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In this report

Sleeping Pads: Ratings of Sources

Total of 21 Sources
1. Backpacker Magazine
Mar. 2008
March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Sleeping Pads
by Editors of Backpacker Magazine
Our AssessmentThis gear review reports the results of extensive field tests of five of the newest sleeping pads, but doesn't rate or rank them. A different set of sleeping pads is reviewed here each year, and Backpacker Magazine publishes brief single-product reviews of sleeping pads throughout the year. The Pacific Outdoor AO Aero is great for winter; the Big Agnes Diversion is made of recycled materials; and the Big Agnes Clearview is a good budget pick.
2. BackpackingLight.com
June 2006
Closed Cell Foam Sleeping Pads
by Editors of BackpackingLight.com
Our AssessmentThis review compares six closed-cell foam sleeping pads, basing recommendations on field tests plus tests of water absorption – by submerging each pad in a bathtub of water for 179 hours. This ultralight backpacking site also has single-product reviews of several self-inflating sleeping pads. The Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest gets a very good review.
3. Outside Magazine 2008 Gear Guide
May 2008
2008 Buyer's Guide
by Editors of Outside Magazine
Our AssessmentBased on field tests, this latest annual Gear Guide issue of Outside Magazine briefly recommends three sleeping pads without rating or ranking them. Two of the picks were also recommended the year before, adding to the weight of their recommendation. You can also search Outside.Away.com for information about sleeping pads that meet specific criteria for width, winter warmth, etc. Featured are the Therm-a-Rest ToughSkin, the Exped SynMat 7 and the Pacific Outdoor AO Lite.
4. Cabelas.com
As of June 2008
Pads Reviews
by Contributors to Cabelas.com
Our AssessmentThere are far more owner-written sleeping-pad reviews here than at most sites, giving the consensus opinion here a big boost. Camping gear retailer Cabela's conveniently consolidates reviews of different sizes of the same model. Some of the sleeping pads that get high marks elsewhere are far outranked here by other pads. Among those getting good owner ratings are the Exped DownMat 9 and a handful of Cabela-branded camp beds.
5. BackpackGearTest.org
As of June 2008
Pads and Air Mattresses
by Contributing Editors
Our AssessmentThis is a great review site to use after you've narrowed your choice to two or three sleeping pads, but if you're still evaluating all of your options, it can be a little overwhelming. Most sleeping pads are reviewed in great detail here by several different hikers. In order to enroll as reviewers, people have to be active hikers or campers, meet certain qualifications and state their experience as a component of their reviews. The long-term reports provided here are especially useful since they evaluate durability.
6. REI.com
As of June 2008
Camping Sleep Pads Reviews
by Contributors to REI.com
Our AssessmentMost of the sleeping pads sold here have at least a few owner-written reviews, but several stand out for high ratings from well over a dozen owners. This site makes the reviews very easy to browse, showing the average rating plus the number of reviews on which it's based. Among sleeping pads with high average scores are the REI Camp Bed, the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 and 4, and the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite.
7. Back Country Store.com
As of June 2008
Lightweight Sleep Pads Reviews
by Contributors to BackCountryStore.com
Our AssessmentThe owner-written sleeping-pad reviews at BackCountryStore.com aren't quite as easy to browse here as they are at REI, since the list shows the average rating but not the number of reviews on which it's based. It's still one of the most useful review sites, however. You can sort the sleeping pads by average rating, there are ample reviews here, and the staff has picked two sleeping pads as best buys, the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 and 4.
8. Camping Life Magazine
July 1, 2004
Sleeping pads: waking up on the right side of the tent
by Lori Lee-Howell
Our AssessmentThis somewhat dated review emphasizes heavier sleeping pads suitable for car camping rather than for backpacking, including some air mattresses. The top-rated sleeping pads are briefly reviewed based on field tests, but not ranked. Drawbacks are noted as well as advantages. Discussed are two Slumberjack pads plus the Therm-a-Rest Luxury Camp Bed.
9. Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail
Chapter 9: Sleeping on the Trail
by Roland Mueser
Our AssessmentThe gear recommendations in this book are based not only on the author's through-hiking experience, but also on an objective survey and interviews with 136 long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail. The recommendations are now dated, however.
