Finding The Right Sleeping Pad

Finding The Right Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads are the most underrated part of your camping setup.

Often left at home, brutalized by puppies, and equated with pool toys, the humble sleeping pad can make or break your night's sleep. Why does investing in the right pad matter? Because that pad is the only thing separating you from the cold, hard ground. Because your back hates a bed of skree. Because the right pad heals your tired bones, refreshing you for the next day. And because a wonderful sleeping pad transforms camping from something you endure to something you love. Here's our guide to finding your transcendent pad:

Intended Use

Start by identifying what you are using it for.

Backpacking, bikepacking, packrafting, thru-hiking:

You'll want one of our ultra-comfortable air chamber sleeping pads for reliable backcountry comfort, without unnecessary bulk and weight. Go fast and light without compromising comfort or warmth with the Rapide SL Insulated. If weight savings are the priority, go for the Zoom UL Insulated, and if you're into carrying a couple of extra ounces in exchange for deluxe comfort, check out the Boundary Deluxe Insulated.

Hunting, ski touring or winter camping:

Camping in below freezing temperatures requires a sleeping situation with a lot of insulation. Take a look at the Hinman or Captain Comfort for our warmest, most rugged pads. For a flexible year-round solution, you can pair one of our air chamber sleeping pads with a closed-cell foam pad like our Twistercane BioFoam Pad, for extra insulation when sleeping on frozen ground.

Car camping:

Any sleeping pad with an appropriate temperature rating will work for car camping! If you have some extra room, go for the most luxurious night's sleep with the Captain Comfort. Choose ultimate durability and sustainability with the Circle Back. Give your lungs a break with the Hinman.

R-Value Temperature Ratings

A sleeping pad R-Value is a rating that shows how warm the pad is, thus helping you stay warm at cooler temperatures. The higher the R-Value number, the warmer the pad. A good place to start is with the season in which you’ll be camping. This will help you determine the minimum R-Value you need.

If you’re new to camping, it’s reasonable to invest in one mid-range R-Value pad for every outing, the Divide Insulated sleeping pad is a good all-around starter sleeping pad. As you start camping through the seasons, you’ll appreciate the function of a cold weather pad with a higher R-Value rating, and the importance of a warm weather pad when you’re out camping in a hot desert valley.

Pro Tip: Wanna nerd out on R-Values? Research ASTM F3340-18, the standard to which all of our R-Values conform

When will you be camping – summer, spring, fall or winter? We offer pads that are suitable through the seasons.

Great for Summer – R-Value 2 or lower

Twistercane BioFoam Pad - Ideal for minimalists, or using underneath an air chamber sleeping pad for added insulation - R-Value 1.7

Divide - Great value for warm-weather trips - R-Value 1.5

Great for Spring through Fall – R-Value 4 - 4.8

Divide Insulated - Awesome three season utility - R-Value 4

Zoom UL Insulated - Ultra lightweight, ultimate packability - R-Value 4.3

Rapide SL Insulated - Best balance between insulation, weight, and comfort - R-Value 4.8

Boundary Deluxe Insulated - Maximum backcountry comfort - R-Value 4.3

Winter Adventure Ready – R-Value 5 +

Hinman - Self-inflating reliability and warmth - R-Value 5

Captain Comfort Deluxe Camp - Our most comfortable pad - R-Value 8.3-9.9

Pro Tip: Pair any of our three-season Air Chamber pads with a Twistercane BioFoam Pad for a Winter-ready combined R-Value of 5 +

    Sleeping Pad Sizes

    20x66 : Petite - Ideal for smaller frames or minimalists. Matches with Women's Petite Big Agnes System Bags.

    20x72 : Regular - Our standard size. Matches with regular sized Big Agnes System Bags.

    20x78 : Long - Perfect for taller campers or for sleeping with a dog at your feet. Matches with Long size sleeping bags.

    25x72 : Wide Regular - Great for a little extra room Matches with regular sized Big Agnes System bags.

    25x78 : Wide Long - Extra room for big and tall folks, or those who want plenty of room. Matches with Park Series Sleeping Bags.

    40x72 : Double Wide - Can be used with any our doublewide sleeping bags, Ideal for King Solomon.

    50x78 : Double Wide XL - Can be used with any our doublewide sleeping bags, Ideal for Dream Island.

    50-40x78 Tapered : Tent Floor Pad - Covers the whole floor of most two-person tents, for ultimate coverage.

    Types of Sleeping Pads

    Air Chamber:

    Comfortable, lightweight and compact. These pads range from 2.5 - 4.25 inches thickness. They require nothing but lung power to fill up, but you can use the included pad inflation sack, Pumphouse, or Pumphouse Ultra for easier inflation.

    Divide Insulated
    Zoom UL Insulated
    Rapide SL Insulated
    Boundary Deluxe Insulated


    Easy to inflate and durable. These pads range from 1.5 - 5 inches thickness. Just unscrew the cap and let it auto inflate. These pads are ideal for car camping or winter backcountry travel.

    Captain Comfort Deluxe Camp

    Closed-Cell Foam:

    Lightweight, and the ultimate in durability. These pads are perfect for adding insulation underneath an air chamber pad or for minimalists looking for reliability.

    Twistercane BioFoam Pad

    Camp Pillows

    It may seem like a luxury, but resting your head on a comfortable pillow as opposed to a balled up jacket, your arm, or nothing at all, can make a big difference in your sleep quality. We recommend bringing one of our lightweight, inflatable camp pillows for a better night's rest.

    Check out the Rapide SL Pillow for our lightest, smallest option, and the Boundary Deluxe Pillow for some more coverage area and a traditional rectangular pillow shape.

    Still Stuck?

    Get in touch with our support team by starting a support case, or giving us a call at (+1) 877.554.8975.

    Our phone hours are:

    Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm
    Friday 10am-1pm

    All times in Mountain Time (UTC - 6/7)

    Open A Case

    More Support Articles