the inflated size of 73”x21.6”x2.2” is good enough for most people’s needs.
It is available in three different colors and has a weight of 16 ounces, which doesn’t make it the easiest on the market, but is very light, nevertheless. This Outdoorsman Lab sleeping pad takes about 10 to 15 breaths to fully inflate and has a valve that helps deflate it faster.
As you might have already noticed from the design, this pad is not meant to keep you warm in colder weather, so if you’re a backpacker that’s mostly active during the summer, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. It also might not be durable enough for some, but it does come with a repair kit that’s sure to solve most problems in a pinch.
However, this is still a summer sleeping pad. It’s not insulated, and so has a low R-value of 2.2. Other than that, it’s not incredibly lightweight, nor is it durable, but these shouldn’t be major problems. What might be major problems for some people are the facts that it’s not self-inflatable and is only available in one size.
EcoTek Outdoors Hybern8
EcoTek’s Hybern8 pad is budget-friendly and lightweight, with an interesting hexagonal design that’s sure to attract attention.
The EcoTek Hybern8 sleeping pad, despite the price, is meant to be used by hikers and backpackers of various levels. Its design, coupled with its insulation, ensures that you will stay warm no matter the time of the year. Another interesting thing about this sleeping pad is the lifetime warranty that has your back if the material, 70D woven polyester, fails you.
A great thing about the Hybern8 is the existence of both insulated and non-insulated versions. While the differences aren’t major, some people will still surely appreciate this. The dimensions of the former are 74”x22”x2.2”, with a packed size of 10”x4.5”. The latter only takes up 10”x3” inches when packed. They weigh 24.5 oz and 18 oz. respectively.
Other than this, there are differences related to supported temperatures, as the non-insulated version isn’t suitable for temperatures below 32° Fahrenheit (0° Celsius). The insulated version will serve you well as long as the temperature is above 10° Fahrenheit (-10° Celsius).
This is a great product because it’s cheap, yet very reliable. For a small amount of money, you’re getting a sleeping pad that can also be used for hammocks, chairs, and sleeping bags. Should you decide to purchase it, you are given a choice of two different models and three different colors. It also does a good job at being a lightweight sleeping pad, and the interesting design ensures enhanced comfort.
Despite being insulated, this sleeping pad isn’t well suited for extremely low temperatures. After all, this is something that most ultralight sleeping pads cut out for the sake of weight, so you might’ve been prepared for this already. Also, some side sleepers probably won’t enjoy the design choice. This is not a self-inflatable sleeping pad, so that might turn some people away as well.
OlarHike Sleeping Pad
OlarHike has managed to come up with a sleeping pad that is not just available at a bargain price but also has an inflation system that doesn’t require a single breath.
This sleeping pad has a lot of interesting features rarely seen in sleeping pads. While it’s not self-inflatable, it has a bag at one end that gets filled up with air quickly. To inflate it, you just need to fill up the air bag a few times, and then squeeze the air into the pad. This renders the air pump unnecessary, which is sure to be a big plus for backpackers.
This pad’s weight of 20.8 oz. helps cement its place among the best, as does its packed size of 10”x4”x4”. Its inflated size of 75"x23"x2.5" is nothing out of the ordinary. However, the durability is where this sleeping pad shines. It’s quite durable as it’s made of 40D nylon and can support a maximum weight of about 330 lbs., making it a good option for bigger people.
It’s well-designed, with its honeycomb design ensuring that the air doesn’t go to one side a bit too much. This also warrants increased comfort. There are also three patches in case of leaks, and a blindfold to further improve the utility factor. If you want a firmer sleeping pad, you can get it here as well, as you can squeeze in more air if you wish.
Never mind your preferred sleeping position; this pad’s design will probably suit you just fine. Apart from its very low price and great dimensions, it is also very durable and completely waterproof, making it a good choice for people on the move.
Some users have reported that their sleeping pads tend to deflate overnight, but this is most likely a result of the inflation system. It requires some getting used to, so you might get something wrong initially. Once you work out the kinks, your pad will be able to retain its firmness for as long as necessary.
Gear Doctors Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
Gear Doctors’ solution combines the typical ultralight sleeping pad characteristics such as an affordable price and small weight with a self-inflating system and an above average R-value.
Right off the bat, it’s worth mentioning that this pad is self-inflating. To get it inflated, all you need to do is open the valve. What further makes this a great product is the astounding R-value of 4.3, which heavily exceeds that of most other ultralight sleeping pads.
Weighing in at 33.6 oz., this is not the lightest sleeping pad around, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue for trained backpackers. It’s not the smallest either, as its packed dimensions are 12”x 8”, but this does mean that it’s wider than most other at 24” when inflated. Its length of 74.6” will satisfy most users, as well as its thickness of 1 ½”.
As if all of this wasn’t enough already, the Gear Doctors sleeping pad comes with a lifetime warranty, repair kit, and a user manual if things go south.
Gear Doctors have somehow managed to cram together a great R-value, good width, and a self-inflating system in a single sleeping pad, which is a great feat. It’s hard to find a flaw in this product. The only considerable downside here is the above average weight. Other than that, this pad might start deflating by itself if you don’t take proper care of it, but that applies to all ultralight sleeping pads.
NACATIN Inflatable Sleeping Pad
NACATIN has a very cheap waterproof sleeping pad that’s great for everyone because of its light weight and interesting ergonomic design.
Unlike other products with an ergonomic design, NACATIN’s sleeping pad doesn’t have a honeycomb design. It does resemble it, however, as it has circular shapes that ensure balanced weight distribution over the whole pad.
While not self-inflatable, this model comes with its own inflating system. An air bag that comes with it can be used to inflate it, but it needs to be filled with air several times. It’s not the easiest method, but is cleaner than blowing air in, which is also possible as there is a valve.
Moving on to the weight and size, it’s only 19 oz. and has a packed size of 15.75”x 3.94”x 3.94”. When inflated, it measures 75”x 25.6”x 2.6”. It is very wide and thick, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it can support up to 330 lbs. Additionally, it’s waterproof and insulated, which helps with outdoor activities.
While not sporting a honeycomb design, it is still very comfortable. It’s also very durable and very wide, so bigger people should consider this one. If you’re not really into breathing into a sleeping pad, it also has an air bag that helps with the inflation process. This air bag is very handy as it has other uses, e.g. it can be used as a storage bag.
The only noticeable downside is the inflating system, as it requires you to fill the airbag several times.
All of these sleeping pads are a great choice because they all come at a low price, aren’t overly heavy, and can be packed down into quite a small-sized package. Despite its weight, the best ultralight sleeping pad is the one made by Gear Doctors because it’s self-inflating and has a great R-value for such a lightweight product. If its weight ultimately turns you away, consider the OlarHike sleeping pad as a close second since it has the fewest downsides of the bunch.