10. Amazon.com
As of June 2008
Sleeping Pads Reviews
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentMost sleeping pads and air mattresses sold here have accumulated only a few owner-written reviews, but a few stand out as popular favorites, including the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4, the Wenzel Insta-Bed, the Intex Camp Air Bed and the Therm-a-Rest DreamTime XL.
11. RockClimbing.com
May 28, 2007
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad Editorial Review
by John Wilder
Our AssessmentThis detailed and well-illustrated review of the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core sleeping pad finds that it has significant advantages over the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite and an unspecified 1.5-inch self-inflating sleeping pad, especially for winter warmth. The main drawback is the time required to inflate and deflate it. Readers comment on the issue of whether or not the Big Agnes pad is prone to leaks.
12. GearReview.com
Nov. 18, 1999
Sleeping Pads: Cheap Sleep Insurance
by Steve Mann
Our AssessmentWe'd rank this review higher if it were more recent, but it's still a good comparison review, ranking 12 sleeping pads in three thickness categories based on extensive field tests by several staff members. The recommendations are all out of date.
13. Back Country Found.com
Not Dated
Recommended Gear Checklist
by Editors of BackCountryFound.com
Our AssessmentGuides at Yosemite National Park recommend two sleeping pads in their required gear list for backpacking trips. No basis for their recommendations is given, but it's reasonable to assume that the choices are based on experience leading many such trips. The Pacific Outdoor InsulMat Max-Lite models for men and women both roll up to a 7 x 11-inch pack size. The women's sleeping pad has extra insulation in the feet and includes extra support in the hip area as well.
14. Dan & Sheree
Sept. 8, 2005
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core REM Sleeping Pad Review
by Dan and Sherree Wolfgang
Our AssessmentThis weblog review covers the authors' personal use of the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core REM sleeping pad, comparing it with a one-inch Therm-a-Rest self-inflating pad reviewed here earlier. The review also notes that the Big Agnes sleeping pad won an Editor's Choice award at Backpacker Magazine. In cold weather, the authors recommend using a Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest pad underneath it.
15. Silver Orange Stuff
Dec. 18, 2006
Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 Sleeping Pad Review
by Dan James
Our AssessmentThis detailed review of the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 sleeping pad compares it with the MEC Apogee Long (now the MEC Kelvin) reviewed here in 2004. He concludes that the ProLite 3 “has lived up to all of my expectations.”
16. Altrec.com
As of June 2008
Sleeping Pads Reviews
by Contributors to Altrec.com
Our AssessmentThe sleeping pads at this retail site can be sorted by average rating, but you have to click on a model to see the number of reviews on which the rating is based. Quite a few sleeping pads get only a few reviews here, so it isn't a great source of information.
17. OutdoorReview.com
As of June 2008
Sleeping Pads Reviews
by Contributors to OurdoorReview.com
Our AssessmentThis review site is convenient to browse, since you can sort the list by average rating, price, or even by the number of reviews. However, only a few sleeping pads have accumulated enough reviews here to make the average ratings carry much weight.
18. Trailspace.com
As of June 2008
Sleeping Pads Reviews
by Contributors to Trailspace.com
Our AssessmentOwners rate and review sleeping pads here, and you can sort the list by average rating or filter it by brand. As with Altrec.com and OutdoorReview.com, most sleeping pads here have only received a handful of reviews.
19. Camping Life Magazine
May 2008
2008 Gear of the Year
by Editors of Camping Life magazine
Our AssessmentThis family camping magazine recommends two sleeping pads for adults plus one for children in its most recent annual gear guide issue. We'd rank the review higher if it were clearly based on field tests, but only features are mentioned. The Eureka! RapidAir and the Big Agnes Diversion are noted.
20. TheBackpacker.com
As of June 2008
Sleeping Pads Reviews
by Contributors to TheBackpacker.com
Our AssessmentWe'd rank this site higher if the reviews were better organized; for example, lots of Therm-a-Rest models are lumped together. It's still worth checking to see what owners say about a specific sleeping pad, however, since some pads have very low average ratings.
21. LLBean.com
As of June 2008
Sleeping Pads Reviews
by Contributors to LLBean.com
Our AssessmentThis retail site sells a good range of mostly Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads, but at the time of this report, there are too few reviews for the ratings to bear any weight.
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