Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Regular
Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Regular

Best sleeping pad for backpacking.

This self-inflating sleeping pad weighs only 20 ounces, but its combination of foam and air provides an inch of cushioning, then deflates to roll up for packing. Reviews say the Therm-a-Rest ProLite is more comfortable than an all-foam sleeping mat, and warmer than a pad that uses air alone. You can add a closed-cell foam pad under it for colder nights. For three-season camping, it's available in a short length, the 13-ounce ProLite Short (*est. $75).
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Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso
Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso

Super-light foam sleeping mat.

If light packing weight is your biggest priority, the Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso foam mat weighs only 3.7 ounces, and it can fold to do double duty as a frame for an ultralight backpack. However, it's only torso-length -- meant to pad just your shoulders, back and hips. It's only 18 inches wide, but the closed-cell foam insulates well, and this pad can also be used on top of a longer sleeping pad for extra cushioning and insulation.
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*Est. $18 Estimated Price
Exped DownMat 7
Exped DownMat 7

Winter sleeping pad.

The award-winning Exped DownMat sleeping pad uses goose down to insulate its 2.8-inch-thick air tubes. Reviews praise its warmth and cushioning, and many backpackers say the extra comfort is worth carrying the 28-ounce weight. Its rectangular shape fits any sleeping bag, but if 70 inches is too short for you, you'll need the longer, wider DownMat 7 Deluxe (*est. $155). Both sleeping pads need to be inflated manually, but the stuff sack doubles as a pump.
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Therm-a-Rest DreamTime XL
Therm-a-Rest DreamTime XL

Big sleeping pad for car camping.

When weight doesn't matter, reviews recommend this 3-inch-thick self-inflating sleeping pad. At eight pounds, it's much too heavy for backpacking, but the Therm-a-Rest DreamTime XL has even more insulating value than the DownMat 7, and the DreamTime's 30-inch width and 77-inch length make it even more comfortable.
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REI Camp Bed 3.5
REI Camp Bed 3.5

Budget sleeping pad for car camping.

This sleeping pad self-inflates to a luxurious thickness of 3.5 inches. It has less insulating value than the Therm-a-Rest DreamTime XL, and its 25-inch width is narrower, but owners say it's still extremely comfortable (and it's certainly more affordable). Still, that makes it better for summer trips than winter or high-elevation camping. Some even find its 5-pound weight worth carrying on backpacking trips.
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*Est. $90 Estimated Price
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