sleeping pad

If this topic has been done before, I haven’t seen it.

What do you like for a sleeping pad.

  1. Kayak camping.

  2. Car camping.

    Recommend one for a 50 y.o. guy, 6’ 2", 200 lb.



Thermarest Base Camp Large- 5’10" 180lbs- the regular size is too narrow for me and I’m sure for you also. Then add a sleeping bag and I’m good. I can also fit the large into my Elaho hatches for a trip. I use it for both kayak and car camping.

Exped Downmat 9 DLX

Awesome for paddle camping and car camping…too heavy to backpack with…Exped makes a foot pump (very lightweight) that doubles as a footpump for the down air mattress line.

cabelas self inflating sleeping pads
are what I’ve had for the last 8 yrs. They are the pretty much the same as the thermarests except much cheaper. I believe they are around $40.

Another vote for Exped.
For kayaking and car camping, especially in cold weather. I think I’d even haul it on a winter backpacking trip. The weight would be worth the warmth.

I find closed-cell sleeping pads

– Last Updated: May-22-07 4:10 PM EST –

warmer than their inflatable cousins and take them everytime when weight / space is an issue: backpacking, kayaking, etc..

When car-camping, I usually stick to a rubberized canvas mattress. Although not easily found on the market, they are much more durable (puncture and abrasion resistance; mine is 27 years old and still going strong) than vinyl inflatable mattresses, more comfortable (no bouncing up-and-down when your partner moves) and are a little more environmentally friendly. You can buy them at Cabella's:

Big Agnes
Hinman… I have one that’s 2.5" thick when fully inflated. Very great insulator and really comfortable!

Two different pads
For kayak camping, I like the ThermaRest Prolite 4 (women’s model, 5’6" long and slightly different foam) the best. It compresses very small, either folded first or not; it weighs little; it inflates and deflates quickly; and last but not least, it’s very comfortable. (I posted a review of it recently.) They make a men’s version that is 6’ long. They are on sale now at REI–about $65 instead of $95, I think.

For car camping, I’m hanging onto my 12-year-old ThermaRest luxury pad. I don’t know what they’re calling it now because they have at least 3 thicknesses of luxury pads, whereas when I bought it there was only one size. This thing is cushy enough to use as a mattress.

At first I used two different pads for kayak camping: the ThermaRest folding Z-lite noninflatable plus the original 3/4-length thin ThermaRest inflatable on top of that. Worked fine, but I prefer the single Prolite 4 for obvious reasons.

Yeah, I like ThermaRest products :slight_smile:

Boy Scout Method Work for Me
That’s the one where they teach you to dig out a shallow spot for the shoulders and hips and cover the ground with leaves or other soft, natural vegatation. Then you put down your ground tarp, tent, and bag.

Cost is nil and you one less piece of equipment to carry. At 61, less is better.

Any day on the water is a great day.


Forget the pad
try one of these, much better than a pad, and takes up less space.

How better than a pad? And the folded
package appears to be the same size as our rolled REI pads. I do not find sleeping on taut fabric to be comfortable.

The problem with cots is they allow air to circulate underneath you. Aside from being soft and cushy a sleeping pad is supposed to insulate your lower half, because your weight compresses the insulation on the bottom of the bag which makes it less effective.

My response
Kayak camping (or backpacking): Thermarest Trail Lite - small.

Car camping: Power-inflated queen sized air mattress



I second the big agnes
I have a 2.5 inch big agnes insulated air mattress and it is super comfy! I took it on a overnight kayak/camping trip about a month ago. I was worried the big agnes wouldn’t be warm enough because it is an air mattress. It got down to 25 degrees and I never got cold.

I use a byer cot ( for car camping. It folds up really small and is comfortable with a regular self-inflating pad.

Try that on slickrock
Not applicable to certain parts of the country!

Regardless take a repair kit

thermarest and blow up queen
I use a thermarest base camp deluxe thickest i can find for canoe camping. You might want to scale that down a bit. I hate sore hips in the morning.

For car camping I use a blow up queen mattress with that fabric/flocking stuff on one side so it’s not too slippery.

i liked the cot idea for car camping
but after all is said and done hammocking is the way for me, and that means no pad at all to carry

REI Brand pad
I have an REI brand pad similiar to the higher end “Basecamp” Thermarest models. It was about 50 bucks cheaper then the Thermarest. I love it, it is comfortable, supportive, and way more insulating then an air mattress. Best of all REI’s satisfaction guarantee and return policy are the best available.

2.5" model

3.5" model

Good luck and Happy Camping.